High on Thai
I love Thai fish cakes but often those served in New Zealand are nothing like those that can be enjoyed in Thailand. I’m sure many travellers would agree with me. Thai fish cakes are so quick and easy to prepare and cook, yet most of the local offerings are tasteless and more like rubber. Another quick dish not done justice here is Tom Yum Goong — a traditional soup with prawns, chilli and fresh herbs. So I’m providing my favourite recipes for both and hopefully next time I go out to a Kiwi restaurant to enjoy Thai I will be served ‘my’ recipes.
I acquired my love for Thai food at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Cooking School in Bangkok — one of the better cooking schools in the world. Instruction includes a good introduction to Thai ingredients, preparation techniques, the making of traditional pastes, and cooking styles. Dishes are demonstrated then students given the opportunity to cook their own.
The basis of Thai food is 'paste.' Chillies, fish paste, shallots, coriander root, garlic and other ingredients are pounded to a paste in a stone mortar using a heavy pestle. Generally the paste is fried in oil then other ingredients added to make up the dish. However, there are some excellent spice pastes conveniently packaged for you and available at most supermarkets and Asian food stores.
I used Asian Home Gourmet spice paste for Thai Green Curry. These fish cakes can be served as a starter or a main. Get the recipe
Have everything prepared for this spiced prawn soup then combine and cook just before serving. Green peppercorns are available in jars from Asian food stores or some delis. Get the recipe
Red curries are generally milder than green. Get the recipe