Homemade Rice Noodles

1 1/4cups rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon vegetable oil (plus more for brushing)

Add the rice flour, tapioca starch (or cornstarch), salt and water to a mixing bowl. Mix and dissolve everything together well. Add 1 teaspoon of oil, and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into another bowl. Cover the liquid and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the mixture is resting, fill your wok (make sure that your flat-bottomed pan fits comfortably inside first!) with water. If you don’t have a wok, use a large, deep cooking vessel with a wide opening and a lid. Bring the water to a boil. (You might need to add more water throughout the cooking process. The goal is to have the pan float on top of the boiling water.)
Brush a light coating of oil on the bottom of the flat-bottom pan, put the pan on top of the boiling water, and add a 1/4 cup of the rice liquid to the pan. Tilt it a little so the rice liquid covers the bottom of the pan.

Now, cover with the pot/wok lid and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. If the flat bottom pan you use has a thicker bottom, e.g., Pyrex, increase the cooking time to 7 or 8 minutes. While it’s cooking, brush the second pan lightly with oil.

After 5 minutes, remove the lid, take out the 1st pan, and set aside. Put the 2nd pan on top of the water in the wok, add a 1/4 cup of the rice mixture. Tilt it a little so the rice liquid evenly covers the bottom, cover, and let cook.

While it’s cooking, attend to the first pan. We’re going to lift the noodle sheet out and place it onto a cutting board. Brush the cutting board with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking. Then, use a rubber spatula to loosen all sides of the sheet of noodle, and slowly lift it up and off the pan. Lay it flat on your cutting board. By now, your second pan is probably ready. Remember to brush the first layer with a thin layer of oil before layering the second sheet on top to prevent sticking.
Now brush the bottom of the 1st pan with some oil and get ready to make your 3rd batch. Repeat the above steps until all of the noodle batter is gone. Once all of the noodle sheets are made, I cut the noodle sheets into 1/3-inch wide pieces, but feel free to cut them in whatever sizes and shapes you like. I then toss the noodles, loosening each layer to separate them. Now the rice noodles are ready to be used!

You can store these noodles in the refrigerator for a day or two. They might harden slightly, but they should bounce back nicely once heated. Enjoy your homemade noodles!

Nam Prik Ong (Pork, Tomato, and Chile Dip)

For the Paste:
10 to 15 dried spur chiles (15g) (see note)
2 plum tomatoes (about 100g)
1 disc (15g) tua nao (optional, see note)
1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 4 to 5 inches only, outer leaves discarded, tender core thinly sliced into rounds (about 10g sliced lemongrass)
10 small garlic cloves (30g)
5 small shallots (80g)
2 teaspoons (20g) Thai shrimp paste

For the Seasoning Sauce:
1/2 cup (120ml) water
2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce
1 tablespoon (15g) Thai fermented soybean paste
2 teaspoons (10ml) Thai thin soy sauce or light soy sauce
Pinch sugar

For the Pork:
1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
1 pound (450g) ground pork
8 ounces (1 1/2 cups; 225g) cherry tomatoes

For Serving:
Assorted raw vegetables such as cucumbers, green cabbage, lettuce, Thai eggplant, long beans, and more, cut for dipping
Assorted steamed or blanched vegetables such as winter squash, okra, and more, cut for dipping (optional)
Hard-boiled eggs, halved (optional)
Unflavored pork rinds (optional)
Cooked jasmine or sticky rice

For the Paste: Place spur chiles in a dry wok or carbon steel or cast iron skillet, and toast over medium-low heat, turning occasionally, until chiles are fragrant and turn a deeper shade of dark red, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer chiles to a plate to cool slightly; wipe out wok or skillet and return to stovetop. Once cool enough to handle, remove stems from chiles and transfer to a granite mortar and pestle; set plate and mortar and pestle aside.

Meanwhile, place plum tomatoes in now-empty wok or skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until charred all over, about 5 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to now-empty plate and set aside to cool.

If using tua nao, use tongs to grab disc and hold about 2 inches above low flame on a gas burner. Flip disc every 5 seconds until tua nao is toasted to a hazelnut brown color, with little leopard spots all over on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer tua nao to plate with tomatoes to cool; set aside.

