Thai Food: Mackerel in Dried Red Curry

How about an easy but hearty Thai dish? Perhaps you’d like to try this one: mackerel in dried red curry (ฉู่ฉี่ปลาท). This dish is popular throughout Thailand. The main ingredients are mackerel, red curry paste and coconut milk.

Mackerel in dried red curry

Mackerel in dried red curry (photo: bloggang.com)

Mackerel in dried red curry (photo: bloggang.com)

Sounds good?! Here is what you need to prepare two portions:

  • 2-4 mackerels
  • 3 TSP of red curry paste
  • 1 TSP fish sauce
  • 2 TSP sugar (or less, as to taste)
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 350g coconut milk
  • 1 red chili

Preparation:

First, slice the kaffir lime leaves, then cut the chili into small pieces. Take a wok, heat the coconut milk and add the curry paste. Season with fish sauce and sugar, then put in the mackerels. Coat them with the sauce and stir-fry until the fish is done.

Now it’s time to serve! Take a plate and arrange your dish nicely, topping it with sliced kaffir lime leaves, a bit of coconut milk and red chili.

The following video shows you how to prepare this easy Thai meal. Enjoy!

I hope you’ll give mackerel with dried red curry a try! 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. for more general information, check out my Thai Food Dictionary)




Salt & Pepper Shrimp: Kung Pad Prik Glua

Today, we are preparing a popular and easy Thai salt & pepper shrimp dish called Kung Pad Prik Glua (กุ้งผัดพริกเกลือ) in Thai. This is basically shrimps fried with salt, pepper, chili and garlic. Alternatively, you can take other seafood like mussels or squid for this recipe. Salt & pepper shrimps are served with steamed jasmine rice.

Thai salt & pepper shrimp

Thai salt & pepper shrimp (photo: topicstock.pantip.com)

Thai salt & pepper shrimp (photo: topicstock.pantip.com)

Here is what you need to prepare 2 portions:

  • 300-400g shrimps
  • 2 TSP chopped garlic
  • 2 TSP chopped red chili
  • 2 TSP chopped green chili
  • 2 TSP chopped spring onions
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP fish sauce
  • 1 TSP sugar
  • 1/2 TSP black pepper
  • 3 TSP cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • a cup of palm oil for deep frying
  • some coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation:

Take a pot and heat palm oil for frying, add in the shrimps. Let the shrimps fry for about two minutes, then remove the shrimps from the oil. Take a pan and heat some cooking oil, add the garlic, red and green chilies and fry until fragrant. Then season with salt, sugar, pepper, fish sauce and some water. Now add the fried shrimps, mix well and put the spring onions on top. Arrange the shrimps on a plate and garnish with coriander leaves. You’re ready to serve!

This recipe for Thai salt & pepper shrimp comes from the amazing cooking channel WhatRecipe.tv. In the following video, you can easily learn how to make this dish.

Hope you’ll give this delicious Thai recipe a try!

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. for more general information, check out my Thai Food Dictionary)




Thai Fish Cakes: Tod Man Pla

Thai fish cakes (Tod Man Pla – ทอดมันปลา) are one of my favourite snacks. They are a common street food in Thailand and very tasty and flavourful. Since the patties are not battered, the fresh taste of the fish and spices comes through. Fish cakes are very often served as appetizer with a cucumber relish and Thai sweet chili sauce.

Delicious Thai fish cakes (photo credit: wilkipedia.org)

Delicious Thai fish cakes, a popular Thai street food (photo credit: wilkipedia.org)

Traditionally, fish cakes are prepared with the Thai featherback fish but you may substitute it for another kind of firm white-fleshed fish or you can take a fish paste from your local Asian supermarket.

How To Make Thai Fish Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 900 grams fish paste / ground fish
  • 1 cup of green beans /yardlong beans (tua fak yao)
  • 1/2 cup of Thai basil leaves
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves (makrut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 TSP fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of red curry paste
  • 1 TSP paprika powder (optional)

Preparation:

First chop the green beans into fine/thin slices and set them aside. Then chop the basil and kaffir lime leaves, putting them aside too. Take a large bowl and put in the curry paste, paprika powder (optional), sugar and fish sauce. Mix everything together well and then add in one egg. When the egg is well combined with the curry paste mixture, add in the fish paste. Mix this together well by using a spatula or optionally you may also take your hands to mix until it is well combined. Traditionally, fish cakes are pounded by hand. In the next step, put in the chopped green beans, kaffir lime and basil leaves. Mix this together well, then add the second egg and perhaps a bit of water if the mixture is too dry. Put a plastic wrap over the paste and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Now it’s the time for frying the cakes: first set aside a small bowl with clean water (since your hands should be wet all the time) and heat some oil for frying in a large pan or wok. Take a scoop of the paste and form a patty which you then put into the hot oil (350 degree F). Fry until the cakes are golden brown (5-6 minutes). And your cakes are done!

