From the Publisher
Praise for Seductions of Rice:
“Lots of personal stories woven together by their overriding passion for flavour.” The Globe and Mail
“. . . a touching and vivid account . . .” Food & Wine
“Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid who invented a cookbook genre with Flatbreads & Flavors keep on in a similar way with Seductions of Rice. This is the only book that captures rice as a way of life.” Gourmet
“. . . simply stunning.” The New York Times
Read an Excerpt
Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)
For conoisseurs of grilled chicken, Thailand is paradise. Grilled chicken, called gai yang, is a common street food and restaurant specialty, and though it is most closely associated with the regional cuisine of the northeast, each region has its own distinctive ways of marinating and grilling chicken. This recipe is our new favourite version, one we learned while staying in south Thailand near the town of Tap Sa Kae. Coconut milk is added to the marinade, giving the chicken even more succulence and depth of flavour.
2 cloves garlic
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped coriander root, minced
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 cup canned coconut milk
3 pounds chicken breasts and/or legs, chopped into 10 to 12 pieces
Accompaniment: Hot-and-Sweet Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
Prepare the marinade using a large mortar and pestle or a small food processor: Combine the garlic, salt, and pepper and pound or process to a smooth paste. Add the coriander root and pound or process to a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the fish sauce and coconut milk. Place the chicken pieces in marinade and turn to coat well. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Preheat a charcoal or gas-fired grill, then place the chicken 4 to 5 inches from the flame, bone side down. Once the bottom side is starting to brown, brush the pieces with some marinade, turn over, and cook on the other side until golden brown and the juices run clear.
Alternatively, the chicken can be cooked under a broiler. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a broiling pan, add the chicken pieces bone side up, and place 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element. cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or, until the chicken is starting to brown. Turn pieces over and lightly brush with a little of the marinade. Broil for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear.
Transfer to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce and plenty of sticky rice.
Serves 6 as part of a sticky rice meal.
Hot-and-Sweet Dipping Sauce (Nam Jeem Gai Yang)
Whenever you stop at a Thai street stall to buy gai yang (grilled chicken), you will be handed with your chicken a small back of sticky rice and and even smaller plastic bag of dipping sauce, bright reddish orange with chile peppers and sticky with sugar. The sauce is very easy to make at home and adds a wonderful final touch to grilled chicken, pork, or lamb. Serve in small individual condiment bowls so guests can dip their meat and their sticky rice in it as they eat.
1/2 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chile pepper flakes or minced dried red chiles
Place the vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan and heat to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sugar, lower the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle or a bowl and the back of a spoon, pound or mash the garlic and salt to a paste, then stir in the pepper flakes and blend well.
Remove the vinegar from the heat and stir in the garlic paste until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature; store in a sealed glass jar. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for several weeks, but it is best used within 5 days.
Makes about 1/2 cup sauce