Singapore Chili Sauce

2 or 3 large red chiles, such as Fresno, cayenne, or long chile, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 hot Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chicken poaching broth

Put all of the ingredients into a small electric mini chopper and process to a semi-coarse sauce. Transfer to a dipping sauce dish.

Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

3 1/2 pounds chicken leg-and-thigh quarters

Marinade
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems
1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons light palm sugar or light brown sugar
5 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 to 3/4 cup Thai Sweet Chile Sauce

Trim excess fat and skin from the chicken. Put into a baking dish or bowl. Set aside.

Use a mini food processor to grind the cilantro stems, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar to a coarse texture. Add the fish sauce and pulse to emulsify. Taste and season with salt, pepper, or sugar to create a marinade with a slightly intense savory-sweet bite.

Pour the marinade over the chicken. Use your hands to massage it into the chicken, making sure you get some between the skin and flesh too. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Or, refrigerate for several hours, letting the chicken sit out for 45 minutes before grilling.

Preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire to medium heat. Grill the chicken for 25 to 35 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer to a platter. Brush on the sweet chile sauce or serve it on the side for guests to help themselves.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems and roots
2 cups water
3 to 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
4 ounces Fresno chiles, mostly seeded and coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
About 2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/3 cups sugar

Put the cilantro stems and water into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover. Let steep for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, use an electric mini chopper to grind the garlic, chiles, and salt to a coarse texture. Set aside.

Strain the cilantro liquid through a mesh strainer. Measure the liquid. You should have about 1 3/4 cups. Transfer to a saucepan. Add the same quantity of vinegar as you had of the cilantro liquid. Add the sugar and chiles and garlic mixture. Stir.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to simmer. Let simmer until the volume has reduced by half. (How much time this takes depends on the size of your saucepan. Use a shallow, wide pan to hasten the process.) The resulting sauce should be slightly thick.

Remove from the heat and set aside, uncovered, to cool completely. Expect the sauce to thicken further and concentrate in flavor.

Thai Turmeric Grilled Chicken (Kai Yang Khamin)

1 teaspoon white peppercorns or ground white pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
1 packed tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro stems
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds (600 to 675g) boneless chicken thighs (with or without skin)
1 lime, quartered (optional)

Grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a small food processor to a coarse texture. Add the sugar to grind it a little finer. Visible bits remaining are okay. Add the turmeric, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Process into a relatively smooth marinade.

Transfer to a bowl. Add the chicken and use your fingers to rub the marinade into the chicken, getting some under the skin if you kept it on the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before heating, remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit at room temperature to remove the chill.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or light a charcoal fire, leaving one side free of coals. The grill is ready when you can hold your hand 6 inches (15 cm) over the grill for 4 to 5 seconds.

Cook the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. Check for doneness by nicking with the tip of a knife. Transfer to a plate and serve with lime wedges.

Thai Watermelon Salad

3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons packed light palm sugar or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice
2 Thai or Serrano chiles, minced with seeds intact for fun
1 tablespoon finely chopped kaffir lime leaf (remove the midrib)
1/3 cup (90 ml) dried shrimp, briefly rinsed to soften and finely chopped
1/2 cup (120ml) roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
A volleyball-size seedless watermelo

For the dressing, combine the garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lime leaf, dried shrimp, and peanuts. Set aside for 15 minutes, then revisit the dressing for a taste test. Add extra lime juice, sugar, or fish sauce as needed to balance the flavors. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 days; return to room temperature before using.

Cut the watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Pile them into individual bowls, on a dramatic platter or in a shallow bowl. Top with the dressing and serve.

Thai Spicy Chicken and Holy Basil Fried Rice

1/2 lb. boneless chicken, cut into small bite-size pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 shallots, thinly sliced (or substitute with a small onion)
2-3 cups young Asian broccoli
2 jalapeno, serrano or fresno hot chilli peppers
4 cups cold cooked leftover rice
3-4 Tbs. peanut oil
2 tsp. black soy sauce – the semi-sweet kind (or substitute with regular soy plus sugar)
2 Tbs. fish sauce (nahm bplah), or to desired saltiness
1+ cups basil leaves and flowers
Liberal sprinkling of powdered white pepper
1 lime, cut into four wedges

Prepare the ingredients where instructed above. For the Asian broccoli, cut the stem ends at a very slanted angle into thin strips about 1 1/2 inches long and the leafy portion in segments about the same length. Keep the stemy pieces separate from the leafy pieces.

Slice the chilli peppers into half circles or short slivers; do not remove the seeds if you wish a spicier fried rice (skip if you don’t want your fried rice to be spicy).