Thai fish cakes (photo credit: aroi.com)

Thai fish cakes (photo credit: aroi.com)

You may serve the cakes with some fresh cucumber relish and a sweet chili sauce. Hence, the relish is a sweet and hot chili sauce mixed with chopped pieces of cucumber and topped with crushed peanuts.

The following video will demonstrate you how to prepare Thai fish cakes!

Hope you’ll give this delicious snack and appetizer a try!

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. Please check out my Thai Food Dictionary for more general information)




Yok Manee: Thai Pandan Tapioca Pudding

Yok Manee (ขนมหยกมณี) is a popular Thai dessert made of sweet pandan sago topped with shredded coconut. This dessert is also called ‘Pandan Tapioca Pearls Pudding’. Characteristically, it is quite sweet and sticky – hence, this is also the reason why this ‘khanom’ (sweet) is commonly served in Thai wedding ceremonies. Thai people believe that if the married couple eat Yok Manee, they will never be separated from one another. Thus, their love will be as sweet and strong as this sticky pudding 🙂

Yok Manee

Yok Manee (photo credit: m.posttoday.com)

Yok Manee, Pandan tapioca pudding (photo credit: m.posttoday.com)

 

Ingredients for 3-4 portions:

  • 1 cup of sago
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 pandan juice
  • green food colouring
  • 2 cups of ripe shredded coconut
  • 1/2 TSP salt

Preparation:

In a first step, wash the sago in water and then drain it. Set it aside and prepare the coconut topping. Put the shredded coconut on a plate and add the salt. Then toss the coconut and the salt until both are well combined. Set this aside too. Then heat some water in a large pan or work and put the sago in. Add the sugar and stir everything well together until the mixture thickens. Eventually, add in the pandan juice and some drops of green food colouring. Stir again and then pour the mixture on a tray and let it cool down. When the mixture is cold, scoop it and roll up with the coconut. Keep on rolling until the scoop is completely covered with coconut shreds. Put the pudding scoops on a plate and you’re ready to serve!

The following video will demonstrate you how to prepare Yok Manee!

Hope you’ll give this amazing traditional Thai dessert a try!

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. Please check out my Thai Food Dictionary for more general information)




Media Review: Thailand The Cookbook by Jean-Pierre Gabriel

Today’s media review is about Thailand: The Cookbook by Jean-Pierre Gabriel (text & photographs) (ISBN: 978-0714865294). This book was published in May 2014 by Phaidon Press Limited, London. It comprises 528 pages and 200 colour photos, hardcover. It costs 39,95 EUR.

Thailand The Cookbook by Jean-Pierre Gabriel

‘Thailand: The Cookbook’ by Jean-Pierre Gabriel can be regarded as the most comprehensive and complete Thai cookbook. Thus, the author presents more than 500 authentic Thai recipes drawing on traditional recipes from different Thai cooks. Hence, this cookbook offers an unprecedented look at Thai culinary history, presents and explains ingredients as well as authentic techniques.

THAILAND book shot (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

THAILAND book shot (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

The author, food writer and photographer Jean-Pierre Gabriel researched more than three years and travelled more than 25.000 kilometers to document authentic Thai food in the different regions of Thailand. Hence, during his travels, he and his team visited markets, Thai homes, restaurants and cookshops to collect the recipes at first hand. Thus, the recipes range from simple street food to elaborate and fine palace cuisine. This cookbook can thus be described as a volume reflecting contemporary and traditional Thai cuisine. It presents Thailand’s rich culinary heritage and does not shy away from presenting the more exotic and unusual Thai recipes.

