Appon's Thai Food Recipes

Starters - Thai Recipes

Mushroom Pork Houses ( Baan Hed Hom Mu )


These little mushroom 'houses' are three layers made with tofu, a ball of pork mince and capped with a roof made from a mushroom. Normally in the sauce I use the shoots of garlic, these look like spring onions, but grow from garlic bulbs instead of onion bulbs and have a strong garlic flavour. If you can't find them, you can use spring onions, but it's better to find the garlic shoots if you can.

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Chicken Bi Tua Parcels ( Gay Hor Bi Tua )


I showed Bi Tua leaves in todays other article, here is a typical recipe of seasoned chicken, wrapped in bi tua leaves, deep fried and served with a dipping sauce. The leaves give the chicken a subtle tangy taste, but the dominant flavours come from the dipping sauce.

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3 Tastes Platter ( Gung Nieng Mara Nam Prick Guy )


This makes a nice starter setting up the flavours of a coming meal. The main three flavours are seafood, a bitter taste from the melon and spicy chicken. I find it's nicer to present it with the prawns coiled up into the melon slices.

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Mushroom Tarts ( Had Op Kratong Tong )


Choose a good medley of flavour mushrooms for this dish, like shitake, and seps, to give it a depth of taste. Chopped Thai basil and coriander also adds to the flavour. The recipe for the Kratong pastry is here.

Ingredients for 10 Tarts
100 gms Flavour Mushrooms
1/2 Teaspoon Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Basil
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon Corn Flour
Coriander Leaves for Garnish (Optional)
10 Small Kratong Cases (Pastry cases)

1. Clean and slice the mushrooms.
2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a frying pan.
3. Lightly fry the mushrooms, add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, basil and oregano and stir until they are just softened, this only takes 30 seconds or so.
4. Mix the corn flour with 50ml water, and add to the mushroom pan and continue cooking to thicken up the juices.
5. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the kratong cases and top off with a garnish of a coriander leaf.

Fried Tofu and Plum Sauce ( Tuw Hu Tod )


A very simple starter, to illustrate how plum sauce is used. This dish is simply cubes of deep fried tofu, with plum sauce as a dipping sauce and coriander garnish.

200 gms Tofu
Oil for Deep Frying
Plum Sauce
Coriander Leaves for Garnish

1. Take the tofu and pat it dry on kitchen paper, this is to avoid the hot oil spattering. Cut into large cubes, 2cms on each side.
2. Heat the oil medium to 180 degrees celsius.
3. Fry the tofu cubes until brown, remove and drain on kitchen paper.
4. It really is that simple, you serve with plum sauce and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves to add a little colour. Serve with beer as a snack.

Crab Stick Rolls ( Pu Aut Hur Sar Lhia )


Crab sticks are those cheap sticks of white fish with a pink strip painted on them. They may not be a top quality cut of fish, but their shape makes them ideal for making this steamed starter.

10 Crab Sticks
200 gms Fish Mince
3-4 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper
1-2 Coriander Roots
1-2 Carrots
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
2 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
Seaweed Paper

1. Peel the carrots, coriander root and garlic. Chop them finely.
2. Then mix the fish mince (the minced flesh of any white meat fish), chopped carrot, garlic, white pepper, coriander root, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce together and mix well.
3. Take the seaweed paper, lay it down on a flat cloth or sushi mat, spread some of the mixture thinly over the seaweed paper, place a line of crab sticks along one edge and roll up the paper into a roll.
4. Cut the roll into 4cm lengths.
5. Steam for 10 minutes to cook.

Pork Ball & Noodle Starter ( Bami Mu Gorn )

pork noodle Starter

This is a very small plate of pork balls, and noodles served as a starter or with an alcoholic drink as a snack. The pork is seasoned with red teriyaki powder seasoning which gives it it´s distinct taste.

Green Noodles
150 gms Pork Mince
1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Seasoning Powder
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Coriander Roots ( Pounded )

1. Mix the pork mince and teriyaki powder, salt, sugar and punded coriander root.
2. Leave to mix for 30 minutes, then roll the meat into mini balls of pork.
3. Boil a pan of water, and add the noodles. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove and rinse with cold water. You can keep the boiling water to reuse to steam the finished dish.
4. Take the noodles and pork balls and set them on small plates. Steam the whole plate until the pork is cooked (10 minutes or so), then serve.

