South­ern Thai Rice Salad (Khao Yam)

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(Khao Yam) SERVES 4–6 To­tal: 1 hr. A Thai-style gran­ite mor­tar and pes­tle is rec­om­mended for mak­ing this dish, which in­volves pound­ing aro­matic in­gre­di­ents to bits be­fore in­cor­po­rat­ing them into roomtem­per­a­ture rice. Tra­di­tion­ally, it in­cludes a pun­gent leaf known as skunkvine or stinkvine; if un­avail­able, you can omit it. 1½ cups long-grain rice (11 oz.) 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen shred­ded co­conut 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 Tbsp. Thai shrimp paste 1 small knob galan­gal, peeled and thinly

sliced (⅓ cup) 2 le­mon­grass stalks, green tops trimmed, tough outer lay­ers dis­carded, thinly sliced (⅓ cup) 10–15 fresh Thai chiles (½–¾ oz.), stemmed 20 medium cooked shrimp (9 oz.), thinly sliced 12 large be­tel leaves, thinly sliced (⅓ cup) 5 long beans, thinly sliced (½ cup) 4 small shal­lots, peeled and sliced (⅓ cup) 3 kaf­fir lime leaves, thinly sliced (1 Tbsp.) 1 small un­ripe mango (10 oz.), peeled and

shred­ded on a box grater (1 cup) 1 small lime, peeled and diced (¼ cup) 1½ tsp. Thai thin soy sauce ½ tsp. Thai chicken bouil­lon pow­der Fish sauce, to fin­ish

1 Rinse the rice un­der cold wa­ter; drain and add to a medium pot. Add 1 cup wa­ter and bring to boil over high heat. Cover the pot, then turn the heat to low; cook un­til ten­der and the wa­ter is ab­sorbed, 18–22 min­utes. Re­move from the heat. Set aside, cov­ered, for 10 min­utes or up to 2 hours. Fluff with a fork.

2 Set a large wok over medium-low heat; add the co­conut and cook, stir­ring fre­quently, un­til dark brown and fra­grant, 30–35 min­utes. Trans­fer to a large mor­tar and pes­tle; let cool. Wipe the wok clean and re­turn it to low heat. Add the oil and shrimp paste, and cook, stir­ring and crush­ing, un­til fra­grant and com­bined with the oil, 2–3 min­utes. Trans­fer to a large bowl and set aside.

3 In the mor­tar and pes­tle, pound the co­conut to a coarse pow­der. Trans­fer it to the bowl with the shrimp-paste mix­ture. Add the le­mon­grass and galan­gal to the mor­tar, pound it to a coarse paste, and trans­fer to the bowl. Re­peat with the chiles. Fi­nally, add the cooked shrimp, be­tel leaves, long beans, shal­lots, kaf­fir lime leaves, mango, lime, soy sauce, bouil­lon, and cooked rice to the bowl, and stir well to com­bine. Ad­just the sea­son­ing with fish sauce as needed be­fore serv­ing.

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