The mythical land of Shangri-La is the novelist James Hilton’s fictional account of the legendary Tibetan paradise Shambala. In Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, he lovingly portrays the inspirational paradise Shangri-La. Fortunately for us, this paradise actual exists today.
Thailand has been a true inspiration for me. Twenty-five years ago I came for the 1st time and arrived at the opulent hotel Shangri-La Bangkok. It was a palace to me . My mission was to loose weight at that time in my life and this was the perfect location to get healthy. I found that in Thailand fat was not flavor, herbs spices were the flavor. That was a real eye-opener. From that day on, I never looked back. I lost 65 lbs and became a TV chef that specializes in healthy eating with 10 cook books and a global career.
It all came from this very 1st trip. Today I have made over 60 Thailand trips and counting. The Shangri-La Bangkok was my Shangri-La, that mythical place of paradise. It made such an impression that I wanted to create food like they served. I had that opportunity when I was a Guest Chef here in 2002 and over the years I have taken my eldest daughter and wife to this hotel many times and this year I was particularly excited to share it with our new baby girl Georgina.
On my visits here I have cooked for the eldest Princess of Thailand at the Shangri-La . Enjoyed meals with friends every time and so it truly holds a special place in my heart. My friends Laurent , Jack, Lee and Yoon, Joy, Nipphon and Chef Mc Dang have all joined around a table at this property.
This hotel is such an inspiration as it has such an array of food. The Shangri-La Bangkok has the best Chinese in town at Shang Palace. Next 2 café has seen modern updates frequently and Salatip the Thai restaurant is just wonderful. Angelina has Mediterranean fare but my oasis is the Horizon level, the Concierge Club. Sitting with a view that is the best in Bangkok, with a glass of wine and my mind wondering off to the Kingdom is how I like to spend my evenings. They have a focus on food and service that has held me captive for so many years. Many of the same staff are always here to greet me and so it is a home away from home.
So when a chef says to me now fat is flavor, I ask them if they have ever tried Tom Yum soup. There is no fat in this dish but more flavor than you can ever encounter. Inspired from the deep fried fish cakes at Salatip , I made a healthy version that has no added fat, just the good fats from the Salmon and loads of wonderful spices. Try them at home and share a little Thai food love and always remember that flavor can come from herbs and spices, not fat.
Salmon Fish Cakes
1 ¾ lbs fresh Salmon fillets
1 Red Chilli
½ red onion finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime or ½ a lemon
Handful fresh coriander leaves
½ cube freshly grated ginger
2 Table spoons olive oil
Take a blender and add the salmon roughly chopped,red chilli ,lime or lemon juice , egg, ginger, coriander and blend.
Then slice your spring onions, red onion.
Heat a large non stick pan, drizzle with oil on high heat and make the salmon into fish cake sizes, cook for 2-3 min each side.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.