Crumble and break up the cold leftover rice so that the grains are no longer stuck together in big chunks. (If you do not have leftover rice, cook rice earlier in the day and cool completely before frying. Freshly cooked rice makes mushy fried rice if used when it is still warm.) Set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Swirl in the oil to coat its surface and wait a few seconds for the oil to heat.

Add the chopped garlic, followed a few seconds later with the chicken. Stir-fry half a minute, or until the chicken begins to lose its raw pink color.

Toss in the sliced shallots and chillies. Stir and follow 15 seconds later with the broccoli stems. Stir-fry another 20 seconds before adding the leaves. Toss until leaves are partially wilted, then add the rice and toss well with all the ingredients in the wok.

Continue to stir-fry until the rice is well coated with the oil and has softened and begun to brown. Sprinkle evenly with some black soy sauce, enough to lightly color the grains. Stir some more, then sprinkle with fish sauce to the desired saltiness. Stir-fry until the broccoli is cooked to your liking, preferably still crisp and a vibrant green color.

Toss in the basil and stir quickly for a few seconds to wilt and mix in with the rice. Sprinkle with white pepper. Stir well and transfer to serving plate(s).

Serve with a wedge of fresh lime for each serving. Squeeze the juice over the rice, as desired, before eating. Serves 2-3 as a one-dish meal.

Roast Duck and Pumpkin Curry

approximately 1 1/2-lb. kabocha or other winter squash
4-5 cups coconut milk (use two 19-oz cans of the Mae Ploy brand)
4-6 Tbs. red curry paste
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. palm or coconut sugar
Fish sauce (nahm bplah) as needed to desired saltiness
2 1/2 to 3 lb. roast duck, chopped through the bone into small chunks
2-4 red hot chillies, cut into thin slivers with seeds (optional)
2 cups Thai basil leaves and flower buds
Basil sprig(s) for garnish

Cut the kabocha in half, scoop out the seeds and pith. Placing the cut ends flat on a surface for balance, peel and discard the greenish skin. Then cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks.

Do not shake the cans of coconut milk before opening. Spoon 2/3 cup of the thickest cream off the top of a can into a large pot placed over medium-high heat. Reduce cream until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), then add the curry paste. Stir and mush the paste into the coconut cream and fry for a few minutes until it is very aromatic and darkened in color. Then pour in the remaining milk from both cans, stirring well to dissolve the paste to make a smooth rich sauce.

Add 1 1/2 Tbs. of palm or coconut sugar, stirring well to blend into the curry sauce. Taste and add fish sauce only as necessary to salt to the desired saltiness (may not be necessary with some brands of curry paste which are already highly salted).

Add the kabocha chunks and duck pieces. Stir well into the sauce. If there is not enough curry sauce to cover most of the duck and squash pieces, add more coconut milk; or if the sauce already looks plenty rich, add 1/2 cup of water instead, as the squash and duck will thicken and enrich the sauce even more when they are cooked.

Return to a boil, then lower heat to medium, or just enough to boil the sauce gently. Cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, or cooked to your liking (15-20 minutes or more). Taste the sauce and adjust as needed with fish sauce and palm sugar to the desired salty-sweet combination. If more hotness is desired, stir in the slivered chillies.

If a lot of fat has cooked out from the duck, skim out the oil floating on top of the curry sauce. Then stir in the basil until it wilts to a bright green color. Turn off heat and spoon curry into a serving dish. Garnish top with basil sprig(s).

Sweet and Tangy Thai Dipping Sauce

10-15 dried whole red hot chillies
4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white vinegar
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
3 or more tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to desired sweetness
A few cilantro leaves and/or a 1-inch section of green onion, chopped (optional)

Cut the stem tip off the dried chillies and place in a bowl. Add tap water to cover. Soak until softened (about 1/2 to 1 hour) and then chop.

Reduce the garlic with a mortar and pestle to a paste.

Add the chopped softened chillies. Pound well to blend.

Then add the vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar.

Adjust flavors so that the sauce has the blending of salty, sweet and sour taste to your liking. Let sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to blend and mingle.

Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and/or green onion if you wish.

Note: Sauce may be made a day or more ahead of time- it keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Thai Barbecue Chicken

1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro roots (or substitute with bottom stems)
8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp white peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tbsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
2 tsp yellow curry powder
2-3 tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
1-2 tsp sugar, to taste
1 large roasting chicken, cut into smaller sections (or see note below), or half a dozen leg-thigh pieces

Coconut milk for basting chicken while grilling (about 1/2 cup)
Using a heavy mortar and pestle, pound cilantro roots, garlic and shallots to a paste. Add the freshly ground white pepper, coriander and curry powder. Stir and pound to blend the dry and wet ingredients. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.

