RECIPE TITLE "Seur Rong Hai (Crying Tiger)" from
Cracking the Coconut
Copyright © 2000
by Su-Mei Yu
Makes 6 servings ---
2 teaspoons dried green peppercorns
1 tablespoon Big Four Paste
10 cloves garlic, 5 minced, 5 unpeeled, lightly crushed
3 to 20 fresh bird chiles or 2 to 15 serrano chiles, minced
1 pound boneless, skinless large chicken breasts, rinsed and patted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (namm pla)
1 tablespoon sugar
Water as needed
2 tablespoons crispy pork rind, crushed to the consistency of coarse
20 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
| This dish is a true Bangkok creation because of its intense flavors.
The chiles must be hot enough the make one howl like a tiger but,
at the same time, balanced with a blend of sweet-salty flavors to
lessen the fire. Fresh peppercorns give a lingering sensation of warmth.
The original recipe uses fresh Thai green peppercorns. They can
be purchased preserved in brine in many Asian markets but may have
lost most of their flavor. I prefer dried green peppercorns, available
in larger supermarkets. When roasted, they are hotter and produce
a lingering heat. If you want slightly weepy tiger (mild), use 2
to 3 fresh bird or serrano chiles; for crying tiger (medium), use
5 to 6 chiles; and for the real howling tiger (very spicy), 15 to
20 chiles or more! The crispy pork rind used for garnish can be
found in the chips section of most supermarkets.
In a small skillet, dry-roast the green peppercorns over medium
heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Put the Big Four Paste and the minced garlic in a mortar and pound
until blended into a paste. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and pound
until the garlic and peels are blended into the paste. Do not worry
if the membrane is separated from the cloves. (You may want to remove
the peel; I encourage you to try it the authentic Thai way. It may
seem unusual, but the reward is the wonderful texture and added
taste of delicious crispy garlic peel.) Add the chiles and continue
pounding. Add the green peppercorns and, instead of pounding, crush
them by pressing them against the side of the mortar in a circular
motion. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and set aside. The paste
will keep well in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator
for a couple of weeks.
Trim any fat from the chicken breast. Cut the breast in half. Working
with one half-breast at a time, slice horizontally almost but not
quite in half. Open the meat up into a butterfly shape. Put your
hand firmly on the top of the meat and press down on it to flatten
it. Using a very sharp knife, held at a 75-degree angle to the work
surface, slice thinly against the grain into 2 to 3 long pieces.
Try to keep the pieces the same size and thickness. Set aside on
Arrange the ingredients near the stove in the order they will go
into the skillet: oil, chile paste, chicken, fish sauce, sugar,
and a small cup of water.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over high heat for 2 minutes, or until when
you put your hand an inch or so above it, you can feel the heat.
Add the oil, then add the chile paste, stirring it quickly, until
it turns slightly brown and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken,
lower the heat to medium, and sprinkle a bit of water into the pan
to prevent the paste from burning. Try to keep the chicken pieces
flat as you sauté them to ensure even cooking. When the chicken
is browned, push it to one side of the skillet and add the fish
sauce and sugar to the center of the skillet. Stir and blend until
the mixture bubbles, then push the chicken pieces into it while
you continue to stir until the chicken is coated. If needed, sprinkle
a bit more water over it to prevent sticking. Transfer the chicken
to a serving platter, garnish with the crushed pork rind and cilantro,
and serve hot.
|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