The conundrum people often encounter the day after Thanksgiving (aside for Black Friday mobs) is what to do with all the leftover turkey and holiday fixings. But why wait until the day after to get creative? Why not spice up this year’s Thanksgiving traditions with a bit of a Thai twist? For this holiday season, ThailandInsider had the privilege of visiting the home of Chef Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai Cuisine in Westchester, California (a mere seconds away from Los Angeles International Airport), where she shared some of her very own favorite holiday dishes with us.
We started the day out with a quick stroll through Santa Monica’s Wednesday farmer’s market, which happens to be one of Chef Vanda’s favorite markets, to pick up some fresh produce for the day’s dishes. After a couple of hours, we were back in her aromatic kitchen with large bag of goodies for her unique take on a Thai turkey, tom kha mashed potatoes, and Thai roasted brussel sprouts .
Click to see what she made!
If only screens emitted scents too! After watching our video, we know you’re ready with an updated shopping list in hand! Just below are the recipes for Chef Vanda’s amazing creations!
You will need:
- 10-12 lb turkey
- 3 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 cups of Thai fish sauce
- 20 cloves of garlic for brine and 4 cloves of garlic for butter, both blended or minced
- 20 fresh Thai Chili, blended or chopped
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
Directions – Brining the Turkey
- Rinse turkey under cold water, and place in large bowl/pot/bag or vessel for brining turkey of choice.
- Make brine by adding lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, and Thai chili into a bowl to mix.
- Add mixed brine into vessel with turkey, add cold water to cover the turkey, wrap the vessel, and let it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Best if you can do it for 48 hours.
Directions – Roasting the Turkey
- Preheat the oven for 350 degrees F
- Remove turkey from brine and pat dry.
- Mix melted butter with garlic. Start at neck end, slide hand between skin and breast meat to loosen skin. Rub butter-garlic over the breast meat under the skin.
- Place turkey breast down on rack set in a large roasting pan, and place in oven. Cook turkey for 13-minutes for every pound.
- For the last 30 minutes of cooking, flip the turkey breast side up.
Tom Kha Mashed Potato
You will need:
• 2 lbs of Potatoes, peeled and cubed if large
• 4-tablespoon (1/2 stick) of Butter, room temperature
• 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 1⁄2 cup Coconut Milk (approximately 1 can)
• 1 stalk of Lemongrass, chopped
• 1 whole medium-sized fresh/frozen Galanga, chopped
• Thai Bird Eye Chili, crushed, to taste
• Kaffir Lime leaves, finely chopped, to taste
• Scallions, finely chopped, to taste
• Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste
Directions: 1. Place potatoes in medium sized pot. Cover with at least an inch of cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender (about 20 minutes)
2. While the potatoes are cooking, make the spiced-coconut milk by simmering the coconut milk over low- medium heat with lemongrass, galangal and Thai chili. When potatoes are done, strain the coconut milk. Discard the chili and herbs.
3. When the potatoes are done cooking (a fork can cleanly pierce), remove them from the pot, drain, and place them in a bowl.
4. Add butter and spiced-coconut milk, and mash until smooth.
5. Add kaffir lime leaves, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust.
6. Mix well and serve.
Thai Roasted Brussel Sprouts & Cauliflower
You will need:
• 1⁄2 pound of Brussel Sprouts, wash, dry and cut in halves
• 1⁄2 pound of Cauliflower, cut in bite-size florets
• Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 2 cilantro roots or 10 cilantro stems
• 2 tablespoons of whole white peppercorn
• 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
• 1 1⁄2 tablespoon of Thai fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon of Thai Mountain Soy Sauce (do not sub for other soy, just omit if you don’t have it and had an extra 1⁄2 tablespoon of fish sauce)
• 1⁄2 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 tablespoon of sweet black soy sauce
• White Pepper, to taste
• Cilantro, to taste
• Fried Garlic, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Drizzle some olive oil on the sprouts and cauliflower. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until they are tender and dark brown color
3. While sprouts and cauliflower are cooking, make the Thai garlic-peppercorn- cilantro root paste (the trinity of Thai paste/marinade). Use a mortar and pestle (or a blender if you don’t have it) to mix the three ingredients together. It does not need it to be superfine.
4. When the sprouts and cauliflower are done, turn off the oven. Leave them in the oven while you prepare the sauce.
5. Add olive oil into a medium-heat pan. When pan is hot, put the Trinity paste into the pan. *Dance in excitement because everything smells so good* Lower the heat and add, oyster sauce, fish sauce, Mountain soy sauce, and sugar. Mix and stir.
6. Add the roasted sprouts and cauliflower. Stir evenly.
7. Add the sweet soy sauce and white pepper. Stir quickly and plate.
8. Top with cilantro and fried garlic. Enjoy!
We’d like to give a special thanks to Chef Vanda for spending her day with Thailand Insider Productions and sharing her delicious family recipes with us! Don’t forget to tag @thailandinsider and @ayarathai with your Thai inspired creation this holiday! Remember there’s still time left before Thanksgiving dinner for you to get creative!
If you happen to be in the Los Angeles and would like some amazing Thai food to satisfy those Thai cravings, make it a point to stop in and visit with Chef Vanda at Ayara Thai Cuisine at 6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045. You have to try their famous
Chef Vanda Asapahu is the owner/chef her family’s restaurant Ayara Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles. Vanda was born in Thailand to food loving self-taught chefs and moved to Los Angeles with her family when she was 5-years old. She learned how to cook at a young age by helping her parents after-school with their catering business – grilling meat and preparing sauces – before doing her homework.
Chef Vanda received her undergraduate degree in International Development Studies at UCLA. And continued received her master degree in Public Health at Yale University. She worked with non-profit organizations and the United Nations in Thailand for four years. Living in Thailand allowed Vanda to revive old family recipes and travel through the different regions to discover new tastes and inspirations. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, it is these old recipes and new flavors that Chef Vanda brings back to share at Ayara Thai.