Flavors of Thailand

Thai Papaya Salad ( Som Tum )

Serves 2

Som Tum is the most popular salad in Thailand. It is a very healthy salad that is low in calories and full of fresh vegetables. This is a fun dish to make and is especially delicious during the hot summer months.

Ingredients :

2 cups shredded green papaya
1 apple shredded
4-6 cherry tomatoes halved
1 tablespoon dried shrimp/soaked
1 cup long green beans cut 1"
2 lime wedges
2 cloves of crushed garlic
4 hot green chilies chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon palm sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
4 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts


1. Crush the chilies, beans, garlic, tomatoes and peanuts in a mortar
2. Add shredded raw papaya,shredded apple,dried shrimp, lime wedges, sugar and seasoning with lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind juice and salt.
3. Taste should be spicy, sour, sweet and nutty
4. Serve with rice, appetizer or side dish

You will need a mortar and pestle in order to have traditional style Papaya Salad. Make sure to bruise the raw papaya, vegetables and sauce together completly. A variation is to add a little shrimp paste or fermented crabs if you prefer flavors of the sea.

Enjoy the Som Tum!


Tom Yum Shrimp

Serves 1

This is probably the most famous recipe in Thailand. It is very easy to make, the only hard part is peeling the shrimp!
As usual, you can tinker with the ingredients to your liking. You will find this on every menu throughout the country. The Thais enjoy this soup when there is a fair amount of chili peppers, just enough to make you sweat.

Ingredients (1 serving) :

3 thin slices ginza-skin removed
3 thin slices of lemongrass
1 shallot crushed and chopped
3-5 small green chilies- stem removed and chopped
1 Kaffir lime leaf shredded
2 straw mushrooms cut
1/4 tomato
1 cup water
3 shrimp cleaned. Keep the shells to make stock.
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Coriander leaves to taste
1 teaspoon chili jam
1 clove garlic peeled and crushed


1. Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan over high heat.
2. When the water boils, make a light shrimp stock by adding the shells and heads of the shrimp. Reduce heat to medium while stirring.
3. The shrimp peelings will turn orange after a minute or two, then remove the shells with a slotted spoon.
4. Now add the ginza,lemongrass , garlic, shallots, chilies, Kaffir lime leaf, mushrooms, tomato, fish sauce, and chili jam. Cook for another 2- 5 minutes.
5. Add the shrimp, stir to combine, then add the coriander leaves and lime juice.
6. Remove from the heat and serve.

Serve with hot steaming Jasmine rice and garnish with crushed red chili pepper.

I hope you enjoy the Tom Yum!


Stuffed Cucumber Soup

Serves 1

Stuffed cucumber soup is a great healthy soup. If you like, you can substitute the minced pork with chicken or even turkey.

Ingredients (one serving):
1 cucumber-peeled, cut and hollowed out.
1/3 cup minced pork, chicken,beef, turkey or tofu
1/2 cup mushrooms of your choice
1 clove of garlic peeled
1 coriander root, chopped
5-7 coriander leaves or celery leaves
1-1/2 cup broth or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 black pepper

1. Combine minced meat, coriander root and garlic. Mix in a bowl with the soy sauce, oyster sauce and pepper, leave for 5 minutes or overnight.
2. Stuff the cucumbers with the meat mixture. Combine with mushrooms, broth or water and cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes.
3. Garnish with celery leave or coriander leaves.

I promise you will love this soup!


Thai Chicken with Ginger

Serves 2

This is a delicious dish for the vegetable lover and someone who loves ginger. The shredded ginger adds a slight bit of sweetness to the dish and has added health benefits.

1/3 cup thinly sliced chicken breast
1/4 cup shredded ginger, skin removed
1/4 cup woodear mushrooms(shitake) cut bite size
1/2 cup sliced onion
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1-2 large red or green peppers, sliced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon oil
2-4 tablespoons of water or chicken broth
1 teaspoon tapioca flour, mixed with two tablespoons of water and set aside

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soya bean paste
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and onion and cook until turning brown.
3. Add the chicken and keep stirring until the outside of the chicken turns white.
4. Add the water, shredded ginger, mushrooms and stir fry to combine.
5. Add the sauce, the peppers and the green onions, cook for one minute.
6.Add the tapioca flour.
7. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

Of course you can customize the ingredients to your liking, personally I love ginger and I load up.

I hope you enjoy!


Thai Chili Peppers

Red Thai chili peppers or "prik ubon" in the Thai language are about the most common and important ingredient of the Thai kitchen. Depending where you are from, you may have to experiment with different types to find something to suit you.

Dried Chili Peppers:
Remove the stems and
place the chilies in a shallow wicker basket.
Make sure that the weather will cooperate and place in strong sunlight for 2-3 days. Store them in any sealed container and keep them dry.

You can also use dried peppers from your local market. Be careful not to hurry the process by using the home oven, the result will be a quick evacuation due to watery eyes and uncontrolled sneezing!

Enjoy the peppers!


How to Make Red Chili Paste

Chili Paste is the first and most important ingredient for curry dishes. As usual, the fresher the better and if you can get your hands on a mortar and pestle, then you too can make delicious chili paste. I hope you are in good shape, because it is quite a lot of work, but it is worth it!

Dried Ingredients:
One serving

5-7 large red chilies, such as tabasco, seeds removed and soaked in water for about 10 minutes.
1 roasted cardamon
1 teaspoon roasted coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds

Fresh Ingredients:
1/2 teaspoon ginza, skin removed and chopped
1/2 tablespoon lemongrass, crushed and chopped
1/2 tablespoon garlic, crushed
1/2 tablespoon shallot, pealed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon kaffir lime skin chopped
1/2 tablespoon galanga
1/4 teaspoon shrimp paste

1. Combine the coriander seed, black peppercorns cumin seeds and salt in the mortar and grind them into a powder then add the paste.
2. Add the ginza, lemongrass, garlic, shallot, kaffir lime skin and galanga and pound until smooth.

I hope you enjoy and have fun!