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Hot Thai Kitchen by Pailin Chongchitnant - 1d ago

How do you choose a good curry paste? Should you be making your own? How do you store it? What IS a curry paste anyway? In this video I answer all of these questions and more! Curry paste is so key to Thai cooking, so to really understand curry paste is super important in understanding Thai cuisine as a whole.

Want to learn more about Thai ingredients? Check out my ingredient 101 playlist.

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Next time you have a steak dinner, make some extra steaks and you can have this scrumptious and nutritious Thai meal in a snap later in the week. A pre-cooked steak is super versatile and can turn into many delicious dishes! This video is sponsored by thinkbeef.ca who reached out to me for a Thai meal idea that uses a cooked steak. It didn’t take me long to think of a dish for that request—this dish came to mind instantly as soon as I heard “steak”!

BONUS CONTENT! In addition to the recipe, in this video I also got to interview a registered dietitian, Carol Harrison RD, to ask her some questions around the nutrition of red meat. If you want to get in touch with her, she’s on Twitter @greatmealideas, or find her at yummylunchclub.ca

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2

  • 250g strip loin or top sirloin steak (raw weight), cooked to your preferred doneness and cooled completely or chilled (see note)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 7-8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground (reduce to 1 tsp if serving kids)
  • ¼ large onion, 1 cm strips
  • Mixed bell pepper, large diced, a total of 1 medium pepper (so if using 4 colours, use 1/4 each, if using 3, 1/3 each, etc…)

Notes: As mentioned in the video, the benefits of making a stir-fry from a cooked steak is that you can save a lot of time preparing a meal the next day, AND you can still have the beef pink if that’s what you like. If you are starting with raw beef strips, cook it until the exterior of each piece is not pink anymore – but the strips can still be pink on the inside.

If making a dinner for 4, simply double up all ingredients. Use 2 steaks of approximately 250g each (does not have to be exact) and double up all other ingredients except the water—use 2 Tbsp of water to start, and you can add more to the wok during cooking if it’s too dry.

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INSTRUCTIONS

Slice the cooked steak into thin strips, trimming off any fat around it if desired.

Combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and water in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Add just enough oil in a wok to coat the bottom, then add the garlic and saute over medium heat until the smallest bits start to turn golden. Add the black pepper and stir to mix with the oil. Add onions and bell pepper, and toss for about 1 minute or longer if you prefer the softer vegetables.

Once the vegetables are cooked almost to your liking, add the sauce and toss for about 10 seconds. Turn the heat up to high then add the sliced steak; if you like the doneness of the steak as is, just toss it briefly (20-30 seconds) until heated though, otherwise cook it longer to get the desired doneness. Since the steak is already cooked, you only need to cook it long enough to heat it through. 

Tip: Remember to turn off the heat BEFORE the desired doneness is reached because the beef will continue to cook in the residual heat even after you’ve turned it off. Also, get the stir-fry out of the wok and onto the plate ASAP to prevent the beef from cooking too much after you’ve turned the heat off. As you can see in the video, I turned off the pan when the beef was still quite pink because I knew that we had to spend time resetting the counter for the next scene, so by the time I got around to plating, it was not as pink but also not overcooked!

Pai’s Steak Cooking Method:

If there is time, I like to season my steak in advance and let it dry off in the fridge: Salt the steak on both sides, then set it on a rack on top of a plate, and keep it in the fridge uncovered for at least 3 hours and up to one day. Drying the steak helps to develop caramelization and crusting which enhances the steak flavour.

If using a very thick steak (1-inch or more), and if you like the steak closer to well-done, you may want to get the oven preheated to 350°F as you may need to finish the cooking in a oven.

Pull the steak from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking if you have time, and pat the steak dry with a paper towel if it looks moist on the surface. Then generously sprinkle black pepper on both sides and press it down so it sticks well to the steak.

Heat up a skillet over high heat with just enough oil to coat the bottom, and when the oil is hot, place the steak down (should sizzle loudly) and sear for 1-2 minutes or until a dark brown crust develops. Flip the steak and cook the other side for another 1 minute or so until the crust develops, then flip the steak back and forth every minute or so until a desired doneness is reached. Flipping back and forth will allow the steak to cook more evenly. If a good crust has developed but you want the interior to cook further, you can finish the steak in the preheated oven. Tip: You can use a thermometer like this one to determine the doneness of the steak.

Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Note: If cooking up an extra steak to take advantage of speedy meals made from leftovers, store cooked steak covered in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

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Marinated, double basted, and triple grilled: that is the secret to the unbelievable yumminess of this chicken. I grew up on this style of BBQ chicken because it’s a specialty of Southern Thailand, and while I always thought it was an incredible flavour, I never knew how the chicken gets its iconic salty-sweet, coconut-ty, sticky red glaze on them! It’s a brilliant technique that’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen anywhere else.

To make sure the chicken doesn’t become overcooked from the multiple grilling, make sure you cut big pieces of chicken, and let the chicken cool before you grill them again. No sauce, no nothing needed. The chicken is perfectly delicious on its own, but it’s pretty great with some jasmine rice should you want to turn it into a meal!

INGREDIENTS

Makes 8 big skewers, serves 3-4

  • 15 g mild dried chilies, such as guajillo
  • 5 g spicy dried chilies, to taste, or use extra mild chilies if you don’t want spicy
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • ⅔ cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp toasted coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • 40 g palm sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste (gapi)
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1 ½ lb chicken thigh and/or breast, boneless, skinless
  • Bamboo skewers: I prefer thicker 8-inch ones with a wide handle (see video) so they’re easy to grab. Wrap the ends with foil to prevent them from burning, I find this much more effective than soaking skewers, especially for this recipe because we’re gonna be grilling 3 times.

Note: this makes enough for 2 coats of basting. If you want an extra thick glaze you can do 3 coats, in which case increase the measurements of the sauce ingredients by 50%.

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INSTRUCTIONS

Make the curry paste:

Remove seeds from dried chilies and grind into a powder in a coffee grinder with coriander, cumin and cinnamon.

If using a mortar and pestle: Chop your garlic and shallots first, then add to the mortar and pestle and pound until fine, adding the dry spices as needed to help absorb moisture and add friction. Once it is a fine paste, add shrimp paste and pound to mix.

If using an immersion blender: blend shallots and garlic until smooth, adding as little of the water as needed to help it blend. Add shrimp paste and dry spices and blend until smooth.

Make the Marinade/Glaze:

In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add a little vegetable or coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pot, and add the curry paste. Saute the paste for 2-3 minutes until it is very thick and aromatic, adding a little coconut milk to deglaze if it sticks to the pot. Then add the remaining coconut milk, water, palm sugar, ½ tsp of the salt and tamarind juice. Simmer genty for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, but is still easily pourable.

Separate out ⅓ cup of sauce to use as chicken marinade, and add ¼ tsp salt to it. Let the marinade cool completely before tossing with the chicken. Let the chicken marinate overnight or at least 30 mins. Keep the rest of the sauce covered and chilled in the fridge until ready to use. 

To Grill:

Preheat the broiler on high. Set the rack so the the chicken will be 4-5 inches away from the element. Alternatively, you can use the outside grill preheated and oiled to medium heat. NOTE: If using an outdoor grill, make sure your grill grates are super clean and well-oiled to prevent sticking. You don’t want the thick sticky glaze to pick up old charred krut from the grates!

Skewer the chicken, making sure to push the chicken pieces right up against each other, and make sure the tips are not exposed. The handle ends should be wrapped in foil.

Place the skewers on a rack set on top of a roasting pan lined with foil. Add a thin layer of water to the pan to prevent drippings from burning and smoking.  

Grill the chicken for about 4 mins per side or just until the chicken is cooked through. Bring chicken out and let cool to room temp, or at the most lukewarm if you’re in a rush; put a fan to them for faster cooling! 

While the chicken is cooling, check the consistency of the glaze: If it’s fridge cold it will be too stiff, so microwave it briefly to bring it to room temperature. If it’s at room temp and is still really thick and gloppy, add a little bit of water (just a smidge at a time) until it pours freely and smoothly, but is still thick enough to coat the chicken well. Note: An idea just occurred to me that you can divide the glaze into 2 even batches to make sure you don’t run out for the second round! Shoulda thought of that earlier! 

