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Thai Cooking

thai cooking

Penang Chicken Curry, "Penang Gai

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Penang is a dry curry, probably originally "imported" from Malaysia. It can be prepared with any meat, and many fishes. This variety uses chicken.


1-cup chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2-cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons Penang curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Sugar to taste
3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
10-15 Thai basil leaves, finely shredded


Place a wok over medium high heat, and warm the coconut milk, but don't let it boil. Add the curry paste, and stir it until the oil begins to separate out and form a thin film, to bring out the maximum flavor. Add the remaining ingredients except the lime leaves and basil leaves, and simmer until the sauce is absorbed and thickened. Add the lime leaves and basil leaves and stir fry briefly before serving.

Garnish with julienne red chili, with Thai jasmine rice, and the usual Thai table condiments.

Note if you particularly like your curries hot, then replace the fish sauce in the cooking with nam pla prik (chilies marinated in fish sauce), that has had at least a week to mature.

Nam pla prik

Put two thirds of a cup of Thai chile peppers or jalapeno peppers in a 1-pint jar, and fill with fish sauce. Seal and keep for a week before using.

thai cooking

Chicken Stuffed Sticky Rice, "Khao Niao Sod Sai Kai"

14 oz chicken breast, finely chopped
1 egg
1-tablespoon tapioca flour
2 tablespoons ground pepper
4 spring onions and corianders, finely sliced
10 oz cooked sticky rice
Fish sauce, sugar, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, fresh Thai chile pepper, and pineapple for serving.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the chicken, egg, tapioca flour and all the seasoning ingredients with spring onions and corianders except the sticky rice, and then form into 1/2-inch balls in diameter.

Surround each ball with a layer of sticky rice. Line the steamer layer with lettuce, cabbage or other seasonal green leaves, rub with the cooking oil thoroughly. Place the balls on the leaves, spacing well apart about 1-2 inches to prevent them from sticking to each other. Steam over vigorously boiling water for about 20 minutes until cooked. Remove.

For serving, arrange on a serving plate together with assorted fresh vegetables and a chili sauce. Serve immediately.

thai cooking

Thai Chicken with Basil, "Gai Pad Gaprao

2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped mixed red & green jalapeno peppers
1-teaspoon green peppercorns whole
1/4-cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves, add ground pepper if preferred

You can vary this recipe by adding a medium diced spanish onion or sliced green onions, or a combination.

1-pound ground or minced chicken


The garlic, shallots, peppers and peppercorns are ground together in a mortar and pestle. In a hot wok with a little cooking oil, briefly stir fry this paste to bring out the flavor and aroma. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to stir until the chicken is cooked through.


Serve over Thai jasmine rice, or over a fried egg or egg crepe, placed on the rice. For dinner it goes well with the hot and sour tom yum soups, as well as curries and other Thai food.

Add the usual Thai table condiments as well as ground chili and sugar. You might add ground black pepper also.


You can experiment by replacing the meat with hard tofu marinated in a mixture of sweet soy, fish sauce and ground ginger, soy, or a vegetable mix of your choice (we like to mix broccoli and cauliflower florets, with julienne carrots), to make a vegetarian gai pad-gaprao.

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