Makan Time in Singapore


Neua Pad Prik (beef and chilis - a hamburger variant)

Some years ago, my wife and I were living near Oxford in England. One day 
she went to the asian market to buy the groceries, and disaster struck: no 
Thai chilis.

She managed, with poor grace, to buy some jalapenas and some 'Scotch Bonnet' 
peppers, and the dish that follows is what we had for dinner that night.

We have since converted it back to Thai ingredients and methods. The 
following notes are relavant:

sweet chilis: in Thailand these are prik chi fa. Otherwise jalapenas
hot chilis: in Thailand prik ki nu, otherwise Scotch Bonnets or Habaneros
syrup: in Thailand, boil some water, dissolve sugar in it until no more 
will dissolce, and then reduce to form a syrup. otherwise Tate & Lyle 
brand golden syrup, or something similar, will do.

In Thailand we use shallots (purple onions). These are cheap and plentiful. 
In the west, where they are often expensive and hard to find, ordinary 
yellow or red onions will suffice.

We cook it by wrapping it in banana leaves and placing it on the ashes 
of a charcoal brazier for 30 minutes. Otherwise you can wrap it in 
aluminum foil and grill it until cooked to the desired doneness.

You can slice and pound the beef as in a conventional neua pad prik 
recipe, or you can follow this technique for burgers. You could buy
prepared hamburger (ground beef), but it is usually low grade meat and
high in fat. Better, we feel to make it as indicated.

The seasoned fish sauce is the fish sauce from nam pla prik, found on
any table in Thailand. If you don't have any then take 4 tablespoons of
fish sauce, add a tablespoon of green prik ki nu ('birdseye chilis'),
sliced thinly, store in a stoppered jar for a week in the refrigerator,
then it is ready to use. The excess can be used as a condiment for this


For the burgers:

2 pounds of beef
1 cup of diced shallots
2 tablespoon of seasoned fish sauce
2 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg


2 tablespoons of garlic, chopped
half a cup of shallots (purple onions) finely sliced
half a cup of sweet chilis, sliced
quarter cup of hot chilis, sliced
quarter cup of ginger, grated
quarter cup of fish sauce
quarter cup of dark sweet soy sauce
quarter cup of sugar syrup

Note: the chilis should preferably be a variety of colours


Dice the beef, and combine with the remaining burger ingredients, except 
the egg and leave to marinade for about three hours. If desired the meat 
can be ground in a food processor first.

Beat and add the egg. Form the mixture into 12 patties.

In a wok heat about 3 tablespoons of peanut oil, and then sautee the 
garlic, onions, ginger and chilis until aromatic. Remove from the heat, 
add the remaining ingredients, and process to a coarse chop.

Take 6 pieces of banana leaf (or aluminum foil), and on the first, place 
2 tablespoons of the sauce mixture, and spread it into a disc the size of 
the meat patties. Add a pattie, add two tablespoons of relish, add a second 
pattie, and then add two more spoons of relish. Seal the package by folding 
it and clipping it with a toothpick or small wooden skewer. Repeat for the 
remaining patties to form 6 packages.

Place these on the ashes of a brazier (or on a medium hot barbeque) and 
cook until they reach the desired doneness.

To Serve:

Open the packages, add a couple of tablespoon of cooked rice, and a fried egg.

This has the advantage that when the diners have eaten the plates do not 
need to be washed!

Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.