2 Cornish game hens or poussins (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds each), rinsed inside and out
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
10 cups tepid water
5 or 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 teaspoon white peppercorns, whole
A thumb-size hunk of unpeeled ginger, coarsely sliced against the grain
1 large unpeeled stalk lemongrass, cut into 2-inch lengths
A small handful of cilantro stems, preferably with roots attached, torn in half
2 or 3 whole green onions, torn in half
3 large stalks lemongrass, outer layer, bottom 1/2 inch, and top 4 inches removed
3 3/4 ounces unpeeled garlic cloves, halved lengthwise (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 ounces thinly sliced cilantro stems (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons Thai thin soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water
A couple tablespoons of shallot oil (or garlic oil)
1/2 cup honey mixed well with 2 tablespoons of hot water
Naam Jim Kai (sweet chile dipping sauce)
Naam Jim Kai Yaang (tamarind dipping sauce)
If you don't have a brush for marinating and basting, you can fashion one from a lemongrass stalk. Trim off the bottom 1/2 inch, remove the outer layer, and use a small knife to make inch-or-so-deep perpendicular cuts in the thicker bottom until it resembles the bristles of a brush.
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