Thai Ginger Pork Steaks

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Pork is a preferred meat in China and Southeast Asia, so it is not surprising to find it combined with chiles and traditional Asian seasonings. The marinade is also excellent with chicken and fish. Serve the grilled pork steaks with jasmine rice, sweet and sour vegetables, and a green papaya salad.


Thai Ginger Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or dry sherry

  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, peanut preferred

  • 6 small prik kee nu Thai chiles, stems removed, minced or substitute 3 serrano or jalapeño chiles

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce

For the Pork:

  • 4 pork steaks


Place all the ingredients, except the pork, in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let sit for an hour to blend the flavors. Cover the pork steaks completely with the marinade and let sit in a glass bowl for 3 hours, covered, in the refrigerator.

Bring the steaks to room temperature and grill over a medium fire for 10 to fifteen minutes, turning often, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F., which is medium. Cut open to test for doneness if you prefer. You can use any leftover marinade as a basting sauce, but be sure to simmer it in a saucepan for 20 minutes first.

Grilled Split Thai Chicken with Fiery Red Chile Sauce

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Chickens grilled in this manner are very popular throughout Thailand, where they’re sold in bus depots in villages, portable food stations, at the beach—everywhere. The Thais would use bamboo skewers, but metal ones work fine. The skewers keep the chicken flat as it cooks on the grill. You will notice that the chicken is doubly spiced, like American barbecue, but much hotter. Those Thais like their food very pungent! The chiles traditionally used are prik chee fa, with medium-hot, cayenne-like, bright red pods. Serve with sticky rice with mangoes and Thai iced tea.


Thai Seasoning Paste

  • 12 large cloves garlic, chopped

  • ½ cup chopped shallots

  • 1/4 cup chopped ginger

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce or substitute soy sauce

  • 4 stalks lemon grass, peeled to reveal soft inner root and lower stem, chopped

  • 6 large red Thai chiles (prik chee fa), stems and seeds removed, chopped, or substitute 4 red jalapeños

The Chicken

  • 1 3 to 3 ½-pound chicken

  • Fiery Red Chile Sauce

  • 3 dried red New Mexican chiles, stems and seeds removed

  • 4 red Thai chiles (prik chee fa), stems and seeds removed, chopped, or substitute red jalapeños

  • 1 tablespoons chopped ginger

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • ½ cup distilled vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, Thai preferred

  • Salt to taste


To make the paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process to a thick paste.

Using poultry shears, or a heavy knife, cut down both sides of the backbone to cut the chicken in half. Remove the backbone and place the chicken on a cutting board skin side up. Press hard on the breastbone to break it and flatten the bird.

Loosen the skin and rub the paste all over the chicken, over and under the skin.

Take the skewers and force one through the thigh perpendicular to bone and just above drumstick, into the breast, and out through the middle joint of the wing. Repeat for the other side of the chicken.

Place the skewers on the grill over a medium-hot fire. Grill slowly, turning as needed to brown evenly, for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 160 degrees F. for medium.

To prepare the sauce, soak the dried chiles in hot water to soften for about 20 minutes. Remove, drain, and chop. In a blender or food processor place the chiles, ginger, garlic and 3/4 cup water process until almost puree, but still coarse. Place in a saucepan with the vinegar and sugar. Cook until reduced to about half, remove to a bowl, and add basil and salt to taste. Stir it well.

Serve the chicken with the sauce on the side.


Thai Lemon Grass Marinade

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Lemon grass makes a nice houseplant and a continuous supplier of lemony stalks–simply root a stalk in water and then plant it in a pot. Put it in partial sun and it will grow and separate. This marinade is excellent with chicken and fish. Warning: the marinade tastes so good your will want to drink it. Go ahead, call it lemon grass tea. Use this marinade for poultry, fish, or pork, or as a dressing for a salad. Dave serves it over noodles and calls it a pseudo-curry.


  • 1 stalk lemon grass

  • ½ cup coconut milk

  • 8 Thai chiles, stems removed, chopped (or substitute 4 serrano chiles)

  • 2 ½ tablespoons lime juice, fresh preferred

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 shallot, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger


Cut off and discard the green top of the lemon grass and the root end, leaving about a 6-inch stalk. Remove any tough outer leaves, cut the stalk into 1-inch pieces, lightly pound the stalks with the knife handle to release the flavor .

Combine the lemon grass with the coconut milk in a saucepan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and strain. Discard the lemon grass and reserve the milk.

Place all the ingredients, including the milk, in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Thai Chile and Artichoke Pasta Salad

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This unusual combination of ingredients makes a salad that is hearty enough to be served as an entree as well as a side dish. I always prepare this salad a day before I plan to serve it to ensure the flavors are combined. A word of caution though, the salad seems to increase in heat the longer it sits. So make the dressing a little on the mild side or the salad may become too hot to enjoy.


  • 1 6 ½-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and liquid reserved

  • 2 to 3 Thai chiles, stems removed, or substitute serrano chiles

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh preferred

  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups cooked rotini pasta

  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh spinach

  • ½ cup sliced Kalmata olives

  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

  • Garnish: Chopped fresh parsley


To make the dressing, put two of the artichoke hearts, reserved liquid, chiles, lemon juice, oregano, garlic, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Coarsely chop the remaining artichoke hearts and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta, spinach, olives and feta cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to combine. Cover and chill over night.

Garnish with the parsley before serving.


Rum-Cured Salmon with Thai Pepper Mint Chutney

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Before smoking, some fish are treated with a liquid cure, a mixture of various ingredients that helps in the preservation process. This cure is both sweet and hot. For the chutney, Fresh Thai chiles are available in Asian markets. Serve on a bed of white rice with the chutney on the side, along with grilled pineapple and mango slices.


  • Hot Rum Cure

  • 1/4 cup dark rum

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground habanero chile

  • The Salmon

  • 4 salmon steaks

  • Thai Pepper Mint Mango Chutney

  • 2 ½ cups diced mango

  • 1 small red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed,

  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

  • 4 Thai chiles (prik kee nu), stems removed, chopped,
    or substitute 2 serrano chiles

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 6 whole peppercorns

  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint


In a bowl, combine the rum, sugar, oil, mint, ginger, and chile. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Place the steaks in a glass dish and brush the cure on both sides of the steaks. Cover and marinate for 4 hours in the refrigerator.

To make the chutney, combine all the ingredients, except the mint, in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the fruits and vegetables are soft. Remove the mango, pepper, onion, and chiles and simmer the sauce until the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Return the fruit and vegetables and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Allow to cool and add the mint.

Place the salmon steaks in a grill basket with handles. Grill the salmon over a medium fire until it flakes, about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Serve the salmon with the chutney on the side.