Category Archives: Thai

Tom Yum Kung ต้มยำกุ้ง

This is the Thai national dish. When you say something is Tom Yum Kung, you are saying that it is authentically Thai.  Its like saying that something is “as American as apple pie”.

This is the start of a post on a recipe for Tom Yum Kung. My sources are memory, Jennifer Brennan’s (Hot Pink) Original Thai Cookbook and Hot Thai Kitchens youtube video http://hot-thai-kitchen.com/tom-yum-goong/ and Thai Food Master http://www.thaifoodmaster.com/thai_food_recipes/thai_soup_recipes/320
My memories are scattered but as always include Umdang Ceramics and a certain little whole in the wall place in Korat that kept upping the chilis every time we went there.

This page says to add 4 shallots http://www.thaifoodmaster.com/thai_food_recipes/thai_soup_recipes/320 This page also says to fry prawn brains in oil until golden. They add them late in the process to the soup and it adds an orange color. I will probably get headless shrimp so no prawn brains.
I have had shallots in Tom Yum but have never included them in my recipe. I am gonna try some this time.
I really like the oil that has had shrimp shells fried in it so  I am going to use that part of the Hot Pink cook book.

2T vege oil I like the way it looks if it goes red.
8 cups quality chicken stock using skin and feet if possible
1.5t salt
1″ of galangal fresh from my garden sliced in rounds.
3 stalks lemon grass 1″ length. from my garden, bruise before cutting.
Kaffir Lime leaf 4 slivered from my garden
1 t kaffir zest but other limes OK from my garden, maybe fresh
2 green chili, serrano, or one polano slivered (bruise first). I will  throw in a few pequins.
4 shallots
2 pounds shrimp peel de-vein and reserve the shells.
1 slivered red chili slivered (bruise first)
2 limes juiced.
1T Fish Sauce. Louis uses a tad of shrimp paste.
2 T coriander leaves chopped coarse
3 green onions chopped coarse from my garden
mushrooms, I am going shitake this time I think.
a small amount of vegetable matter but this soup traditionally has little to none. I am not sure what, but maybe a few bits of slivered root veges.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXaaZiMgvgI Hot Thai Kitchen says maybe to add some Nam Prik Phao it adds some nice color. I may put in some powdered dry  ancho chili early with the shrimp shells.

Fry shells in oil , add stock, galangal, leaf and rind of kaffir.  green chilli shallots. simmer the stock.
Bring to a boil add veges, mushrooms first, then shrimp. Slightly undercook the shrimp. Remove from heat add lime juice fish sauce sugar coriander and green onion. Check for salt, sugar, pepper, fish sauce.  serve. Guests that are late get it cold. Do not bring this back to a boil.

 

Bai Krapow

Might have to cook this: http://www.khiewchanta.com/… or maybe this: http://shesimmers.com/…
Pork & Crunchy Basil ( Yum Mu Sam Chan Grapow Grob ) (Appon’s Thai Food Recipes)
www.khiewchanta.com
A typical gop-gam dish to eat as a snack or with alcoholic drinks. This one is f…See More
2 minutes ago · Like · Remove Preview
Louis Katz http://www.epicurious.com/…
Pad Prik Bai Kaprow Stir Fry with Basil Recipe by elaurance | Epicurious.com
www.epicurious.com
Find the recipe for PAD PRIK BAI KAPROW – STIR FRY WITH BASIL and other chicken recipes at Epicurious.com
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gai-Pad-Bai-Gaprow-14425

echoPiRLP

I am working on my Echolink IRLP node. This is a Ham Radio/Voice over the internet protocol (VOIP) amalgam. Echolink and IRLP are two different manifestations of this combination of ham radio and the internet. They both can be run off of a linux server. My old one was a Pentium II. I decided to move to a Rasberry Pi for several reasons. One is energy savings. The Pi a Iphone sized computer uses much less electricity. The second is for “fun” and education. I have had to extend my knowledge of Linux a bit and also knowledge of the software to make it go.

