It is delightful to see more prominent chefs and restaurants joining the environmental movement over the past years. This includes greater support for local sustainable farmers. One such restaurant is Taan, featured in MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2022. The restaurant is dedicated to innovative Thai cuisine using only local ingredients. Each dish is not only brimming with the chef’s creativity, but also captivating stories of Thai farmers who are committed to sustainable agriculture.
In this edition of MICHELIN Guide at Home, Chef Monthep “Thep” Kamolsilp of Taan shares his thoughts and a delicious vegan recipe that you can easily make at home.
“I’m making Khanom Tom Kao Khao Phod Yum Tua Plu (Corn Dumpling with Winged Bean Salad). It’s inspired by Khanom Tom Kao Tom Daeng (Coconut Dumpling Topped with Caramelised Coconut), which I used to help my grandmother make when I was young. It actually is a dessert made from glutinous rice flour. But I wanted to present it in a new light and make it an easy vegan recipe.
“This Khanom Tom is not a dessert most Thais are familiar with. I built on the concept, adding vegetables packed with umami, and it becomes a ravioli-like dish with a Thai touch.”
Chef Kamolsilp assured us that anybody can create this healthy vegan dish at home despite its many components – corn dumpling, dressing, and winged bean salad.
Let’s get started!
Please note this recipe is for one serving.
1. Dumpling wrapper
Reduced corn milk
- 500 grams, corn milk
- 60 grams, vinegar
Instructions: Mix both ingredients. Simmer until reduced to 200 grams. Set aside for the next step.
- 130 grams, reduced corn milk
- 180 grams, glutinous rice flour
- 80 grams, water
Instructions: Mix the corn milk with the flour. Knead in a mixing bowl. Add water gradually whilst kneading. Keep kneading until you can shape it. Then, roll into a ball, and press it flat.
2. Grilled corn and tomato mushroom filling
- 15 chillies, roasted spur chillies
- 10 grams, roasted garlic
- 35 grams, roasted shallots
- 130 grams, grilled tomatoes
- 10 grams, grilled spring onions
- 30 grams, straw mushrooms
- 50 grams, oyster mushrooms
- 15 grams, light soy sauce
- 30 grams, water
- 20 grams, concentrated tamarind paste
- 5 grams, sliced green onions
- 15 grams, grilled corn
Instructions: Soak the mushrooms in the light soy sauce for 20 minutes. Then, roast or grill them. Mix all the ingredients, except for the sliced green onions and grilled corn, together. Then pound or roughly blend them. Mix in the sliced green onions and grilled corn. Set aside.
3. Coconut oil dressing ingredients
- 180 grams, coconut oil
- 30 grams, diced garlic
- 30 grams, chopped bird's eye chillies
- 30 grams, toasted coconut flakes
- 30 grams, fried shallots
- 3 grams, fleur de sel
4. Winged bean salad ingredients
- 35 grams, thinly sliced winged beans
- 35 grams, thinly sliced Siam tulips
- 17 grams, thinly sliced fresh white turmeric
- 35 grams, grilled baby corn
- 30 grams, chilli paste
- 10 grams, lime juice
- 15 grams, light soy sauce
- 30 grams, coconut sugar
- 10 grams, lime juice
- 2 limes, lime zest
- 3 grams, salt
5. Garnishes (Optional)
- Few shoots, Brazilian peppertree shoots
- Few flowers, Siam tulips
1. Corn dumplings: Roll the wrapper out into a flat round shape. Place the filling in the middle. Fold the wrapper together and knead it into a ball. Boil for 4 minutes.
2. Coconut oil dressing: Heat the coconut oil then fry the diced garlic. Add the bird's eye chillies. When the garlic becomes aromatic and golden brown, add the shallots and coconut flakes. Set aside.
3. Winged bean salad: Mix the chilli paste, soy sauce, fleur de sel, coconut sugar, lime juice, and lime zest together. Season to taste. Pour the mixture on the Thai winged beans, Siam tulips, white turmeric, and baby corn. Mix together.
1. Plate the salad into a circle, leaving a space in the middle.
2. Pour the dressing in the middle of the circle. Then, place the dumpling on top of the dressing.
3. Garnish the salad with the Brazilian peppertree shoots, Siam tulips, as well as remaining dressing and salad mixture.
Special tips from the chef
- The Winged bean should be sliced thin. Thoroughly clean the beans to remove the slime and reduce any pungent smell. The pieces will also be easier to chew. If the beans are overripe, or the slices are too thick, boil them to remove the pungent smell.
- Siam tulips blossom during Thailand’s rainy season. Feast your eyes on its collective beauty at Sai Thong National Park in Chaiyaphum. The tulip possesses medicinal properties in addition to its deliciousness. Its aromatic and peppery budding flowers, usually used in spicy salads, have carminative properties. They help expel gas from the stomach as well as relieve flatulence.
- During the first step of plating, you can use a piece of round dinnerware to make the salad shape perfectly round.
How this dish embodies Thailand’s diversity
Many ingredients in this vegan dish have interesting origins. Sisaket’s garlic and shallots are registered GI (geographical indication) products. There are the famous Bang Chang chillies from Samut Songkhram. Bird’s eye chillies and organic corn come from Ratchaburi’s farmer network. There is also the beautiful Siam tulip from the Northeastern provinces. Together, they showcase Thailand’s ubiquitous quality producers.
“There is also local food wisdom passed down through generations. Each location has its own unique ingredients and flavours. I’ve learned that there are reasons behind each taste and lifestyle – it could be from using available resources or from cultural transfer.” The driven Thai chef explained how his perceptions expanded as he discovered that one dish could taste differently between provinces, or even districts. Every part of Thailand has its own hidden gems.
“I believe local traditions should be appreciated by a larger audience. I do not want it to be confined to a certain community. It could be lost someday if people do not see the value.”
Kamolsilp encourages fellow foodies to travel locally. Go out and explore local histories and heritages. Learn about regional tastes and cultures. Apart from the fun, the memories, and knowledge, you can boost local economies, which in turn contributes to its sustainability.
Tips to eat like a true local from the chef
- Follow the locals. Aside from hotel receptionists and concierges, ask for recommendations from maids or security guards. Their favourite places may not be in mainstream travel guides.
- Find opportunities to observe how locals cook. Talk with them. You will definitely learn some new tips and knowledge.
- Step outside your comfort zone. Be open to trying food you have never seen before or thought you would not like. Your taste buds will expand, and you will have more memorable moments.
For vegan or health-conscious tourists, several restaurants selected by MICHELIN Guide offer vegetarian and vegan menus. Haoma, IGNIV, Mia, Thien Duong, and PRU are committed to reducing food waste and to promoting sustainable practices. They all received the MICHELIN Green Star for their eco-friendliness. Taan does not usually offer a vegetarian menu, but Chef Kamolsilp can always accommodate guest’s requests made in advance.
Although it is fun to travel, do not forget to stay safe. Wear a mask. Rinse your hands. Look for the reassuring SHA certificate, which means that location meets crucial measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Every tourist can be confident that they are safe whilst receiving products or services.
You can learn more about SHA certificates at thailandsha.tourismthailand.org. For up-to-date information on tourist destinations, please contact the TAT Call Centre at 1672, or Facebook: @TATContactCenter.
Hero image: © Anuwat Senivansa Na Ayudhya/ MICHELIN Guide Thailand