Sunday, October 27, 2013

Yum Pla Muk Yang / Spicy Grilled Giant Squid Salad

I love squid. But cleaning them is just another thing to think about, especially when I have a little time to spare these days. I love the fact that there is already cleaned squid in froze form available in supermarket everywhere. Of course, fresh squid out from the ocean are the best for cooking, but like I said “cleaning them is just another thing to think about.”    And I am lazy, too.   :(

Two days ago, I brought home a package of giant squid from Asian market for grilling that would go with Thai spicy dipping sauce for my laidback weekend. I didn’t know what had happened, my original plan of grilled squid and spicy dipping sauce had turned into a salad. And I was happy with that.

This salad, of course, was spicy, salty, sweet and sour. Just like another typical Thai salad that must have all of these elements combined. There was nothing special about this salad, really, except it’s so easy to make and too yummy to pass. And if you like squid and spicy, I can tell you this… Spicy grilled squid salad go good with your favorite drinks, especially Thai beer. Yummmm….

What you need:

10 oz. large squid tubes cleaned
1 medium Persian cucumber, thin sliced
1 cup celery, sliced with leaves included
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup carrot, julienned 
2 tbsp. fresh ginger, thinly sliced – optional
* use any veggies you like
- set the grill on medium high and grill the squid approximately 5-7 minutes on both side, or when it start to curl and shrink, it's done.  as you know overcooked squid tend to be rubbery in texture.  so you don't want that.
- when squid is cooked, cut it into rings
- combine all of the veggies and grilled squid in a mixing bowl and pour dressing over and mix well
- serve immediately

2 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
5-6 Thai green + red chilies
3 cloves garlic
- whisk all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. set aside.
*this salad dressing is just basic, so adjust to your own taste


Monday, October 21, 2013

Khoa Pad Namm Prik Pao / Thai Roasted Chili Paste Fried Rice

My idea for lunch today is a quick fried rice with roasted chili paste or namm prik pao in Thai. Namm prik pao is used in a variety of Thai cooking from soup, spread, salad, and stir-fried, especially the well-known dish “Tom Yum” and “Thai Spicy Manila Clams in Roasted Chili Paste and Thai Basil” I made last year.

Namm prik pao is not as spicy as other chili paste that is usually uses in curry. It tends to be a little on the sweet side with a light hint of heat from roasted chili. It’s also used as a spread on a piece of bread as you may as jam to make a sandwich. Sounds a little strange to you? I know. But if you are an open-minded person and willing to try whatever new to you, I’m pretty sure that you will like find it very interesting. Who know, you might like it?

The process of making this dish is doing the quick stir-fried since all the veggies have to be cut up and ready to go. The cooking time may take less than 10 minutes over medium-high heat. But don’t worry just try to be easy as you go if you are not familiar to stir-fry. But if you’ve made fried rice before, it’s just really the same method.

 Since the roasted chili paste is not as spicy as I like it to be, I have added slices jalapeno to spice the dish up a little. The fried egg is just an optional that go together with the dish very well if you like to have one.

What you need:   1 servings

3/4 cup cooked white (or brown) rice – refrigerated leftover rice is preferred
1/4 cup ground Turkey (or chicken, pork, beef, seafood)
1/4 cup red and yellow bell pepper, cubed
1 small green jalapeno, thinly sliced
1/4 cup mushroom, sliced
1/4 cup white onion, finely sliced
1-2 clove garlic, minced
A handful Thai basil leaves
1 tbsp. Thai roasted chili in oil
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 fried egg – optional

How to:

- add oil into a sauté pan or wok and set on medium-high heat
- when the oil gets hot, add garlic and stir-fry for a few second just the garlic turns fragrant, add ground turkey and onion and stir to cook through
- add roasted chili oil and rice and stir a few times to combine, then add bell pepper, jalapeno, mushroom, and soy sauce. Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, then add Thai basil, stir and turn off the heat
- serve immediately with or without fried egg as you desired


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Simple...Lentil Soup...

 “Wow! It’s such a perfect day to make soup.”   

Woke up to the gloomy cloudy morning that seemed like it would last like this all day, I quickly wrapped myself up with my oversize sweater to warm up a little before heading to the kitchen and looking for something to make soup. It was a perfect day to simmer up some soup! Oh, you should know how much I love a good hot bowl of soup as I have been waiting all summer long for this. And don’t be surprised if you see more posts on soup on my blog.  

As soon as the hubby found out that I would be making soup, he instantly said, “Are you making lentil soup?” And I took that as a hint!

As I have mentioned before that the hubby and I love to fill ourselves up with lentil soup whenever we go to the Middle Eastern restaurant (and of course, the hubby’s favorite leg of lamb).   I decided to make my own version at home with lemon and ginger.   I’ve made lentil soup for a few times and the hubby is loving it.    He usually finishes up the soup I made today, and two days later would ask me to make it again.     And that tells me, the soup is actually really good… and awesomely healthy, too.   

