We as American’s love foreign food! Mexican, Chinese, Italian, the list goes on. Well, what we love is normally the Americanized version. Which is fine, but if you want to try the real deal, you’re at the right place.
This weekend, I took a Thai and Burmese cooking class with Candace Ward, a missionary who has lived in Thailand for over 10 years. They are close to the Burma border, which is why she included both in the lesson. Below are three of my favorite recipes from the class!
I should clarify- I HATE the taste of fish. Thai food has fish sauce in almost every dish. Candace said it’s their version of salt. If you’re like me, don’t let this scare you off. It helps the flavor pop, but you don’t taste fish. Phew!
Burmese Potato Salad
4 tablespoons oil (use the oil that you fried the shallots in below) 4 tablespoons tamarind juice
1⁄2 teaspoons shrimp paste
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted and pounded
1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
2 oz white onion, chopped
2 green chilies, seeded and finely minced
1 tablespoons shallots, fried until golden in 4 tablespoons oil
1⁄2 cup mint, rough chopped
2 slices bacon, cooked and minced
Prepare dressing in a jar and shake. Steam or boil potatoes until tender and let them cool slightly. Peel and cube potatoes while they’re still warm. Toss the potatoes (while they’re still warm) with dressing and all other ingredients. This potato salad is popping with flavor! Trust me- You will wow your friends with this!
Yellow Curry with Chicken and Potatoes (Gang Garee Gai)
Makes 3-4 servings
▪ 1 14-ounce can of coconut milk
▪ 2 tablespoons, or one packet of yellow curry paste
▪ 1 large chicken breast
▪ 1-2 cups water
▪ 2 medium potatoes
▪ 1 1/2 large carrots
▪ 1 teaspoon fish sauce
▪ 1/2 teaspoon palm sugar (and/or cinnamon)
1. Slice the potatoes, carrots, and chicken and potatoes into bite- sized pieces.
2. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop the top thicker cream part into a pan. Heat this cream over medium heat until the oil just starts to separate from the milk. Then add the yellow curry paste and saute with the cream until it becomes fragrant.
3. Add the chicken, coat in the curry paste, and cook. After the chicken is done, add the rest of the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Let cook until the consistency of the curry is what you prefer. Less water can be used if you want a shorter cooking time.
4. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook until done. Adjust seasonings with fish sauce and sugar (and/or cinnamon) to taste.
5. Garnish with thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves and red peppers. (Optional- Add fresh mango cubes on top. Adds a delicious balance to the spice.)
6. Serve over rice.
Tom Kha Chicken
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
- 1 1″ piece ginger, peeled
- 10 kaffir lime leaves, or use 1 tablespoon lime zest and 1/4 cup lime juice
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1″ pieces (or pork)
- 8 ounces shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)
- Cilantro leaves with tender stems
- Lime wedges
- Lightly smash lemongrass and ginger and cut lemongrass into 4″ pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8-10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.
- Add chicken (or pork) and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer 20- 25 minutes, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft.
- Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar.
- Serve one rice and garnish with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges.