the appetizer:

The Elements of Life: A Contemporary Guide to Thai Recipes and Traditions for Healthier Living by Su-Mei Yu, includes excerpts and recipes like Thai Curries; Jungle Soup Gaeng Paa; Almond Milk; Stir-Fried Okra; and Ceviche, Thai Style Plah Pla.


Jungle Soup Gaeng Paa


Jungle Soup
Gaeng Paa

Makes 4 servings


This seasoning paste is a perfect balance of opposite elements: Earth and Wind. Warming herbs and spices, the tastes and flavors of the Wind element, are natural protectors of the respiratory and digestive systems.

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 to 10 dried de arbor chiles or chiles Japones, softened in warm water;
         dried thoroughly, and minced
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns, dry-roasted and ground
  • 12 thin slices galangal or fresh ginger; slightly pounded
  • 4 shallots, peeled, 1 minced, 3 slightly pounded
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layers removed, tender inner stalk
         cut into 3-inch lengths and slightly pounded
  • 3 krachai (Chinese keys or lesser galangal; optional), slivered
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves, torn, or zest of 1 lime, cut into slivers
  • 10 fresh Thai or 5 fresh serrano chiles, slightly pounded
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 6 Thai eggplants, quartered, or 1 Japanese eggplant,
         cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 pound red snapper; catfish, or halibut fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 10 to 12 sprigs fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh holy or Thai basil or peppermint leaves

In a mortar, pound 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the garlic into a paste. Add the dried chiles, ground pepper, and 6 slices of the galangal and pound until incorporated and reduced to a paste. Add the minced shallot and pound to incorporate. (This will keep, refrigerated, in an airtight container for 2 weeks.)

Bring the water to a boil. Add the chile paste, the remaining galangal, the slightly pounded shallots, lemongrass, krachai, if using, lime leaves, and fresh chiles. When the broth returns to a boil, add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the fish sauce. Cover; reduce the heat to low, and let the broth simmer for 7 minutes. Add the eggplants, cover; increase the heat to medium-low, and cook for another 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cover; and cook for another 7 minutes, then add the fish. As soon as the fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes, add the parsley and basil. Serve with hot white, brown, or red rice.

  • from:
    The Elements of Life:
    A Contemporary Guide to Thai Recipes
    and Traditions for Healthier Living
  • by Su-Mei Yu
  • Wiley 2009
  • Hardcover; 336 pages; $35.00
  • ISBN-10: 0471757071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-471-75707-81
  • Reprinted by permission.

Buy The Elements of Life


The Elements of Life


This page created August 2010

The FoodWine
Main Page


World Recipes
World Recipes

   Clip to Evernote

Bookmark and Share


Twitter: @KateHeyhoe

Search this site:

Advanced Search
Recent Searches



Kate's Global Kitchen
Kate's Books
Cookbook Profiles
Global Destinations
Holiday & Party Recipes
I Love Desserts
On Wine

Caffeine and You Caffeine and You
cooking kids Cooking with Kids

Conversions, Charts
   & Substitutions

About Foodwine.com
   Contact Info
   Privacy Statement


Copyright © 1994-2017,
Forkmedia LLC



cat toysCrazy Cat Toys