Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taming Thai

So tonights dinner was my first ever attempt at Thai cooking. I would say it was successful. However, I did learn a few things. Here we go....

First: This is my favorite brand of Jasmine Rice. It does REALLY well being cooked in the microwave. (This was not a new lesson tonight but it's new to you.)

Second: I added a lot of extra vegetables to this recipe. In fact... I didn't even use what the recipe called for. I used snow peas, carrots, Chinese eggplant, red bell pepper, onion, water chestnuts, baby corn, and bamboo shoots. I steamed all the veggies (except the water chestnuts, baby corn, and bamboo since they were canned) as the directions say. Next time, I will leave the snow peas and eggplant out of the steaming process and let them cook toward the end in the sauce. After steaming, my eggplant was mush once it got stirred in and the snow peas were just a little over done. Also, I think this was veggie overkill. Next time I will omit the water chestnuts and baby corn. Here are some before pictures of my ingredients:

Also a side note: Most of the vegetables did not change the Points Plus Value but the Water Chestnuts did. So I added 1 Points Plus per serving.

Third: The next time I make this recipe, I will adjust proportions of ingredients a little. Since this was my first time working with several of the ingredients I was scared to tweek it at all. For the lemon grass, I will probably add another 1/2 tablespoon. For the basil, 1 tablespoon is plenty. Then there is the Green Curry Paste... There is a note on this recipe that says depending on which brand you buy, the level of heat may vary. Well keeping this in mind, I chose not to add the jalapeno at all to my Curry. I used the Thai Kitchen brand and I suppose buying it at Publix should have tipped me off that it was tamed for American palettes. I found the heat to be lacking a little bit (which is shocking since I don't like hot foods). So next time I think I will add a Thai Chile as is written in the recipe.

Here is the finished dish. Despite my insecurities with the ingredients, I feel like this was very good. Next time, it will be even better!

Also, if you live in the Athens area, there is a great Asian food market called Fooks Foods. It is on Baxter Street catty cornered from Clarke Central High School. It is small but they have a good variety and that is where I got my snow peas and Chinese eggplant. They also sell the infamous Thai Chiles!!


  1. That looks awesome. How much $ would that cost? I never realized how expensive some items were till I went to make the (failed) steak thing that I called you about last week. The meat itself was $15 plus the million herbs I did not own!


  2. Well, it's hard to say. I have a very stocked spice cabinet. I have things that most people wouldn't have. I did have to buy the fish sauce, curry paste, and lemongrass. Here is my shopping tip: if you are planning to make recipes that require unusual ingredients (or just things you don't have), plan only one meal a week like that. And always keep the staples on hand (ex: garlic powder, onion salt, salt and pepper, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc.). Most recipes that call for fresh herbs, you can substitute dried. The ratio is about 1tsp of dried herb to 1 tbsp of fresh.

  3. (by the way, the "oregano, thyme, and rosemary" is meant as dried herbs)