RECIPE TITLE "Glurh, Ka-Tiem, Prikk Thai, Rugg Pakk Chee (The Big
Four Paste)" from
Cracking the Coconut
Copyright © 2000
by Su-Mei Yu
Makes 3/4 cup ---
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons Thai white peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 12 to 15 cloves garlic, minced (1/2 cup)
- 1 cup minced cilantro stems and roots
The Big Four Paste, which can be made ahead and refrigerated for
a month, is extremely versatile. For pungency, this ancient recipe
relies on white peppercorns, which are gentler and more subtle than
chiles. First you smell the wonderful aroma from the roasted peppercorns,
then, as you eat, you experience a gentle rush of warmth that lingers.
For a less pungent paste, decrease the peppercorns to 2 teaspoons
and the coriander seeds to 1 teaspoon. If you are concerned about
salt, you can leave it out, though I wouldn't advise it. Here, salt
helps preserve the paste as well as brings out its flavor.
To Prepare with a Mortar and Pestle
Heat a 7-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the coriander
seeds and dry-roast sliding the skillet back and forth over the
burner, until the seeds are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer
the seeds to a small bowl to cool and repeat with the peppercorns.
When cool, grind the coriander seeds and peppercorns separately
in an electric spice or coffee grinder and transfer to separate
Place a mortar on top of a damp towel on the kitchen counter, preferably
waist-high. Add the sea salt and garlic to the mortar and pound
them together by holding the pestle securely in the center of your
palm and pounding straight up and down into the center of the mortar.
Use a spoon or spatula to scrape the ingredients from the sides
into the center of the mortar as needed, and pound until a paste
forms. Add the cilantro roots and stems and pound to a smooth paste.
Add the ground coriander and peppercorn powders and pound and blend
until the paste is smooth. Transfer the paste to a jar, seal, and
To Prepare with a Food Processor
Roast and grind the coriander seeds and peppercorns as above. Fit
the food processor with the steel blade. Add the sea salt, garlic,
and cilantro roots and stems and pulse until finely minced, scraping
down the side of the bowl frequently. Add the ground spices and
process a paste. Transfer to a jar, seal, and refrigerate.
The paste made in the food processor will be coarser than paste
made using the mortar and pestle.
Using the Big Four Paste
For Grilling: Coat 1 pound meat, fish, or shellfish with the juice
of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon olive oil; rub generously with 1 teaspoon
Big Four Paste. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Grill leaving
steaks and other meats and fish whole or threading chunks on skewers.
For Roast Chicken or Turkey: For chicken, rub a 3-pound bird with
2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon, then massage 1
tablespoon Big Four Paste all over the bird, under its skin, and
in the cavity. Place in a plastic bag, seal tightly, and refrigerate
overnight. For a 16-pound turkey, use 1 cup olive oil, the juice
of 2 lemons, and 3/4 cup Big Four Paste.
For Stir-Fries: Use 1 tablespoon Big Four Paste for each 1/4 to
1/2 pound meat, fish, or shellfish and 2 to 3 cups sliced vegetables.
Use the same amount for stir-frying 2 cups noodles, adding 1/4 to
1/2; pound each sliced meat, fish, and shellfish and 1 cup sliced
vegetable. Add the Big Four Paste at the beginning of stir-frying,
after you've added the oil to a hot skillet.
For Meatballs for Soup, Curry, or Noodles: Add 1 tablespoon Big
Four Paste per each pound ground meat mixture and shape into meatballs.
Add to the boiling broth. Meatballs can also be grilled.
Meat Loaf: Add 1 tablespoon Big Four Paste for each pound of ground
meat, mixing it in with the other ingredients.
|True Thai: The Modern Art of Thai Cooking
Surprisingly light preparations for meat include Fiery Grilled Beef Salad, a classic of Bangkok cafe cuisine, and mu kratiem phrik Thai, a simple stir-fry of pork medallions sizzling with garlic and black pepper. The Thai Vegetarian Cooking chapter is really a whole book unto itself, encompassing its own blend of curry pastes, soups, appetizers, entrees, and one-dish meals-all completely free of animal or fish products. The Thai Salads chapter showcases such recipes as Coconut, Lemon, and Ginger Salad or Grilled Lobster Salad with Green Mango that demonstrate the great variety and sensuousness of this branch of Thai cooking. Drinks and desserts include such ethereal treats as Rose-Petal Sorbet and the refreshingly herbaceous Lemon Grass Tea, wonderful either hot or cold. There's also a chapter that shows how to marry these newfound Thai tastes with classic American cooking, through such improvisations as Bangkok Burgers with Marinated, Grilled Onions and Spicy Thai Ketchup.
True Thai is more than a cookbook; it is a collection of grace notes exemplifying Thai cuisine's dedication to pleasing the senses. There's even a chapter on preparing Thai-style table decorations, many of them as edible as they are lovely.
True Thai's 250 recipes, each with helpful and fascinating notes, present Thai cuisine with simplicity and elegance. True That is the most authentic, authoritative, and accessible Thai cookbook ever printed in English. More info
|Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes
Now busy home cooks can bring the fantastic flavors of Thai cuisine into the kitchen with a simple trip to the grocery store. Nancie McDermott, experienced cook, teacher, and author of the best-selling cookbook Real Thai, presents this collection of 70 delicious recipes that focus on easy-to-find ingredients and quick cooking methods to whip up traditional Thai. With recipes like Crying Tiger Grilled Beef, Grilled Shrimp and Scallops with Lemongrass, Sticky Rice with Mangoes, and Thai Iced Tea, along with McDermott's highly practical array of shortcuts, substitutions, and timesaving techniques, anyone can prepare home-cooked authentic Thai meals -- as often as they like. More info
|Thai and South-East Asian Cookbook, the Ultimate: All the traditions, ingredients and techniques, with over 300 spicy and aromatic recipes illustrated step-by-step
This comprehensive volume is not just a guide to the delectable cooking of Thailand but also to the classic cuisines of Asia, from China through Korea and Japan, down through Burma, Thailand and Vietnam to the islands of Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia and the Philippines. Each country has its own distinctive style of cooking, but they share a similar approach to food. This book is a magnificently photographed guide to the ingredients and cooking of Asia, filled with enticing, traditional recipes. More info
|Easy Thai Cookbook: The Step-By-Step Guide to Deliciously Easy Thai Food at Home
This wonderful collection guides you through every step, demonstrating all the basics needed to master this delicious cuisine. There are more than 70 recipes for salads, curries, stir-fries, fried, steamed, and grilled foods, and desserts: such luscious meals as Tom Yam soup, fish cakes, steamed mussels, green chicken curry, and stir-fry duck are all made tantalizingly easy. Also provided is a cross-referenced collection of 12 meal plans, from simple dinners for you and your family to exotic feasts for friends and guests. With stunning photography throughout and a CD of evocative music to cook and eat to, this is the one-stop Thai cookbook for beginners. More info
|Complete Thai Cooking
Authentic Thai cuisine has a rich, centuries-old tradition, and this authoritative handbook celebrates its many variations, with deft ideas for using many spices, sauces, flavorings, and styles. More than 100 recipes, most taking 15 minutes or less to prepare and cook, provide even gourmet cooks with a new range of delicious choices. The recipes start with snacks and starters, then introduce a host of multicourse meals featuring soups and salads, seafood, meat, and poultry main courses, as well as a range of vegetable side dishes and desserts. Even the names of the recipes are intriguing: Green Mango Salad, Son-in-Law Eggs, Jungle Curry Beef, Thai Fried Pie. Large full-color photos suggest mouth-watering presentations for all occasions. More info