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24 January 2006 — Thai Yum (3)

I was rummaging through the damaged sections of this web site last night, looking for an old entry, when lo-and-behold I found my long-lost recipe for Thai tuna salad.

J.D.'s Thai Tuna Salad

2 cans water-packed tuna
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar (palm sugar, if you have it)
1 teaspoon Thai chilies, minced
1 tablespoon shallot (or green onion), chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients. Use as you would normal tuna salad.

I've been craving this stuff for months. It's delicious. For some reason, though, I never wrote out the recipe but only stuck it on the weblog. I'm glad to have found it.

What I really wanted to find, however, was my good recipe for myang kham sauce. I've tried several, but only one was any good. (The others were various degrees of awful.) I think that the following is the good recipe, but I'm not sure. I'll whip up a batch today or tomorrow to check.

Myang Kham — tasty Thai leaf-wraps
(or Miang Kum, or however you want to spell it)

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (not sauce)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • palm sugar or honey (or brown sugar?) to taste
Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan and heat over medium heat until well-blended. Allow to cool some before pouring into serving dish.

Fillings
1/2 cup each of:

  • unsalted, unseasoned roasted peanuts
  • roasted, unsweetened coconut flakes (roast in oven)
  • peeled ginger cut into 1cm cubes
  • shallots cut into 1cm cubes
  • lime cut into 1cm cubes
  • dried shrimp (I use the stuff found in the Mexican section of supermarket)
  • whole "mouse dropping" chilies (I use ladybird (aka skypointing or just Thai) chilies but into pieces)

Leaves
The Portland-area Thai restaurants use large spinach leaves. I've used spinach leaves in the past, too, but I've been unable to locate leaves the size and uniform quality that the restaurants use. Recipes often call for "wild tea leaves", though I've never found these. Apparently red lettuce or butter lettuce is acceptable, too.

To Eat
Take a leaf and fill it with a pinch of each filling. Add a dollop of the sauce. Wrap the leaf around the ingredients and pop it into your mouth. Delicious!

Myang kham was the very first Thai dish I ever tasted. Paul and Amy Jo introduced us to it at Typhoon! about eight years ago. I was very wary of trying a new cuisine, but with one taste of myang kham I was hooked. In fact, I credit this one dish with turning me into an adventurous eater.

Before this meal, I was both picky (possessing a long list of individual items I didn't like to eat) and un-adventurous (unwilling to try new types of foods). Now I'm one of the most adventurous eaters I know! In fact, I often crave foreign cuisine. If I could eat Asian food (or Middle Eastern food) every day of the week, I would.

(I'm still a picky eater, though. Broccoli — yuck!)


Reminder: Amy Jo has opened From a Corner Table, her weblog of food-related adventures.

On this day at foldedspace.org

2007Cats on Film   In which I videotape the cats as they wander around the yard.

2005Best Hot Chocolate Ever   In which I share the recipe for Jeffrey Steingarten's chocolat chaud. Yum.

2004The Decemberists (Live in Concert)   In which I accompany Paul and Tom to see The Decemberists perform. In which Paul has trouble remembering the name of a former girlfriend.

2003Patterns   In which I love my photography class.

2002Best Hearts Game Ever   In which Kris, Mac, Pam, and I play a marathon game of Hearts and have a blast! (Those were the days.)


Comments
On 25 January 2006 (08:39 AM), Amy Jo said:

I thought of you the night before last because I made Penang Curry again, only a bit a less spicy. It is really easy and quick to make and is oh so yummy. Maybe next time Kris is out of town (I don't want to subject her to something she really doesn't like) you can come over for Thai dinner, we'll make curry and you can bring the Myang Kham. Or, if you haven't been to Cha'ba Thai, we can go there. I haven't been there in a while and I feel a craving coming on.


On 25 January 2006 (09:22 AM), Blogeois said:

Your Thai Tuna Salad reminds me a bit of Larb Gai, a dish our local Thai place (Arawan) serves. They use minced chicken instead of tuna and add cilantro. I can't get enough of that stuff. Now that I know where a Typoon restaurant is, I hope to go sometime soon and I'll look for Myang kham.


On 25 January 2006 (03:35 PM), lee said:

Just this morning I was trying to think of an interesting and different way of making tuna fish salad. That recipe looks like it'll fit the bill!