Despite the monumental and well appreciated efforts of those programming IRLP, Echolink, The Bridge, Debian, and Debian on Rasberry, the installation of all of this is not trivial. It can be, what I think of as frustrating fun. The hurdle is a pain until you’re past it. This is sort of a manifestation of hitting your foot with a hammer so that it will feel better when you stop. I still have at least one hurdle left. Then node is not accepting my DTMF commands via radio or a web interface on Echolink. Consequently I cannot call out on this software, but incoming connections are working.

The basic steps in this are:
Securing proper equipment
Formatting your SD Card for you Pi
Installing your Linux version on the card
Configuring your Linux for IRLP
Getting a modified IRLP board for the Pi or modifying it yourself
Getting or modifying cables to work with the board, the pi, your radio and a USP soundcard.
Installing the IRLP software
Configuring and testing the software. Learning that if you download then you probably need to use aumix to set your sound.
Reconfiguring the sound.
Getting CW ID to work. This means bridging pins 3 and 4 on you DB9 to the radio cable. Hey maybe this is pins 2 and three, look it up somewhere else!
Final IRLP test and then backup_for_reinstall . Save with a name indicating that this does not have echolink installed yet.
Download and install Echolink.
So far the bug I have found is that a file in bin should be in sbin. This was fixed with a symbolic link.
Here are pictures:
dscn8892

IRLP board-Pi board-with ribbon cable connector
The proposed enclosure is behind it. There will be room inside for a Baofeng 440 transceiver.

dscn8893
Pi

dscn8894
IRLP board with yellow tape under one side of the diode to modify it for use with the Pi

dscn8895

Old commercial radio modded for 440 with power supply and fan.

dscn8890

Antenna.

Enclosure

dscn8938

dscn8939

 

 

 

Up Wind

I am preparing to go to Thailand. I have lists and even a list of lists. I have packing lists, lists of paperwork to duplicate, lists of people to contact, letters to write, and files to transfer to the laptop. Oy.

But there are other preparations I have to make. They may be more important. I must slow down, remember the Thai manners, the cool heart – jai yen, slow, controlled not too excited. I have to remember to slow and greet people properly, the smile and the ability to let things roll off my back with a smile on my face. It is not just smiling that I need to do, but the smile state of mind.

The idea that desire is the root of suffering, that grasping creates disappointment, is at the heart of this change. It is a part of Buddhist philosophy but, it is so widely accepted and implemented in Thailand , that you have to succumb or find yourself swimming upstream. I no longer can swim upstream for months at a time. I have to smile, go with the flow, allow the troubles, the hurry, frowns, worries, to flow away, to touch perhaps but never stick. I have to learn to “mai pen rai” . To activate the phrase “its not a problem or worry” you have to make it a verb.

I have a huge agenda. It is work. It is too much. It would be good if I could get it all done. It is almost certainly undoable.  An agenda like this can add an off flavor to everything. It can prevent months of work from being productive, too much stress on doneness not enough flex to contemplate, think, digest,,,. I have to start by doing “mai pen rai” by turning off the worries and allowing the future to come. You can only swim upstream so long.

I  have to even stop my little social concerns. Did I fail to slow down and say Sawasdii, did I remember to call them “elder”, was I polite enough. I have to do this because really the first politeness in Thailand is to mai pen rai. It is a necessity like air. When you do this, the little stuff comes easy, and the hard stuff is easier.

 

downwind

Down Wind

In t988-1989 I spent 10 months in Thailand with a Fulbright Senior Research Grant documenting Traditiona Thai Pottery from the point of view of an artist.
Twenty four years downwind of this event I can see some of the positive effects of this fruitful grant.

1. Potters in the western world know that Thai pottery exists. People run tours of Thai potteries. People visit and work at potteries in Thailand. Most notable of the people who have worked in Thailand at least in my eyes is Daniel Johnston. I can’t take much credit for it in any direct way but I was at least partly involved. Daniel was an apprentice of Mark Hewitt. Mark was aware of Thai pottery before I went to Thailand but I believe my video, articles and slide shows helped him to suggest to Daniel that he go to Thailand to learn to coil throw.
He suggested that Daniel contact Louise Cort, now curator of Asian Ceramics at the Freer gallery of the Smithsonian. Louise, a real expert on Thai pottery would probably have found the pottery at Phon Bok without me. But she contacted me a few weeks before I left and arrive a few weeks after asking for some leads to potteries. Phon Bok was on my list of pottery making villages, and that is where Daniel went at Louise’s suggestion. My list of suggestion to Louise turned into my 38 page booklet on Thai potteries that many people have used to find pots on their travels.

