Introduction · 1


Rice Accompaniments
· 33 ·
kap khao


Noshes and Nibbles
khong wang

Stir-Fried and Deep-Fried Dishes
Chicken-Ginger Stir-Fry · 38
Stir-Fried Pumpkin with Eggs · 39

Sweet Potato Fritters with Peanut–Sweet
Chile Sauce · 11

Fish Cakes with Cucumber-Peanut Relish · 41

Pineapple with Sweet Peanut–Chicken Topping
(Galloping Horses) · 13

Fried Chicken Drumsticks · 44

Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam · 43

Crispy Dumplings (Gold Purses) · 15

Son-in-Law Eggs · 47

Pork Satay · 19

Shrimp Curry Stir-Fry · 49

Herb-Baked Cashews · 21

Ground Pork Omelet · 50

Fried Spring Rolls · 22

Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Chicken · 52

Leaf-Wrapped Salad Bites · 25

Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce · 53

Pork Toast with Cucumber Relish · 28

Stuffed Egg Crepes · 56

Fish Sauce–Marinated Fresh Shrimp with
Spicy Lime Dressing (Naked Shrimp) · 30

Stir-Fried Beef with Banana Peppers · 58

Corn Fritters · 31

Sweet-and-Sour Vegetable Stir-Fry
with Chicken · 60

Mushroom–Oyster Sauce Stir-Fry · 59

Chicken-Cashew Stir-Fry · 61
Fried Sun-Dried Beef · 64

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Fried Fish and Green Mango Salad · 67

Shrimp-Coconut Relish with Vegetable Crudités · 109

Spicy Grilled Beef Salad · 69

Fish with Lime-Chile-Garlic Dressing · 110

Pork in Spicy Dressing with
Iced Broccoli Stems · 71

Grilled Steaks with Roasted Tomato Dipping Sauce
(Crying Tiger) · 112

Broiled Eggplant Salad with Shrimp · 73

Curried Fish Custard · 114

Northeastern Minced Chicken Salad · 74

Grilled Pork Neck with Dried Chile
Dipping Sauce · 116

Glass Noodle Salad · 76
Green Papaya Salad · 79

Turmeric Grilled Chicken · 117

Mixed Fruit Salad, Som Tam Style · 81
Herbal Salmon Salad · 82

Clear Soup with Silken Tofu and
Chicken Dumplings · 83


One-Plate Meals
· 119 ·
ahan jan diao

Coconut-Galangal Chicken Soup · 84
Hot-and-Sour Prawn Soup with Chile Jam · 86
Oxtail Soup · 88

Noodle Dishes

Spicy Vegetable Soup with Shrimp
and Lemon Basil · 89

Rice Noodles with Chicken and Chinese Broccoli · 120

Southern Hot-and-Sour Turmeric-Chicken
Soup · 92

Curry Noodles with Chicken · 125

Pad Thai with Shrimp · 123
Rice Noodles with Beef and Chinese Broccoli Gravy · 128


Rice Noodles with Beef-Tomato Gravy · 130

Duck Red Curry with Pineapple
and Tomatoes · 93

Rice Noodles “Drunkard’s Style” with Chicken · 133

Beef Green Curry with Thai Eggplants · 95

Egg Noodles with Clams, Chile Jam, and
Basil Stir-Fry · 135

Vegetable Sour Curry with Shrimp · 96
Sweet Dry Curry of Pork and Long Beans · 98
Chicken Kari “Yellow” Curry · 99
Fish in Red Curry Sauce · 100
Beef and Vegetable Curry, Jungle Style · 102
Spicy Crispy Catfish with Fried Basil · 104
Phanaeng Curry with Chicken and
Kabocha Squash · 107
Beef Shank Matsaman Curry · 108

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Rice Dishes
Shrimp Paste Rice · 137
Rice Soup with Shrimp · 139
Chicken, Water Morning Glory, and
Satay Sauce on Rice · 140


Basic Recipes and
· 167 ·
sut phuenthan

Rice Congee with Pork Dumplings and Eggs · 142
Chicken and Fried Garlic on Rice · 144
Fried Rice with Chicken · 145

Long-Grain White Rice · 168

Chicken in Brown Sauce on Rice · 146

Steamed Glutinous Rice · 169

Spicy Basil Chicken and Fried Eggs on Rice · 147

Homemade Tamarind Pulp · 171
Coconut Milk from Scratch · 172
Curry Paste from Scratch · 175


· 149 ·
khong wan
Toasted-Coconut Meringue Cookies · 150
No-Bake Almond Cookies (Golden Supreme) · 152
Chewy Banana-Coconut Griddle Cakes · 153
Coconut Ice Cream with Jackfruit · 154
Bananas in Sweet Coconut Cream
(Bananas in Nunhood) · 156

