There is hotel in Bangkok that is really nice, book in advance and it is even affordable. It is called Banyan Tree. We had these unbelievable views as we stayed in a suite on the 57th floor and from their roof-top restaurant and from their roof-top bar, both located on the 61st floor.
In the restaurant they do serve really unforgettable food. I had Duck 45, meaning that the duck was slow-dried-cooked in a wok atop steam, and it was not even that pricey.
The booze is an altogether different matter. We miscalculated the price of wine and champagne and landed at 40 Euro glasses of Moët & Chandon, and a total of 500 Euro for the restaurant bill … It was worth it 🙂
They do have another restaurant in a lower floor that serves Thai food in a different category. I can never forget the delight of having put the first spoonful in my mouth and ending up with an explosion of flavor.
Later in that trip we attended a cooking course in Chiang Mai. The peppery lady instructor really demystified the basic principles of Thai cooking in one afternoon. Putting the two together, I managed to reproduce the same flavor.
Here is how to make it.
- 8-10 dried chili pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 small shallots
- a chunk of galangal, chopped
- (optionally) – a chunk of ginger, chopped
- a 2-cm long cinnamon stick
- a piece of fresh turmeric or a tablespoon of dried one
- 2 whole cloves
- pepper corns or long pepper
- 1 lemon grass (only the lower part), sliced
- a handful of peanuts.
- coriander seeds, a tabelspoon.
- a little bit of fish souse
- small Thai eggplants or miniature eggplantpea eggplant
- sugar beans
- 1-2 shallots
- kaffir lime leaves (three or four and has to be fresh, which is available in Asian shops)
- carrot, sliced
- grape tomato (oval shaped cherry tomatos)
- red-black oval-shaped grapes (not too ripe). Cut into half along the length and remove the seeds.
- lemongrass, whole.
- beef fillet or duck . This is a very flavorful and nutty curry compared to red and green, so it works best with strong tasting meat as opposed to chicken and shrimp, which are a bit softer and bland in taste. Duck is my favorite, but beef filet is a close second.
IF YOU ARE MAKING DUCK, START COOKING THE DUCK EVEN BEFORE MAKING THE CURRY PASTE AS THE DUCK WILL NEED SOME TIME TO BECOME PERFECTLY CRISPY ON THE FAT SIDE.
- coconut milk
- fish sauce
- a handful of fresh coriander leaves.
- 125 gm of high quality jasmine rice
How to make it
- Mix the ingredients in a mortar and crush until you have an orange paste. If you are doing it in a mortar you will end up with some chunks at the end and that is ok. You can alternatively use an electric mixer, makes it fast and smooth. Start with chilli and some of the fresh ingredients and gradually add the rest.
- At the end add a maximum of 4 tablespoon of fish sauce to get the consistence you want.
- This will take 20-30 minutes by hand, so be patient and pace yourself.
- If you are using duck breast, then
- using a sharp knife make shallow cuts into the fat in a criss-cross pattern. Be careful not to cut into the meat and the best way to achieve this is to make the cuts in a 45-degree angle.
- Place the duck on a fat side on a steak pan or iron skillet on medium-low temperature and let it roast for 20-30 minutes until the fat is crispy.
- Let the duck settle for a few minutes and then slice a few pieces, as many as you want to add to your curry.
- If you are using beef, then cut the fillet into strips, and with a little bit of vegetable oil fry on high temperature until brown on the outside.
- Pour the coconut milk in a pot, add lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, and mix in some of the curry, as much as you can take, and bring the mix into boil.
- Add eggplants (both types) and carrots.
- Add green sugar beans, shallot slices, broccoli, and a couple of spoons of fish sauce. Boil for 2 minutes on medium temperature.
- Add the grape tomatoes and boil for another 3.
- add the coriander, grapes, and meat and let it boil for 1 minute.
- Serve the curry
- Measure your rice with a cup, and use 1.5 times water compared to the volume of rice, meaning that if you use a cup that your rice fits into 1 cup, then use 1.5 cup of water , using the same cup. Use 3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice.
- Bring the water to boil
- Add salt and the rice to the boiling water and wait for the water to boil again.
- occasionally stir and wait for the rice to be almost dry.
- After the rice is almost dry, put the lit on the pot and reduce the temperature to really low (2 or so).
- let the rice to cook in its steam for another 5 minutes or until soft enough for your taste, but do not let the rice stick to the bottom. This should not take more than 5 minutes.
- Server the rice and enjoy your meal.
Coming up Next: Arròs negre or black rice