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Thai Taco

When I first served dish to my Hubby, he looked at me strangely in the eyes and asked me “Why it looks like this, girl? This is because my husband never used to eat fresh green vegetable. He grew up in South India which vegetables were cooked very tender. I told him “Try it” He did and his reaction changed. Now he can’t wait for the next time I bake the delicious chicken, and make my yummy peanut sauce.

One dish that is common in the local Northeast Thailand village is “Pea Sa”. It is a party food where you wrap cooked chicken or fish and Somen noodle with Chinese cabbage, fresh mint and fresh coriander leaves that pour over with sweet, sour, spicy peanut sauce.

Let make it!

This is a party food, the serving size is questionable. But I would say 2kg size chicken would feed 6 people generously.

For Baked chicken


2 kg Whole chicken

1 tsp salt

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp Sesame oil

1 Whole garlic- finely chopped

2 tbsp Ginger- finely chopped

2 lemon grass- finely chopped

2 tbsp Light soy sauce

Mix the entire ingredients together and apply on the chicken. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 1-2 hour.

Bake in preheat oven at 180 degree F for 30- 40 minutes or until the chicken is cook from the inside and crispy lightly brown from the outside. When the chicken is in the oven, you will have time to prepare fresh salad and sauce.

For sauce

500 gm groundnut or peanut- freshly roasted and skin removed

¾ cup of Brown sugar (or white sugar)

½ cup of vinegar

1 tsp salt

½ cup Water

1 lime

4 tbsp fish sauce

2 Fresh red chilies

3-4 cloves Garlic

Traditionally they use mortar to make the sauce. But I found that food processer not only quicker but also make the sauce smoother and creamier.

In the food processer add roasted groundnut, red chili, and garlic, blend just about 10-15 seconds. You don’t want the mixture to be finely ground. It should be smooth but lightly crunchy. Transfer the mixture to the big bowl and keep aside.

In the medium sauce pan, add water, vinegar, sugar and salt, bring to boil and remove from the stove. Let it cool down to warming liquid. Add the liquid to the groundnut mixture, stir well.

Squeeze the juice of 1 lime in and check for seasoning. The sauce should be creamy, sweet, sour and salty.

To prepare Salad for wrapping


2 big Chinese cabbages

500 gm fresh coriander

500 gm fresh mints

Wash all the vegetable in running water.

For Chinese cabbages, you want to remove the individual leave and use knife or scissor to make a small bowl from the cabbage leave. Stake them in the serving trays.

For mint and coriander, discard the hard stems. Leave tender stem and fresh green leaves on the serving trays.

Make noodle:

Noodle is one of the essential parts of this taco. Use Somen noodle and rice noodle for this recipe. I found that thin rice noodle or rice vermicelli is perfect for the recipe. If you use package rice vermicelli, simply follow the instruction in the package. You want to cook the noodle until it is soft but not over cook them. Strain the noodle and keep aside.

To eat!

You want to make one big bite of this taco at a time. Lay the crunchy Chinese cabbage on the plate, place noodle and a big piece of roasted chicken inside with few mint and coriander leaves. Pour the delicious groundnut sauce on top generously. Fold the taco and eat! Now just allow the taco to make the magic in your mouth!

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