Shrimp Dim Sum ( Kanoom Jeeb Gung )


The shrimp tail is the give away on this dim-sum dish. Inside the parcel is a shelled shrimp, surrounded by pork mince and seasonings. The tail of the shrimp gives a nice handle to pick it up with.

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Pork Curry Pie ( Mu Pad Khiew Wan Hor Pai )


A snack straight out of a Bangkok bakery, these little pies are ideal at this time of year with all the western parties. They are mini bite sized pies (pasties) filled with a Thai green curry pork. A mix of west and east. I used store bought puff pastry, but you can also make your own pastry, or even make proper puff pastry.

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Pork Mushroom Parcels - Chow Mei ( Khanom Jeap )


Another Thai variant of a Chinese dish. These are pork mushroom and carrot parcels, we called them 'Dim Sum' but our Chinese friends say the correct name for this type of starter is 'Chow Mei'. Served as a starter or a snack, each parcel is approximately 3cms across.

Ingredient for Pastry

200 gms. Wheat Flour ( Enough for 40 )
2 Tablespoons Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Eggs

Ingredient for Filling

100 gms Pork Mince
3 Shitake Mushrooms
2 Carrots
1 Spring Onion
30 gms Coriander Leaves
1 Egg
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
4 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoon Cassava Starch (Or corn starch)

Preparation for Pastry
1. Put the salt, sugar, and flour into a bowl and mix it.
2. Beat the eggs together and mix into the flour.
3. Knead it until it forms a dough.
4. Set the dough aside for 20 minutes, it should be covered with a damp towel to prevent a skin forming.

Preparation for Filling
1. Soak the shitake mushroom for 5-10 minutes.
2. Chop shitake mushroom, carrots, spring onions, coriander leaves, and garlic,into small pieces. It is easier to blend it in a food processor.
3. Add the blended mix into the pork mince and add the egg, salt, oyster sauce and cassava starch, and mix well.

1. Cut the dough into very small balls.
2. On a slightly oiled or floured surface, roll the dough into small circles (approximately 6cms diameter).
3. Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
4. Lift up the edges into of the dought to form the sides - this will squeeze the filling into the centre.
5. For best results pleat the edges of the pastry to form pleated sides of the parcels.

Cooking and Storing
Add this point you can freeze them on a floured tray, or cook them straight away.
To cook them, place them in a Chinese steamer and steam for 10 minutes.

Serve With
Sour sauce

If you like hot spicy food, you can insert a piece of red or green chilli into the centre of the parcel before eating it.
Another recommended way to serve them, is drissled with fried garlic and bacon in its oil, this is shown in the photograph.

Crispy Pork & Spring Onion Parcels ( Giew Toud )


In China these are made using Wonton skins: a flour based dough processed with lye to change the texture of the flour. However at home in Thailand we make our own pastry without using Lye. This recipe is much better than the frozen Chinese parcels you can buy in the supermarket, the fresh spring onion and coriander really makes a big difference.

Ingredients for 2 People
100 gms Wheat Flour
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Oil
150 gms Pork Mince
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves
20 gms Coriander Leaves (approx 2 sprigs)
20 gms Spring Onion (approx 1 spring onion)

1. Whip the egg, put into flour and add the oil.
2. Mix this into a flour dough, it is better not to overwork it - knead it only enough to make a dough. Leave the dough for 5 minutes to rest.
3. Blend the pork, garlic, spring onion, light soy sauce, salt, pepper and coriander in a food mixer.
4. Take the dough, roll it into a sausage shape and chop off little pieces (approx 5 gms) from the end.
5. Roll each piece into a ball using your hands, then using a slightly oil rolling pin, roll the ball into a thin flat circle of pastry.
6. Put the meat filling into the centre, fold over the pastry and pleat the edges to form a parcel.
7. Pre heat a fryer or deep pan of oil to 190 degrees celsius (high).
8. Drop the parcels into the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until the pastry has just browned and the meat cooked.
9. Remove and place on kitchen paper to remove any oil.

Serve with
Sukiyaki dipping sauce or chilli sour Chinese sauce and coriander, mint and chilli. Or you can just eat them plain.

Rice Paper Pork Parcels ( Guay Tiaw-Lod )


These are a steamed snack with vegetables and pork wrapped up in a rice paper packet and steamed. They can be served hot as a starter or cold as a snack. You can see from the photograph that we eat this with fried garlic, it is a good idea to make a batch of fried garlic to be used as a condiment. If you like spicey food drop half a chilli into each parcel as you make them - it will create a burst of hotness as you bite into it.