Kurt Weiser’s trip to Thailand during our stay was instrumental in his imagery. In some ways pottery was just part of the lure, but I also think the near magical or “Disneyland”® (trademark of Walt Disney) aspect of  Dankwean Village and the “Oz” quality of Muang Kung along with the temples and lush tropical scenary played a part in the development of his work. He mentions this trip frequently in talks on his work.

Also on the list is the work of Rosie Wynkoop. She also visited us in Thailand and her work makes me wonder if she is not influenced by Thai temples and perhaps Bencharong ceramics.

The effect that I am most proud of is the survival of mortar making in Ubon Ratchatani. Stoneware mortars are critical in Thai cooking. You need them for grinding spices, but they are perhaps most important in bruising papaya for som tam, green papaya salad most common in the Northeast. Visiting Ubon in 1989 I was asked what they could do to lower the temperature needed to produce vitreous pottery. Ubon did not seem to have a close supply of feldspar, glass frit in clay is hard to manage, I already had a bad experience using waste oil. It was a difficult problem.
What they really wanted was a hard surface. I suggested that they salt the kiln, throw 20 pounds of salt into the firebox near the top end of the firing, and it would volatilize and create a glaze on the pottery.
They thought I was crazy. “Salt does not burn” they told me and proceeded to ignore my idea. Perhaps it is a fault, but I usually do not argue with people unwilling to take my advice or suggestions, so I let it go. A few weeks later an engineer and I were talking back in Dankwean Village and he asked if I had any ideas about what they could do in Ubon. I told him, and he told them.
Sometime after returning to the US I began seeing mortars, clearly made with Ubon Clay and with Ubons smooth rim on the inside of the form, that had obvious salt glaze on them. Ubon has since nearly monopolized on clay mortar production. I feel like I had a positive impact on many peoples livelyhood and lives.

Green Curry Paste เครื่องแกงเขียวหวาน and Curry และแกง

Sweet Green CurryI am getting ready to make some Green Curry Paste แกงเขียวหวาน . I do not have much galanga to harvest but might harvest it all and use it up. After I return from Thailand maybe I can get some fresh from Houston. Making your own curry paste is not something you should do at the last minute. It is very time consuming. In a mortar it requires lots of work. Start it no later than noon the day you are serving. Generally I try and make it the day before. I store it tightly sealed in the fridge. It is great for a few weeks, after a few months it is no better than the store bought paste. The more ingredients that you can get fresh, the better, but it could be made from dry except for the basil and peppers.
The recipe I have been using for years is:

  • 3 pieces dry galanga or equivalent Fresh or frozen (3 inches??) ข่า
  • 1 teaspoon dry lesser ginger กระชาย (Also available frozen)
  • 2 corriander roots รากผักชี (cilantro)  Sometimes you can by fresh cilantro with roots attached
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds เมล็ดยี่หร่า (this really adds character to this)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds เมล็ดผักชี
  • 4 whole cloves กานพลู
  • 1 nutmeg pod ลูกจันทน์เทศ (everyone should buy nutmeg whole and grate it when needed)
  • 2 stalks lemon grass minced as fine as you can.  ตะไคร้
  • 12 black pepper corns พริกไทย (unless you have fresh)
  • 2 T shallots หอม
  • 2 T garlic กระเทียม
  • 1 t shrimp paste กะปิ (keeps years out of the fridge)
  • 1 t kaffir lime zest ผิวมะกรูด (freezes well, you can sub regular lime zest)
  • 8 whole green serrano chillies พริก เขียว (If you want less heat substitute a strong flavored but less hot chilli like mild poblano, but it takes a little more to get the flavor.)
  • 4 t vegetable oil น้ำมัน (this can be coconut, olive or whatever) Don’t worry about the taste, its gonna be covered.
  • I hav  in the past added basil to the paste but put it into the curry. It still needs fresh basil leaves at the end. I would leave this out. 1/2 Cup fresh basil leaves โหระพ
  • also some recipes call for fresh coriander ( why not) 1/4 cup ผักชี
  • 1t salt (OK to omit if you are going to use this fresh, if you are going to store this, include it)

