Thai Cooking

1
What makes this coffee worth $1,100 a kilo?
2
Grilled Lemongrass Naked Prawns
3
Aromatic Apple Salad with Crispy Rice Cakes
4
Meet Celebrity Chef Mini C
5
Thai Grilled Beef Salad

What makes this coffee worth $1,100 a kilo?

THAT’S RIGHT – $1,100 A KILO. It’s called Black Ivory Coffee – the latest offering from Anantara Golden Triangle resort in northern Thailand, where it’s become quite a sensation. Anantara is now introducing it to its four resorts in the Maldives.

Before you reach for your wallet, perhaps it might be the time to tell you what makes it so expensive.

For starters, there are only 50 kilos available for sale. That’s largely because of the process the coffee beans go through before they reach your table.

It begins with selecting the best Thai Arabica beans that have been picked from an altitude of 1,500 metres. The beans are fed to elephants, who digest and later deposit them. The individual beans are then handpicked by mahouts (elephant trainer and carer) and their wives and sundried.

Approximately 10,000 beans are picked to produce one kilogramme of roasted coffee; 33 kilos of coffee cherries are required to produce one kilo of Black Ivory Coffee.

Research indicates that during digestion, the elephant’s enzymes break down coffee protein.  Since protein is one of the main factors responsible for bitterness in coffee, and less protein means almost no bitterness.

Refinement of the coffee takes place at Anantara’s own foundation the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) in Thailand. The foundation, set in the grounds of Anantara Golden Triangle has rescued 30 street elephants along with their mahouts and families to date. Eight per cent of all coffee sales will be donated to GTAEF to help fund a specialist elephant veterinarian to provide free care to the elephants and additional funds will also be used to purchase medicine as well as to build a new laboratory.

In order to demonstrate freshness and to enhance diners’ senses, the coffee is ground by hand at the table and brewed using technology developed in 1840 in Austria.  This balancing syphon is not only a beautiful machine but also widely recognized as the best way to brew coffee.  The consistent 93° Celsius temperature and contact time between water and bean result in a very clean and flavourful taste.  The brewing process takes about four minutes.

“We are delighted to be among the first hotels in the world to offer this one-of-a-kind coffee experience that also has a positive impact in the lives of Thai elephants,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group with includes Anantara. “It perfectly and flavorfully fits the philosophy of Anantara Resorts to afford our story collecting travellers unique experiences in a destination that appeases more than just aesthetic senses.”

Anantara is part of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) – the world’s largest independent hotel brands. Other members include: Doyle Collection, First, Kempinski, Leela, Lungarno Collection, Marco Polo, Mirvac, Mokara, Omni, Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL, Shaza and Tivoli.

 

Grilled Lemongrass Naked Prawns

 

Like Thai food? Then meet Mini C. That’s the pen name for Ob-oom Chutrakul, author of two cook books; executive consultant chef, S Cuisine, S Medical Spa; executive consultant chef, The Gastro; and managing director, Quintessentially (Thailand). She spent three decades abroad, returning to Thailand in 2007. While in the U.K., Mini C operated the prestigious Busabong Restaurants in London’s Chelsea district and became known as a celebrity chef, appearing as guest chef on a number of SKY Channel’s cooking programs. In addition, she shared her love for Thai cooking with audiences in 170 countries on TV shows broadcast over the Thai Global NetworkChannel 5

GRILLED LEMONGRASS NAKED PRAWNS

Makes 10 skewers

Ingredients

2 tbsp light olive oil

2 tbsp ready-made red curry paste

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1tbsp Thai fish sauce

½ tsp caster brown sugar

40 raw black tiger prawns, peeled and deveined, but with the tails left on

10 lemon grass stalks to use as skewers, sharpened at the top

6-8 lime wedges, to serve

How to make

Begin by enhancing the ready-made red curry paste.  Heat the olive oil in a wok over a low heat, then add the paste and stir-fry for about 15 seconds.  Do not let the curry paste burn.  Add the lime leaves and stir for a further 10 seconds. This will give you the strong and aromatic red curry paste you need.

