Showing posts with label Thai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thai. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is another grilled chicken recipe from Rachel Allen. Thai influenced and easy. I was tempted to add some coconut cream but decided otherwise at the last minute because I thought her chicken looked yummy enough. 

We had this for dinner. I was expecting it to be a little stickier considering the name but it wasn't as sticky. Okay I'll admit I did not follow the recipe to a T.......neither did Rachel on tv.....but it was tasty. The next time I make this i would add some dry  roasted and crushed cumin seeds or a dash of cumin powder and a splash of coconut cream to the marinade. I think it would be much more flavourful. Having said that, this wasn't bad at all.

I like baking or roasting chicken. I get to nap.

The Recipe ~ adapted from Rachel Allen

6 chicken thighs and drumsticks
2-3 red chillies, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 sticks lemon grass, white part only and sliced
2 - 3 T brown sugar, I used palm sugar
juice of 2 limes
3-4 T fish sauce
a small bunch of coriander, chopped roughly and extra for garnish
salt to taste, if necessary

Put all ingredients except chicken into a small food processor and process until a loose wet paste. 

Dry chicken pieces well, slash each piece twice at intervals to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat. Place chicken into a large plastic bag. Pour the marinade/paste into the bag and massage chicken pieces gently so that the marinade covers the chicken and coats evenly. Reserve teh excess marinade for later. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Pre-heat oven 350 F

Take chicken pieces out of the marinade and place on a  baking or roasting tray. Roast for about 40-45 minutes at 350 F. Take the roasted chicken out and check for doneness by looking at the juice that runs out. If it is clear and has no pnkish hue it's done. Using a tong lift off the chicken pieces onto a large platter.

Take the excess marinade and pour into the baking tray. Place the baking tray over the stove on medium heat. Stir and adjust seasoning if necessary and reduce the sauce until it becomes a thick syrupy liquid. Pour it over the chicken pieces. Serve with hot steaming white rice.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Papaya trees grow from a seed to a fruit-bearing 20 foot tree in about eighteen months. And they fruit the way rabbits breed. In a bunch. They are not one of my favourite fruit because they have a slight bitter undertone. But young green papaya when made into a Thai salad transforms into something quite, quite wonderful. Utterly refreshing. 

My first encounter of a Thai papaya salad was at the Thai ambassador's cocktail party many years ago. In an effort to promote their cuisine they had booths set up to demonstrate the makings of various scrumptious Thai dishes. Surprisingly amoung all other mouth-watering dishes the one dish that I fell in love with was the Thai papaya salad. 

I think it was the combination and perfect balance of fresh fruit, toasted dried shrimps, hot chillies, salty fish sauce, tart lime juice and crunchy peanuts that won me over.

With the Thai papaya salad comes the above, right, which, I  believe, is a Thai invention. The papaya/fruit shredder. It looks like an ordinary fruit or vegetable peeler the only difference being that the blade is grooved intermittently across. 

I saw this device on Luke Nguyen's show and have been scavenging the shops ever since. I had asked the Thai girl at the organic shop which I frequent where to get one. She looked at me incredulously and said ...anywhere. Obviously I had not been anywhere. Well finally it wasn't anywhere that I found this pretty device but at Vivahome along Jalan Loke Yew....a large spanking new mall that has shops selling nothing else but kitchen things and home furnishings. From end to end and top to bottom. Finally mother and I had landed in heaven.


The recipe ~

I bought a very firm, dark green, young papaya, the inside a light orange and firm, the shredding of which was bliss.

Thai Papaya Salad ~

2 - 2 1/2 cups of shredded young papaya
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup palm sugar , grated
1 T water
1 red chilli, chopped finely or 2 bird chillies crushed
1 T fish sauce
2 T dried shrimps, toasted or lightly fried in a little oil
a few sprigs of coriander leaves with stems, chopped finely

Put the shredded papaya into a large bowl. throw in the chopped chilli and coriander.

