Recent Articles - Page 9

  • posted on 1/12/2012

    Basic Red Curry Paste

    basic red curry paste

    Basic Red Curry Paste is different than Red Curry Paste that it has dried chili peppers, salt, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime zest, garlic, shallots and cilantro roots. The fragrance is from fresh spices as opposed to dried spices.

    Basic Red Curry Paste is used for making 'gang kua', a curry similar to red curries. It is also used as a building block for other curry pastes such as Red Curry Paste, prig king and panang.

    Basic Red Curry Paste is available in plastic tubs and cans at Asian markets and some mainstream supermarkets. You can store the Basic Red Curry Paste in a plastic bag in the freezer for a year.

  • posted on 1/7/2012

    Vegetarian Red Curry Paste

    vegetarian red curry paste

    In Thailand, you can get vegetarian curry paste during the vegetarian festival. However, apart from that it's non-existent.  If you ever find it in stores and you want it, you should buy it and freeze it.  For vegetarians, the offending ingredient in most curry pastes is shrimp paste.  When you have vegetarian curries at restaurants, check with them if the curry pastes are made with plant based ingredients only.

    A good red curry paste should give pleasant herbal aroma with bright reddish in color. The paste should be finely ground that you can't recognize an individual ingredient. The paste should not be wet, but pasty.

    I made a batch for for a vegetarian friend of mine and her family. They love Thai food and Thai curries, but they didn't know that red curry paste contains shrimp paste.  In developing the recipe, I tried substituting miso (soy bean paste) for shrimp paste in making vegetarian curry paste. The result was fine, but didn't seem to add anything special so I tried skipping it all together and didn't miss it. Now I'm making vegetarian red curry paste this way. My vegetarian friends love it.  Here's the recipe: Homemade vegetarian red curry paste recipe

  • posted on 1/5/2012

    Vegetarian Pumpkin Curry Recipe

    vegetarian pumpkin curry recipe

    Pumpkin is a great ingredient that gives rich creamy mouth feel without being fatty. This vegetarian pumpkin curry is creamy, slightly sweet yet spicy, full of Thai herbs and spices.

    We cook a big pot so we can eat it for a few days, served with jasmine rice. The curry tastes better on the second day because the spices have marinated the pumpkin while the pumpkin dissolves a little to thicken and sweeten the curry sauce.

    I'd recommend this vegetarian pumpkin curry to vegans as well.

  • posted on 1/2/2012

    Rad Na Recipe

    rad na recipe

    Rad Na is a popular Thai lunch and is also a comfort food for me. I guess it is the warm gravy and the soft noodles.  

    There are several versions of Rad Na. Your choice of noodles ranges from thick flat rice noodles to thing vermicelli to fried egg noodles. The meat can be pork, chicken or seafood. The most common Rad Na is Rad Na Moo or Pork Rad Na. A good Pork Rad Na has tender pork with soft chewy noodles and plenty of gravy. Another version that I also enjoy is with the baby Chinese broccoli, which gives the milder and more tender taste.

  • posted on 12/20/2011

    Garlic Pepper Ribs Recipe

    garlic pepper ribs recipe

    Garlic Pepper Ribs are a comfort food that takes me back to my childhood. It's a dish that my mother made quite often. When there are so many hot dishes on the table, adults often rely on garlic pepper ribs to feed kids.  However, it's not just for kids; I still love it. 

    With just ribs and a few common ingredients, you can make this simple dish. Even the pan drippings taste great mixed with steamy rice.

  • posted on 12/14/2011

    Mee Grob Recipe

    mee grob recipe

    Mee grob is Pad Thai’s distant cousin; the ingredients are similar, but the balance is more toward the sweet, sour and crunchy, with a hint of citrus.

    There are two ways you can have mee grob, as a snack or as a part of the meal. As a snack, mee grob is served is with bean sprouts, Chinese chives and pennywort, sprinkled with fried beaten egg and pickled garlic.

    However, the mee grob that is part of a meal is made with simpler ingredients and aimed at long storage. Mee grob, in an air tight container at room temperature, will stay fresh and crunchy for at least 2 weeks. In a cool, dry climate, it can stay good for a few months.

    When I was a kid, my grandmother made her mee grob in a large batch and kept it in a special pot in her kitchen. Unbeknownst to her, every time I walked by I would sneak a few bites. I found out later that my cousins were doing the same thing!

    At Ampawa Floating Market, Thailand, I found one of the best mee grobs, made with som sah, a type of orange that I believe is Seville orange. If you're visiting, I'd recommend buying a lot and bringing it back home.

  • posted on 12/12/2011

    Heavenly Beef Recipe

    heavenly beef recipe

    Heavenly beef or Nua Sawan, a spicy beef jerky with a sweet twist, fits the bill for a high protein snack and travel food. The meat is cut into strips for easy eating on the go, tastes great at room temperature and, like any jerky, doesn't spoil easily. When we travel and pack our own meals, we always bring heavenly beef and sticky rice.  

    Traditional heavenly beef is thin, flat and often overpoweringly sweet. In this recipe, I cut down the sugar significantly because we prefer the complexity of other flavors. 

  • posted on 12/5/2011

    Fresh Egg Noodles Recipe

    fresh egg noodles recipe

    If you make homemade fresh pasta, making Asian egg noodles is easy. However, if you have never made pasta, making egg noodles is a lot simpler than you might think.

    Making fresh noodles is a 2-step process, making dough and turning dough into noodles. I rely on my pasta bike that I bought 15 years ago from the North End, an Italian neighborhood in Boston. Like most pasta machines, it has a stainless steel body that rolls the dough into a thin sheet and an attachment that cuts the sheet into strands. It comes with a hand crank, a table clamp and a few other small pasta tools. The pasta machine was a good investment for me; I have made both Asian noodles and Italian pasta for years. Down the line, if you have kids coming to your house, it's another fun project to make pasta together.

  • posted on 12/5/2011

    Pickled Peppers Recipe

    pickled peppers recipe

    Pickled peppers in vinegar are a great condiment for noodles and many other Thai dishes. It's one of the 4-5 condiments that you'll see on all the tables at any Thai noodle shop.

    Even if you start with very hot peppers, after a few hours the pickled peppers turn sour and not super hot, while the vinegar has the hot pepper aroma. Pickled peppers in vinegar is easy to make and store. You can keep the pickled peppers in a glass jar at room temperature for several months.

  • posted on 12/2/2011

    Pumpkin Sticky Rice Balls in Coconut Milk Recipe

    pumpkin sticky rice balls in coconut milk recipe

    Pumpkin sticky rice balls in coconut milk known in Thailand as Bua Loy, is a dessert that is simple to make and perfect way to use up pumpkin after Thanksgiving. Great bua loy is chewy yet soft with sweet coconut sauce that’s not overly sweet.

    In Thailand, there are many flavors and colors of bua loy. The popular ones are pandan, pumpkin, taro and blue pea flower. Besides the different colors, you can crack and poach an egg in the coconut milk. This type of bua loy is called boy loy kai waan.