Pound chiles in mortar and pestle to a coarse powder, 3 to 5 minutes. Add lemongrass and pound fine, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and shallots and pound to a coarse paste with a few large pieces remaining, 3 to 5 minutes. Add shrimp paste and tua nao (if using) and pound until well-incorporated. Add charred plum tomatoes and gently pound until broken down and incorporated into paste, about 2 minutes. Transfer paste to a small bowl and set aside.

For the Seasoning Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together water, fish sauce, soybean paste, soy sauce, and sugar until well-combined and sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

For the Pork: In a wok or 3-quart saucier, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chile-tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until paste is aromatic and turns dark red, about 3 minutes. Add the pork, stir to combine, and cook, using a wok spatula or wooden spoon to break meat up and scrape up any bits that stick to the bottom of the pan, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Add cherry tomatoes, stir to combine, and continue to cook until tomatoes begin to burst, 3 to 5 minutes. You can coax the tomatoes into bursting by pressing down on them with a wok spatula or wooden spoon, and you can decide whether to lightly crush all of them or leave some whole for juicy pops of tomato flavor in the finished dip. Stir in seasoning sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to a saucy consistency and oil begins to separate from emulsion, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, at which point nam prik ong can be served or refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.

For Serving: Transfer nam prik ong to a serving bowl and serve with assorted raw and steamed vegetables, hard-boiled eggs (if using), pork rinds (if using), and rice.

Pad Thai

For the Pad Thai sauce:
1.5 ounces tamarind pulp (plus 1/2 cup boiling water)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai black soy sauce (look for the “Healthy Boy” brand)
1 teaspoon Thai sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (to taste)

For the rest of the dish:
8 ounces dried Pad Thai rice noodles
8 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/3 cup small dried shrimp (minced or processed into a coarse powder)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
2 large shallots (thinly sliced; can substitute red onion)
2 tablespoons preserved Thai salted radish (preferred) or Chinese mustard stem (rinsed in warm water and julienned; optional — preserved salted radish is a product of Thailand; if you can’t find it, zha cai, works well)
3 large eggs (beaten, preferably at room temperature)
2 cups mung bean sprouts (washed and drained)
1 cup Chinese garlic chives (cut into 1-inch pieces)
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (finely chopped)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)

First, make the sauce. Take the tamarind pulp (a block about 1 x 2 in (2.5 x 5 cm) and mix it with ½ cup boiling water (you can add a little more if needed to dissolve the paste). Break up the pulp in the hot water, and then press the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer. Discard the solids. To the liquid tamarind concentrate you just made, add the sugar, fish sauce, Thai black soy sauce, Thai sweet soy sauce (if using), and white pepper. Set aside.

Soak the pad thai noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, and drain in a colander. If the noodles are in really long strands, you will want to cut them into 10- to 12-inch lengths to make stir-frying easier.

Marinate the sliced chicken by combining it with 1 teaspoon each of Thai thin soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Set aside.

Next, prepare the dried shrimp, mincing them down into a coarse powder (we used a food processor). Prepare the garlic, shallots/red onion, preserved Chinese mustard stems (zha cai), eggs, mung bean sprouts, garlic chives, and peanuts. You want to have everything ready to go before you turn on the stove.

Now you’re ready to cook! Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in your wok over high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken, and sear until golden and just cooked through. Remove from the wok and set aside.
Add another 3 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Over medium heat, add the shrimp powder. Fry until fragrant and crisp, 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and zha cai. Stir-fry for another 30 seconds.

Turn the heat up to high, and add the noodles and sauce. Stir-fry to combine, lifting the noodles with your wok spatula to spread them out and break them up.

