Introduction: Thai Winged Bean Salad (Yum Tua Ploo)
This is about the tastiest Thai dish I can make. I try to order it often from different restaurants around town (Nakhon Ratchasima) to see what people are putting in, and have come up with my own vegetarian ultra-delicious version.
Step 1: Gather Ye Ingredients!
The 2 main ingredients are winged beans and 'nam prik pao', which is a type of chili paste made with roasted chilis and sour tamarind.
Outside of Thailand, these 2 ingredients may be hard to find, so I've included substitutions here to let you still amaze people with the breadth of your culinary skills ;)
There are a few ingredients, but nothing too complicated!
You're gonna need:
1 large egg
1/2 kilo winged beans (tua ploo) <substitute: 1/2 kilo fresh greenbeans, snowpeas, and/or carrots)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup peanuts (shelled, skinned)
1 large clove garlic
1 small handful of shallots
dry and fresh chilis
seasoned soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsps nam prik pao chili paste
<< 'Nam prik pao' chili paste is available for sale outside of Thailand, such as the brand pictured here, but may be hard to find.
To make your own, here's a simple recipe to make about 3 tbsps:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp miso (fermented soy bean paste)
1 tsp sour tamarind <substitue: 1 tsp lime juice>
1 tsp dried chili peppers
1 small shallot
Easy and quick! Crush the dried chili peppers to flakes. Heat, stirring constantly in a dry frying pan. Make sure you have good ventilation to do this! Dry fry until the chilis start to darken to a deep reddish brown. Add to all other ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a paste. Done!>>
Step 2: Veggie and Egg Preparation
In this step, you'll need the egg and the winged beans (or other vegetables).
Put a small pot of water to boil.
Add an egg and boil it for 6-7 minutes.
Prepare your veggies.
If you're using winged beans, be sure to take off the ends and pull out the strings if your beans are mature (see photo).
Cut into small (1 cm) pieces.
Add them to the boiling water for the last few minutes (about 3 for winged beans) so they're cooked through.
Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
Step 3: Fry Shallots (hawm Jiow)
For this step you'll use the shallots and vegetable oil .
Peel the shallots (hawm) and slice them into nice rings.
An easy way to do this is to roll them on the cutting board, pressing down firmly with your hand, then slice off the top and bottom.
The peel comes away easily after that.
Heat the oil in a wok.
When it's really hot, toss in the shallots, then immediately turn the heat down to medium-low.
This shocks the outside of the shallots so they don't get too oily.
In Thai, 'jiow' means to cook something by stirring it constantly in hot oil, and stirring is the key!
Make sure you don't stop stirring as the shallots on the border of the oil and wok edge will burn quickly and be gross.
Cook on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until the shallots turn a nice light brown, then take out, drain, and set aside.
Be patient, Grasshopper, and you will be rewarded with an unrivaled aroma!
Step 4: Makin' the Sauce
This is where it gets crazy!
Well, maybe not crazy, but this is where the sauce is born which is, you know, pretty important.
You'll need everything else that hasn't been used yet.
First, crush the peanuts to a rough powder. This is best achieved using a mortar and pestle, but you could give them a quick pulse, or hide them in a folded over piece of wax paper and bash them with your shoe.
All on HIGH heat:
Next, heat up the oil left in the pan from the last step (unless you used it to make an omelette, which is highly recommended).
Smash the garlic clove and toss it in.
Stir for a few seconds, then pour in your coconut milk .
sugar (about 2/3 tbsp)
soy sauce (several squirts)
nam prik pao
dried chili flakes and/or fresh, chopped chilis *
vinegar (a few squirts)
*This dish is supposed to be moderately hot, with a great chili taste, so don't go overboard - you can always garnish with extra chilis for the maniacs you know and love!
Stir everything together to end up with a thick, orangish sauce. This should only take about 2 minutes.
Add in the crushed peanuts and take the sauce off the heat.
Squeeze the juice of half a lime on it and stir all-together.
Add sugar, soy sauce, or chilis if you think it needs more.
Alway add a little in the beginning, then more at the end if it needs it so you don't go overboard!
When you're happy with your creation, turn the heat back on, stir the cooked beans into the sauce for 1 minute, then plate.
Step 5: Plate It, Serve It
Remember that hard boiled egg?
What about those fried shallots?
This is where their glory is achieved!
Pour the beans in sauce onto a big plate, and dress with crispy fried shallots , sliced egg , and colourful fresh chili peppers .
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU DID IT!
Eat this over rice with other fine dishes, such as a dill omelette !
IT TASTES GOOD!!!!!