Kin Thai translates as ‘Eat Thai’ and is a collection of 80 delicious recipes that shine a light on lesser known Thai cuisine as well as more popular Thai food classics.
Chapters are structured by type of dish, from snacks and relishes to curries, stir-fries and salads, so you can easily find your favourites – from Roast Duck and Lychee Red Curry (gaeng daeng bpet) and Langoustine and Rhubarb Hot and Sour Soup (dtom yum goong) to Red Fire Greens with Yellow Soybean Sauce (pak kheo fai daeng) and Assorted Flavour One-bite Royal Snack (miang kham).
As well as using ingredients native to Thailand, Chef John Chantarasak explores the origins of the western ingredients, explaining their place in Thai cuisine, and how the competent home cook can use them to achieve Asian flavours.
Fried Egg Salad
yum khai dao
This salad is not commonly found in Thai restaurants, but it is incredibly easy to cook at home. At its core, eggs are cracked into smoking-hot oil and shallow-fried so that the edges and bottom get crispy, the whites puff out, yet the yolk remains runny and molten. It’s traditionally paired with Asian celery, but regular celery works just fine. The salad is tossed in a sweet, spicy and tart dressing that’s both moreish and satisfying, showcasing how even the simplest of Thai dishes can achieve complex flavours.
2 large eggs
vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
½ small white onion, thinly sliced with the grain of the onion (from top to tail)
1 salad tomato, chopped into 8 pieces
2 sticks celery, stalk thinly sliced and leaves picked (use the paler inner stalks of a celery head with the leaves)
3 tablespoons roughly chopped coriander (cilantro) sprigs
For the salad dressing (nahm yum)
2 tablespoons palm or brown sugar
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon thinly sliced garlic
2 bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced
To make the dressing, mix together the sugar, water, fish sauce and lime juice in a pestle and mortar until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the garlic and chillies and stir through, then set aside. It will taste spicy, sweet and tart.
Crack the eggs into separate ramekins or small bowls, taking care not to break the yolks. Pour the oil for shallow-frying into a shallow saucepan to a depth of 2 cm (¾ in) and heat over a high heat. Once the oil starts to smoke, gently slide an egg into the hot oil. The egg will immediately start to spit, crackle and bubble, so be very careful. The egg white will puff up and develop large, transparent bubbles, and the bottom and edges will get brown and crispy. Fry for about 1 minute, then flip the egg over and cook for a few seconds on the other side before transferring to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil. Repeat with the second egg.
Cut the fried eggs into bite-size quarters, trying to avoid cutting directly through the runny yolks, and arrange on a serving plate. In a large bowl, gently toss together the sliced onion, tomato, celery and coriander with the dressing until combined. Top the eggs with the salad and dressing and serve.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.