January 9, 2009

Bangkok Dangerous And Tom Yam Gung

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tom yam gung

Bangkok Dangerous B

I love watching cheesy Nicholas Cage movies on DVD. In Bangkok Dangerous Nicholas has a really weird dyed black hair that looks greasy and stringy (almost mangy), and at the beginning of the movie I thought his receding hairline has been painted on with black make-up or tar which makes the movie all the more cheesy. He plays an assassin named Joe who, in his supposed to be last assignment before retiring, grows a heart when he falls for a pretty deaf-mute Thai girl. He does not want to finish the fourth assassination job which results in an all out war with his employer. I know, lame premise but whatever...the movie is entertaining. It has enough action and a little gore (such as a severed arm) although pretty tame IMO. The directors, the Pang brothers, contrived to show what every tourist (including myself) must experience when in Bangkok: heavy traffic, floating market, giant golden Buddha, tuk-tuk, jewelry shops, and most importantly, spicy food. When Joe went on a date with the deaf-mute girl he starts sweating profusely while eating spicy Thai food, and was encouraged by the girl to take some Tom Yam Gung which is extremely spicy. She offered some basil or mint leaves to cool him off but then she kept giggling (silently) at his expense. The movie is full of cliches and unnecessary subplots but I really enjoyed it. Highly Recommended (to those who have low expectations and just want to be entertained).

After watching the movie I got hungry for Thai food. Tom Yam Gung is one of the easiest dishes to make and since I had the ingredients except for straw mushrooms which I substituted with fresh oyster mushrooms, I prepared it and in less than 20 minutes I was slurping spicy and sour prawn soup.

Tom Yam Gung
a little more than ½ pound medium prawns, shelled with tails on
2 stalks lemon grass, cut into 2 inch pieces and bruised
3 birds eye chili, sliced
6 cups water
1 small piece fresh galangal, sliced
2 tablespoons fish extract
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup straw mushrooms
coriander leaves, for garnish
  • Boil the water in a saucepan, add lemongrass and galangal, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the prawns, chili, mushrooms, and the fish extract and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, taste, and add more fish sauce if needed. Transfer into a serving bowl and garnish with coriander. Note: the lemongrass and galangal are not meant to be eaten but to flavor the soup.
This simple sweetish spicy savory Thai chicken dish is one of our favorites, we never get tired of it. It is strange that we have never seen this dish in any Thai restaurants in my area or maybe I don't now its name in Thai.

Minced Chicken With Basil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound minced chicken
1½ tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons fish extract
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
80 Thai basil leaves
6 birds eye chili, sliced
  • Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan and fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the chicken and stir fry for 4 minutes. Add the soy sauce, fish extract, and sugar and mix thoroughly. Add the basil leaves and the chili. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Transfer into a serving dish.


 gmirage said...

If I make a list of actors I don't like seeing, Cage would be at the top lol. I like tom yum too, a different sourness from our sinigang and I like how I feel madaling huminga after eating it hehe---

The chicken reminds me of relleno! Thanks for the recipe, maitry...

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Looks delicious!!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh I would love both dishes. I really like how crisp and clean your soup photo is... the broth and everything seem to jump off the page.

Anonymous said...

I like Thai food a lot ! I do make Tom Yam Gung on my own but a lazy version, simply buy ready made Tom Yam Gung paste and add with shrimps, straw mushrooms and so. I tried to make spring rolls with minced pork and basils, it tastes super yummy that everyone said so.

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