Stocks · 178
Basic Aromatic Paste · 179
Curry Powder · 180
Red Chile Powder · 181
Toasted Rice Powder · 182
Fried Shallots and Fried Shallot Oil · 183
Chile Jam · 184
Fried Garlic and Fried Garlic Oil · 185
Sriracha Sauce · 186
Sweet Chile Sauce · 187
Satay Sauce · 188

Pineapple in Scented Iced Syrup · 157

Dried Chile Dipping Sauce · 190

Crunchy-Chewy Water Chestnut Dumplings
in Iced Coconut Syrup · 158

Cucumber Relish · 191

Mango and Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice · 161

Chile Fish Sauce · 193

Pumpkin Custard · 163

Crispy Fried Eggs · 194

Sticky Rice Pearls in Sweet Coconut Cream
with Poached Eggs · 164

Medium-Boiled Eggs · 195

Vinegar with Pickled Chiles · 192

Ingredients Glossary · 197
Note on the Romanization of Thai Words · 216
Mail-Order Sources · 217
Acknowledgments · 219
Index · 221
Measurement Conversion Charts · 227

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Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce
pik kai thot sot sam rot
The so-called three-flavored sauce is one of the most versatile sauces in Thai cooking. Although
it is usually served over fried fish, it can also be used in other ways. Grilled or pan-seared scallops, grilled or baked lobster tails, grilled jumbo shrimp, batter-fried fish, and even tempurastyle vegetables are all amazing when anointed with three-flavored sauce. When I was a hungry,
busy, cash-challenged student, this benevolent sauce saw me through. All I needed was a jar of
it, a pot of rice, and whatever was on sale at the market—chicken wings, most of the time. I have
always told people that once they have learned how to make this sour, sweet, and salty sauce,
they can create many modern dishes with a traditional Thai flavor profile. I still stand by that.
In this recipe, the three-flavored sauce is reduced until thicker and stickier than it usually
is, then used to coat hot, crispy deep-fried chicken wings the moment they come out of the oil.
Serves 2 or 3

11⁄2 pounds chicken wings, tips removed and
separated into drummettes and flats
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1⁄2 cup rice flour or all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Three-Flavored Sauce
10 fresh bird’s eye chiles, or 2 fresh Thai
long chiles
5 large cloves garlic
1 large shallot, about 1 ounce

3 cilantro roots, or 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup packed grated palm sugar, or 1⁄3 cup
packed light or dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
1⁄4 cup tamarind pulp, homemade (page 171)
or store-bought
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
leaves, for garnish

To marinate the chicken, combine the chicken, oyster sauce, and fish sauce in a large
bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 to 5 hours or up to overnight.
To make the sauce, in a food processor, combine the chiles, garlic, shallot, and cilantro
roots and pulse into a coarse paste with bits the size of a match head. Heat the oil in
a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the paste and fry just until fragrant,
about 1 minute. Add the palm sugar, granulated sugar, water, fish sauce, and tamarind
pulp and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and
cook, stirring often, until reduced to about 3⁄4 cup. This will take about 5 to 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Let
cool completely.

Stir-Fried and Deep-Fried Dishes • 53

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Crispy Wings with Three-Flavored Sauce · continued

Spread the flour on a plate. One at a time, coat the chicken pieces with the flour, shaking off the excess. Arrange the coated pieces, not touching, on a baking sheet and
allow them to sit for 10 minutes. This resting period is important because it allows the
coating to absorb the moisture on the chicken and form a crust, which will become
very crunchy when the chicken is fried.
To fry the chicken, pour the oil to a depth of 3 inches into a wok, Dutch oven, or deep
fryer and heat to 300°F. To test if the oil is ready without a thermometer, stick an
unvarnished wooden chopstick into the oil; when the oil is hot enough, tiny bubbles
will slowly rise from the tip of the chopstick. If you see a steady stream of bubbles rise
up rapidly, lower the heat a bit. Line another baking sheet with paper towels and place
it near the stove.
Add the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary, so as not to crowd the wok) to the hot
oil and fry, turning the pieces as needed for even browning, until deep golden brown,
about 20 to 25 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the pieces to the
towel-lined baking sheet.
Put the fried chicken into the sauce bowl and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken
on a large platter, sprinkle the cilantro over the top, and serve immediately.

54 • Simple Thai Food

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Copyright © 2014 by
Photographs copyright © 2014 by Erin Kunkel
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing
Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company,
New York.
Ten Speed Press and the Ten Speed Press colophon are registered trademarks of
Random House LLC
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Punyaratabandhu, Leela.
Simple Thai food : classic recipes from the Thai home kitchen /
Leela Punyaratabandhu ; photography by Erin Kunkel. — First edition.
pages cm
Includes index.
1. Cooking, Thai. I. Title.
TX724.5.T5P86 2014
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60774-523-5
eBook ISBN: 978-1-60774-524-2
Printed in China
Design by Betsy Stromberg
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
First Edition

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