Thai Cooking in Shanghai

More than a quarter of my extended family lives in Thailand or grew up in the country. We’re not Thai Chinese at all – just Hong Kong Chinese who moved to Thailand, but we’ve been connected with the country for almost 40 years (or maybe more. I dunno).

I’ve cooked a lot of Italian and Chinese and some Spanish food before, but never had I cooked Thai, despite the fact that I own a Thai cookbook.

So when I had a friend come over for dinner last Sunday, I decided to avail myself of the pretty good selection of Thai sauces and ingredients (including the Thai holy trinity of galangal, keffir lime leaf and lemongrass). Unfortunately, I got into cooking so much, I didn’t take photos of my other two dishes that I made. But my menu was this:

Thai Roast Duck Salad with Mango dressing
Pad Thai (yeah, I know it it’s a cliche dish, but it is both tasty and easily made)
Yellow Curry Chicken
(unserved because we were too full) Sticky Rice with Bananas Poached in Coconut Cream

here’s the duck being prepared. (or pre-butchering) – my recipe was really to marinate it with dark soy sauce and stuff it with a mixture of lemongrass, galangal (thai ginger), sesame oil, dark soy and hoisin and roast at 190C for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 150C for an hour.

I’m not big on trumpeting my own accomplishments, but it was pretty delicious. In fact, I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made. Here’s the duck before we chopped it up and ate it.

Roast Duck - Thai style

I also made Yellow Curry Chicken – I’m beginning to think that curry, much like soups, chilis and stews, tastes better the second or third day. This was ok when we ate it – but it was excellent the next morning when paired with pita bread at work. The recipe is fairly simple because – shockingly – I did not prepare my own curry paste, but instead bought pre-made. Some mixing with coconut milk, some Thai chilis, chicken and potatoes over a hot stove and you get this:

Yellow Chicken Curry

And then as served:

Yellow Chicken Curry

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2 Responses to Thai Cooking in Shanghai

  1. uzbekcelia says:

    Which Thai cookbook do you own?

    The duck looks good. I can’t remember how big your toaster oven is, but it looks more spacious, relative to the size of the duck (I recall your post about roasting chicken in it!)

    Everyone uses curry paste – it is really much more convenient than having to pound away at all those esoteric ingredients that are hard to find in small quantities.

    Did you put tamarind in your pad thai?

    What, no fried bananas?
    Bananas poached in coconut cream is known as kluay buat chee (literally bananas in nunhood). It’s the equivalent of banana bread in the West: what to make when you have leftover, overly ripe bananas that you don’t really want to eat as plain fresh fruit. It can be served on its own without the sticky rice.

  2. Terence says:

    It’s bigger than a toaster oven – it can fit one 9″ x 13″ pan inside.

    Tamarind and peanuts went into the pad thai.

    The cookbook was something I picked up for $5.95 at the local Borders – Thai Cooking at Home by Robert Carmack and Sompom Nabnian (I’m guessing the second person is the Thai in the working partnership)

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