Thai Beef Salad, aka Yum Neua

Summer BBQ series, Post 3 of 4

If BBQs make you feel guilty because of all the overindulgence, you can try to trick yourself into feeling better with this Thai-style beef salad. Heavy on the beef, light on the lettuce, sure… but hey, there *is* lettuce. It’s green, it’s red, it’s light and refreshing. You might be halfway through the platter before you’ve realized that you’ve ingested a 1 lb. steak somewhere in the process. But will you feel bad about it? Nope, because it’s a “salad.”

Jesting aside, this recipe is very flexible in how healthy or unhealthy you want to make it since you can substitute in almost any meat or protein. (Yes, including firm tofu!) Using ribeye steaks will give it more flavor, but cuts like London broil are inexpensive and will do well in this recipe too. Grilled chicken breast or shrimp can be swapped in just as easily.

All you need to do is grill up a protein and toss it into the Thai sauce that you’ve prepared and brought from home. Spoon over some salad mix, and you’re ready to eat. Looks elegant, simple to make, tastes delicious. ‘Nuff said.

Thai Beef Salad, “Yum Neua” | Mama BlasphAmy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. fish sauce
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh chilies, minced, to taste (Thai chilies recommended, but Jalapenos are ok too. I usually use only one chili.)
  • 1 small red onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. steak, grilled and sliced very thin
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
  • Salad mix (Iceberg or Romaine recommended)

Directions

Combine fish sauce, lime juice and zest, sugar, garlic, chilies, and red onion together in a bowl. Mix well. Can be made one day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Once meat is grilled, toss with the sauce and add in the tomatoes and cilantro. Adjust seasoning to taste and preference. Typically it should be salty, sweet, and tangy all at once, as well as a little spicy.

Serve over a bed of salad.

Thai BBQ Pork, “Moo Ping”

Summer BBQ series, Post 1 of 4

The weather is finally starting to turn in California, just in time for June. To kick off the return of sunny weather, I’ll be doing a series of BBQ-friendly posts for you guys. First up is Thai-style BBQ pork skewers, a.k.a. Moo Ping. The Moo Ping recipes I’ve found online were all basically the same one being republished across multiple sites, and it just didn’t look right to me. So thanks to my mom for providing me with this recipe, which I feel is more authentic.

The simplicity of this recipe is really what makes it great for BBQs. You don’t have to skewer the meat if you don’t want to – just just the pork into wider strips. The key to making this taste authentic is to get the balance of flavor right. Done correctly, Moo Ping will be both sweet and salty, and a bit garlicky. I didn’t measure out any ingredients for the recipe, since it is made “to taste.” I provided some rough ratios, but fix it up however you want.

Use a slightly fatty piece of pork for the best results. It’s great for flavor and juiciness.

Moo Ping Recipe | By Mama BlasphAmy

Ingredients

  • Whole pork loin, or butt, cut into long strips at least 1.5 inches wide
  • 1 part very finely minced garlic
  • 2 parts oyster sauce
  • 1 part soy sauce
  • 3 parts cane or brown sugar
  • 2 parts vegetable oil

Directions
Combine garlic, sauces, and sugar together in a gallon-sized zip-top bag. Add in more or less ingredients to taste. The marinade should be both salty and sweet, leaning just a touch more towards the sweet side. When you like the flavor to your liking, add in the vegetable oil and the pork slices. Marinate at least 4 hours, but overnight is recommended.

Skewer on bamboo skewers if desired. Grill it up and enjoy!

Thai Red Curry

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Alright, more Thai food! This week we’re looking at Thai red curry. Let me start by saying that curries are probably among the easiest Thai dishes that you can learn how to cook. About 95% of the spices and seasonings that you need come pre-made in the form of curry paste:

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Curry paste comes in almost every form of curry you could want: red, yellow, green, masamun, kanom jeen namya, etc. What I like about making curry is that while there are traditional ingredients for them, you can really make them with whatever add-ins you want, which is great for “kitchen sink” cooking. For this red curry, I used onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers.

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Thai Papaya Salad, a.k.a. Som Tum

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Ah yes, I am in fact back from my unannounced hiatus. Sorry about that! Real Life caught up to me for a couple weeks there and not a lot of cooking and baking were done. Good news is that I have a couple of Thai food posts for you, and then a whole wheat bread recipe coming up.

So Thai green papaya salad. If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying this dish, I urge you to do so. Now. In America, Pad Thai may be the most popular Thai dish, but I feel that papaya salad is *the* quintessential dish that defines Thai food.

Let me explain. Thai food is about balance. Sweet and salty; tangy and tart; spicy and coolness. Papaya salad has all these things. Palm sugar evened out with fish sauce, tamarind juice mellowing out lime juice, and hot Thai chilies competing with the chilled salad. It’s absoultely divine. And while the dish is easy to make, the ingredients may be hard to find. So how it was that I had almost everything I needed on hand is beside me, but I’m glad I did.

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