Mix the stir-fried paste with lime juice, fish sauce and sugar together in a large, non-metallic bowl.  Add the prawns, stirring gently so they are well coated and then cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate for 15 -20 minutes.

Preheat the grill to high.  Thread 4 prawns on to each lemon grass stalk.  Place under the hot grill for about 3 minutes, turning the lemon grass stalks occasionally, until the prawns have cooked through and are opaque.

 

Aromatic Apple Salad with Crispy Rice Cakes

Like Thai food? Then meet Mini C. That’s the pen name for Ob-oom Chutrakul, author of two cook books; executive consultant chef, S Cuisine, S Medical Spa; executive consultant chef, The Gastro; and managing director, Quintessentially (Thailand). She spent three decades abroad, returning to Thailand in 2007. While in the U.K., Mini C operated the prestigious Busabong Restaurants in London’s Chelsea district and became known as a celebrity chef, appearing as guest chef on a number of SKY Channel’s cooking programs. In addition, she shared her love for Thai cooking with audiences in 170 countries on TV shows broadcast over the Thai Global NetworkChannel 5

Serves 4 as part of a meal or 1 individually

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Thai fish sauce, or 1/3 tsp. salt for vegetarians

A small amount of fresh chilli to your liking, pounded

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1tsp caster brown sugar

1 red apple, cored and chopped into small cubes or sliced into wedges

1 green apple, cored and chopped into small cubes or sliced into wedges

25g or 1oz carrot, peeled and shredded

1 ½ tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, or 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

4-5 rice crackers (salted or unsalted), as desired, per person, to serve

For the crispy baked shallots

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven at 150 c

Mix the oil with sliced shallots and place on a heat proof tray. Bake for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave aside to cool so they will get crispy.

How to make the salad

First make a batch of fried shallots.

Combine the fish sauce, chilli, garlic and sugar in a bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Stir in the red and green apples, the carrot, lemon or lime juice and the crispy shallots and toss together.

Transfer to a large plate or bowl and serve with rice crackers on the side.

Meet Celebrity Chef Mini C

Like Thai food? Then meet Mini C. That’s the pen name for Ob-oom Chutrakul, author of two cook books; executive consultant chef, S Cuisine, S Medical Spa; executive consultant chef, The Gastro; and managing director, Quintessentially (Thailand). She spent three decades abroad, returning to Thailand in 2007. While in the U.K., Mini C operated the prestigious Busabong Restaurants in London’s Chelsea district and became known as a celebrity chef, appearing as guest chef on a number of SKY Channel’s cooking programs. In addition, she shared her love for Thai cooking with audiences in 170 countries on TV shows broadcast over the Thai Global Network, Channel 5. Her first dish appears below.

 

 


Thai Grilled Beef Salad


 By MINI C, Celebrity Chef

SERVES TWO

This is very Thai. It is another way of making beef more interesting, — apart from the usual stir-frying and stewing methods. Although quite a filling dish, it is great for your waistline as long as you trip any fat from the beef. Especially great with an ice-cold beer.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Vegetable oil for greasing the grill rack

400g (14oz) beef topside in one piece

2 bird’s eye chillies (small but lethal)

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (not fish stock)

4 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tablespoon caster brown sugar (optional)

80g (3oz) cucumber, finely sliced

2 whole tomatoes, cut into wedges

½ onion, thinly sliced

2 spring onions, chopped

½ handful of coriander leaves, to garnish.

Preheat the grill to medium-high and lightly grease the grill rack. Place the beef on the rack and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side until it is medium-rare, then set aside to cool.

Pound the chillies and garlic together into a paste using a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the fish sauce, lemon juice and sugar.

Thinly slice the beef and add it to the bowl, along with the cucumber, tomatoes, onion and spring on­ions and very gently toss together.

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