How to master Thai with Som Saa chef Andy Oliver
Sweet, spicy, sour, fragrant and comforting. Thai is the perfect food for autumn's chilly evenings and frosty skies.
Not sure you can boss a dish from the region? Well, now you can – with these super handy tips from chef Andy Oliver of northern Thai speciality restaurant Som Saa. He's kindly imparted a crash course in the zingy cuisine for you to get a handle on its deliciousness this season.
Here are his tips …
1. It's all about ingredients
"To start cooking wonderful Thai food, you need to get your essential store cupboard in order," says Andy. "Palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind paste, dried chillies, coconut cream, shrimp paste, a good red curry paste, a light soy sauce and sticky rice are all crucial. Fresh ingredient-wise, you want limes, lemon grass, mint, coriander, galangal and fresh bird's eye chillies."
2. Get balanced
"Getting all those strong flavours to work in harmony is key. When you're out and eating Thai, try to think what you're tasting and when – do you taste hot first, or sour or sweet? A good way to practise is by making a salad dressing with half fish sauce and half lime juice. Then add sugar little by little until it's in a good place."
3. Start simple
"A basic salad is a good place to start when playing with Thai flavours. Pair some grilled beef with mint, coriander and shallots, then dress with fish sauce, lime juice, chilli powder and a little sugar."
4. Do be a show off
"Dinner party hosting? An epic Thai curry always does the job. Roast duck legs, and cook them into red curry paste with coconut cream. To make it extra special, you can DIY the former by pounding dried chillies, coriander, lemon grass, galangal, garlic, shallots and coriander root in a pestle and mortar, and the latter by mincing up fresh coconut flesh with hot water, and then straining through a muslin cloth into a bowl, then spooning the rich cream from the top. Lychees and Thai basil would be great here, too."
Andy Oliver is working with Singha beer, to see his recipes visit facebook.com/SinghaBeerUK for more.
Like this? Then try these:
- Soups for when it's too cold to venture outside
- Your ultimate guide to brunch at home
- How to cook Chinese food
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