Make a space on the side of the wok, pushing the noodles to one side. Drizzle 1 more tablespoon of oil in the open space, and pour in the beaten eggs. Use your spatula to fold them gently, scrambling them without breaking up the egg too much. When the eggs are about 70% done, stir-fry to distribute them into the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and the chives. Stir-fry to combine, letting the chives wilt. Add the chicken back in, and stir-fry to combine until everything is incorporated. Plate, top with the

Tom Yum Gai

2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Thai red chile paste (nam prik pao; see headnote; may substitute other chile paste such as sambal oelek)
1 stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch sections and crushed (see headnote)
6 thin slices (about 3/4 ounce) galangal (see headnote; may substitute fresh ginger root)
2 makrut lime leaves, torn into small pieces (see headnote; may substitute a few wide strips of lime peel)
3 cups water or chicken broth
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices (see headnote)
1/2 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cherry tomatoes, each cut in half
1 scallion, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Leaves from 1 stem cilantro

Whisk together the fish sauce, lime or lemon juice and chile paste in a small bowl.

Combine the lemongrass, galangal, makrut lime leaves and water or broth in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to discard the solids.

Add the chicken to the pan, making sure the pieces don’t stick together (they will begin to cook as soon as they hit the liquid). Once the liquid returns to a boil, add the mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through and the tomatoes have softened, reducing the heat as needed to keep the soup from boiling over.

Remove from the heat; stir in the fish sauce mixture, scallion and cilantro. Serve hot.

Galam Plee Pad Nam Pla (Thai Stir-Fried Cabbage)

1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves (20g), crushed and roughly chopped (see notes)
1/2 small head green cabbage, cored, leaves separated and cut into 2-inch pieces (yielding about 7 ounces; 200g total)
1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce
Ground white pepper
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving

In a wok or large carbon steel or stainless steel skillet, heat oil over high heat until just smoking. Move wok off-heat, add the garlic, and cook, keeping the wok off-heat and stirring constantly to prevent garlic from burning, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 30 seconds.

Return wok to high heat, add the cabbage, and cook, stirring and tossing rapidly to ensure garlic doesn’t burn and cabbage is evenly coated in oil. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, and begin to carefully add a few drops of water, in 1/4-teaspoon increments around the sides of the wok, making sure water has fully evaporated between each addition, until cabbage is crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add fish sauce around the sides of the wok, and continue to cook, tossing and stirring constantly, until fish sauce is fully absorbed into the cabbage, about 30 seconds. Season to taste with white pepper, transfer to a serving plate, and serve immediately with cooked jasmine rice on the side.

Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

for the zucchini noodle pad thai:
2 medium zucchini
2 Tablespoons olive oil (30ml) , divided
1/2 pound peeled and de-veined shrimp (225g) or what ever protein you prefer
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
3 green onions, sliced
1 large egg
2 cups bean sprouts (480ml), about
1/3 cup roasted peanuts (80ml)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Few lime wedges for serving (optional)

for the sauce:
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar or distilled white vinegar (30ml)
2 Tablespoons fish sauce (30ml), or to taste
3 Tablespoons ketchup (45ml)
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar (5ml)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1 small red chili , sliced
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce , or to taste

Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (vinegar, fish sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce), then set aside.

Cut the zucchini into noodles or long pasta by using a vegetable spiralizer tool or tools mentioned in our post write up.

Heat a large pan on medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil (reserve the other half for later). Then add zucchini noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Don’t overcook the noodles. The zucchini noodles should be slightly crunchy with a tender bite.
Let the noodles rest for about 3 minutes to allow as much moisture as possible to release. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain the excess water.

Carefully wipe the same pan to remove the excess water, and then re-heat the pan on medium high heat. Add the remaining olive oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft and translucent, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp is tender and cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Add the bell peppers and green onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetable until the egg is cooked.

Add the zucchini noodles back into the same pan, then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minutes or until the zucchini noodles are heated through. Then stir in the bean sprouts.

Serve the warm zucchini pad thai noodles with roasted peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Thai Roasted Cauliflower

About 1/3 – 1/2 large head cauliflower (see note)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 T olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tsp fish sauce (vegan alteration: wheat-free tamari)
2 tsp sugar
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (seeded for milder tastes)
1/4 cup dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts crushed or finely chopped
extra cilantro, lime and jalapeño, for serving

Preheat oven to 425F. Carefully trim the outer leaves off your cauliflower leaving the stem intact. Slice the cauliflower into about 3/4″ slabs all the way through the stem. Reserve any loose florets (probably half a head, or so) for another use — or just roast them alongside the steaks. They won’t look as cool, but whatever.