122-3 Chili store (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

122-3 Chili store (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

Thus, ‘Thailand: The Cookbook’ starts off with an introduction providing some general information about the making of this book, the author’s travels, sources of information and the characteristics of regional cuisine in Thailand which can be divided in Nothern, Isaan (Northeast), Central, Bangkok, Eastern and Southern Thailand. Before starting with the recipes, the author provides the reader with some pratical information concerning aromatic rules and general Thai cooking methods and equipment.

Thailand Cover (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

Thailand Cover (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

The volume as such has ten chapters and a very useful glossary of ingredients & index. The chapters are about ‘Pastes & Sauces’, ‘Snacks & Drinks’, ‘Salads’, ‘Soups’, ‘Curries’, ‘Grilled, Boiled & Fried’, ‘Stir Fries’, ‘Rice & Noodles’, ‘Desserts’ and ‘Guest Chefs’. The single recipes always start with stating the origin, preparation & cooking time and the portion. The chapter ‘Pastes & Sauces’ presents basic Thai pastes like the different curry pastes, jams and dips. Partly, these pastes and dips are needed to prepare other dishes. For example, you will need the curry pastes to prepare the Thai curry dishes and you need the pandan extract to prepare a lot of Thai desserts.

109 dragon frappe 232 beef massaman curry 122-3 Chili store (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

109 dragon frappe (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

The chapter ‘Snacks & Drinks’ deals with popular appetizers like Thai summer rolls and fried spring rolls. However, the author does not shy away from including unusual recipes like the one for ‘Roasted Crickets’ or ‘Roasted Big Red Ants’. A delicious drink presented in this chapter is for inastance ‘Dragon Fruit Frappe’. There are 52 recipes for ‘Thai Salads’. Among these recipes are very well-known dishes such as ‘Green Papaya Salad’ (som tam) but also more ‘exotic’ recipes like ‘Thai Spicy Salad with Giant Water Bug Eggs’ or ‘Spicy Red Ant Salad’. There is something for everyone among the ‘Soup’ recipes and the ‘Curries’ comprise a large section. There are recipes and varieties for ‘classic’ Thai curry dishes such as ‘Yellow Curry’, ‘Green and Red Curries’ and the popular Thai Muslim dish ‘Massaman Curry with Beef’.

232 beef massaman curry 122-3 Chili store (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

232 beef massaman curry (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

‘Grilled, Boiled & Fried’ shows the reader how to grill or fry different kinds of meat, seafood but also vegetables in an authentic Thai manner. ‘Stir-Fries’ are about the numerous Thai stir-fried dishes such as Pad Thai without noodles, for instance. However, it also presents recipes that the Westerner is probably unfamiliar with such as ‘Stir-Fried Silkworm Pupae’, for example. ‘Rice & Noodles’ offers a comprehensive collection of Thailand’s popular rice and noodle dishes such as the popular ‘Pad Thai’, ‘Drunken Noodles with Pork’ and ‘Shrimp Paste Fried Rice’, just to name a few. The chapter about ‘Desserts’ reflects Thailand’s amazing variety of desserts such as different kinds of fried bananas and sweets made with pandan extract like the ‘Pandan Pudding’.

464 pandan pudding (Thailand Cover (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

464 pandan pudding (Thailand: The Cookbook, Jean-Pierre Gabriel, € 39,95, Phaidon 2014, www.phaidon.com)

The last chapter ‘Guest Chefs’ presents special Thai recipes by different chefs with great knowledge of Thai cuisine. Last but not least, the glossary helps the reader to learn more about unusual and specific ingredients used in Thai cuisine.

In my view, Thailand the Cookbook is a very comprehensive and complete volume about Thai cuisine. I am also amazed by the fact that the author does not shy away from including unfamiliar recipes concerned with the preparation of insects like crickets and ants. This certainly sets this volume apart from other more ‘common’ cookbooks. However, I find that some recipes are quite rare, thus requiring special ingredients which might be difficult to find in Western countries. Nevertheless, I think this cookbook very authentic and an interesting read for everyone interested in Thai cuisine.

Yours, Sirinya




Media Review: Very Thai – Everyday Popular Culture

Today’s media review is about Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture by Philip Cornwel-Smith (text & photographs) and John C. Goss (photographs) (ISBN: 978-6167339375). The 2nd edition of this book was published in 2013 by River Books Co., Ltd. Bangkok, Thailand. Compared to the 1st edition from 2005, the 2nd edition has been expanded and fully updated comprising 209 new photos, 64 more pages and four extra chapters. The book is in English language, comprises 320 pages and 590 colour photos, hardcover. It costs 995 Bath, on Amazon the book is about 22 EUR.

Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture

'Very Thai', cover of the 2nd edition 2013

Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture, cover of the 2nd edition 2013

Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture by Philip Cornwel-Smith & John Goss (photographs) can be regarded as a very influential best-selling guide to Thai pop culture and street life. The 2nd edition has been revised to reflect the dramatic changes in Thailand.

The British author Philip Cornwel-Smith has been living in Bangkok since 1994. He is the founding editor of Bangkok’s first international-standard city listings magazine called ‘Bangkok Metro’. Furthermore, he has written for various international media concerning Thailand. A few examples of his works are guidebooks like ‘Eyewitness Thailand’, ‘Thailand: A Traveller’s Companion’, ‘Lonely Planet’s World Food: Thailand’ and ‘Time Out Bangkok’.

‘Very Thai’ can be described as a book reflecting modern Thai consciousness which may also be referred to as ‘Thainess’. In an amusing manner, the work gets to the bottom of what makes something ‘very Thai’. The books starts off with a a preface by Alex Kerr who is also the author of ‘Bangkok Found’. Next follows an introduction addressing the central question of what makes something ‘very Thai’ and explaining how the 2nd edition differs from the 1st one. In this context, the author points out that the new edition records how Thailand has changed since ‘Very Thai’ was launched a decade ago.

What could be more Thai than a farang in a Tuk-Tuk? (photo credit: Very Thai, FB page)

What could be more Thai than a farang in a Tuk-Tuk? (photo credit: Very Thai, FB page)

Hence, ‘Very Thai’ has five chapters which are divided into several sections. The chapters are about ‘Street’, ‘Personal’, ‘Ritual’, ‘Sanuk’ and ‘Thainess’.

The chapter ‘Street’ is concerned with streetlife in Thailand. Thus, it covers topics like street food ranging from drinks in bags to insect snacks. It also deals with common sights on Thai streets like different kinds of vendors, soi animals, blind musicians, tangled wires and trash recyclers. What is more, ‘Street’ is also about the different and sometimes funny and amusing means of transportation on Thai streets ranging from Tuk-tuks to floral truck bolts and colourful bus art.

Amusing way of Thai transportation (photo credit: wilkipedia.com)

Amusing way of Thai transportation (photo credit: Les Wilk, wilkipedia.com)

‘Personal’ reveals a lot about Thai mentality and lifestyle. For instance, this chapter addresses themes like male and female grooming habits, nicknames, high society (Hi So) and the delight in dressing alike in uniforms. What is more, there is also a section about the ‘Katoey, Gay & Tom-Dee’ community. However, it also addresses other topics like potted gardens, portable plants for luck and lifestyle, and the urban Thai dream in form of malls, theme parks and the suburb.

Bangkok as a World City & the urban Thai dream

Bangkok as a World City & the urban Thai dream (photo credit: Siwaphong Pakdeetawan, Instagram@knack66)

As the title of the chapter ‘Ritual’ suggests it is all about Thai traditional rituals and culture. For instance, the author explains the use and meaning of royal portraits in establishing the Thai sense of identity. He further explains that the days are colour coded in Thailand, and that lucky numbers dictate prices. The sections about ‘Amulet Collectors’, ‘Trade Talismans’, ‘Taxi Altars’, ‘Fortune Tellers’, ‘Ghosts Stories’ and ‘Mediums & Shamans’ are all concerned with superstition and animist beliefs in Thai culture. Thus, the author is also concerned with ‘Magical Tattoos’, which we know as Sak Yant, entrancing the wearer.

Tattooed Monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit sak-yant.com)

Tattooed monk of Wat Bang Pra (photo credit: sak-yant.com)

‘Sanuk’ (Fun) is very important in Thai culture. Thus, this chapter is about ‘sanuk’ activities like temple fairs, festivals, gambling and animal contests like cock fighting. In addition, there is also Muay Thai, different kinds of beauty contests, celebrities, comedy and soap operas that make Thai life fun. What is more, it also mentions the importance of Thai folk-blues (‘Songs for Life), Thai country music (luuk thung) and the Thai independence music scene which produces ‘Songs for Lifestyle’.

