Again with the nampla!
This week, a variation on the classic Thai glass-noodle salad (yum woon sen). This dish works well as a kind of otsumami (small dish to accompany alcohol) – the zest of the lemon juice and the spice of the peppers loose nothing after a few glasses of beer or shochu.
This particular recipe uses ingredients which are readily available in Japan. For a more authentic Thai flavor, exchange limes for lemons and add extra peppers. Also, in Thailand the coriander root is used to give the sauce even greater flavor. If you want to try this, use a mortar and pestle to crush a coriander root together with the chopped red pepper, then add fish sauce, sugar and lemon/lime juice.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 50 g cellophane noodles (bean threads)
- 100 – 120 g cabbage
- 60 – 70 g celery (including leaves)
- 50 g red onion
- 100 g shrimp
- 100 g ground pork
- 10 – 15 g coriander
- 3 table spoons of Thai fish sauce
- 1 and 1/2 tea spoons of sugar
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of lemon juice (1/2 a lemon)
- 1 – 2 red peppers
Cut the cabbage into thin strips and the red onion into thin slices. Next, slice the celery stems diagonally and the leaves into large pieces.
Chop the coriander stems finely and cut the leaves into large pieces.
Place all of the vegetables into a large salad bowl, roughly 25 cm in diameter.
Wash the shrimp carefully and boil them. When cooked, drain and cool so that the shells can be removed.
Pour 2 cups of water into a small pan and bring it to the boil. Next, put the ground pork into the pan and cook for about 4 – 5 minutes, stirring so as to break it up.
Before cooking the cellophane noodles, prepare the salad dressing. Remove the stalk and seeds from the red pepper and cut into 5 mm pieces. Place these in a small bowl.
Add fish sauce, sugar and mix together with the peppers. Finally, add lemon juice and mix together roughly.
Place a pan with 4 -5 cups of water onto a high heat. Once it has come to the boil, place the cellophane noodles into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Once cooked, drain the noodles and cut them into lengths of about 10 cm. Place in the salad bowl.
While the cellophane noodles are still warm, pour the dressing over the ingredients and mix together by hand. Serve with a garnish of coriander leaves.
This Southeast Asian dish is incredibly simple to make. The salad employs one of the great flavor combinations – sesame and roast chicken.
It also contains nam pla, the aromatic Thai fish sauce, which adds depth to the flavor. If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute nuoc man, the Vietnamese version of the same thing (although in Japan, nam pla tends to be easier to find than nuoc man – I buy mine at Seiyu supermarket).
Serve with with rice noodles such as pho.
Ingredients (for 2-3 people)
- 250g chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc man)
- 2-3 fresh lettuce leaves
- 1 green pepper
- 1/4 of a red onion
Break the lettuce into bite-sized pieces by hand. Thinly slice the onion (against the grain) and cut the green pepper in half and then into thin strips.
Place the vegetables into a bowl, then pour just enough water to cover them. Add 4-5 ice cubes to keep them crispy. Leave these in the water for about ten minutes, then drain.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt and 1 pinch of pepper over the chicken breast and let it sit for for 5 minutes. Next, dribble a teaspoon of Thai fish sauce over the chicken and let it sit for another 5 minutes.
Spread the sesame oil over the chicken breast with a cooking brush (or use the back side of a small spoon). Dust the roasted sesame seeds over both sides of the chicken.
Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (410 Fahrenheit) and place the chicken on a tray covered in baking paper. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
When the chicken has finished cooking, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Once ready, tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces by hand. Plate the vegetables and then decorate with the pieces of chicken. Garnish with coriander (cilantro to those in North America) and a piece of lemon or lime.