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Thai Cooking: How to Experience the Magic Now

Updated 11/15/22

Wondering how to experience Thai cooking at home? In this post we will be traveling to Thailand to enjoy the exotic tastes of Thai cooking. Going out to eat can get expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy exotic cuisine. Therefore we are showing you how to embark on a Thai cooking adventure at home. My husband and I absolutely love Asian appetizers. We try to create appetizer dinners once a week as part of a date night. For starters try Satay shrimp and some corn cakes. Our main menu includes favorites such as Green Mango Salad and Green Fish Curry with coconut rice. Then have some fried bananas for dessert. You will love these.

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Thai Cooking: Modified Shrimp Satay

Thai cooking shows a platter with corn cakes and shrimp satay
Corn cakes and shrimp. Technically the shrimp should be lightly browned from the grill.

Traditionally, this recipe uses cilantro stems instead of basil and sunflower oil instead of coconut oil. The shrimp are then threaded on wooden skewers and broiled. Unfortunately, my kitchen does not have a vent above my oven. Consequently, broiling food tends to set off my smoke alarm. So for this recipe I decided to briefly roast the shrimp. Embarrassingly, the same thing happened, setting off all sorts of bells and alarms. Next time we will grill them outdoors!

Ingredients for Shrimp Satay

  • 2 tsp palm sugar
  • 6 finely chopped basil leaves
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1/2 inch finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 crushed dried red chili
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 16 large shrimp peeled, but with tails on
  • jar Thai peanut sauce
  • spinach leaves
  • cucumber

Directions for shrimp satay improvisation

  1. Mix first 6 ingredients with a small food processor or blender. In addition, you may have to heat the coconut oil briefly to liquefy it.
  2. Once you have made the marinade, soak the shrimp in it for half an hour.
  3. When the shrimp are done marinating, thread them onto metal skewers. Broil or grill them for about 3-4 minutes until they turn pink.
  4. Then place them on a bed of greens, (we chose spinach), and serve with chunks of cucumber and peanut sauce.

Thai Cooking: Corn Cakes Recipe

uncooked corn cakes

Again, I improvised this recipe to keep the cakes from falling apart. Traditionally, there is no chickpea flour and no basil leaves.

Ingredients for corn cakes recipe

  • 1 14 oz. can corn well drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cooked pork
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 4 basil leaves finely shredded
  • 2 tsp. palm sugar
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 tbsp egg whites
  • cooking oil
  • spinach leaves
  • Thai sweet chili sauce

Directions for corn cakes recipe

  1. Mix first 8 ingredients very well. Once that is mixed, add the egg whites and again mix well.
  2. Heat a 1/4 cup of cooking oil in a deep pan. Meanwhile form mixture into small patties and gently place on a floured tray. When oil is hot use a spatula to gently place them in the pan. Cook patties about 3-5 minutes on both sides until golden brown. Cook in batches and drain on paper towels.
  3. Then place on a bed of greens and serve with Thai chili sauce.

As an alternative, you can make egg rolls or steamed dumplings.

Shows a picture of Thai cooking, a green mango salad
Green Mango Salad

Thai Cooking Recipe for Green Mango Salad

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 large green or hard yellow mangoes
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • lettuce
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup cilantro

Dressing

Directions

  1. First peel the mangoes with a vegetable peeler. Then make a lot of close cuts in the flesh of the mango. Likewise, slice through the cuts to get thin slices of mango.
  2. Subsequently, blend together dressing ingredients.
  3. Then place the lettuce, mango, onion, coconut, and cilantro in a bowl. After that, pour the dressing over the salad and toss just before serving.

My neighbor Paul usually gives us a lot of mangoes every summer. I often cut them and freeze them because I have too many. Occasionally I cut some of the unripe mangoes by mistake. I cut these up and freeze them for when I want to make this salad.

We also grow our own coconuts. My husband drills holes to get the coconut water. Then he cracks open the coconuts and scoops out the meat. To make toasted coconut I shred the coconut in my food processor and then toast it at a low heat in my oven on the convection setting until lightly brown. The timing varies depending on how dry the meat was to begin with. Additionally, toasted coconut can be used as coating for chicken or fish.

Thai Cooking Recipe for Green Fish Curry

shows a picture of Thai cooking, green fish curry in a wok
Green Fish Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups canned coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. green curry paste
  • 14oz. thick boneless skinless fish fillets cut into chunks
  • 2/3 cups of broth
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 4-5 shredded lime leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 Thai chillis

Directions

  1. First pour half the coconut milk into a heated wok until it bubbles around the edges.
  2. Then stir in the curry paste and cook for 2 minutes to bring out the flavor. Once the aromas are fragrant, toss in the fish and coat well.
  3. After that, mix the remaining coconut milk with the stock, fish sauce and sugar. Add to the wok.
  4. Finally, mix in the lime leaves, peas, cilantro, and chilies and simmer for ten minutes.

Make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and close by so you don’t overcook anything while getting together your next set of ingredients. Also, you can make your own thinner, less fatty version of coconut milk by blending coconut meat with water in a blender and then filtering out the solids. This works best with younger moister coconut meat.

Thai Cooking Recipe for Coconut Rice

shows an image of Thai cooking, a pot of coconut rice
Coconut Rice

Get this started right before starting your curry. This way, they will be ready at about the same time. Cook 1 cup of jasmine rice in 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of water with 1/2 tsp. of salt for 15 minutes. On the other hand, if you are using thinner homemade coconut milk you can use two cups of coconut milk and leave out the water.

Thai Cooking: Fried Bananas Recipe

fried bananas recipe from Thai cooking
  • 4 bananas
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • almond milk to serve

To make this tasty dessert, start by melting the butter in a large pan. Meanwhile, peel the bananas and slice them. When the butter has melted, add the bananas to the pan. Fry on both sides over medium heat until soft. Once they are softened, sprinkle with sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved creating a syrup. Serve in custard bowls topped with fresh lime juice. In addition, you can drizzle a few spoonfuls of almond milk on top.

This was so good, I decided to mix the leftover into some cottage cheese for breakfast. It may not be Thai food, but it sure will be delicious.

Although I like creating my own recipes, I usually get my initial ideas from cook books before expanding and adding my own flair. These recipes have been inspired by the Easy Thai Cookbook by Sallie Morris.


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Donna Emperador is a travel and food blogger and copywriter. Donna believes in learning about different cultures while sharing good food and cocktails. She has lived in South Florida for over 20 years and enjoys spending time exploring the road to find unique places to share with readers. She can be found on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

4 thoughts on “Thai Cooking: How to Experience the Magic Now”

  1. Sticking to a vegetarian diet, I think the best thing I like from the above is the green mango salad. Being from India, we enjoy Thai food as the flavors and spice levels are similar. One of the most popular Thai food in India is Phad Thai salad made using green papaya.

  2. I do love cooking, so I was keen to see what recipes you were doing to share. I think I’m going to try the coconut rice. I normally don’t use the coconut water with my jasmine rice, but next time I’m going to try it. So simple to do, and so much better than just water.

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