Once chicken is cooled, spoon the glaze over the chicken to coat it entirely, and shake off as much of the excess as you can so it’s not dripping while sitting on the grill. Place the skewers on the rack and broil them again, about 2-3 minutes on each side or until the marinade is bubbly and dried on to the chicken, with a few charred spots. If your broiler has hot spots, move the chicken around to get a more even cooking.

Let the chicken cool, and repeat the glazing and grilling one more time. With this recipe you should have just the perfect amount of glaze for 2 bastings, if you didn’t pre-divide the glaze and find that you’re running low for the second round, just add a little water to stretch it, but you should use it all up to maximize flavour. For the last grililng, since this is your “presentation round” make sure you’ve got some nice charred spots on them!

Let cool slightly and serve either on its own or with some jasmine rice. Enjoy!

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Finally, the long awaited recipe for kanom krok, the famous little Thai coconut pancakes that are one of the most popular street foods in Thailand! They’re so incredibly tasty that I seek them out every single time I go to Thailand…it’s an absolute must-have for me.

They’re made in a pan with iconic round indentations, creating a little cup of goodness that’s crisp on the outside and soft, warm and custardy on the inside. Topped with a variety of toppings from green onions, to corn, to taro, fragrant with the aroma of coconut and jasmine rice…these are easily one of my favourite snacks or desserts in Thailand that’s also easy to make if you know the right techniques!

NOTE: If you haven’t seen my video on How to Choose the Best Coconut Milk, please take some time to watch it. This recipe depends SO much on the quality of your coconut milk, and it will not be delicious if you’re using low quality brands. The coconut milk I recommend can also be purchased online right here if you cannot find it in your local store. If you live in Thailand or any other country where fresh coconut milk can be made easily, this is the time to do it!

About the Kanom Krok Pan I used: As mentioned in the video, I got this pan online from Amazon (available on both Amazon US and Canada). It is a pan made for takoyaki, which I find is the best size for kanom krok. I forgot to mention it also comes with 2 other interchangeable skillets, one is just a plain flat skillet (super useful) and another on that has 4 big circular holes (for whoopie pies?) It was really inexpensive and works fantastically. Check out the pan on my Kit here. Most importantly this pan has a temperature control knob, which makes a huge difference in how you’re able to control the doneness and speed of cooking of the pancakes.

Other pan options:

  • I’m using an electric pan, but you can also buy pans that are meant for stove top. I would imagine that they would not work well if you have flat electric burners because you wouldn’t have enough contact surface with the pan. But if you have gas stoves, it’s a good option for sure.
  • Danish Aebleskiver pans will also work but I find them too big, so if you do use is, make sure you only fill it half way. It’s not just about them being little and cute, though that’s a bonus, but using a pan that is too big will alter the shell-to-filling ratio and it won’t be as good. You will have less crispy bottom for the amount of soft filling!
  • If the pan you use is cast iron, make sure it’s well-seasoned or the batter will stick to the pan!
  • What about real Thai kanom krok pans? It will likely be too big for home burners, but if you do find a smaller size, it will need to be seasoned before using or the batter will stick! Thai people do this by stuffing the holes with shredded coconut (fresh, not dried) and then putting it over flame for several hours, letting the coconut burn in the holes. The oil from the coconut will come out and coat the holes and season it.

INGREDIENTS

Makes about 50 little kanom kroks

The Shell:

  • 50 g cooked jasmine rice
  • 50 g rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼  cup coconut milk (see note about good coconut milk above)
  • ¼  cup shredded dried coconut (if you can get fresh, use fresh) 
  • 30 g palm sugar, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt

The Filling:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp rice flour

Also: Coconut oil for greasing the pan, this will give extra coconut aroma, but you can use neutral flavoured oil if you don’t have it.

Optional toppings: Chopped green onions (this is the most classic and the best one), cooked sweet corn kernels, cooked taro cubes, or feel free to experiment with other toppings!

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INSTRUCTIONS

For the shell: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

For the filling: Whisk the rice flour, sugar and salt together until there are no more clumps of flour. Add coconut milk and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Easy peasy!

*Both batters can be made in advance and stored in the fridge. Bring it out to room temp before using. If the shell batter has thickened up too much, you can add a bit of water to thin it out so it pours easily. The batter should have a runny consistency as shown in the video.

Prepare toppings and a cooling rack.

