I love Thai food. I love cilantro. I know not everyone feels this way, but it really enhances meals, most meals. I remember the first time I tasted cilantro, it was love at first taste, on Pad Thai. I have a bad memory, so for me to remember a specific dish is pretty exceptional. That’s how much I love cilantro and Thai food. I decided to test out a Thai menu for dinner the other day. I used Martha‘s recipes, I generally have alot of success with them, and I am a fan of the Everyday Food magazine. The recipes are usually pretty easy to prepare and pretty unMartha in terms of level of complexity. All the recipes were adapted from Everyday Food May 2010. The menu included Beef Salad, Pad Thai and Tropical fruit in a ginger syrup sauce.
Vegetable Pad Thai:
- 1/2 lb rice noodles
- 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- 3 Green onions sliced with white and green parts seperated
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup cilantro (not really optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
Prepare the rice noodles according to package instructions.
In a large skillet heat oil, medium heat, add the white parts of the green onion, the garlic and cook for 30 sec, add eggs and scrape skillet until eggs are almost cooked, transfer to plate.
Whisk together brown sugar, lime juice and soy sauce in skillet add the cooked noodles and mix till combined, and noodles are coated with sauce. Add egg mixture and stir. Top with loads of cilantro, peanuts and serve.
Thai Beef Salad
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sugar
- 12 ounces flank steak
- 2 heads of Bibb or other young greens
- 1 cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 2 carrots shaved using vegetable peeler
- 1/4c mint leaves (an opportunity to use up the mint taking over my garden)
- 1/4c basil leaves (basil not so big as the mint, but still growing nicely in pots)
In a baking dish combine soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar, coat steak in sauce and marinate for 15 minutes or more, up to overnight.
Heat cast iron skillet over high heat, add steak, reduce heat and cook for a 1-3 minutes per side, until dark brown. Remove from heat, add any remaining sauce and cook for 15sec. Coat steak in reduced sauce and set aside, once cook, slice into thin strips.
In a bowl combine lettuce, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, herbs, steak and dressing, toss and serve.
Ginger Lime Dressing:
- 2tsp fish sauce
- 2tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 Tbsp minced jalapeno
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
Stir together and be sure not to spill. If you do, you will be upset, make a mess and have alot less dressing, speaking from experience.
Tropical Fruit in Ginger Syrup
- 1 inch piece of Ginger
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into slices
- 1 mango, cut into bite size peices
- 1 banana sliced
- 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut toasted (both the coconut and the toasting are optional, I used the coconut, but did not toast, came out delicious, but I am sure toasting would have made it better)
In a small sauce pan combine sugar, ginger, and 1/2c water, bring to boil, until sugar dissolves, under 5 min.
In a bowl combine fruit and syrup, allow to sit for 10 min, serve with a syrup and coconut.
The Verdict: Pad Thai, I will look for other recipes, but it was decent enough. The beef, was really good, and the salad was salad, but I did like the carrots shaved using the vegetable peeler, quite possibly my favorite kitchen tool. The dessert was also good, I liked the ginger infused syrup, I think I would have liked it to be a bit more gingery. Overall a company worthy dinner. Just keep the cilantro on the side, apparently, not everyone feels that it enhances the meal.