Mix the palm sugar and water in a small pot and heat until sugar dissolves. Keep aside and allow to cool. 

Meanwhile pound dried shrimps in a pestle and mortar and then add peanuts and pound gently to just crush peanuts. Do not pound to a paste.The mixture should be crumbly and the nuts in small chunks.

Mix the cooled syrup with the lime juice and fish sauce in another bowl and pour this dressing over the shredded papaya mixture. Add the pounded shrimps and peanuts and mix with your fingers or two spoons gently to coat the fruit evenly with the dressing. Add fish sauce or extra lime juice to balance the flavours.

Sprinkle more crushed peanuts over the top.

Serve cold or at room temperature as a side dish.

Note : A combination of shredded cucumber and papaya is good too.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Thai sweet chillie sauce is syrupy, sweet and hot spicy. It takes under 10 minutes to make from start to finish. It's super quick. But I think the most satisfying part about making sauces, pickles, chutneys, jams or relishes, super quick or not,  is in the bottling.  Because you just know better things are about to come.

I really wanted a square bottle for this. So I went to Daiso. Got it. 

Daiso has everything. They have the littlest sauce bottles in the world too. Each slightly longer than an inch and perhaps skinnier than your little finger.  They are to bring along with you when you travel.  For when you're feeling homesick. Or perhaps to work. So quirky. Even silly me wouldn't buy them. They are just too little. :) 

But I did buy that cute spoon in the photo. I can't stop myself buying things from that store. Help.

And then I made sauce.

The recipe ~

This sauce was so easy. I got the recipe off Closet Cooking who got it off She Simmers. However, I added fish sauce and a couple more chillies for more heat. And for more Thai. Beautiful and delicious. I can't wait to dip some spring rolls in it. So Thai. So pretty. 

4 large red chillies
3 bird eye chillies
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar, I used apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 T fish sauce

1 T cornstarch mixed with
2 T water

Cut chillies up, de-seed if you prefer ( I did not). Put both kinds of chillies, garlic, water into a blender and blend until the chillies are medium fine or fine if you prefer. 

Pour the mixture into a pot. Add vinegar and sugar and bring to a gentle boil until the sugar dissolves. Add the fish sauce and taste for salt. Add more if necessary. 

Add the cornstarch-water mixture and stir the sauce until the sauce thickens about a minute. Bring it off the heat and let it cool before bottling.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I suppose when one has sucked, slurped and savoured a piping hot Char Kuay Teow from a road side stall no other noodle dish can ever quite make it into your book of heavenly noodles. 

I made Pad Thai today. I used rice vermicelli instead of flat rice noodles because I wasn't feeling animated enough to make home made flat rice noodles (I never use commercially made ones). 

All in all the Pad Thai was good. This is my second attempt at Pad Thai because I thought I did not quite get it right the first time. What made it different from other local fried noodles is the fact that it had the slight sourness of tamarind to it. I had also added extra chillie powder to the tamarind/fish sauce sauce because I like it hot.

This was a noodle dish that did not blow me away but it was not bad. It was good. I'll give it a 7. I'll give Char Kuay Teow a 12 ~ no matter which competent person fries it. Pad Thai lovers please don't hit me. But you know, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just a hopeless Pad Thai maker. So go ahead and try this recipe from Chez Pim and hit tell me about it. 

I spied Chez Pim's Pad Thai on Ju's lovely blog here and ever since I saw her absolutely gorgeous Pad Thai my left hand has been smacking my right hand into making it. Finally it has. One bookmarked recipe down and 3 million to go.

You'll find the recipe here on the lovely Chez Pim's blog.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Glass noodles ~ cellophane noodles ~ mung bean threads ~ su'on ~ tunghoon ~ they're all one and the same. Slippery glass threads that are near impossible to scoop up if they were put into a soup. It's not to be confused with rice noodles.

It's complete transparency and its feel as it slips through your lips, slides over your tongue and slithers down your throat makes it a very unique noodle. 