To cook:

Heat the pan at 325°F. To test pan for readiness, sprinkle a bit of water onto the pan, and if it sizzles away immediately it’s hot enough. Brush half the holes with coconut oil. I like to make only half a pan at a time in the beginning because you’ll likely be a bit slow and clumsy to start, and it’s just more manageable and less hectic to deal with a few at a time.  

**Stir both batters every time before you use it.**

Add ½ Tbsp of the shell batter into the pre-heated holes. Then add 1 tsp of the filling by dunking the teaspoon right into the middle of the shell and wiggle it slightly (see video for this technique). Let them cook for a minute or so, meanwhile, fill the rest of the pan.

After a minute or two of cooking, the cakes should be partially set, go ahead and add your toppings. If you’re using heavier toppings like corn or taro, and they sink too much into the cakes, just let the cakes set a bit more before topping. 

Continue to let them cook until the bottom is crispy and golden brown, and the top is no longer runny, about 5 mins. Give them at least 5 minutes to cook, do not rush them, that is how you get crispy bottoms. If the bottom is done but the top still needs more cooking, you can cover the pan with a pot lid to steam the top for 1 minute. To test doneness, tilt the pan slightly, and if the top doesn’t run, then it’s done. Tips: Feel free to adjust the temperature of the pan as needed during the cooking process.

Remove the cakes by pushing them up with a toothpick or skewer, and scooping them out with a spoon. Place on a rack to cool for a few minutes just so you don’t burn yourself, but you want to eat these while they’re still warm and crispy. These do NOT keep well as they go mushy and soggy real fast!! Note: I’m only using the toothpick to push the cakes up because I don’t want to scratch the nonstick pan with the spoon, but if you’re using cast iron, you can just use the spoon alone.

Can you reheat these? Kind of… It’s best to make only as much as you will eat, especially since the batter will keep in the fridge. But if you’ve accidentally made too much or people are taking too long to eat them and they’ve cooled down, they can be popped back into the pans to warm up and recrisp the bottom. However, they will end up dryer and not as luscious as they once were because they’ve been cooked twice, but I guess it’s better than throwing them away!

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“Tao Jiew” is the Thai version of miso. It’s fermented soybean paste that is salty with a touch of acidity, and it goes incredibly well with fish! We also add loads of ginger which is a flavour match made in heaven with fish as well. I’m using black cod here, also known as sablefish, as it’s flaky, tender, fatty, and a sustainable species here in BC, Canada. Feel free to use any white, mild flavoured fish local to your area.

This is one of my favourite ways to eat fish, and it takes just a few minutes to cook. Make your sauce while you preheat the steamer, and the fish only takes a few minutes to steam.

If you don’t have a steamer like mine you can also buy a steamer rack from a Chinese grocery store, place it inside a wok or a large stock pot and turn it into a steamer. You can cover it with foil if you don’t have a wok lid. You can even use a roasting pan as long as it can withstand direct heat.

RELATED VIDEOS: Tom Yum Soup with Fish Recipe

INGREDIENTS

Serves 3-4

  • 2-3 lemongrass tops (optional, see note)
  • 3 fish steaks, about 500g total
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tao jiew (Thai soybean paste, see note)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup chicken or pork stock, unsalted
  • 2 inches ginger, julienned
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-2 Thai chilies, to taste, cut into big chunks or 1/4 tsp ground white pepper (optional)
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly on a bias and keep the white and green parts separate
  • Red pepper juliennes for garnish (optional)
  • Jasmine rice for serving

Note: Because I only cook with the bottom half of lemongrass (the more flavourful part), I keep the tops in my freezer for stock and other things like this! I line the plate with the lemongrass tops so the fish can be propped up, allowing heat to circulate more evenly. And the little bit of infused flavour is a bonus.

If you local Asian grocery store has a lot of Thai products, there’s a chance they may carray tao jiew. If not, you can try using Japanese miso or the Korean doenjang, but because these are much thicker, start with just 1 Tbsp and thin it out with another 1 Tbsp of water, and make sure you taste and adjust the seasoning of the sauce. I tried to look for this on Amazon to put into my Kit, but there isn’t any available. However, the people at importfood.com has it here.

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INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the steamer and bring the water to a full boil.

