Poo Put Pong Garee (Crab curry)

2 blue swimmers (600g)
3 cloves garlic, pounded
1 onion, sliced
2 tbls fish sauce
1 1/2 tbls sugar
2 tbls Thai curry powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tbls sesame oil
1 egg, beaten
2 spring onions, sliced 3cm
1 tbls coriander leaves, chopped

Clean and chop crabs into pieces, crack legs and claws.
Heat 2 tbls coconut oil and saute garlic and onion 30 seconds.
Add crab and stir-fry 2 minutes.
Add fish sauce, sugar, curry powder, pepper and sesame oil,
mix well, cover and cook 3 minutes.
Add egg, stir well. Add spring onion and coriander.

Inspired by Jai Poon Lap seaside eatery, Pratchuap Kiri Khan.


Xiang Tiao Hu Luo Bo (Carrot salad)

1 carrot, thinly sliced diagonally
1 tsp sugar
pinch salt
1 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbls coriander leaves
1 tsp sesame oil

Combine carrot, sugar, salt and vinegar.
Add coriander.
Heat sesame oil and pour over salad,
mix well.

Recipe from Li Qiao Ling, Xian.

Gong Bao Ji Ding (Gong bao chicken)

300g chicken meat, diced 1cm
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tsp cornflour
5 dried red chillies, soaked and chopped
1cm ginger, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced 4cm
1 small green capsicum, diced
2 tbls yellow bean sauce
2 tsp rice wine
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 tsp sesame oil

Combine chicken, soy sauce and cornflour – set aside.
Heat 2 tbls oil and stir-fry chicken 1 minute – set aside.
Heat 1 tbls oil and stir-fry chillies, ginger, spring onion
and capsicum 1 minute.
Add yellow bean sauce and chicken – mix well.
Add rice wine – stir 1 minute.
Add peanuts and sesame oil – mix well and serve.

Inspired by Zhong Yegong eatery, behind the Forbidden City – Beijing.

Balado Kentang Teri (Potato sambal)

1 or 2 potatoes, cut into fingers
1 or 2 tbls ikan bilis
3 long red chillies
1 birds eye chilli
1 clove garlic
1/2 tomato, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
1 salam leaf
1/2cm galangal, bruised
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper

Puree together chillies and garlic – set aside.
Fry potatoes until golden – set aside.
Fry ikan bilis briefly – set aside.
Heat 1 tbls oil and fry shallots until golden.
Add pureed chillies and saute until fragrant.
Add salam leaf, galangal and tomato – fry until pulpy.
Add sugar and pepper. Add potato and ikan bilis –
cook until well coated.

Inspired by Warung Salsa, Ambon.


Gangan (Fish curry)

500g whole fish, cut into chunks
including head (mackerel is good)
1/2 small pineapple, sliced
2 salam leaves
1 tbls tamarind, soaked in water
1 tsp palm sugar
2 shallots
2 candlenuts
2 cloves garlic
2cm galangal
2cm ginger
2cm turmeric
3-10 red chillies (to taste)
1 stalk lemongrass
1/2 tsp trasi powder

Pound or process together ‘bumbu’ ingredients and
fry in 2 tbls oil until fragrant. Add 500ml water and bring to boil.
Add fish, salt, sugar, tamarind, salam leaves and pineapple.
Simmer 15 minutes.

Inspired by chef at Kelayung Indah, Pulau Belitung

Yu Xiang Rou Si (Fish-flavoured pork)

350g pork, shredded
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornflour
1 spring onion, chopped
1 tbls ginger, pounded
1 tbls garlic, pounded
2 tsp chilli bean paste (toban jian)
1 carrot, shredded
1 green capsicum, shredded
2 tbls soy sauce
2 tbls water
1 tbls rice wine
1 tsp black rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbls sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine first 5 ingredients and marinate 30 minutes.
Combine “SAUCE” ingredients and set aside.
Heat 3 tbls oil and fry pork mixture until colour changes – set aside.
Heat 2 tbls oil and fry spring onion, ginger and garlic paste 10 seconds.
Add chilli paste – stir. Add carrot and capsicum – stir 2 minutes.
Add “SAUCE” and stir until thickened. Add pork and mix well.

Inspired by nameless Muslim kebab restaurant, Da Zha Lan district, Beijing.

Saku Kao Pod (Coconut corn pudding)

3 tbls small tapioca pearls
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbls sugar
1 pandan leaf, knotted
1 cob fresh corn
pinch salt

Soak tapioca pearls in water 30 minutes – drain.
Shave kernels off corn cob – set aside.
Combine coconut milk and 1/4 cup water – bring to boil.
Add pandan leaf, sugar and tapioca – simmer
until tender, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add corn kernels and salt – simmer 5 minutes.
Serve warm.

Inspired by home cook stall – Koh Muk, Trang

Put Hed (Stir-fried mushrooms)

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, sliced
300g straw mushrooms, sliced
100g baby corn, halved
1 tbls fish sauce
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls oyster sauce
1 large red chilli, sliced
1 tsp cornflour, blended
with 3 tbls water
1 handful coriander leaves, chopped

Heat 2 tbls oil and fry until golden.
Add onion, mushrooms and corn – stir 2 minutes.
Add sauces and stir until well combined.
Add chilli, cornflour liquid and coriander –
stir until glistening.

Inspired by evening vendor at Yue Chiang coffee shop, Trang

Put Thua Daeng Song Kreuang (Stir-fried kidney beans)

1 cup dried kidney beans, soaked in water
1 tbls dark soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup pumpkin, diced
10 snake beans, cut in 3cm lengths
3 tbls soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tomato, diced

Boil kidney beans in fresh water until tender,
drain and marinate in dark soy sauce.
Heat 2 tbls oil and sizzle garlic,
add pumpkin and fry until browned.
Add small amount of water and simmer until just tender and dry.
Add snake beans, kidney beans, soy sauce and sugar – mix well.
Add tomato and stir 1 minute.

Inspired by vendor at Vegetarian Festival, Trang – Southern Thailand

Mapo Doufu (Spicy tofu)

The quantities may seem small but this recipe 
serves 4 people – a little goes a long way.

300g silken tofu
100g minced beef
1 tbls yellow bean sauce
1 tbls dark soy sauce
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1.5 tsp cornflour, blended with a small amount water
1-2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 tbls Sichuan peppercorns, roasted and ground

Heat 1 tbls oil and fry beef 2 minutes, breaking into tiny pieces.
Add bean sauce and soy sauce – stir 1 minute.
Add chilli powder – stir 30 seconds.
Add stock and tofu – cook 3 minutes, breaking tofu into chunks.
Add garlic and spring onion, thicken with cornflour and cook 1 minute.
Remove from heat and stir through peppercorns before serving.

Inspired by Zhongfang at Puzhou Changuan eatery in Songpan, Sichuan.