Although we have been back in SA for a month now I still crave the Thai food, the weather, the nice vibe of Samui and the food!! OH the FOOD!! I just can't get enough of it and since I am back here we are still eating quite a lot of Thai dishes. So not completely getting back into the groove of posting about SA. (To be honest I haven't taken any pictures lately to go with my stories... so I keep posting still a bit about Thailand)
Here are some dishes I like to share with you that I have been eating and making even for friends just to hold on to that Thailand feeling.... (Jen, you inspired me to share some recipes, like you did on your site!)
Since it was so cold at first coming back from hot and humid Thailand, into the last weeks of winter here in South Africa we all wanted a HOT and NURTURING breakfast... no cereal for us!! So I made several times this Khao Tom, which lasted us for at least 2-3 days.... YUM!!
Khao Tom ~ Rice Soup
12 cups pork or chicken stock (I boil a whole chicken in stock for 1,5 hr & use this broth as a base)
4 tsp grated fresh gingerroot
4 lg shallots; minced
2 stalk lemon grass; 2" pieces
1 1/4 cups Jasmine rice
1 lb ground lean pork (I use the chicken which I pull after it has been boiled)
1/4 cup Nam Pla (Thai fish sauce)
sliced shallots deep-fried
sprigs of fresh cilantro
pickled salted radish
sliced green onions
Roasted Thai Chile flakes
Nam Pla Phrik (chilies sliced in fish sauce)
In a large stock pot combine boiling stock with ginger, shallots, lemon grass, add rice. Optional pair of fresh Kaffir Lime leaves).
Return to a boil, lower heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until rice is very soft.
Remove and discard lemon grass. Add the pork (form into little meatballs) and simmer 5-8 minutes more until pork is cooked.
Finish with fish sauce to taste. *Reminder use a good brand such as Golden Boy!
Garnish with scallions, deep fried shallots and cilantro.
I made several variations on this soup, one day I even tried it with boiling ox tail in broth and made it with beef mince balls... very soothing!!
And then this other totally DELISH appetizer which I already made almost every week since I am back, for me, myself and lots of friends. Once for a Bday party for my friend Dunke and then for my friend Tehmina who is fasting, we made it together for a snack when she had friends coming over for breaking the fast. And a few times in between because they are just so yummy!!
Fresh Spring Rolls with Hoisin and other dipping sauce.
Ingredients for the rolls:
1 lb. fresh shrimp
1 cucumber, cut into thin, long strips (take out the seeds in the middle)
1 red pepper, cut into thin long strips
1 bunch of carrots cut into julienne style
1 bunch of fresh chives (if you can find use the Chinese chives)
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch mint
1 bunch Thai basil leaves
Rice vermicelli noodles
For the dipping sauces:
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tsp. hoison sauce
1/4 cup water (more if needed)
Sriracha chili sauce (optional)
other dipping sauce:
2 clove garlic
2 red bird eye chillies
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
fresh coriander leaves
Bring a saucepan to a boil on medium heat. Add shrimp and poach for 3-4 minutes until bright pink. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove skins, devein and slice in half crosswise. Set aside. Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Once a rapid boil is reached, add rice vermicelli noodles, cover and immediately remove from heat. Set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Allow to dry at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, begin to prepare the dipping sauce. Heat a small small saucepan with olive oil on medium-low heat. Add garlic and saute quickly, about 20 seconds. Do not let garlic burn. Add peanut butter and hoisin sauce and continue to stir. When sauce begins to incorporate and thickens up, add water. Adjust to taste and continue to add water, 1 tbsp. at a time, if it becomes too thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble rolls, dip single sheets of rice paper into hot water. Allow excess water to drain and quickly place on a plate. Once rice paper becomes pliable and soft, add shrimp, softened noodles, cucumbers, red peppers, carrots, chives, cilantro, Thai basil and mint. Carefully roll closed and slice in half. Serve with hoisin peanut dipping sauce or the other one that is a bit more tangy and spicy. Or do as I do and use BOTH dipping sauces :-)
Enjoy these easy but yummy dishes!!
You will feel like you are in Asia for a minute!! That is what I do to keep my cravings satified!!
Have a wonderful day!