Liberally drizzle cauli with olive oil and roast on a baking sheet in a single layer for 30 minutes, until deep golden brown with crisp spots in places. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, stir together cilantro, 2 T olive oil, lime juice, fish sauce or tamari, sugar and jalapeño in a small bowl.

Top cauli steaks with cilantro mixture, crushed peanuts and lime zest and extra cilantro, lime juice and jalapeños to taste. Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Peanut Sauce

2 cooked chicken breasts either boiled or pan-fried
4-6 medium-sized zucchini and summer squash
2 large carrots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp sesame seed

Peanut Sauce:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic or more
1/2-1 tsp granulated sugar depending on taste
1/4 cup water add 1-2 more tablespoons depending on texture

First, prepare your chicken breasts by either shredding the chicken (if you prefer to boil it) or by dicing it (if you prefer to pan-fry it). Set the chicken aside.

Next, make the peanut sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Start by adding 1/4 cup water as the recipe suggests, and if the sauce is too thick for your taste, add additional tablespoons of water to reach desired consistency.

Lastly, prepare the zucchini, squash, and carrot ribbons by using a mandoline or by using a peeler designed to julienne vegetables. If using the peeler, hold the stem end of the squash in one hand and drag the peeler from the top to the bottom to create the ribbons. Julienne all the vegetables, keeping the carrots separate from the squash and zucchini.

Briefly blanch the vegetables in a pot of boiling water by adding the carrots first for about 2-3 minutes, and then adding the zucchini and squash for another 1-2 minutes (it gets tender very quickly). Drain the hot water, immediately add cold water to stop the cooking, and once the vegetables have cooled, drain the water again.

Assemble the dish by putting some of the vegetable ribbons on a plate and topping them with diced or shredded chicken, then the peanut sauce, and chopped cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve at room temperature, but can also be served cool (if you would like to refrigerate ingredients before serving).

Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles with Peanut Sauce

Thai Chicken Zucchini Noodles:

2 tablespoons of grape seed oil
1 lb. of chicken tenders, diced
1 tablespoons of grape seed oil
2 zucchini, inspiralized
1 large carrot, inspiralized
1 red pepper, julienned
1/3 cup of bean sprouts
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, diced
1/4 cup of green onions, diced
sesame seeds (for garnish)

Spicy Peanut Sauce:

1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons of peanut butter
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons of coconut aminos (or tamari sauce)
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, diced
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, peanut butter, coconut aminos or tamari, lime juice, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil and chicken tenders. Saute each side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit. Dice when cooled.

In the same large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil, carrot and red pepper. Flash stir fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

To a large bowl add raw zucchini noodles, chicken, carrots, red pepper, bean sprouts, fresh cilantro, green onions, and spicy peanut sauce. Toss till all noodles are coated.

Serve and garnish with sesame seeds.

Notes

If you use tamari sauce, use 2 tablespoons instead of 3.

Pad Thai Salad

To make enough for two generous portions, you’ll need:

1 Cucumber
2 Large carrots
2 Spring onions
1 Handful of fresh coriander
1 Handful of fresh mint
1 Handful of peanuts (roughly chopped/smashed)
A couple of handfuls of shredded chicken/beef/duck/prawn/tofu/boiled eggs/whatever you fancy!

Dressing:

Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp Sesame oil
3 tbsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tsbp honey
1 Clove of garlic

Start by turning your carrots and cucumber into noodles/ribbons. Pop them into a large bowl.

Use a pair of scissors to snip the spring onions over the top.

Add your protein.

Snip over your coriander.

And your mint.

Now make your dressing. Peel your garlic, add the rest of the ingredients. Shake and pour over.

Lightly crush nuts and sprinkle over.

Note: It’s easily converted into a packed lunch, too. Just try and take the dressing separately, and pour it over when it’s Thai-m to feast.