Ingredients for Family
200 Pork Mince
100 gms Cabbage
100 gms Carrot
100 gms Bamboo
50 gms Glass Noodle
2 Egg
4 Shitake Mushrooms
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Teaspoon Ground White Pepper
5 Tablespoons Light Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Oyster Sauce
4 Tablespoons Peanuts
A Little Oil
30 Sheets Rice Paper
Grease proof paper

1. Soak the glass noodle and shitake mushroom for 10-15 minutes.
2. Take shitake mushroom and chop finely mix with the pork mince, garlic, and carrot and blend. A food processor is ideal for making this filling.
3. Chop the glass noodle, cabbage, and bamboo into small pieces and add to the mix.
4. Crush or chop the peanuts and add those. In Thailand we pound them in a Thai mortar.
5. Add the pepper, salt, soy sauce, and oyster sauce and eggs into the mix.
6. The mix of vegetables, eggs and pork will become the filling.
7. Soak the rice paper in water for 3 minutes to soften it, do not soak it too long or it will disintegrate.
8. Take a large flat plate and smear oil on it, you will assemble the parcels on this plate and the oil will prevent them sticking.
9. Prepare your steamer by covering the bottom with grease-proof paper, take a knife and cut through the slots so that the steam can go through the paper to reach the food.
10. Drop a lump of the filling into the centre of a sheet of rice paper and fold over the edges into a neat parcel.
11. Put the parcel in a the Chinese steamer, steam it for 8-10 minutes. Do not oversteam the parcel, the rice paper will become too wet if you do.

Serve With
Garlic fry
Sour sauce (Vinegar, Chillies and Soy Sauce mixed)

Steamed Red Pork Dumplings ( Sa La Pow Sie Mu Dang )


These steamed dumplings are made with pork seasoned with Thai teriyaki powder, available widely in Asian supermarkets.

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Jade Dim Sum ( Geiw Yorg )


Since I'm working in the Dim Sum section of a kitchen, I'll cover some of the Dim Sum recipes I haven't yet done. This one is known as 'Jade Dim Sum' for the green pea (or pea aubergine) in the top. It's made from shrimp and pork, and wrapped in green dim sum leaves to enhance the colour.

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Shrimp Pork Noodle Dim Sum


I'm working in the kitchen of a restaurant these days. I have hospital bills to pay from Liew's motorcycle accident and this blog makes barely enough money to pay for ingredients let alone any real bills! So on the down side, the food articles are few and far between as I'm busy, but on the plus side, I can show you some of the excellent food they sell at the restaurant I work in. Here I'm making a special dim-sum recipe, shrimp wrapped in pork and glass noodle.

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Phuket Breakfast ( Kiem Kooy )


This is a traditional Phuket breakfast, tiny little pots of a steamed plain rice flour base, flavored with chopped dried shrimp, fried garlic, spring onion and a spicy sweet sauce. You can serve then either in their pots, as I've done, or scoop them out, and then cover them with the traditional garnish and serve. Served out of the pots and ready covered with the garnish, is how they're traditionally served, but that's only because they need to empty the pots to make the next batch! I think it's a nice ceremony to serve them in the pots and let the guests garnish their own breakfast.

Think 'sweet shrimp' and you've captured the dominant flavors, then an after kick from the chillie. The traditional pots can be bought from Super Cheap, if you visit Phuket.

The four garnishes: fried garlic, sweet sauce, dried shrimp, spring onion.

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Red Pork & Noodle Dumpling ( Griew Hur Bami Mu Dang )


These red pork pyramid shaped parcels are yet another steamed snack, served as a starter. The red layer is made from seasoned pork, the inner layer filled with noodle. You'll need Teriyaki powder for this, it's easy enough to find in any Asian grocers.

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Thai Appetizers (Kratong Tong)


In our house we eat this as a 'gop-gam' dish (a snack dish to eat at the end of the day with beer or whiskey), but usually they're made smaller and eaten as an appetizer. The pastry is a basic shortcrust pastry that is baked separately into cup shapes. The fillings are made later with Thai flavours, curries and spicy fish etc.. In the photograph above you can see two sizes, in the 3 flavours we made, but feel free to experiment.

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About Starters

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Appon's Thai Food Recipes in the Starters category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Soups is the previous category.

Steamed Dishes is the next category.

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