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Dark Soy Sauce, an Essential in Thai Cooking  

Two years ago my friend Pom arranged for me to visit the Junsaeng soy sauce factory in Thalang, Phuket. I was fortunate to learn firsthand about their establishment and how soy sauce is made. Out of four soy sauce factories in Phuket, it is the only one still in business. I hope the video below will help you understand how soy sauce is made.

There are two types of soy sauce: light and dark. The dark soy sauce is a little-known but very important ingredient in many dishes, such as Phad See Ew, Kee Meo and Lahd Nah Noodles. After Phad Thai, these are the best known Thai noodle dishes for Americans. The secret ingredient in these dishes is a good dark soy sauce. For me personally, I love the flavor of dark soy sauce in Singaporean Noodles and Hainan Chicken. The challenge is that most of my students know how to use light soy sauce, but few have had a chance to experience cooking with dark soy sauce. Moreover, a good dark soy sauce is hard to find in America. My favorite brand is from Indonesia.

Before teaching my Thai Comfort Foods class for PCC Cooks, I decided to create a homemade, gluten-free, dark soy sauce. I didn’t want students to have to turn the world upside down to find dark soy sauce, but even more importantly, is almost impossible to find one that is gluten-free.  After a few experiments at home, I was happy with the results. My dark soy sauce recipe below was a success when I used it in stir-frying the noodles for my class. I hope that this recipe made it easier for you to cook Thai noodles at home. A few drops of dark soy sauce go a long way.

Dark Sauce 

See Ew Dam

In America, good dark soy sauce is hard to find. I created this recipe to make it available for students as a substitute for store-bought dark soy sauce. It is an important ingredient for stir-fried noodles and rice dishes that require a sweet molasses-like soy sauce. 

Yield: ¾ cup 

 ¼ cup water
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup wheat-free soy sauce

Place water and brown sugar in a heavy-bottom sauce pan and bring to a boil over a high heat. Stir until the sugar and water mix well together, then stop stirring completely. Let the sugar mixture cook on medium-low heat. Stand and watch the bubble. When it gets dark like coffee or molasses, pour in the soy sauce—be careful as there will be an eruption of bubbling liquid. Keep stirring until it becomes the consistency of molasses. Store in the refrigerator.

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen 
 I Love Thai cooking   
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .

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