The best way to get this all into a fine paste seems to be to:

  • Break up the nutmeg into small chunks, and if dry the break the galanga into pieces first.
  • Take the dry stuff and grind it in a blender, coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
  • Peel the outside tougher green leaves off the lemon grass. As a group tie them in a big knot and reserve for Tom Yum stock if you are making it or discard, if you use outside leaves your paste will be hairy. Cut the lemongrass across the grain very VERY finely. Then chop. Do the same if using fresh galanga or frozen. If you do not get it fine enough your paste will be hairy.
  • If the lime zest is fresh, chop it.
  • Chop the peppers and any other fresh ingredients (lemon grass, galanga, lime zest) and grind or pound until smooth.
  • blend and/or pound until smooth. Its OK to add a little extra oil, but no water unless you are not keeping some of the paste.
  • After all the fresh ingredients are added add the dry ones and blend until homogenious

Sweet Green Curry with Chicken

  • 3 pounds chicken cut into chunks. Legs should be cut through the bone.
  • 3-4 cups coconut milk (make sure it is NOT sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (other oil may be substituted)
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 3 slices Galangal
  • 3 T green curry paste approximately
  •  a few basil leaves if using the above paste, otherwise 1/2 cup
  • 6 fresh Kaffir Lime leaves or other citrus leaves, frozen or dried are OK
  • 1-2 cups pea eggplants (one small purple eggplant cut or some Thai eggplant are OK too). I have been using Tomatillo in this because they are good, down here in Texas they are cheap, and they look right. มะเขือพวง
  • 6 Serrano peppers

Boil the chicken, 2 cups coconut milk, fish sauce and galangal until the meat is tender. Remove the meat. Add the oil. Boil down until the liquid thickens, add the curry paste (blend into some liquid) and cook while stirring 5 minutes. Pour in remaining coconut milk (and purple eggplant if you are using them) and return to boil. reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes. Add basil (reserve a few for garni), citrus leaves, pea or Thai eggplant and chili peppers. Increase heat and bring to low boil for 5 minutes. Garnish with Basil and serve over rice.

 

 

 

Miang Kam

Gail’s Miang Kam เมี่ยงคำ

This is a fun appetizer. I think it should be sold in restaurants on a tray. The sauce can be made in advance and most of the other ingredients can be prepped ahead too.
Sauce

  • 1/4 cup ground dried shrimp กุ้งแห้ง
  • 1/2 -1 cup sugar น้ำตาล
  • 1/4 cup roasted grated coconut meat (can be roasted in a dry cast iron skillet on a burner)มะพร้าวเผา
  • 2 T fish sauce น้ำปลา
  • 1/2 cup water น้ำ
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste กะปิ

Roast coconut meat, add sugar until dissolved add fish sauce and shrimp paste and water cook 1 or 2 min., cool.

  • 1 cup shredded coconut ( roast to bring out flavor) มะพร้าว
  • 1/4 cup shallot diced หอม
  • 1/4 cup small diced ginger ขิง
  • 1/4/cup peanuts roasted no salt ถั่วลิสง
  • 1/4 cup dried shrimp (not fresh) from asian gorcery กุ้งแห้ง
  • 1/4 cup small bits of lime with peel (1/4″x 1/4″x 1/4″) มะนาว
  • 1/4 cup small serrano chillies , seeded for the mild stomachs พริก
  • Lettuce leaves ใบ?? หรือ ใบผักกาด

Take the lettuce leaves and wilt them  by soaking in a strong warm brine. Rinse well.
Ito each leaf place a dollup of cool sauce a bit of Shallot, Ginger, 1 dried shrimp,1 peanut, 1 pit of lime a bit of coconut, 1/4 – 1 whole serrano chilli. roll up small enough to jam into your mouth in one bite.

