1 year ago

Fah Thai Magazine Jan-Feb 2017

Overtures on the menu A

Overtures on the menu A Feast from the Soul A meeting of two cultural favourites creates the perfect celebration meal. After years of being away from Thailand, time came for Chef Alyssa Han to return to her motherland. Always in the comfort of the culinary world, she was a successful chef in Norway and Finland and also a restaurateur in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Alyssa is now back, choosing Bangkok and Phetchaburi as the places to make her dreams come true. FAB-A, Food and Arts by Alyssa offers private cooking events in Bangkok and Phetchaburi; a town just two hours away from the Thai capital. Her programme includes visiting local farms, boat paddling in the nearby river and making mini clay stoves from scratch. For a taste of her talent, here is Chef Alyssa’s soulful recipe that can be easily done at home. She features a classic soup recipe from Thailand, known as Tom Yum Kung and Jiao Zi, the ever popular dumplings that originated in China. “As a chef, I created this fusion menu for the family to cook together. Since the Chinese New Year regularly takes place around January and February, Tom Yum Kung and Jiao Zi are one of the most traditional and popular dishes for both Thai and Chinese people to enjoy. “Tom Yum Kung is also a popular Thai dish for the Chinese people. It’s truly a meaningful way to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Thailand,” explained Chef Alyssa. For Dumpling Fillings: • 300g of chicken breast (finely chopped) • 200g of shrimp (coarsely chopped) • 1 tsp of finely chopped galangal • 1 tsp of finely chopped lemongrass • 1 tsp kaffir lime zest (use a cheese grater or microplane) • 1 finely julienned kaffir lime leaf • 1 egg • 1 tbsp of finely cut spring onions • 1 tbsp of fish sauce • 2 tsp of white sugar • 1 tsp of chilli paste (for a children’s version, skip the chilli paste) • 1 tbsp of tamarind juice (1 pulp squeezed in 1 cup of warm water) • 1 tsp of finely chopped garlic • 1 tbsp of finely chopped shallots • 50g of coriander leaves (2 bunches); cut and coat with 1 tsp of vegetable oil Mix all the above ingredients well. Chill for 1 hour while making the wrappers. For the Dough (kids can join in the activity) • 300g of plain flour • 150ml water • Pinch of salt How to Make the Dumpling Wrappers (You can skip this part and buy dumpling wrappers from a supermarket) Mix the flour, salt and water together, then knead it into dough. When it feels bouncy and soft, let the dough rest for a while to get it to stretch better. Sprinkle all-purpose flour on the chopping board. Create a hole in the middle of the dough with your finger. Use the hole to grip and turn the dough until it becomes a circle. Find a spot to cut the dough into strips. Rub it to stretch and make the dough smaller, then cut into small pieces. (1 inch long) Time for the kids to help in making Jiao Zi wrappers Use your palm to flatten each piece, then use your thumb to hold the dough in the middle. And use your right hand to hold the rolling pin and roll it. Use your thumb to turn the dough and make the dough into a small round shape that is thick in the centre and thin at the edge. Sprinkle flour if the dough becomes sticky. Roll it until each small piece of the dumpling wrapper will be the same size of your palm. Make 6 pieces; 3 pieces for one portion of the Tom Yum soup and 3 for your kids to eat (the kids can help you make more) after cooking them right away. How to Cook the Jiao Zi Cook the dumplings by boiling 3 cups of water for 6 pieces first. Sprinkle salt into the water while it is boiling in order to protect the wrapper from breaks and to make it chewy. Put the dumplings in one by one. Wait for few seconds then stir the water gently and don’t touch the dumplings directly. Fill the pot with cold water after the dumplings are boiled. The dumplings are fully cooked when they are floating and expand in size. Take them out to rest. Remarks: The kids can eat Joai Zi now with soy sauce. For adults, make a Thai chilli sauce by mixing 1 tsp of chilli paste (Phanthai Norasingh or Mae Pranom brand), 1 tsp of chopped shallots, 1 tsp of chopped galangal, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of honey and 1 lime wedge. Blend together well. What You Need for Tom Yum kung For the Tom Yum Soup, use the original clear broth for the dumplings. Ingredients for 2 Portions • Broth from boiling shrimp shell, 3 cups (Shrimp shells are from 200g of shrimp that were previously chopped for the filling: half for the broth, and half for frying.) • River Prawns (size 20g each), 4 pieces • Straw mushroom (cut in half ),3/4 cup • Lemongrass (young), 1 stalk • Kaffir lime leaves (young), 3 leaves • Coriander root, 1 root • Shallots (small), 5 bulbs • Fish sauce (preferrably Tipparos), 2 tbsp • Fresh lime juice, 2 tbsp • Small Thai chillies, 4 pieces • Fresh coriander, 1/2 cup • Thai chilli paste, 2 tsp • Palm sugar 1 tsp Steps to Soup Boil 3 cups of water with shrimp shells, and add 1 tsp of salt for 15-20 minutes under low heat. Separate and fry the shrimp fat with mild crushed peppers in 2 tsp of cooking oil. Clean the veins from the back of 4 river prawns. Leave the heads and tails. Diagonally cut the young lemongrass to the size of one bite; bind the old leaves into a bundle and pour on some lime juice. Tear the kaffir lime leaves from their veins; gently pound the coriander roots, just for them to break. Roughly cut the onions into small pieces; cut off the chilli stalks and break them open before soaking them in the lime juice. Filter the shrimp shell broth and boil it. Once the soup is boiled — add shrimps, mushrooms, coriander roots, onion, kaffir lime leaves, and fish sauce into the boiling soup. Once the soup is boiled, turn off the heat before putting and submerging the Thai chillies, lime juice and cilantro in the soup. Plate the Bowl Plating, which is the art of food presentation, is equally important to please the eye and sense of smell. Start by laying three cooked dumplings anywhere in the bowl, then add two prawns with their heads sitting past the rim. Ladle in the Tom Yum soup and garnish with coriander and chillies. For more information: For more information: 32 Fah Thai 33