Trim off excess fat around the edges of chicken pieces, leaving the skin on. Rub paste onto the surface of the chicken and under the skin. Marinate two hours or up to overnight.

Grill over medium-hot charcoals (preferably mesquite or other wood coals). Turn frequently to prevent charring and burning. Add about 1/2 cup coconut milk to the bowl with the remaining marinate. Stir to mix and use this coconut milk mixture to baste pieces after each turning. Grill until cooked through. Serve with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce (see below).

Serves 6-8 with other dishes and rice in a shared family-style meal.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Thai chile, stemmed and minced

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1?2 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and chile, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool completely before serving. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Thai Pork (or Chicken) Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay Ingredients

1/2 lb (500 grams) pork or chicken, cut
into thin slices about 1″ wide and 3″ long
2 tsp. yellow curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. soy sauce
30 bamboo sticks

Peanut Sauce Ingredients

2 tbsp. red curry paste
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. peanuts
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. tamarind juice
2 tbsp. coconut cream

Marinate pork or chicken for 30 minutes with all the satay ingredients.

To prepare the peanut sauce, heat coconut cream over medium heat and add curry paste mix well and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until thick and sauce-like.

Skewer the marinated pork or chicken onto the bamboo sticks. Grill over hot coals until cooked.

Serve with dipping sauce and cucumber salad.

Thai Stir Fried Vegetables

Approx. 2 cups of cut up green vegetables (i.e. water spinach, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, etc. cut 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch pieces)
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a cleaver or knife
3 tblsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 tblsp of fish sauce (Golden Boy brand is preferred)
2 tblsp of Thai soy sauce (Healthy Boy brand is preferred)
2 tblsp of Thai oyster sauce or yellow bean sauce
1/3 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water

Heat oil until hot, over medium-high heat (not smoking though). Add the garlic. Immediately, add the cut up vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly until cooked slightly, approximately 2 minutes, depending on the vegetable.

Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Add water and sugar.

Continue to stir fry until the vegetable is cooked through. Approximately another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, so the vegetable is still somewh

Ginger Chicken (Gai Paht Khing)

1/2 cup peeled and julienned fresh ginger
2 small mild red chili peppers (fresno or serrano) or sweet red peppers, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small white onion, peeled and cut into small sections
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 spring onions, cut into 1 inch pieces (discard tops)
1/2 lb (200 grams) chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Tbsp cooking oil (e.g. palm, soybean, or corn)
1 Tbsp Thai Yellow Soybean Paste
1 Tbsp Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
1 Tbsp Thai Fish Sauce (Golden Boy brand is recommended)
2 Tbsp sugar

Wash and peel about 3-4 inches of ginger root. Julienne into thin 1 1/2 inch long pieces. Set aside.

Cut red peppers diagonally into attractive approximate half-inch pieces.

Peel and cut white onion in half and then into smaller sections lengthwise. Set aside.

Peel and mince the garlic (or simply smash the cloves with a side of a cleaver if you prefer and add whole to your stir-fry).

Cut spring onion into approx. 1 inch pieces, discarding the tops.

Wash chicken and pat dry. Cut into bite-size pieces, approx 1 1/2 inch length, 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick.

Heat wok over high heat. Add cooking oil, heat quickly (10 seconds), add garlic, stirring. Add chicken and cook until opaque and no longer pink.

Add ginger and white onion, stir-frying briefly.

Add soybean paste, Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, fish sauce and sugar, stir-frying to combine and cook for another 1-2 minutes until thoroughly combined. The vegetables should still be somewhat firm, not soft.

Add spring onion, red chili peppers, quickly stir to combine and transfer to a serving plate.

Serve hot for best taste.

Roasted Duck Curry

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup coconut cream, reserve 2 tablespoons (30ml) for garnish
2 1/4 cup coconut milk
6 oz (200g) roast duck, thinly sliced
1.76 oz (50g) red curry paste
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon (20g) palm sugar
3 kaffir lime leaves: 2 torn into pieces, discarding the stem and 1 finely shredded (for garnish)
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces
1 1/2 cup (5oz, 150g) fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces (1 inch x 1.5 inch)
6 small cherry tomatoes (4 oz, 100 grams)
10 seedless grapes (optional)
3/4 cup (1 oz, 30g) sweet basil leaves (reserve some for garnish)

Pour the coconut cream into a wok or sauce pan and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the coconut oil begins to separate out.

Add the curry paste, fish sauce, palm sugar and torn kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for 2 more minutes.

Add the duck and eggplant. Bring to a boil. Then add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the pineapple and cherry tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the grapes (if using) and sweet basil leaves. Turn off the heat and serve garnished with the remaining kaffir lime leaves, sweet basil and a few spoonfuls of thick coconut milk.

