Green curry with poblano chiles? Mole with coconut milk? Aguachile decorated with orchids?
None of the above, at least not at the Thai Hispanic class held at Sur La Table by the Royal Thai Consulate-General, Los Angeles.
Instead, the four-recipe session featured seafood, which is what Latinos adore at Thai restaurants--spicy seafood soups, seafood curries, noodles with seafood and familiar fresh ingredients such as lime juice and hot chiles.
Chef Chaiwatt Siriyarn, who taught the class (at top and above), has spent 32 years studying customer tastes at Marnee, his popular Thai restaurant in San Francisco, and knows well what Latinos like.
Next came stir-fried rice noodles with soy sauce and Chinese broccoli, guay tiaw pad si ew (above). "If you use this recipe, you will make pad si ew a lot better than at most Thai restaurants," Siriyarn promised.
Last came three flavored fish (above), named not for the seasonings but for the three basic Thai flavors that it incorporates--sweet, sour and salty. It also contains lots of garlic and bits of garlic skin to make the flavor even stronger.
To refresh after the spicy flavors, Siriyarn served a Thai alternative to the Mexican red drink jamaica. Made with dried butterfly pea flowers from Thailand, it's a blue drink that turns purple when citrus juice is added.
Meanwhile, here is the recipe for three flavored fish. Siriyarn used salmon, but other fish can be substituted, he said.
THREE FLAVORED FISH
Pla Sam Rod
From Chef Chaiwitt Siriyarn
4 tablespoons oil
1 (8- to 10-ounce) piece fish fillet, such as salmon, halibut, red snapper
Rice flour for dusting
2 tablespoons chopped garlic, with some skin left on
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon diced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon ground pickled chile
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1 tablespoon tamarind water
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch sea salt, to taste
Steamed bok choy for garnish
10 pieces deep-fried Thai basil for garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Pat the fish dry. Coat with rice flour. Shake off excess flour and place fish in the pan. Cook, turning once, until the fish is cooked through.
In another pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic and fry until golden brown. Then add the onion, bell peppers and pickled chile and stir until the vegetables are softened. Add the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind water, paprika and salt. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
Place the cooked fish on a plate lined with steamed bok choy or other vegetable. Pour the sauce over the fish. Garnish with the crispy basil.
Makes 2 servings.