I cannot recall a day when someone recommended Thai food and I turned up my nose. With such umami of flavours it offers , it is hard to go wrong with this Asian cuisine and while both the culture and food seem to be heavily influenced by their Indian cousin, they still retain a unique individuality and distinctness of their own.
This interesting article would give you a good idea about how similar the two countries are in terms of language, ceremonies, food and religion.The deeper you dig the more interesting it gets. As rightly highlighted in the article:
Although Thailand has its own unique cuisine which is comprised of sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy flavours it has evolved from India and Chinese influences. The influences of foreign trade played a vital role and it is believed that Buddhist monks from India, originally brought the curry to Thailand. The most popular curries today are the masaman curry which contains dried spices, including cinnamon and nutmeg, and yellow curry which is infused with turmeric, cumin, ground coriander seed and chili powder.”
Another interesting thing I recently learnt whilst chatting with my sweet Thai masseuse is that they celebrate a festival called as Songkran which is very similar to the Indian Holi festival. Apart from the fact that they are both festivals of colours, what is also interesting that they are both celebrated in spring and while Holi in India marks the onset of Spring (Basant), Songkran marks the beginning of the Thai New Year.
Coming back to the uniqueness of Thai food. I do feel there is no other cuisine quite like it. It is a beautiful balance of flavours bursting on one’s palate instantly transporting one to culinary heaven. Most recipes derive their taste from fresh ingredients and not just spices . And this cuisine offers a range of options from really simple and easy to whip up delicacies to the ones that require some expertise. But every single time it doesn’t disappoint. This reminds me , any time you happen to visit Thailand, do enrol in a cooking class if one is offered. The entire experience of buying fresh produce from the farmer’s market , to hand pounding spices and making your own fresh sauces and enjoying the final meal is quite satisfying indeed. But until then I have got you covered with this easy-peasy Thai Style shredded egg salad. It is extremely versatile and can be made from ingredients readily available all round the year.
I do feel that the shredded egg is one of the key ingredients in the dish, however vegetarians can replace it with scrambled tofu and fish sauce can be replaced with Worcestershire sauce.
I highly recommend making this salad right before serving but if you do plan on saving time, you could blanch the beans and keep their ready but do not slice them.
This recipe is adapted from Donna Hay Simple Dinners.
- Green or Yellow Beans- 150 gm
- Cucumbers, sliced lengthways -3 small
- Mint leaves- 1 cup
- Basil leaves -1 cup
- Coriander leaves- 1cup
- Red chillies, thinly sliced- 2 or more if you would like it spicier
- Lime juice- 1/4 cup
- Fish sauce- 1/4 cup
- Caster sugar- 2 tbsp
- Sesame Oil- 2 tsp
- Roasted, unsalted cashews as toppings
- Place the beans in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and let it stand for 2-3 minutes
- Drain and run it under cold water
- Place the beans, cucumber, mint, basil, coriander and chilli in a large bowl
- Combine the lime juice , fish sauce and sugar , pour over the salad and toss to combine
- Then heat oil in large non-stick frying pan over high heat
- Whisk one egg at a time and pout into the hot pan, swirling the pan to thinly coat the base
- Cook for 1 minute or until set
- Remove from the pan and repeat with remaining oil and eggs
- Roll up each omelette, slice and serve with the salad and cashews
- Enjoy right away!
MEAL PLAN OF THE WEEK