Title exclamation point highly necessary!
The other week, my sister came over to deliver our wonderful demon Pippa back to us in Los Angeles (she lives in Vegas) because Pippa was too young to go to the doggy boarding place with her equally smelly brother while we are traveling. To thank her for watching Pipps for an entire month, we made plans to take her to a big fancy dinner…plans that were quickly squashed once my sister made the suggestion that we just stay in and cook a big Thai meal for Johnny and his trainer Malcolm.
I jumped at this because, well, not only is my sister a great cook, but I really don’t ever make Thai food. In New York, Thai food delivery provides so much yumminess that it’s just not something I ever think about sitting down and doing.
So we did it. While the boys were out, we hit up the regular ol’ grocery store (LA traffic is a bitch and the 2/3 miles to Thai Town would have taken about an hour) and created a Thai feast just while walking up and down the aisles.
On the menu: chicken satay with peanut sauce, spicy beef salad (yum nua),a garlicy ground pork stir fry with green chili (SO good mixed into jasmine rice) and lastly, chicken and broccoli stir fry with snap peas and curry sauce.
While I want you guys to have the recipe to all of this, I think it’s best broken down. My sister explains it best, so I had her email her recipe. This is it in her own words:
Yum = Salad, Nua = Beef
This dish really epitomizes Thai cooking. Done properly, it embodies everything Thai food should be; balancing the principles of thai cuisine. The key to Thai food in general is combing salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. You should not be able to identify whether this dish is more or less of one particular flavor, hence creating the perfect balance.
You will need:
A well marbled NY steak, grilled to your liking, preferably on a charcoal grill. I prefer no more than medium rare; the lime will do some additional cooking. Allow to rest at room temp before slicing.
4 Shallots or 1 small red onion (I like a strong onion flavor), sliced into skinny wedges
1 bunch Cilantro, coarsely chopped, no stems
Tomatoes, cherry (1/2 c sliced in half) or 1-2 vine ripened (cut into wedges)
1 tbs Palm sugar (or brown sugar, but palm sugar is really worth the effort to locate; note that palm sugar is a bit sweeter, so adjust to your liking)
1-2 tbs Fish sauce
According to your spice tolerance, Thai chili powder (roasted sundried chilis ground into a fine powder, and very spicy!). I use about 1 tbs, be prepared to sweat!
Also according to your tolerance, Fresh Thai chili peppers, sliced thinly – also very spicy! I use 3-4; use red for color!
Grill the steak as directed above and slice into thin strips after allowing to rest for 15-20 min. Add to a large mixing bowl. Because the palm sugar is so pasty, put it in a small bowl and add some of the lime juice and mush into a thick liquid form. The non-vegetable ingredients go first into the steak bowl, lime, fish sauce, palm sugar. Toss with your hands to incorporate all over the steak. Add the rest of the veggies, toss and TASTE. Tasting as you go is the most important part. You are eating it, so add more fish sauce if it needs more salt, more sugar if it is too lime-y, etc. Every Thai mom has their variation, so make it like YOU like it. Isn’t that what cooking is all about?
If you want to get fancy, mound into a shallow bowl or platter on a bed of frilly lettuce and garnish with lime wedges and more cilantro and a chili pepper flower.
…So there you have it. Easy enough, right? Of course I had my camera on hand for this wonderfulness. Don’t mind the other dishes, I will share those recipes later
As you can see, we like our shit still moo’ing. I think this salad is best made with rare steak, but of course you can do it however you’d like if you wanna be a brat like that geez sorry what goshhh chill out.
Toss it around, put it on a pretty plate and voilà! You are done and you have a delicious meal to serve that people will definitely be asking about. You can tell them it’s your own secret recipe because you are 1/8th Thai, I don’t mind. See! I AMMM perfect.