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“There is no sauce in the world like hunger.”

Miguel de Cervantes

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Entries in fish sauce (3)

Tuesday
Aug062013

Tomyumpkin soup

“Daa-aa-aad. What’s for dinner?”

I remember pumpkin soup being one of the most disappointing answers to this daily question when I was a kid. It wasn’t that I didn't like it. It's just that my Dad's a chef and in a house full of delicious things pumpkin soup was, well...

"Boring!"

Until recently, I never cooked it for myself. Then my friend, Alex, made me pumpkin soup with tom yum paste in it. It was a revelation.

Adding tom yum paste to pumpkin soup turns it into something special. I now look forward to it and make it often, and I have converted others along the way.

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Monday
Feb072011

Larbilicious

One of the nice things about writing this blog is that I find out a lot of interesting things in the process. I have been making larb for years – it is a staple canapé for our annual Christmas Eve party and Dad entrusted me with it early on because it is extremely easy. I have always thought it was ubiquitous in Thai cuisine, just as it is in Sydney’s Thai restaurants, but I have just discovered that it is actually a regional dish from Isan, in north east Thailand, and probably originated further afield. In his book, Thai Food, David Thompson shares some theories on the salad’s historic origins:

A larp is an ancient salad. Some argue that it has the same origins as steak tartare, raw meat eaten with onions. The merchants of this part of Asia, the Haw, may have helped to spread the dish from the south-west of China and now, throughout northern Thailand, there are adaptations of this style of salad. 

Wikipedia suggests that larb may have come to Thailand from Laos:

Laotian cuisine has strongly influenced the neighboring cuisine of Northeastern Thailand (Isan) ... The most famous Laotian dish is Larb ... a spicy mixture of marinated meat and/or fish that is sometimes raw (prepared like ceviche) with a variable combination of herbs, greens, and spices. 

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Monday
Nov152010

Smoky eggplant (aubergine) and chilli relish

Inspired by David Thompson's Nahm and Longrain's Martin Boetz


I’m all about the relishes at the moment.

This one was inspired by a recent meal at Nahm, David Thompson’s Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in Mayfair. One of the dishes we had was grilled Chiang Mai chilli relish served with trout and lemongrass, pork crackling and herbs. The relish was the highlight, not only of the dish, but of the whole meal. Sadly, its accompaniments were rendered rather bland and tasteless beside it. The pork crackling should have worked, but there was little of it and what there was had been cut up so fine you would be forgiven for missing it entirely. I would have happily foregone the trout in favour of some chunky, salty, crispy strips of crackling for dipping.

Inspired to right these wrongs, I decided to make the relish at home suitably accompanied by lashings of crispy pork belly (more on that in a subsequent post). I did a search online, but was unable to find Thompson’s recipe at the time. Instead I ended up with Martin Boetz’s Roasted eggplant (aubergine) and chili relish from his book Modern Thai Food. I had an eggplant in the fridge that needed using so I decided to try out his recipe.

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