Yam Khai Dao (Thai Fried Egg Salad)

For the Dressing and Fresh Aromatics:
3 tablespoons (45ml) fresh lime juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce
2 teaspoons (15g) palm sugar, softened (see note)
1 small shallot (15g), thinly sliced (see note)
1 medium garlic clove (5g), thinly sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, bottom 4 to 5 inches only, outer leaves discarded, tender core thinly sliced into rounds (about 10g sliced lemongrass)
2 to 4 fresh Thai chiles (2 to 4g total), stemmed and thinly sliced into rounds (see note)
3 sprigs cilantro including stems (5g), cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus extra leaves for garnish
1 scallion, green part only, sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rings (about 5g)

For the Fried Eggs:
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons (75ml) vegetable oil (see note)

For Serving:
Cooked jasmine rice

For the Dressing and Fresh Aromatics: In a small mixing bowl, stir together lime juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar until palm sugar is fully dissolved, about 15 seconds.

Add shallot, garlic, lemongrass, Thai chiles, cilantro sprigs, and scallion to dressing. Gently stir to combine and evenly coat solids with dressing. Set aside.

For the Fried Eggs: Line a plate or small tray with paper towels. Crack eggs into a small, shallow bowl. In a wok or 8-inch carbon steel or cast iron skillet, heat oil over high heat until it just begins to smoke. Holding the bowl closely above the oil, carefully slip the eggs into the oil in one swift and smooth motion to prevent oil from splattering; the egg whites should immediately puff and bubble around the edges. Cook undisturbed for 20 seconds, then begin swirling the pan to prevent eggs from sticking. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly to promote even cooking of the whites, until the inner part of the whites close to the yolks are fully set, and the edges are wispy, golden brown, and crisp, about 1 minute. Using a large spoon or wok spatula, baste the yolks 2 to 4 times with hot oil until they just turn opaque and look like yolks on American-style, over-easy fried eggs. Using a slotted or wok spatula, carefully lift eggs out of oil, draining off as much excess oil as possible, and transfer to prepared paper towel–lined plate.

For Serving: Gently transfer fried eggs to a serving plate. Spoon the aromatics, herbs and dressing over the eggs, and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with cooked jasmine rice on the side.

Isan Beef Salad

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 stalk lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, bottom four inches only, sliced as thinly as possible into rounds
Kosher salt
2 flat iron, flank, skirt, or hanger steaks, about 12 ounces total (see note)
Ground white or black pepper
3 medium cloves garlic
2 teaspoons Thai red pepper flakes (more or less to taste, see note)
1 small green thai chili or 1/2 small Serrano chili, finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime (more or less to taste)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

Combine vegetable oil and lemongrass in a small skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until lemongrass is golden brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer set in a small saucepan. Transfer crisp lemongrass to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt. Set aside.

Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 teaspoons of reserved lemongrass oil to a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet (reserve remaining lemongrass oil for another use or discard, see note). Heat over high heat until lightly smoking. Cook steak, turning frequently, until well browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F for medium, 3 to 8 minutes total depending on thickness. Transfer steak to a cutting board, set aside, and proceed to step 4.

Alternatively, to finish on a grill: Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Season steak generously with salt and pepper. Place steak directly on hot side of grill and cook, turning frequently, until well browned and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 125°F for medium, 3 to 8 minutes total depending on thickness. Transfer steak to a cutting board and set aside.

Combine garlic, pepper flakes, and Thai chilies in a mortar and pestle and pound into a fine paste (see note). Add sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice, and pound until the sugar is dissolved. Taste dressing and add more sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, or pepper flakes to taste. It should be strongly spicy, sweet, salty, and acidic.

Thinly slice steak against the grain and transfer to a large bowl along with any juices that have accumulated on the cutting board. Add fried lemongrass, tomatoes, onion, mint, basil, and dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua)

1 large shallot, sliced into very thin rings (about 1/3 cup)
3 tablespoons lime juice from 2 limes
4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 2 to 3 pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups (about 7 ounces) red or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

In a large bowl, combine the shallots and lime juice and let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of sugar, the salt, and white pepper. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then rub all over with the sugar-salt mixture.

Prepare a grill for very high heat. For a charcoal grill, spread a full chimney of hot coals evenly over half of the grill bed. For a gas grill, set all burners to an even, high flame. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate. Grill the steak (directly over the coals, if using a charcoal grill) until charred all over and cooked to desired doneness, 2 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on the thickness of the steak). Transfer the steak to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the fish sauce, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar to the shallot-lime juice mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Thinly slice the steak against the grain, then transfer to the bowl along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, and mint and fold to combine. Transfer to a platter, garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired, and serve.