It is an ingredient in a lovely soup with dried or fresh shrimps  that I used to eat as a child. A soup that's made up of bean curd skin, loofah, wooden ear fungus, golden needles and finally the glass noodles. Delicious. It was a favourite vegetable soup. But it was always the glass noodles that attracted and fascinated me more than anything else. It kept me busy.

But the Thais have made it the main ingredient in a light and lovely salad. Less slithery because it is not in a soup but is a moist salad and very delicious because it is mixed with a spicy, salty, sour and sweet dressing made of fish sauce, lime juice, bird chillies and brown sugar with the addition of some prawns, dried and fresh, and minced chicken. MMMM

My son and I had it for lunch today. It was a healthy lunch. Unfortunately I spoiled the 'healthy' part by gorging on some pineapple tarts I had baked right after. And as if I hadn't sinned enough.....2 hours after that I had a bowl of ice cream. But I redeemed myself by having an orange after.

Shall I'll try again tomorrow?

I have to tell you that it tasted even better after I had some later in the evening after the noodles had absorbed all the flavours of the dressing. Double MMMMMMMM

The recipe ~ the measurements are approximate since I had thrown everything in before remembering to measure them.....

100 gm dried glass noodles
100-150 gm minced chicken
5-6 pieces of medium prawns, shelled and cleaned, left whole season with little salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped spring onions
1/4 cup of chopped coriander
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 T dried shrimps, fried to a crisp and pounded finely (optional but more flavourful if included)

Dressing ~

3 T fish sauce
1 T brown sugar
3-4 bird chillies or use large chillies if you prefer less heat
1-2 T lime juice

Soak the glass noodles in cold water to soften for about 10 minutes. Then drain placing the noodles back into the bowl. Pour just boiled water into the bowl of noodles and let stand for just 3-4 seconds and then drain thoroughly running cold water through to rid it of the heat. Keep aside.

Cook the minced chicken in a frying pan using only 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil. Season with very little salt and pepper. Scoop out to a bowl. Saute the prawns in the same pan. Add a little oil of too dry. Don't use to much salt because the fish sauce is very salty.

Place the fish sauce and the brown sugar in a small pot and cook to a syrup. 

Pound the chillies or chop them. Then mix the rest of the dressing ingredients to the fish sauce syrup. Taste and adjust for sweetness and tartness. 

Combine the noodles, chopped spring onions, coriander sliced onions, cooked minced chicken fresh prawns and dried shrimps in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Adjust for saltiness by adding salt or a few dashes of fish sauce. Serve. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This is my third contribution to Food For Thought, a fortnightly meme where books combine with food in a post, hosted by the wonderful and talented Jain of Food For Thought, Food With Style and  Once in a Blue Moon.

This book came with an ending that I could never quite forget. Not because it was spectacular, unexpected or odd but because it was warm, inviting and absolutely welcoming. It was a beginning.

When you read about people who think about love as being meaningless or obsolete, when their life is black and white and grey, literally or otherwise, when pain and suffering has been lost to a world long ago that the wisdom that comes with it is no more, you begin to ponder on the purpose of their existence. 

This is a childrens' modern classic. It is a book that has become required reading in schools across America and in Germany while at the same time arousing debate and controversy over the suitability of its mature themes such as euthanasia, infanticide and suicide for children. 

My son was working on it in his 6th grade while he was studying at the Taipei American School in Taiwan and after he was done with it I had picked it up and found that it could not be put down until I had finished it. It is a book that will haunt me and then compel me to read it again every once in a while. 

Lois Lowry pulls you into a community of sameness where citizens are observed, marriages are perfectly matched, jobs are assigned, food is centrally provided, children are allotted to couples, where there is no pain and no suffering, no angst, no differences, even of opinions, no hills and no valleys, no choices, not even basic primitive sensations and where the weak are released all because there are no memories. 

It is the survival of the fittest in its most organized form. It is a Utopia that Plato would have been proud of. It is totalitarianism at work.