Smash lemongrass tops, then cut into 3-inch pieces and line bottom of a plate that you’re using to steam the fish. Place the fish steaks on top of the lemongrass and drizzle the soy sauce on to each piece of fish and let it sit in the fridge while you prep the sauce.

In a small bowl, combine tao jiew, sugar, soy sauce, stock, and stir to dissolve the sugar. 

In a small pot, saute the garlic and ginger in a little bit of vegetable oil for a minute until aromatic, then add the sauce mixture. Add the chilies or pepper, and let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the white part of the green onions. Keep covered so it stays warm.

Steam the fish for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through. (Note: If the steamer is ready, you can steam the fish while you cook the sauce to be extra efficient).

Once the fish is done, spoon off or pour off most of the collected water on the plate (if you’ve got a tablespoon or so of water left that’s fine).  If using black cod, pull out pin bones which should come out easily if the fish is cooked through. Pour the sauce over the fish, distributing the ginger and garlic all around. Top with the green part of green onions and julienned red pepper for garnish. 

Serve immediately with jasmine rice. Enjoy!

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“Mama” is Thailand’s favourite brand of instant noodles, and we love it so much we use it in all sorts of recipes. In this video I show you how to elevate the humble pack of instant noodles into something more sophisticated, and definitely healthier and yummier than just boiling it in hot water!

These Mama noodles have a very unique texture and flavour which work well in so many applications including a noodle salad, which if you haven’t tried it, make sure you check out the recipe linked below!

You can change up the vegetables, but I highly recommend keeping the cabbage and the tomatoes. I’m not adding any meat to this but you certainly can. The eggs, however, are so important! The flavour of the eggs once they’ve been browned in the wok is so much of what makes this dish so yummy.

RELATED VIDEOS:

Mama Instant Noodle Salad

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2

  • 2 packs (55g each) Mama noodles, I’m using pork flavour but you can use any other flavours that use wheat fried noodles
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • ¼ onion, julienned
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 roma tomato, cut into bite-sizeds wedges
  • 5-6 sprigs cilantro chopped

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INSTRUCTIONS

In a mixing bowl, combine both garlic oil packets that come with the noodles, 1 1/2 – 2 seasoning powder packets, sugar, and as much of the chili powder as you like. Note: If you don’t like salty foods, use only 1 1/2 packet of the seasoning powder to start, and you can add more later if it’s not salty enough.

Break the noodle block into quarters.

Bring a pot of water to a full boil and blanch noodles for exactly 1 minute, just until the noodles loosen up and separate from the block shape. Drain immediately into a sieve and run cold water through them for 5 seconds just to cool it down slightly. Shake off as much of the water as possible and add to the mixing bowl with the seasoning in it; toss until the noodles are well coated.

In a wok, add a little oil and saute garlic until garlic starts to turn golden.

Then add onion, carrots and cabbage and toss to mix. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce and keep tossing for 1 more minute until the veggies start to look wilted.

Push the veggies to the side of the wok, then add a little oil in the empty space and let the oil heat up a bit. Add the eggs to the oil, break the yolks and let the eggs set halfway. Add the noodles on top of the eggs, let it cook another 15 seconds, then toss everything together. Keep cooking until the eggs are fully cooked and browned slightly; do not stir all the time, let the noodles sit and sear a couple of times so you get some browned bits which add flavour. 

Once done, turn off the heat and toss in the tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning. If it needs extra seasoning you can add a bit of fish sauce or soy sauce to bump up the seasoning, or the extra seasoning powder if you held some back. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Kao Yum, or Khao Yum, is a specialty of Southern Thai cuisine that has become popular in Bangkok in recent years because of the healthy, clean eating trend! This dish is similar to the Malay nasi kerabu, and in fact, many Southern Thai dishes have Malay roots.

In this video I also show you how to make natural blue food colouring! The rice is often dyed blue for Khao Yum, although you can most certainly use plain white rice, OR dye the rice a different colour such as yellow (turmeric or saffron) or pink (beets). The dressing, or what we call “nam budu” is the most important part: it’s sweet, salty, umami and is key to the unique flavour of this salad. And yes, you can make the dressing in advance and keep it in your fridge for many weeks!

Choice of accompaniments around the rice are flexible, but there are some must-haves, so check the list below!