The final section ‘Thainess’ is the new chapter in this book. It is about ‘Vernacular Design’, ‘Contemporary Thainess’, the rise of ‘Thai Thai’ retro culture and an afterword concerning the ‘Role of Very Thai’ by Pracha Suveeranont who is an expert on visual culture.

In my view, Very Thai: Everyday Popular Culture is an amazing and amusing read providing profound insight into Thai mentality, pop culture and street life. Mixed with presenting some oddities in Thai culture and tradition, this guide is truly fun and cool to read 🙂 In fact, the book itself is cult! I can highly recommend it to everyone interested in modern Thai culture and Thainess in particular.

Yours, Sirinya




Fruit Shaped Mung Beans – Khanom Look Choop ขนมลูกชุบ

Khanom Look Choop (ขนมลูกชุบ) is a very popular and amazing Thai dessert. It is fruit shaped mung beans which are painted with food colouring and then coated with jelly. This dessert may be compared to marzipan since the consistency is similar. However, I think that marzipan is generally sweeter than this Thai dessert. To make this treat, you only need few ingredients and it may seem easy to prepare. Nevertheless, the molding and painting will require some skill but if you’re patient you will certainly end up with nice results 🙂

Fruit Shaped Mung Beans

Fruit shaped mung beans (photo credit: pantip.com)

Look Choop (photo credit: pantip.com)

Here is what you need for 3-4 portions:

For the mung bean paste:

  • 500g mung beans
  • 500g coconut milk
  • 500g sugar (or less, as to taste)
  • 5g salt
  • 1 TSP jasmine flavour
  • food colouring (the colours you prefer) + paint brushes

For the jelly dip:

  • 3 TSP agar-agar powder
  • 3 TSP sugar
  • 4 cups of water

You will also need a blender and steamer to prepare the dessert. Further you will need some toothpicks.

Preparation:

First, soak the mung means in water for at least four hours or overnight. Then drain the mung beans and in a next step put them in a cloth and then in a steamer until they cook. After this is done, put the steamed beans on a plate and let them cool down. In the second step, put the mung beans in a blender adding the coconut milk and sugar. Then blend everything together until you have a smooth paste. In the third step, pour the mixture into a wok or pan on a low to medium heat. Add salt and some drops of jasmine flavour. Now keep on stirring until the mixture thickens. Then spread the thickened paste on a plate and let it cool down.

Finally, its time to shape the paste into various fruits of your choice 🙂 Set the fruit shaped mung beans aside and put them on toothpicks. Then paint the fruits with the appropriate colours and let them dry. While they are drying, prepare the jelly dip: heat the agar powder in water until it is completely dissolved. Cool slightly and then dip the fruits into the jelly. Let the agar dry and set and you’re ready to serve!

Look Choop (photo credit: pantip.com)

Fruit shaped mung beans (photo credit: pantip.com)

This recipe for fruit shaped mung beans comes from the marvellous cooking channel WhatRecipe.tv. In the following video, you can easily learn how to make this dessert.

Hope you’ll give this beautiful Thai dessert a try!

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. for more information, check out my Thai Food Dictionary)




Tom Kha Gai – Thai Coconut Soup (ต้มข่าไก่)

Tom Kha Gai (ต้มข่าไก่) is commonly known as Thai coconut soup with chicken. It is a very popular Thai soup next to Tom Yum Gung which I have dealt with in a recent post. In comparison to Tom Yum however, Tom Kha is a milder and generally less spicy soup. Thus, this dish is suitable for everyone who likes an exotic soup that is not too hot. However, of course you may spice your Tom Kha up as to taste 😉

Tom Kha Gai

Tom Kha Gai Soup (photo credit: thaizeit.de)

Tom Kha Gai Soup (photo credit: thaizeit.de)

Literally translated Tom Kha Gai means ‘chicken galangal soup’. This soup occurs in Thai and Lao cuisine and the main ingredients are coconut milk, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and Thai chilli peppers. Further ingredients are chicken, mushrooms, coriander (cilantro), fish sauce and lime juice. Alternatively, you may also prepare this soup in a vegetarian style by only using mushrooms (tom kha het, ต้มข่าเห็ด) or tofu (tom kha taohu, ต้มข่าเต้าหู้). Further variations of this dish are Tom Kha with seafood (tom kha thale, ต้มข่าทะเล) and with pork (tom kha mu, ต้มข่าหมู).