Twelve year old Jonas's selection to be the next Giver and his training to prepare him for the most honourable position in the community gives him the knowledge of a world where once there was war, pain and suffering and also of love and joy and colour. And for the first time Jonas experiences these sensations and begins to question the 'perfected ' world that he is a part of.

Lois Lowry makes you sense rather than know that something is not quite right with the world. She gives no explanation about how things came to be. She lets you wonder in suspense. And when you're finally done reading it you're left ruminating in a disturbing pool of thought.

It is a short novel, simply and skillfully written while being powerful, profound and simply unforgettable. I could not finally put it down without experiencing a weighty brooding sensation hovering in my thoughts over the next few days. A five star book indeed.

Jonas's very first glimpse of colour was red; provoked by an apple that he was tossing in the air. Later he was stirred by the redness of a girl's hair and later on still he was disturbed by the colour of crimson blood.

This is a very challenging book for Food For Thought because it contained no food for pleasure. It was only in the mention of the apple that I had had to work on and to make the most of. So I made apples and for added colour some pears in miniature form.

The recipe ~

The first time I had made this was about 11 years ago after having been invited to a delightful Thai lunch. After a wonderful meal of spicy Tom Yam soup, some green chicken curry and a fabulous mung bean vermicelli and chicken salad the meal ended with a dessert of some sticky sweet cakes and then by these entrancing miniature fruits that simply sparkled and twinkled madly at me. 

I felt my heart pounding in my chest prodding me to ask for the recipe. And of course I did. Then I went home very carefully just so the recipe wouldn't spill out of my head.

Their whimsical glossiness ever since have added a sublime sparkle to my life. 

Although it uses food colouring and is completely edible I do however avoid eating them. I do try as much as possible to avoid additives and especially the unnecessary consumption of food colouring. Something that we all use in icing and fondant of course. But if you're not averse to it this makes a delightful, frivolously fanciful and deliciously colourful dessert.

After a long hiatus I had also forgotten some useful tips that I had gained from my very first experimentations. So this was a project of frustrated joy. 

They are made from boiled mung beans, drained and then mashed and mixed with coconut milk and sugar. Very much a bean paste and its texture perhaps akin to marzipan albeit not oily.

I'm quite aware that the pears I  made are twice the size of the apples. Loooong story.

You would have thought that apples would be the easiest thing to shape and sculpt but let me tell you ~ I'll never make apples again! Simply because it was very difficult to form the depressions realistically. I was never satisfied over each attempt but I just had to be by 3 am when I thought I saw a pair of eyes blinking outside my kitchen window. 

But when I poked the 'leaves' into them it did raise my spirits a little. So I went to bed a reasonably happy and obsessed woman.

Now for the recipe..........

Paste ~ 

2 cups skinned mung beans, boiled and drained
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sugar

Place the boiled and drained mung beans, coconut milk and sugar in a food processor. Blitz until the bean mixture becomes a smooth paste. Remove and scoop the paste into a heavy bottomed medium pan. Cook over low heat and keep stirring until the paste dries and becomes a thicker and firmer paste. Remove and transfer to a bowl and shape into fruits. Paint and let the colour dry a few minutes before dipping int he gelatin mixture.

Coating ~

2 T gelatin powder (I used 1 T agr-agar powder)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water

Boil all ingredient and stir until the sugar dissolves. Sieve through a fine sieve. Dip the shaped fruits into the gelatin mixture and leave to dry a few minutes and repeat process at least twice more.

Equipment ~

A 9 inch round or square styrofoam board
cocktail picks or toothpicks
small and soft paint brushes
food colours
flat plate or paint palette for mixing colours
a small bowl of water

Accesories ~ 

Kaffir lime leaves, each leaf trimmed to size to suit the apples or other fruits that you would like to adorn with leaves.

Hints ~

* Shape the fruits until you have done as many as you desire before starting to paint. 