Appon’s Thai Food Site http://www.khiewchanta.com/

 

Appon might be an old Thai pronunciation of Apple in Thai. The letter that corresponds with ‘L’ ล (law ling) is only pronounced like an English ‘L’ as the initial consonant in a syllable. At the end it is pronounced like an English ‘n’ in Thai. Consequently ‘hotel” becomes ‘hoten”, and ‘Apple’-‘Appon’.

Regardless, the recipes on her site look to me like the real deal. They are not what you find in most “Thai Restaurants” in the United States. Chicken Feet in red sauce, and Haw Mawk Prik Kai  and Kanom Jiin Nam Ya Tin Kai are on my list to try.

http://www.khiewchanta.com/

 

Gaeng Mussaman

กำลังทำเครื่องแกงมัสมั่น มีข่าขมิ้นมะกรูดสดสด แต่มันฝรั่งกินไม่ได้ เป็นแพ้  จะทำ
มันเทศและหัวผักกาด
I am working on a meal, and am making Gaeng Mussaman แกงมัสมั่น . You can buy premixed curry paste and they make fine food. But, if I am going to go to the trouble of cooking, I am going to make it a real feed, fine food. My last shot at a meal like this included Gaeng Panaeng (the recipe for the paste is further down the blog). It was certainly one of the finest dishes I ever have made. I will vary from tradition and leave out the potatoes as my relationship with them is inverted. I was considering Taro as a substitute but am not because of oxalates. I don’t want any more kidney stones in my future. I am thinking about sweet potatoes and cooked daikon as substitues, I think I will use both.

Like the Panaeng I did my preliminary research on the web. I have fresh Kaffir Lime Skin, Turmeric, Bay Leaf, and Galanga. The turmeric galanga and kaffir lime are terrific. I favor complex recipes so I amalgamated a few to get to the recipe below. I also include lesser ginger everytime I use galangal. I made the start of the curry paste this evening. It is still without shallot cinnamon and hot pepper but is superb.

My two sources for the paste recipe are:

  1. http://honest-food.net/2012/03/15/thai-massaman-curry-with-venison/
  2. http://www.realthairecipes.com/recipes/massaman-curry/

I almost certainly fiddle with proportions as I make it depending and the taste of the peppers I use and freshness of the spices. As normal for me if the recipe calls for galanga I add a bit of lesser ginger.

  • 7-10 dried or fresh hot chiles, Thai, Serrano Piquin or combination
  • 6 cloves
  • 2-inch stick of cinnamon
  • Seeds from one black cardomom pod
  • 1 teaspoon corriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves, crushed fine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon Kaffir Lime skin
  • 1/4 cup shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal,
  • 1 teaspoon lesser ginger if available.
  • 2-inch piece of fresh turmeric, or 2 teaspoons powdered
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste

I am not sure if I will make the dish with poultry, beef, fish or seafood. I have had this curry paste with tofu before as well, and may leave out the shrimp paste and go vegan.  I will have to taste the paste and see.

Plants in the yard.

This is some of what I am growing in my yard. Lots of these were given to me by Thuy! Many Thanks.

  • Wild Hot PeppersIMG_0001
  • มะกรูด-Kaffir lime.  looks like a cross between ugly fruit and a lime. The leaf is used in many classic Thai dishes. The fruit is more fragrant than regular limes, but less juicy.

    Kaffir Lime

    Kaffir Lime

  • น้อยหน่า- Custard Apple aka soursop This is a SE Asian relative of the cherimoya and North American pawpaw.

    Custard Apple

    Custard Apple

  • ละมุดเม็กซิโก 1 ต้น ละมุดไทย 1ต้น Sapote aka Mamey 2 trees.  This one and its frontyard cousin both did not make it through the winter. Time to try again.