Here is what you need for a great bowl of this fabulous soup:

  • 170 grams of chicken breast (or tofu/shrimp)
  • 1 green onion
  • 3-4 thin sliced galangal
  • 2-4 kaffir lime leaves (or lemon leaves)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (or a little less)
  • 1.5 cups coconut milk
  • 1.5 cups chicken/veggie stock (or water)
  • 1/2 cup mushroom (any kind!)
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 3.5 TSP sugar (or 1/4 the amount of honey)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1-4 fresh or dried chilies
  • 1-2 TSP chili oil

Preparation:

In a first step cube the chicken breast and thinly slice the green onion and galangal. Then chop the kaffir lime leaves and the cilantro leaves, stems and bottoms separately. Cut the mushrooms however you like.

In the next step put the kaffir lime leaves, galangal, and  half of the green onion in simmering or lightly boiling chicken stock for about 6 minutes. Then add cilantro bottoms (leaf and mostly stems), chicken cubes, fish sauce and sugar. Let it boil for 5-6 minutes and ensure that the chicken is fully cooked.

Then add coconut milk, mushrooms and any other additional veggies. Bring back to medium heat until the soup is boiling 5-6 minutes. In serving the dish prepare lime, chili oil, the other half of the green onion, most of the cilantro, and chilies. Garnish the soup with the remaining cilantro and you’re ready to serve!

The following video will demonstrate you how to prepare Tom Kha Gai!

Hope you’ll give this dish a try! Have a delicious meal 🙂

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. Please check out my Thai Food Dictionary for more general information)




Thai Pumpkin Custard – Sankaya Dessert

Thai pumpkin custard (Sankaya, สังขยา) is a popular Thai dessert which is often sold in fresh-food markets and as street food. To prepare this dessert, we stuff a whole pumpkin or kabocha (Asian winter squash) with a sweet coconut milk and egg custard which is then steamed. This is a very beautiful and aesthetic dessert with balanced textures which also show the influence of the Portuguese on Thai food.

In fact, due to Portuguese influence in the 1600s, eggs were added to Thai desserts and sweets. In Thai, this dessert is also called ‘Sankaya Fak Thong’, ‘Fak Thong’ referring to ‘golden squash’ (ฟักทอง). This dessert is also known in Cambodia where it is called ‘Sankhya lapov’. The Khmer word for pumpkin is ‘lapov’.

Thai Pumpkin Custard

Thai pumpkin custard (photo credit: verygoodrecipes.com)

Thai pumpkin custard (photo credit: verygoodrecipes.com)

 

Ingredients for 4-5 portions:

  • 1 pumpkin (400-600g)
  • 4 eggs
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 300g palm sugar
  • 2 TSP rice flour
  • 1/s TSP salt
  • 1000ml limewater
  • 3-4 pandan leaves or pandanus flavour

Preparation:

First prepare the pumpkin: wash it and cut out the top, then remove all the seeds and stringy insides from the pumpkin. In the next step, soak the pumpkin in 1 litre of limewater for 20-30 minutes.

Then prepare the custard: put the four eggs in a large mixing bowl, add salt, coconut milk, rice flour and palm sugar. Add also your pandan leaves or pandanus flavour and mix everything well by hand. It is important that the palm sugar is completely dissolved. Then stain the mixture with cheesecloth and afterwards fill your pumpkin with this custard mixture and put it in a steamer with boiling water. That is to say, place the pumpkin inside the steamer basket and steam for about 40-45 minutes.

Finally take the pumpkin out, let it cool down and you’re ready to serve! Your pumpkin is now like a pie, simply cut a piece out 🙂

Thai pumpkin custard like pie (photo credit: Takeaway, wikimedia.org)

‘Sankaya’ dessert like pie (photo credit: Takeaway, wikimedia.org)

This recipe for steamed pumpkin custard comes from the marvellous cooking channel WhatRecipe.tv. In the following video, you can easily learn how to make this dessert.

I think Thai pumpkin custard is an amazing dessert that may also be a nice exotic pie for Halloween 🙂

Hope you’ll give this a try!

Yours, Sirinya

(P.S. for more information, check out my Thai Food Dictionary)