MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.01
  
       Title: Plan Samli Daet Diao (Fried Sun-Dried Kingfish)
  Categories: Thai, Seafood, Ceideburg 2
       Yield: 1 servings
  
       1    Kingfish, weighing 1 to 1
            -1/2 lbs.
       1 tb Finely sliced shallot
       2 tb Shredded green mango
       1 ts Shredded hot chilli
       2 tb Fish sauce
       3 tb Lime juice
       1 ts Palm sugar
       2 c  Cooking oil
  
   Snagged an excellent new Thai cookbook yesterday.  It’s “The Elegant
   Taste of Thailand, Cha Am Cuisine” by Sisamon Kongpan and Pinyo
   Srisawat. SLG Books, Berkeley and Hong Kong, 1989.  ISBN
   0-943389-05-4. This is a big, well-illustrated-with-color-photos
   book.  Mike hauled it home yesterday with another one, “Keo’s Thai
   Cuisine”.  (Being no dummy, he realizes that new cookbooks inspire me
   to cook so every so often he'll grab something for me to avoid having
   to cook himself.) But it wasn't that simple. He'd bought them both,
   but intended to keep one and send one on as a thank-you gift to a
   fella that took him and Laurie sailing a couple of weeks ago.
   
   “You get to choose one to keep.” The dreaded words...
   
   I paled, started to shake.  Sweat beaded my brow.  I grabbed the
   fanciest one++the hardbound “Keo’s” book++and paged through it, awed
   by the illustrations, impressed by the recipes.  Then I grabbed
   “Elegant Taste” and started on the first page, intending to skip
   through it. Instead I went through the entire book, page by page,
   from start to finish. I slammed it shut.  “This one.”
   
   “Elegant Taste” explains Thai ingredients (and gives both the Thai
   names and spells them out using the Thai alphabet), makes sensible
   recommendations for substitutions and has relatively simple but very
   good and authentic looking recipes, each of which is illustrated by a
   beautiful color photo.  This can be really helpful when one is
   cooking a new dish and isn't sure of what it should look like and
   what garnishes to use. Garnishes are particularly important in Thai
   cooking as they're meant to be eaten with the dish but often are not
   referred to in the recipe. For instance, in the following recipe the
   dish is presented on a platter with a half dozen or so scallion
   brushes and tomato slices, neither of which are referred to in the
   recipe.
   
   As for this recipe, some of you might remember a while back when I was
   raving about a dried, fried fish dish I'd had in a Thai place, but
   couldn't find in a cookbook.  It was in “Elegant Taste” and here it
   is. Wash, clean and butterfly the fish leaving the two sides joined
   along the belly. Open the fish out flat so that the skin is downward,
   remove the bones, and score the flesh with a knife.
   
   After allowing it to dry, lay the fish opened out flat in strong
   sunshine for five to six hours, turning regularly so the sun strikes
   both the skin side and the interior.
   
   Pour the oil into a deep frying pan and place on medium heat.  When
   the oil is hot, place the fish, still opened out, in the oil.  When
   the lower side becomes crisp and golden, turn the fish and continue
   frying until it is done on both sides; then, remove from the pan,
   drain, place on a serving dish.
   
   Toss the shallots, mango and chilli together, seasoning with fish
   sauce, lime juice and palm sugar so that a sour taste is the
   predominant one. Spoon into a bowl and serve with the fish.
   
   Serves two to three.
   
   From “The Elegant Taste of Thailand, Cha Am Cuisine” by Sisamon
   Kongpan and Pinyo Srisawat.  SLG Books, Berkeley and Hong Kong, 1989.
   ISBN 0- 943389-05-4.
   
   This dish is very savoury with a crunchy/chewy texture.  The version
   I had in the restaurant still had bones but was so well fried that I
   just munched up the bones and all.
   
   Incidentally, I'm going to buy the “Keo’s” book as well.  It looks
   quite good too but seems to be tailored more toward Western kitchens.
   For instance, it calls for brown sugar rather than palm sugar in most
   recipes. Now that’s a perfectly adequate substitution, but why bother
   when I have palm sugar on hand?  (Smug grin.)
   
   Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; July 8 1992.
  
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