Phad Cha Talay
Spicy Seafood Stirfry
Phad Cha Talay (Thai spicy seafood stirfry) is one of those dishes I order incessantly when I eat out, but never think to reproduce at home. I decided recently that this was a rather tragic state of affairs, and took it upon myself to figure out just how to make the stuff. Which I did. It's an almost embarrassingly simple recipe, and easy to whip up if you've got some combination of sea-creatures in your fridge or freezer. Any combination will do - don't limit yourself to what I've described here.
As an aside: roasted Thai chili paste is an absolutely delightful ingredient, and you should take it upon yourself to use it whenever you can. You'll thank me later.
Serves 4 or so.
1 lb halibut or some other kind of firm white fish
1 lb bay scallops or sea scallops - your choice.
1 lb shrimp, tail on
Thai hot chilis (to taste)
1/2 cup of cut basil
Nice bunch of scallions
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced galangal or ginger
2 tbsp roasted chili paste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oyser sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
Heat up the pan, then toss in the minced garlic and ginger. Don't let it sit for too long: it will burn like a mofo and you will be rather sorry.
Toss in the onions, chili peppers (if using) and red pepper, and saute until softish.
Toss in the seafood - it's wise to not stir too vigorously, as you don't want the fish to flake apart too much. Mix it up.
Add the fish sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, and roasted chili paste, and stir again, keeping an eye on the seafood for doneness.
When the seafood looks done, add the chopped scallion and basil, then turn off the flame. Voila.
Serve with rice, beer or dry white wine, and perhaps a simple Thai salad. I've been rather pleased with Vietnamese-stye coleslaw of late as a companion to stir-fry, made with caremlized shallots, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, chopped mint and basil, and ground peanuts. The juxtaposition in textures is delightful. Experiment at will.