Lemongrass Chicken (Gai Tod Takrai)

2 stalks fresh lemongrass
1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless is preferred; wash thoroughly and cut thighs in half)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground Thai chili (prik haeng)
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
4 tbsp peanut oil

Cut off the woody tops and bottoms of the lemon grass. Remove the outer 2-3 layers of the stalk and cut the tender middle section into 1 inch lengths. Bruise the lemongrass by hitting it with the back of a Chinese cleaver or pound it in a mortar and pestle.

Combine bruised lemon grass, chicken thighs, garlic, black pepper, ground Thai chili, palm sugar, salt, and fish sauce in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil, swirling to coat the entire surface. Heat the oil for 1 minute and add the marinated chicken mixture. Stir-fry for 15 minutes (the chicken and sauce will thicken and become caramelized). Remove from heat and serve with cold cucumber slices, lettuce, and jasmine rice or sticky rice.

Thai Cucumber Salad (Ajat)

1/3 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cucumber, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh Thai chili peppers, chopped
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, ground
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves for garnish

In a small mixing bowl, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Mix very well until sugar and salt are dissolved.

Add cucumber, ground peanut and hot pepper.

Mix well.

Top with coriander leaves.

Thai Satay (Chicken, Beef, or Pork)

1 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast, beef, or pork
1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3-4 shallots, peeled and sliced thin crosswise
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, sliced thin crosswise
1/4 inch piece of fresh galangal
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. sugar
20 bamboo skewers
2 Tbsp. cooking oil, canola or peanut

Slice meat into long thin slices, approximately 1/4″ thick and 2″ in length. Pat dry with paper towels.

Dry roast coriander seeds for a minute or two in a wok over medium heat to roast lightly, stirring often.

Grind the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder (reserved for spices).

Combine all the spices with the shallot, lemon grass, galangal and garlic together in a bowl.

Add meat to the marinade and mix well to cover meat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Before cooking, soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 10 minutes, so that they will not burn.

Skewer 2 to 3 pieces of meat onto each stick. Grill over a hot fire until cooked through. Baste with cooking oil after turning.

Serve with rice and a cucumber salad.

Chicken (or Pork) with Holy Basil (Pad Ga Prao)

1 lb boneless chicken thighs, coarsely chopped, or cut into small bite-size pieces (or an equivalent amount of chopped pork)
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 shallots, thinly sliced (or substitute with 1/2 cup sliced onion)
2-3 tbsp peanut oil for stir-frying
2 tsp black soy sauce (the semi-sweet kind, siew dohm)
1-2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam bplah), to taste
1 cup fresh Thai holy basil (bai gka-prow)
2 small kaffir lime leaves (bai ma-gkrood), very finely slivered (optional)
5-10 Thai chillies (prik kee noo), chopped and pounded with a mortar and pestle; or 2-3 fresh jalapeno or fresno peppers, cut into large slivers
Dash of ground white pepper

Prepare the ingredients as indicated. Leave the fresh basil leaves whole; the flowers may also be used. The dried holy basil will soften when soaked in tap water for 10-15 minutes. Pull off and discard the hard stems. Drain.

Heat a wok until the surface is smoking hot. Swirl in the oil to coat the wok surface. Wait a few seconds for the oil to heat, then stir in the garlic, followed a few seconds later with shallots. Stir another few seconds before adding the chicken. Stir-fry a minute or two, or until most of the chicken has started to change color on the outside and is no longer pink.

Toss in the chillies, slivered kaffir lime leaves and reconstituted dried holy basil (if using). Sprinkle black soy sauce over the mixture and stir-fry another 15-20 seconds. Then add fresh basil leaves and fish sauce to taste. Stir and mix well. Stir-fry another half a minute, or until the basil is wilted and the chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle with white pepper. Stir and transfer to a serving dish, or spoon directly over individual plates of plain steamed rice.

Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup (Kway Teow Tom Kha Gai)

2 oz (60 grams) chicken
1 handful thin rice noodles (*soaked)
3/4 cup (170 ml) water
(1/2 cup) 100 ml coconut milk
4-5 pieces galangal (sliced)
1/2 stalk lemongrass (sliced)
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 Thai shallot (press gently)
2 small green chillies (press gently)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon crispy fried garlic

Put the coconut milk in a pan and bring to the boil then add the chicken and mix them well. Stir until it is half cooked then add the water and fish sauce, sugar and lime juice then mix them well.

Add all the herbs and wait until it boils and then pour over the noodles. Garnish with crispy fried garlic and serve.
Serves 1.

*Note: Before cooking, soak the rice noodles in cold water for 20-25 minutes until they become soft, then drain. In a pot, bring 1 liter of water to the boil. Dunk the noodles for 2-3 seconds in the boiling water; set aside in a bowl.