Nam Prik Pao (chilli jam)

Use in soups, stir-fries or as a dipping sauce.

50g (4 tbls) sliced shallots
40g (3 tbls) sliced garlic
20g (15) dried red chillies
1 or 2 tbls dried prawns, pounded to floss
2 tbls thick tamarind water
2 tbls fish sauce
3 tbls palm sugar
1/2 cup oil (don’t be shy)

Fry shallots until brown – set aside.
Fry garlic until golden – set aside.
Fry chillies until just crisp – don’t overdo it.
Puree together shallots, garlic, chillies
and tamarind water.
Return jam to oil with fish sauce, palm sugar
and extra water if needed – cook until smooth and dark.
Store in fridge several months and use as needed.

Inspired by Jai Poon Lap seaside eatery, Pratchuap Kiri Khan

Kerabu Timun (cucumber salad)

1 scant tbls dried prawns
1 tbls dessicated coconut
1 small cucumber, deseeded & sliced
2 long red chillies, deseeded
1/2 tsp belacan powder
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tbls palm sugar
coriander/mint leaves

Pound prawns to a floss. Toast coconut.
Pound together chillies, belacan, lime and sugar.
Combine all ingredients and served garnished
with coriander and/or mint.

Inspired by Chef Ismail’s buffet at Restoran Rebung – KL

Tauge Kerabu (bean sprout salad)

1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 red capsicum, thinly sliced
2 tbls spring onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp lime juice
1 red chilli, sliced
2 tbls roasted peanuts, lightly crushed

Combine sprouts, capsicum and spring onion.
Fry garlic until golden then mix with all
remaining ingredients.
Mix everything together and serve immediately.

Inspired by Chef Ismail’s buffet at Restoran Rebung – KL

Moo Pa-loh (braised five spice pork)

4 cloves garlic, pounded
500g pork, cut in large chunks
3 coriander roots, pounded
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
2 star anise
1 piece cassia bark
2 tbls kecap manis
2 tbls soy sauce
2 tbls fish sauce
2 tbls palm sugar
2 cups water
200g fried tofu puff
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled

Heat 2 tbls oil in a large pot and add garlic – stir.
Add pork – stir well. Add all remaining ingredients
except tofu and eggs – cover and cook 15 minutes.
Add tofu and eggs – cover and cook 15 minutes.

Inspired by coffee shop meal in Thanon Rama IV – Trang

Egg Masala (egg curry)

4 eggs, boiled 6 minutes & peeled
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cm ginger, pounded
3 cloves garlic, pounded
1 tbls tomato paste
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
roti porota to serve, frozen ones from an
Indian grocer are quick to prepare.

Heat 2 tbls oil and sizzle cumin seeds.
Add onion, ginger and garlic – saute until golden.
Add tomato paste and spice powders – stir.
Add tomatoes – stir. Add 2/3 cup water, sugar and salt
– simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Serve sauce with soft-boiled eggs and porota.

Inspired by Tomy, dhaba on beach in Varkala – Kerala

Gaeng Kee-o Wan Neu-a (green beef curry)

350g lean beef, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbls green curry paste (see recipe)
3/4 cup coconut milk
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 tbls fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar
6 round green Thai eggplants, quartered
big handful Thai basil

Heat 2 tbls coconut oil and sizzle garlic until
just coloured. Add curry paste and stir well.
Add coconut milk and torn lime leaves – simmer.
Add fish sauce, sugar and beef – stir until colour changes.
Add 1/2 cup water and eggplants – simmer 5 minutes.
Add basil and mix well until wilted.

Inspired by ‘Rattana’, stall in Nang Leung market – Bangkok.

Aloo Thekkady (potato and tomato masala)

1 tsp mustard seeds
3 dried red chillies, halved
2 stalks curry leaves
500g potatoes, cut in 2cm chunks
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp sugar
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp coriander powder
300g tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 tsp coconut vinegar
roti porota to serve, frozen ones from
an Indian grocer are quick to prepare

Heat 2 tbls oil and sizzle mustard seeds,
dried chillies and curry leaves.
Add potato – saute 2 to 3 minutes.
Add turmeric, chilli powder, sugar, garlic and coriander
– mix well, cover and cook until potatoes are tender.
Add tomatoes and vinegar – cook until just softened.
Serve with roti porota for breakfast.

Inspired by Hotel Ariya Bhavan, Kumily – Kerala

Sambal Tumis Kacang Panjang (snake bean sambal)

100g snake beans, cut 5cm
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 birds eye chilli
1 tsp galangal, chopped
1/2 tbls lemongrass, chopped
1/8 tsp trasi (shrimp paste)
1/2 tsp palm sugar
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1 salam leaf
1/4 cup coconut milk

Pound together garlic, shallot, chilli, galangal,
lemongrass, trasi, sugar and coriander powder.
Heat 1 tbls oil and saute this rempah paste 1 minute.
Add beans and stir-fry 5 minutes.
Add salam leaf and coconut milk – cook 10 minutes until dryish.

Replicated from Warung Wardani, Denpasar – Bali

Suan La Bai Cai (sour and spicy cabbage)

300g wong bok, sliced 5cm
1 tbls chilli bean paste
1/2 tbls ginger, pounded
2 tsp dried prawns
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbls soy sauce
1 tbls sugar
2 tbls black rice vinegar
1/2 tbls rice wine

Combine ‘sauce’ ingredients – set aside.
Pound dried prawns into floss.
Heat 1 tbls oil and fry chilli bean paste and ginger 15 seconds.
Add prawn floss – fry 15 seconds.
Add cabbage stalks – fry 1 minute.
Add cabbage leaves – fry 1 minute.
Add ‘sauce’ – stir. Add sesame oil and mix well.

Inspired by small eatery near Red Square – Beijing