Family Recipes

Alina Nuth

Note: all recipes below are best served family style

Mango Salad (Ngaum Swai)



  • 2 green mangos (peeled and shredded)

  • Shallots (sliced)

  • 1/4 cup coconut (shredded and toasted)

  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

  • 2 tablespoon garlic cloves (Fried or toasted)

  • *Optional* Chicken breast or pork (boiled and shredded)

  • *Optional* Dried Shrimp (whole or chopped)

You can also add chopped mint, basil, fish cheek herbs, chives, green onion, or whatever herbs you have in the garden. It is best if you can harvest or acquire these from a backyard garden (ask your mom, auntie, or grandma if they know a person). If that is not available to you, you can find the herbs at local Asian grocery store.


  • Fish sauce

  • Sugar

  • Water


  1. Meat is optional here, as this dish is good with or without meat. The first step is to gather all the ingredients. Before any prep, remember to wash your hands.

  2. You can slice and shred the mango into big mixing bowl. Then, if you are adding meat, boil hot water and cook the chicken breast (or pork) for about 15-20 min or however long it takes for it to be fully cooked.

  3. Once it is cooked, shred the chicken (at room or at warm temperature so that it is not too hot) by hand and add to mixing bowl.

  4. Slice the shallots and toast the coconut in a frying pan until brown and add both ingredients to the bowl. Chop garlic cloves and fry in a ¼ inch layer of coconut or olive oil, taking care not to burn it.

  5. You may have witnessed this done before and if you have you know how fast this can go from golden brown fried garlic to bitter burnt fried garlic. So just be on the watch for that once the garlic starts to brown. When that happens turn off heat and remove it from the stove.

  6. In a separate, smaller bowl, mix together a ratio of fish sauce, and sugar. Start out with 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a 1 tablespoon of water. Alter the salty and sweetness to your taste.

  7. Finally, chop up all herbs and allow the fragrant volatile aromas to enter your nose and breathe deeply while giving thanks. You can now add these to your mixing bowl, along with the sauce. Mix thoroughly and top with peanuts--and a red chili pepper if you so desire.

Beef Salad (Plea Sach Ko)



  • Fish sauce

  • Beef

  • Lemongrass

  • Limes

  • Thai basil

  • Mint

  • Sugar

  • Shallots

  • Chopped Peanuts

  • Cabbage

  • Onions

  • Carrots

  • Bell peppers

Sweet fish sauce:

  • Dried red pepper

  • Garlic

  • 2 cups of tamarind mixed with water

  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 1 cup of fish sauce


Cut vegetables: Shred or julienne carrots. Cut onions into fourths and then slice each quarter, and shred cabbage.

Option 1: (Auntie’s way) Sear beef and slice. Fry garlic. Mix sauce: Squeeze lime. Add fish sauce and sugar to taste. Then mix all ingredients together. Add peanuts.

Option 2: (Mom's way) Freeze beef partially so that it can be easily sliced. Cook it to the level of doneness you prefer (best is medium rare). Add the sliced beef and its juices to the vegetable mix and herb mix. Add fish sauce and sugar to taste. Mix and add peanuts.

Sweet Sauce:
Roast red pepper and garlic in oil over frying pan. Mix occasionally. In separate pot add tamarind paste to boiling water and mix. In another pot, brown the sugar until it becomes caramelized. Add in the 2 cups of tamarind and water. Add in a cup of fish sauce. Add in garlic and roasted dried red pepper.

Sour Soup with Pineapple (Samlaw Machew Youn)


  • Garlic

  • Lemongrass

  • 2 chicken thighs

  • 3 tomatoes

  • Cut pineapple

  • Fresh tamarind paste

  • Fish sauce

  • Mint, Thai Basil and Green Onion


  1. Boil pot of water and add garlic and lemongrass stems.

  2. Let boil for 10 min.

  3. Add chicken thighs (cut up).

  4. Let boil.

  5. In a separate dish, dissolve some of the soup stock with the tamarind paste and then add mixture to rest of soup.

  6. Add pineapple and tomato.

  7. Add fish sauce and salt to taste.

  8. Garnish with mint and basil and fried garlic.

Herb/Spice Noodles with basic broth


  • Water

  • Stock or bouillon cube

  • Star anise (3)

  • Coriander seeds (5 tablespoons)

  • Cardamom pods (5 pods, crushed)

  • Cloves (3 tablespoons)

  • Cinnamon (1 piece of bark)


  1. Boil water.

  2. Add 1 stock/bouillon cube.

  3. Put the mix of spices into an herb bag/infuser or coffee filter.

  4. Add herb bag to water once it is boiling.

  5. Reduce and simmer.

  6. Add soy sauce.

  7. Add dried rice noodles.

  8. Cover so as to let noodles steam-cook.

Grapefruit Salad



  • Meat (pork or chicken)

  • Peeled grapefruit.

  • Roasted coconut flakes

  • Shredded pork skin

  • Fried minced garlic

  • Peanuts, chopped and roasted


  • 2 parts sugar

  • 3 parts fish sauce.


  1. Mix the shredded pork, minced garlic, toasted coconut, and peeled grapefruit together with the sauce.

  2. Add green onions and peanuts as garnish.

Ban Ciao (turmeric crepes)



  • I cup rice flour

  • 1 1/2 cup water

  • 1 egg

  • Approximately 2 tablespoons coconut milk

  • 3 tablespoons of turmeric


  • Ground pork or chicken

Fish sauce:

  • 1 part fish sauce

  • 1 part of sugar

  • ¾ part of rice vinegar and

  • 3 ½ part of water

  • Lime juice


  1. Cut up onions and stir fry with garlic and ground meat (pork or chicken).

  2. Keep aside for inside mix.

  3. Mix together batter ingredients.

  4. In the frying pan, add one ladle of the batter and maneuver pan with wrist to make sure batter covers pan completely.

  5. Add more batter to empty spots if needed. Cover for 1 min.
    Remove cover and add shredded cabbage.

  6. Then add inside meat mix.

  7. Leave on stove to cook until edges peel.

  8. Flip half of pancake to cover. Remove pan from heat.

  9. Mix fish sauce ingredients and balance to taste.  

  10. Add lime juice as desired.

  11. Eat wrapped with herbs, lettuce, cucumbers and dip in fish sauce.

Mom’s pho stock recipe


  • Garlic (roasted)

  • Ginger

  • Onion

  • Cinnamon

  • Star anise

  • Cloves

  • Daikon

  • Corn

  • Cabbage

  • Carrot

  • Chicken or your choice of protein


  1. Put all ingredients into a pressure cooker.

  2. Set on high pressure.

  3. Once the pressure cooker stops the pho (soup) is ready.

  4. Add additional chicken stock, fish sauce, salt to taste and balance.