* Once the fruits have been shaped pierce with a toothpick and make them stand on the styrofoam. Let them dry a little, five or ten minutes but not too long or they may start to dry and crack.

* Paint one type of fruit at a time then move on to a different type of fruit. It makes for less mess. Once painted let them dry a few minutes, about 8-10 minutes.

* Dip the fruits into the gelatin while the gelatin is still quite warm and do one type of fruit at a time so that just in case the colour runs you will not ruin other fruits of a different colour. 

* Make a new batch of gelatin mixture if it gets stained by a contrasting colour.

* I find agar-agar firmer and sets faster.

* Best made on the day of serving. 

* After keeping in the refrigerator overnight I found the glossiness reduced, its surface looking a little sandy and the fruits had dried out a little. After 2 days they cracked from dryness.

*MUST use skinned mung beans or else the paste will be a greyish colour and lighter colours like yellow to paint on for mangoes or pink for rose apples will be difficult to achieve in a pretty shade. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thai Green Chicken Curry

I actually thought that I would be posting a tuna sandwich recipe that an extremely kitchen challenged person could make but since I was making a Thai green chicken curry for dinner I might as well make it look pretty and take a picture.

I love Thai curries for their fragrance and plentiful use of herbs in the curry paste. It is very different from the Indian or Indian influenced Malay curry where dry spices dominate. Thai curries seem very delicate especially so the green curry, my favourite.

To my sis who asked for the recipe but is too lazy to look at my blog. Here it is. In my blog.

8 chicken thighs, skinned, deboned and cut into pieces the size of small postage stamps.
2 pieces kaffir lime leaves
1 1/2 Tablspn fish sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
salt to taste

1/4 cup frozen peas

1 cup thick coconut milk
1/2 cup thin coconut milk

Ingredients to be ground in a food processor with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil:

5 slices galangal/lengkuas
1/2 inch piece ginger/halia
2 medium sized large red onions
12 cloves garlic
2 stalks lemon grass/serai
2 large green chillies
1/2 cup chopped coriander roots and stalks plus if you like the tops(leaves)
1 tsp ground coriander powder/serbuk ketumbar
1 tsp ground black pepper/serbuk lada hitam
1 tsp shrimp paste/belacan

Pour 1 cup of the thick coconut milk into a small wok or pot. Put in 4 tablespoons of the ground ingredients and the kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil and then to a moderate simmer. Let the paste cook in the coconut milk until the milk evaporates to half or two thirds its original amount and some oil rises to the top or until the paste does not taste raw when you taste it. Probably about 10 minutes or so. I forgot to time myself.

But I don't find it is not necessary for the oil to rise to the top although there will be a slight sheen on the surface after the dish is done.

Add the chicken meat. Add salt, sugar and fish sauce. Adjust salt to taste. Allow to simmer until the chicken is cooked. (I like my curries a little on the salty side).

When the chicken is cooked add the thin coconut milk. You may add more of less depending on how much gravy you want. The consistency I like is like that of fresh milk. Some people like it thicker. So it is all a matter of taste really. Add peas and simmer gently for a 30 seconds more.

It's done. Serve hot with white rice. Revel.


Saute 3 to 4 tablespoon of the ground paste in 2 tablespoons of oil until fragrant and the paste turns a darker green and oil rises to the top. Then add the thin coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, sugar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil then simmer. Add the chicken pieces and then the thick coconut milk and simmer until the chicken is cooked. Add peas and adjust salt again.

Serve with hot white rice.

TIP : You will have extra green curry paste. Keep it in your fridge or feezer for two more dishes of the same amount as above.

TIP : Usually only the roots and stalks of the coriander leaves are used but I included the leaves because I wanted the curry to be more green which is my favourite colour. Always. Most of the flavour are in the roots and stalks though.

TIP : I did not include the fiery bird chillies because everyone at home except myself are heat intolerant. Add if you want a really spicy and 'pedas' Thai green curry.


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