    Sapote

    Sapote

  • Amaranth. I am holding back on eating until I identify this as actual amaranth. (gone already)
  • มะม่วง ปลูกจากเมล็ดแบบลอตเตอรี่ .Mango Trees, multiple. These were planted from seed. I will be luck to see mangos from them. 7 come 11.

    Mango, Dragon fruit, Kale

    Mango, Dragon fruit, Kale

  • แก้วมังกร Dragon Fruit plants, multiple. I have two different starts. This is a succulent and seems easy to grow but hard to keep the squirrels away from.
    Dragon Fruit

    Dragon Fruit

    Mango, Dragon fruit, Kale

    Mango, Dragon fruit, Kale…Third year transplanted kale is dead.

  • ใบกระวาน Bay tree. I am told that this is a genuine Bay and not the Texas Bay tree. Its doing well. Galangal is doing well. Turmeric looks GREAT.

    Bay, Turmeric, Galangal, Rosemary,etc.

    Bay, Turmeric, Galangal, Rosemary,etc.

  • มะละกอ Papaya has seen better days.

    Papaya

    Papaya

  • Rosemary (in the Bay Tree photo above)
  • Sweet Basil.
  • โหระพา Thai Basil.(gone)
  • กะเพรา Holy Basil.Hybrid basil is everywhere.

    Holy Basil

    Holy Basil

  • มะเดื่อ-Fig  This needs more light. Probably have to trim back the prickly pear.
  • เงาะ-Rambutan seedlings. This would be great if they work. They are like big hairy lychee

    Rambutan, Tomato, and Butterfly bush

    Rambutan, Tomato, and Butterfly bush

  • สะระแหน่ Mint.Having trouble with the mint.(brown thumb syndrome)new plants
  • ตะไคร้ Lemon Grass.Planted from routed stock from the grocery. Needs bigger planting

    Lemongrass

    Lemongrass

  • ขมิ้น-Turmeric planted from roots from the grocery. This is doing GREAT this year and is crowding out my galanga. (bay tree photo above)
  • ข่า-Galangal. A relative of ginger like the turmeric above. Galangal AKA ka and laos is not doing that well. It will get its own pot. (bay tree photo above)
  • ส้ม-Orange. This tree came with the house and produces large oranges that taste a bit like navel oranges.

    Orange

    Orange

  • ส้มอื่น  Kumquat

    Kumquat

    Kumquat

  • Small sour oranges. These are useful. I threw one at Tegarden today. They replace limes sometimes. They also make great orangeaid. I try to get at least one into very batch of som tom.
  • ส้มโอ (คล้ายๆ) – Grapefruit This is a recent transplant and came with little root. It appears to have died. Since it was originally planted from seed we may have some luck if it comes up again from the root. Gone,, bad transplant.
  • Prickly pear cactus fruit and leaves. I have stopped eating these because of concerns over oxalic acid and kidney stones กระบองเพชร
  • มะขาม- Tamarind seedlings  in the ground. The seed pods are sour tasting and can be used in a variety of cooking or eaten a few at a time raw. Too much and จุดจุด.
  • Lychee seeds in soil. Did not make it.
  • Acorn (Live Oak) ลูกโอ๊ก Our live out seems to produce about 200# a year. I am told that Live Oak produce little tannin in the acorns. This year I hope to harvest and make something; soup?bread?pancakes?
  • celery . This may just be a replanted heart. It is developing a big root. I will have to read up and make sure celery root is actually celery root. died.
  • Loquat are small ละมุด sized fruit, but probably not related. They are very juicey and sweet but do not store. They require almost nothing to grow down here.

    Loquat

    Loquat

  • Texas Ebony. I am told that the seeds can be roasted to make a coffee substitute. It has no caffeine. I would verify this before trying it. It is a relative of the tamarind, mesquite and locust trees. It is a beautiful and very hard. Like other members of the family it is hard on saw blades. Benny is cultivating a Texas Ebony Bonzai.
  • ขนุน Jackfruit, I was given some seed by Sebastian. August 25, one  sprouted. I have two in the ground now and have given a few away. Jackfruit Carnitas (have not tried hem) .These jackfruit did not winter. I have one left in a pot.
  • Jackfruit

    Jackfruit