Basic Pad Thai

For sauce, combine roughly equal parts fish sauce, palm or brown sugar, and tamarind liquid. Add Some chicken broth And bring to boil. Simmer until sauce thickens. Set aside.

In a wok, saute minced red onion and garlic until golden brown.

Add any combination of cooked and diced chicken, cooked and diced firm tofu, and raw shrimp.

Add fresh noodles and fry for 30 seconds.

Push noodles aside and use the space to fry two lightly beaten eggs.

Pour in 3-5 tablespoons of sauce. Fry for another 30 seconds. Thin with more chicken broth if desired.

Add about a cup of bean sprout and some chives or scallions and fry for 30 more seconds.

Serve topped with fresh cilantro, basil leaves, crushed peanuts, crushed dried chilies, and lime wedges.

Thai-Style Sweet and Salty Shrimp (or Chicken, or Tofu)

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, finely chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

Pat the shrimp very dry and lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet, stir together the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium-high heat. When the mixture comes to a simmer, add the shrimp and cook until pink on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Add the peanuts, scallions, lime juice and red-pepper flakes and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Notes: Add a quick cooking vegetable, like peas, thinly sliced asparagus or bean sprouts, with the shrimp, or substitute tofu or cubed boneless chicken thighs for the shrimp.

Serve over shredded cabbage, rice, a roasted sweet potato or rice noodles.

Lemongrass Tofu

1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 14-ounce containers extra-firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
2 cored-and-quartered plum tomatoes
1 chopped shallot
stems from 1 bunch cilantro (reserve the leaves)
1 tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
3 stalks lemon grass, trimmed to the lower 5 inches (dry outer layers discarded and thinly sliced) and
1/4 cup neutral oil
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 diced tomatoes
steamed jasmine rice for serving

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add two 14-ounce containers extra-firm tofu (cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry) and toss. Set aside.

In a blender, combine 2 cored-and-quartered plum tomatoes, 1 chopped shallot, the stems from 1 bunch cilantro (reserve the leaves) and 1 tablespoon each fish sauce and chili-garlic sauce. Blend until finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Add 3 stalks lemon grass, trimmed to the lower 5 inches (dry outer layers discarded and thinly sliced) and blend, scraping the blender jar frequently, until a smooth, thick paste forms, about 90 seconds. Set aside.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat 1/4 cup neutral oil until shimmering. Add the tofu in an even layer and cook without stirring until well browned on the bottoms and the pieces release easily from the pan, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the pieces and cook until browned on all sides, another 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a large paper towel–lined plate.

Return the skillet to medium-high. Add the tomato–lemon grass paste and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in one 14-ounce can coconut milk, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then cover, reduce to low and cook until the tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the tofu and stir to coat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tofu has absorbed some of the sauce, about 10 minutes. Stir in and sprinkle with reserved cilantro leaves before serving.

Cucumber Salad with Soy, Ginger, and Garlic

2 large thin-skinned cucumbers (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 small garlic clove, minced, or granulated garlic or garlic flakes to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne, plus more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
3 tablespoons sunflower oil or grapeseed oil
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Sprinkle the cucumbers with a generous amount of salt and let sit in a colander in the sink for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry on a kitchen towel. Transfer to a salad bowl.

Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, cayenne, and pepper. Whisk in the sesame oil and the sunflower or grapeseed oil. Toss with the cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve.

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

For the chicken & marinade:
2 tablespoons water
12 ounces sliced chicken thighs or chicken breast (340g)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch

For the rest of the dish:
8 ounces wide dried rice noodles (225g)
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)
2 teaspoons soy sauce (Thai soy sauce preferred)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
pinch ground white pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (divided)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
2 shallots (sliced, about 1/3 cups)
1 scallion (julienned into 3-inch pieces)
4 Thai red chili peppers (deseeded and julienned)
1 cup holy basil or Thai basil (loosely packed)
5 to 6 pieces baby corn (split in half, optional)
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine

Work the 2 tablespoons of water into the sliced chicken with your hands until the chicken absorbs the liquid. Add 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon oil, and 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and mix until the chicken is evenly coated. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Follow the directions on the rice noodle package to prepare your noodles. What we usually do is prepare a stainless steel bowl with hot tap water to soak the noodles for about 15 minutes. Then we just drain them and set aside for cooking.

Stir together the dissolved brown sugar mixture, soy sauces, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and white pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat your wok until it’s close to smoking, and spread 2 tablespoons of oil around the perimeter of the wok. Add the chicken and let it sear for 1 minute on each side until it’s about 90% cooked. Remove from the wok and set aside. If the heat was high enough and you seared the meat correctly, your wok should be still clean with nothing sticking to it. If not, you can wash the wok to prevent the rice noodles from sticking.

Continue with the wok on high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil, along with the garlic and grated ginger.

After a few seconds, add the shallots. Stir fry for 20 seconds and add the scallions, chili peppers, basil, baby corn and shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for another 20 seconds and add in the rice noodles. Use a scooping motion to mix everything for another minute until the noodles warm up.

Next, add the prepared sauce mixture and stir-fry at the highest heat for about 1 minute until the noodles are uniform in color. Take care to use your metal spatula to scrape the bottom of the wok to prevent sticking.

Add the seared chicken and stir-fry for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Thai Grilled Pork Skewers (Moo Ping)

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of surface fat
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh cilantro stems
1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut oil
Ground white pepper
1/3 cup coconut milk
Chili-lime sauce (jaew), to serve

Place the pork on a large plate and freeze until the meat is firm and partially frozen, 1 to 1 1/2 hrs. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, cilantro, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the partially frozen pork into pieces about ? inch thick. The slices will be irregularly shaped; cut them into strips 1 to 1¼ inches wide (it’s fine if the strips are not uniform). Add the pork to the marinade and mix with your hands until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.

Thread the pork onto ten 10- to 12-inch metal skewers, evenly dividing the meat and scrunching it together and packing it quite tightly. If some pieces are too wide, too wispy or awkwardly shaped, fold the meat or tuck in the edges as you skewer. Place on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large baking dish, cover and refrigerate while you prepare the grill.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes, then clean and oil the grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat, covered, for 15 minutes, then clean and oil the grate.

Place the skewers on the hot side of the grill (if using charcoal) and cook until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, flip the skewers, then brush with some of the coconut milk. Cook until the second sides are lightly charred, about another 3 minutes. Flip the skewers again and continue to cook, occasionally brushing with coconut milk and turning every couple of minutes, until deeply charred on both sides, about another 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the sauce.

Tip: Don’t thread the meat loosely on the skewers. The pieces should be scrunched together somewhat tightly. This helps guard against overcooking. If you’re using a charcoal grill, don’t push the meat all the way to the bottom of the skewers; the protruding handle end of the skewers may prevent you from being able to position the meat directly over the coals.

Chicken Khao Soi (Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

For the khao soi paste:
2 Thai bird’s eye chilies
2 medium shallots
6 cloves garlic
1-inch piece ginger (peeled and sliced)
1/4 cup cilantro (stems and leaves, rinsed)
zest of 1 lime
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons shrimp paste (Thai, filipino, or Chinese shrimp pastes will all work; can substitute laksa paste)

For the soup:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (sliced)
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons brown sugar
14 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or to taste)
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles (thick wonton noodles work well)

To garnish:
thinly sliced shallots
lime wedges
pickled mustard stems/greens
crispy noodles
chopped cilantro
Thai chili paste (Nam Prik Pao)

Add all the curry paste ingredients to a food processor and pulse until you get a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and stir-fry the chicken until browned. Remove from the pot and set aside. To the fat left in the pot, add the paste. Fry for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the canned Thai red curry paste, broth, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low. When the broth is at a low simmer, add the coconut milk and fish sauce. Add the chicken back to the broth.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions.

To serve, divide the noodles among 4 bowls. Cover with chicken and broth, and garnish with sliced shallots, lime wedges, pickled mustard greens, fried noodles, cilantro.