Spicy Stir-fried Chicken with Long Beans
Judging by the letters we are receiving, people are eager to visit paknam.com on Fridays to see what we are eating for lunch. It is sometimes a challenge for us when producing the Friday Lunchtime Thai Menu. We are restricted to not only street food, but also to a budget of about US$3 for all of us. Plus, we cannot repeat any of our favourites. Every Friday we are eating something new. So, for me it is sometimes hit and miss. But, this first one is one of my favourites. It is called “pat prik khing gai“. It is basically pork fried in chili paste with long beans. A simple dish but tasty. The curry paste includes spur chillies, shallots, garlic, lemon grass, coriander root, kaffir lime, dried shrimp and shrimp paste. Strangely, no sign of ginger despite the name being in the title. To cook, marinate the sliced chicken (or pork) with a tea spoon of fish sauce. Blanch the yard long beans in boiling water until nearly cooked. Cut them into one inch lengths. In a hot pan, fry the chili paste until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook until done. Season with sugar and fish sauce and then stir in the beans. The version we had today is not as red looking as it should be. Maybe they watered it down a little. But, what can you expect for only 20 baht.
Hard Boiled Egg in Sweet and Sour Sauce
This is an interesting side-dish that I haven’t had before. It is also strangely named in Thai as “kai luk kery“. A literal translation is “son-in-law eggs”. Basically, some eggs are hard-boiled and then shelled. These are then fried in hot oil until they turn yellow. For the sauce, grind together cilantro root, garlic and pepper. Stir fry them for a short while. Then add palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind sauce. Add some water and then simmer until it becomes a thick sauce.
Clear Soup with Mixed Vegetables
This is a clear soup called “gaeng liang” in Thai. It is not really spicy so don’t be misled into thinking that “gaeng” always means hot and spicy. The soup stock is mixed with shrimp paste, pepper, red shallots and dried shrimp which has been grounded until well combined. It is really up to you about the vegetables. This one has shrimp, pumpkin, wax gourd, baby sweetcorn, and sweet basil leaves. This is alright as a side dish and cost us only 20 baht. I wasn’t thrilled about it.
Sticky Rice Grilled in Banana Leaves
The final one today is our dessert. It is called “khao niew ping“. It is basically sticky rice with a mystery contents grilled in banana leaves over a charcoal fire. You need to ask what it contains unless you like to be surprised. To ask, just say “sai a-rai”. The choices are: banana, taro, shredded coconut or mung beans. Not too bad if you are not expecting much. These cost 6 baht each.
Come back next Friday to see what we ate for lunch!