Just perfect for the cool air day, isn’t it? 



What you need:   for 2-4 servings

 3/4 cup dried green lentil
1 cup honey golden potato, cubed
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, cubed
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
3 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh or dried thyme leaves
1 tbsp. fresh or dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. lemon juice

*** I love to soak the dried lentil first while chopping the other ingredients which make the cooking faster.

How to:

 - In a medium heavy bottom pan, add olive oil over medium heat, add onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and potato and cook until all the veggies are cook and tender approx. 7-10 minutes.  
- Then add tomato sauce, chicken stock, cumin, salt and pepper, and stir well. 
- Add thyme and oregano, low the heat to medium-low and let it cook for another 25-30 minutes or until the lentil are tender. **Time to cook lentil may vary if dried lentil are added directly to the pot.
- After the lentil are cooked, turn off the heat and add lemon juice and chopped parsley
- Serve as you wish


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pork Kang Pa / Jungle Curry Pork

Lately, I’ve been nostalgically thinking about my dad cooking: what he liked to eat; what he liked to cook the most, and what I’ve learned from him. 

My dad loved to cook and loved to eat spicy food.  Even though the weather in Thailand was so hot, sticky and yucky with the high humidity and boiling temperature, but when it's a time for cooking, some chilies, more or less, had to be included every time.     There was one dish that my dad had cooked most often than other dishes.   I remember very well because I was there to help him vigorously pounding the homemade chili paste with the heavy pastel and mortar that made out of granite forever!    The dish called Kang-Pa.    The dish was very very very spicy that when you eating it, it would make you sweat and perspire like you just got out from the hot steam shower, in which he said that was a good thing; it was good for blood circulation.   the meat of his choice for this dish was usually beef most of the time.  (I was still eating beef then when I was younger but stopped in my early 20s)    However, today I make Kang-Pa with pork because I've gave up eating beef meat long time ago.    What about the hubby if you are curious?   The hubby only prefers good cut of steak once or twice a week.     But if you have noticed, there was only one dish I cooked with beef posted on my blog.

Kang-Pa has translated to many names in English that were tried to provide some senses of what the dish is about.   Some might call it “Jungle curry” or “Country-Style curry” or “Kang-Ped.”   But whatever name one might call, it basically the kind of curry that has no coconut milk included.    The popular vegetables used for this dish are either Thai eggplants or bamboo shoot.   But any vegetables you like to eat would also work.

The dish has lots of Thai herbs and each one of them has its own little heat more or less.
First, we have red curry chili paste.  Yes, it is chili paste after all, and it’s spicy!
Second, the young green peppercorn has mild and gentle heat at first, but its heat has ability to warm your body up from the inside out.   It also has a well reputation of a fat- burner herb.
Third, Krachai is a relative of ginger and galangal, and yes, they are herbs.  Its aromatic light brow roots has less heat but it is famously used to add favor in Thai cooking.   Also, Krachai has an antimicrobial properties and help relieve stomach ache caused by gas and bloating.
And last, the Thai holy basil.   Many people are confused between Thai basil and Thai holy basil. Both types of basil have its own distinctive aroma and flavor but the differences between the two can be checked on its leaf.   Thai basil has a purple hue and smoother leaf, while the Thai holy basil has bright green color and if you look closely, its leaf has very tiny fine fur on it.   And if you rub on the Thai holy basil leaf, or chew on it, you will get the hint of lemony mixed heat which has stronger taste than the Thai basil.

Imagine how hot and spicy this dish would be with all those heat adding up together?    Oh yes! And believe me, this dish is definitely not for the faint of heart.   All I know is that my dad would definitely be really proud of me right now. 

What you need:   can be served 3-4 people

10 oz. pork meat, sliced into bite size
2 tbsp. Kang Pa chili paste or red curry chili paste
1/4 cup young green peppercorn in brine
1/4 cup Krachai in brine
1/2 cup zucchini, cut into bite size as you preferred (Thai eggplants is originally used)
3 oz. Shimeji mushrooms, root trimmed (or other type of mushrooms but not shitake)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
6-7 Thai chili, sliced
1/4 cup Thai holy basil leaves

How to:

- Set a sauté pan over medium heat, add canola/vegetable oil into the pan to heat up
- Add chili paste into the hot oil and stir fry until it fragrant
- Add pork meat and stir to cook the meat
- Add water, green peppercorn, Krachai, mushroom, and zucchini
- Season with fish sauce and sugar and add sliced chili
- Low the heat and let it simmer until the vegetables are cooked through
- Add Thai holy basil leaves and turn off the heat
- Serve with steamed jasmine white/brown rice



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...