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Thai Food - Central Region Specialities

Whenever you think of Thai Food,the Central Region Specialities of Kang Kheaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken) and Pad Thai always readily spring to mind,these dishes are well known throughout both Thailand and the world. There are also many other dishes that originated from the Central Region that may not be so well known.  This is not an exhaustive list, and I will keep adding to them as I discover more over the following months.

 Think Thai Food - Central Region Specialities

Kang Kheaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)

This is a green curry made with minced chicken and small green aubergine,its a very popular dish throughout all of Thailand.
Ingredients(serves two)
200 grms Minced Chicken
50 grms Green Curry Paste
400 mls Coconut Milk
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Teaspoons of White Sugar
50 grms Green Aubergine - small
5 grms Fresh Basil
4 Red Thai Chillies - sliced lengthways into quarters
2 Kaffir (Lime) Leaves
* Roll the chicken mince into round shaped balls.
* Place a medium sized frying pan onto the heat, add the coconut milk and cook for 1 minute.
* Add the green curry paste to the pan and stir it until mixed thoroughly, bring to the boil.
* When the curry is boiling, add the chicken mince using a teaspoon.
* Cook for 10 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
* Add the fish sauce, salt, sugar, red chillies, aubergines, citrus leaves, basil and stir for a few seconds over the heat to warm them through. * Serve with hot steamed Jasmine rice.

 Think Thai Food - Central Region Specialities

Tom Yam Goong(Hot & Sour Shrimp Soup)

A perfect pick-me up if suffering from either a cold, or the night before !!.Each region has its own particular variation of the recipe.
This particular recipe is from Bangkok and the central plains.
Ingredients(serves two)
8 oz medium sized Prawns - shelled and deveined
2 medium Shallots - sliced thinly
3 cups of Water
1/2 cup Straw Mushrooms - sliced
2 tablespoons Garlic - minced (approx 2-3 cloves)
1/4 cup Thai Green Chillies - approx 5
5 medium Kaffir Lime leaves - Thin slices
1/4 cup of lime juice
1/4 cup of Fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 tablespoon chopped Cilantro leaves
1/2 ounce fresh Galangal - or root Ginger
1 teaspoon Chillie Paste
2 ounces Lemon Grass - Lower stalks only
* Rinse the prawn shells and place them in a large saucepan with the water. Heat to boiling, strain the broth and discard the shells.
* Add the garlic, lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce, lemon grass and shallots to the stock, then the mushrooms and chillies.
* Cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the prawns to the soup, and reheat to boiling. When the prawns are cooked, place the lime juice and chillie paste in a serving bowl.
* Pour the soup into the bowl, stir, garnish with the cilantro leaves and serve.
Tip: by placing the lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal in a mesh bag during cooking they are then easy to remove from the soup before serving to avoid the little "woody bits" that sometimes get in the soup.

 Think Thai Food - Central Region Specialities

Pad Thai(Thai fried Noodles)

Probably along with Tom Yam Goong the most popular Thai dishes both within Thailand & around the world !!.
Ingredients(serves two)
10 oz dried flat Thai rice noodles - similar to Italian linguini, but made of rice
8-12 raw tiger prawns - with shells removed
3 shallots - sliced
2 fresh green or red chillies - minced
2 fresh eggs
1 cup fresh beansprouts
¼ cup ground or chopped peanuts (unsalted)
3 spring onions - finely sliced
1 cup fresh coriander - roughly chopped
3 Tablespoons peanut,coconut, or vegetable oil for frying
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon tamarind paste mixed with 3 Tablespoons of water
2 teaspoons chillie sauce
* Soak the rice noodles in a saucepan of cold water for 1 hour. Drain when ready to use.
* The noodles should still be firm and very chewy. * Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until sugar dissolves then set aside.
* Place remaining oil in wok. Over medium-high heat, stir-fry shallots and chillies until fragrant (approx 1 minute).
* Add prawns and fry until pink (approx 1-2 minutes).
* Clear a space in the middle of the wok,crack eggs into it and stir-fry (like scrambled eggs) until they're cooked.
* The eggs will have made the wok a little dry, add a little more oil and spread it around.
* Add the noodles,as you stir-fry them, drizzle the sauce over a little at a time (for even distribution of the sauce).
* Lift and turn the noodles very gently (or they will break up) to combine all the ingredients as you stir-fry (approx 1-2 minutes).
* The wok should be fairly dry at this point. If you find your noodles are sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a little more oil.
* Add bean sprouts, mixing well and stir-frying to combine. The noodles are cooked when they are soft, but still chewy in texture.
* If your noodles are still a little on the "hard" side, stir-fry a little longer over medium heat.
* If not salty enough, add 1-2 Tablespoons more fish sauce. If too sour, add a little white sugar, if too salty, add more lime juice.
* Remove from heat & serve immediately, placing the Pad Thai on the plate,sprinkle with spring onions, ground peanuts & coriander/basil.
* Finally squeeze fresh lime and eat !.

 Think Thai Food - Central Region Specialities

Por Pia Tord(Thai Style Fried Spring Roll)

This is a really tasty spring roll recipe, which can be easily adapted to vegetarian by simply using tofu, instead of the baby shrimp.
Ingredients(serves two)
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 small piece galangal OR ginger - grated
2 green onions, sliced into matchstick pieces
1 fresh red chillie - minced
1/2 cup cabbage - shredded or finely chopped
4-6 shiitake mushrooms - sliced into matchstick sized pieces
1/2 cup cooked baby shrimp(or thinly sliced tofu for vegetarian option)
2 cups fresh beansprouts
1/2 cup fresh coriander - roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil - roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons oil + spare for deep-frying
1 pack small spring roll wrappers (must be thawed)
Stir-Fry Sauce
2 Tablespoons regular soy sauce
2 Tablespoons fish sauce (if vegetarian, substitute vegetarian oyster sauce, or extra soy sauce)
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar

* Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium to high heat.
* Add garlic, galangal/ginger, shallots, and chillies.
* Stir-fry until fragrant (about 1 minute),if wok/pan gets too dry and small amount of water instead of more oil.
* Add cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu (or shrimp). As you stir-fry, add the sauce.
* Stir-fry for approx 1-2 minutes, until vegetables have softened.
* Remove from heat and add bean sprouts, tossing ingredients as you mix in. * To assemble rolls, place a spring roll wrapper on a clean working surface. Place one heaped tablespoon of the filling on the wrapper.
* Spread the filling lengthwise along the spring roll wrapper nearer the end closest to you. Also, try not to include too much of the liquid left in the bottom of your wok/pan (a slotted spoon works well for this - drier filling is better. * Sprinkle some of the fresh coriander and basil over the filling.
* Fold the left and right sides of wrapper over filling, then lift up the wide end nearest you and tuck over the top. Roll to the other end. Secure the roll by dipping your fingers in some water and wetting the end, "pasting" it shut.
* To fry spring rolls, place about 1"(2.5cm) of oil in a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat.
* When the bubbles rise, or when the oil begins to form snake-like lines across the bottom of the pan, the oil may be hot enough. To test it, dip one corner of a spring roll into the oil. If it begins to sizzle and cook, the oil is ready. If not, wait another 30 seconds to one minute and try again.
* Using tongs, place spring rolls in oil, allowing them to fry about 1 minute on each side.
* When spring rolls are cooked they turn light to medium golden-brown. Place on paper towels to drain. * Serve spring rolls while still hot with Thai Sweet Chillie Sauce, available from most Supermarkets.

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