Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Thai Tacos

A recent article in Food & Wine magazine discussed a culinary trend towards tacos. It had a few chef recipes for tacos with influences from various cultures around the world. I really expected to see an old favorite of mine in the article, but alas it wasn't there. So I searched around, on google, on my hard drive, in my archives, in my handwritten recipe file... but no luck, I simply have never written down my Thai Taco recipe.
While digging through the hand written recipe journal a sheet of paper fell out. It lists 40 simple week night dinner ideas. I really wanted to reach my goal of 50 dinners before listing them out in an article, but I never got there. Number two on the list of the Culinary Vixen's simple and tasty dinner ideas: Thai Tacos - circa 1995.

Culinary Vixen's Thai Tacos
Serves 4

1.5 lb Lean Ground Beef (or tofu, turkey, TVP)
4 garlic cloves
5 green onions
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
White Pepper to Taste
1 small head Nappa Cabbage
1 Cup mung bean sprouts
1 Carrot
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch Thai Basil (other basil can be substituted)
1/2 bunch mint
2 Tablespoon Thai Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 Cup Salad Oil (Canola, Safflower, Sunflower, etc.)
juice of 1-2 limes
1 dozen Soft Taco Sized Flour Tortillas

Brown the beef in a large frying pan, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Smash the garlic and chop finely. Slice the green onions, red pepper and jalapeno into small dice. When the beef is almost cooked, add the chopped garlic and vegetables. Simmer on low while you prepare the greens (about 20 minutes).

Wash the cabbage, sprouts and herbs. Peel the carrot. Cut the cabbage sideways into thin ribbons and then once or twice length ways to make bite sized pieces. Put the cabbage into a large salad bowl. Put the mung bean sprouts over the cabbage. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrot into ribbons over the sprouts. Coarsely chop the cilantro, basil and mint (leaves only) and sprinkle over the carrot.

Combine the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce and salad oil in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously. Add some lime juice and season with soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice to taste.

Heat a comal or frying pan. Warm the tortillas on each side.

Turn the heat off under the meat mixture. Pour 4 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce and 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil over the beef in the frying pan. Stir well. Taste and season with additional soy sauce and white pepper if desired.

Dress the salad with the dressing. Serve tortillas with meat and salad filling. Chopped chiles and lime wedges are great accompaniments.


Culinary Vixen