Last night we finished up our week in Thailand and had the most delicious dinner ever. Thai food is absolutely amazing and I wish I knew a little bit more how to make it so I could incorporate it more often into our weekly meals. At least I got some practice last night and the recipes were so scrumptuous, I know I’ll be making them again.
Thai Dinner Menu
Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
Thai Dumplings with Mint-Vinaigrette
Daikon and Carrot Salad
Marinated Pork Ribs
Lychee Sundaes with a Lychee-Caramel Sauce
I had never had daikon before and actually really liked it. It’s a type of Asian radish and this salad was made with a sweet vinegar sauce that really made it tasty. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to appreciate radishes more, but I still can’t say they’re my favorite.
I have learned, in doing this country study, that if I type in a nationality on epicurious.com or thefoodnetwork.com, then I usually have a significant amount of recipes to choose from. Typically, I begin with epicurious and go from there. Granted for some countries, like Fiji, they just didn’t have any recipes, so I searched elsewhere on the internet. Others I’ve taken from my own repertoire or borrowed cookbooks, but typically this is my method. Tonight was no different, however I did adapt the recipes to my family’s tastes and needs.
For the marinated Thai pork ribs, I did in fact follow the recipe exactly and they were the most succulent ribs I think I’ve ever had. The scallion/cilantro marinade really added to the flavor and brought the “green factor” which I always like in a meal.
The dumplings were a last-minute adjustment as the spring roll wrappers I bought were a bit too fragile and broke easily and instead I used the remaining dumpling wrappers from China week (still good) and filled them with a combo of the spring roll filling, some ginger and scallions. When served together with their dipping sauce-awesome!
Because the spring rolls called for shrimp and Brian is allergic, I substituted with pork and made the dipping sauce with chili-garlic sauce, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, pepper, cilantro and a bit of rice vinegar.
Lastly, the Thai people don’t really eat dessert (which would be a problem for me if I lived there ). Even when Bon stayed with us he often refused dessert, which is completely incomprehensible where I come from. Hence in searching for Thai desserts I came up quite dry. (I did happen upon a black sticky rice pudding, but couldn’t find the special black rice at our Asian market and didn’t want to make the drive across the county.) So, I came up with an idea using one of our staples-ice cream. As we were eating dinner I was reminded of a can of lychee I had in the cupboard and decided to make a lychee-caramel sauce (a bit like the coconut-caramel sauce from Fiji week) and served it atop our favorite vanilla-Haagen-Dazs, topped with chopped lychee. I’m not sure I have words for how delicious it tasted, but perhaps divine will do. Our treasured dinner guest agreed and I even had a little bit more today as it was really so tasty.
Admittedly, I did not do much measuring for this sauce, but I’ll see if I can give the recipe as best as I remember.
3/4 lychee juice (from can)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons whipping cream
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar and lychee juice. Stir until sugar dissolves, then bring to a boil and occasionally brush down sides with water as needed (do not stir). Once caramel is deep amber in color, add butter and stir, then add whipping cream. Serve over ice cream.
Thank you, Thailand for loaning us Bon to teach us more about your amazing country. We loved our time learning about the Loy Krathong and especially loved our dinner. While we still have much to learn, we’ve had a taste that leaves us wanting more in the future and hopefully we’ll be able to visit and see Bon someday and meet his family.
*We’re a bit off our normal schedule this week and will begin Greece tomorrow.