RELATED VIDEOS:

Pomelo Salad & How to Peel a Pomelo

Southern Thai “Dry Curry”

INGREDIENTS

Serves 5-6

    Blue rice (you can also use plain white, brown, red or black rice)

    • 2 cups of chopped red cabbage
    • 2 ½ cups water
    • 1 ½ cups uncooked jasmine rice
    • ⅛ – ¼ tsp baking soda

    Budu Dressing

    • 3 Tbsp chopped shallot
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 3 inches lemongrass, bottom half only
    • 3 slices ginger or galangal
    • ¼ – ½ cup water
    • ¼ cup fish sauce
    • 1 tsp shrimp paste
    • 100 g palm sugar, chopped
    • 1-2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate/juice
    • 2 kaffir lime leaves

    Salad Components (amounts are estimates only, see note)

    • 2-3 Tbsp dried shrimp, shredded and toasted (see instructions)
    • 3/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted (see instructions)
    • 2 stalks lemongrass, bottom half only, finely chopped
    • 10-12 kaffir lime leaves, finely julienned
    • 1 pomelo (or sub sour green mango or grapefruit)
    • 2 limes
    • Chili flakes, to taste
    • A few fresh crunchy vegetables, julienned or finely chopped. Classic options are: Red/green cabbage, carrots, long beans, bean sprouts, wild betel leaves or another leafy green such as Chinese broccoli (what I used), and cucumber.

    Notes: Salad components are flexible to some degree, but the following are what I consider must-haves for a complete kao yum: toasted coconut, dried shrimp (or dried fish), lemongrass, pomelo or a tart fruit sub, a leafy green (very finely julienned), and 2 more of the vegetables listed above. 

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    INSTRUCTIONS

    Blue rice: Heat cabbage and water until it comes to a simmer, then simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the purple water into a clear or white container. Add a tiny bit of baking soda (as in 1/16 of a teaspoon) and stir; you will notice it turning less reddish and more towards blue. Continue to add more baking soda, a tiny smidge at a time, until it turns completely blue. DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH or it will start to turn green, but if that happens you can bring it back by adding a little acid such as vinegar or lime juice, a few drops at a time. To check colour, spoon some of the water onto a white plate, as I find this a more accurate way to check colour. When the water is in a large bowl, it tends to look more purple than it actually is.

    Use this blue water to cook the rice as you normally would, for a lighter shade of blue, add some water to dilute the colour. Note: because the water contains sugars from the cabbage, the rice will tend to be browned at the bottom of the pot. To minimize this, make sure you cook the rice over low heat (if using stovetop) and remove the rice from heat as soon as it’s done. 

    Budu dressing: In a blender, combine water, shallot, garlic, lemongrass and ginger or galangal; blend until there are no more big chunks but it doesn’t have to be smooth, adding more water to help it blend as needed. Transfer into a small pot. Add fish sauce, shrimp paste, palm sugar, tamarind, and torn kaffir lime leaves and simmer for about 5 minutes.

    Remove the lime leaves, then taste and adjust flavour. it should be equally salty and sweet, with a little acidity to balance. It will be pungent and strong so taste only a little bit! The consistency of the dressing once cooled should be runny and easily pourable; if it’s thick, add a little water to thin it out. 

    Make toasted dried shrimp: Grind dried shrimp in the coffee grinder or blender until fluffy. Transfer to a the saute pan and toast over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is aromatic and darkened slightly. Remove from pan and let cool.

    Toast coconut: Add coconut to a dry saute pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is DARK brown. Not golden brown, you want it deep, dark and toasty.

    Prep veg: Finely julienne or chop all the vegetables and herbs you’re putting into the salad to make sure they distribute well. For pomelo, tear the segments into small pieces.

    Assembly: Place the blue rice in the center of a plate and arrange the other salad components around the rice, putting as much of each ingredient as you wish. Serve with the dressing, chili flakes and lime wedge on the side. 

    To eat: Each plate of the size shown in the video should take about 1 Tbsp of the dressing. If it’s your first time, add just half a Tbsp of dressing and see how it goes. If half a Tbsp is already too strong, your dressing is too concentrated so you’ll need to thin out the dressing with some water. Toss all the salad components with the dressing very well, take your time tossing, you don’t want a bite full of just lemongrass! Add a squeeze of lime juice as needed.

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