Category Archives: Thai Food

Why I love Thailand…

Thailand …..The Land of Smiles ūüôā and temples… and so much more…

Golden budha in the forest

 

Many years ago when we first visited Thailand it stole a corner of my heart and although it is a country of many contradictions to me it is home.

Why? I don’t know…I have family in many different countries and have loved my visits..have I wanted to put down roots there ?…No!

Thailand just does it for me…

Whether its beautiful unspoiled beaches and there are many.

beach and chairs nice pic

 

Sunsets which are so amazing, diving, rock climbing or just living among the people.

Sunset (2)

Where we have experienced the real Thailand, the amazing food..which we have tasted which is not cooked purely for the tourists.

For my dear friend Annie I have amended this post..how I could forget our favourite Thai curry…I don’t know..but I did…One of my all time favorite Northern Thai Curries is Khao Soi. I was introduced to it by my dear friend Annie and we would do our research once a month to find the best Khao Soi and have a bit of a girlie chat and maybe a vino or two….as you do!

Khao Soi is a beautiful yellow curry with chicken( Gai) or pork(Moo) with soft yellow noodles and topped with crispy noodles.

Khao Soi

Served with a side of pickled cabbage, lime, shallots and if it isn’t hot enough then some lovely hot, fried chilli mix.

The beautiful countryside and it really is the land of smiles.

We have stayed in villages where the children by our standards have nothing by comparison but they are happy, they have carefree childhoods bought up with love.

Thai boys in tree

Yes there is the seedy side…but so is there in all countries.

Bangkok…..I love it..so vibrant and alive….I have wandered down at midnight to get something to eat at one of the street stalls…do I feel unsafe…never ever. I am given a seat to sit on while I wait..hastily they rub the seat over with a not so clean cloth…do I care…No! They treat madam as they call me like a special visitor and when I say Thai hot …the smile I get and they tell everyone who will¬†listen….”Oh Madam she eat spicy”

What they prepare and cook the food in is spotless..the vegetables so fresh…the food amazing…

China Town and the markets….. I love Bangers as I call it but only for a few days and then I am back to the peace and calm which is home.

 

Pageantry the Thais love it..every procession is so joyous…..The Vegetarian Festival…..Songkram… Loy Krathong…

 

..if you love being part of festivals make sure you come at the right time ..you will not be disappointed.

Aston Songcram my favorite photo

The noise, the street food and partying is amazing and to be part of it so special.

Have you visited Thailand…If not ..you will not be disappointed…

I hope you enjoyed this post and you can see why I love this country…Over the next few months, I will be taking you to some of the beautiful places I have visited, places which are off the beaten track…The real Thailand and the one¬†I love.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot and if you fancy a boogie then pop over to Sally’s¬† from Smorgasbord Health 2017 …I will be there as will many others ..lots of fun and frolics….. See you there….

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Spicy red curry squid.

 

spicy squid

This lovely spicy squid curry is not for the faint-hearted even I found it a tad hot.

But if you like a bit of heat, then this is just the curry for you.

This recipe is for two people but it is quite easy to double up the ingredients, it is also very quick to cook so prepare all your ingredients first and then in as much time as it takes to cook your rice you will have a beautiful curry.

Ingredients:

200 gm squid cleaned and cut into rectangles I normally score mine with a sharp knife( it just makes them look prettier).

1 shallot sliced

2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped

1 tbsp Thai red curry paste

1 tomato cut into 8

A handful of pea eggplants( optional)

Sm piece of fresh ginger finely cut into slivers or cubes

Black pepper

Half tbsp of coconut oil

200 ml coconut milk

1/2 to 1 tbsp fish sauce.

Sm bunch of Thai basil

Ok…Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a wok until it is very hot and add garlic, shallots and curry paste, stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes, ginger and pea eggplants if used and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add squid and pepper and stir-fry for a further 1 minute.

Add coconut milk and fish sauce stir well and cook on low heat for 2 minutes, stir in Thai basil.

Serve with steamed rice and……. Enjoy!

If you love squid then I have a recipe for salt and pepper squid  https://niume.com/post/325935   and squid salad   https://niume.com/post/78755    over on my Niume page.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot.

 

 

Red Duck Curry ( Kaeng Ped Pett Yang)

One of my favorite curries and one which I don’t have very often…why? Not sure really..I probably save it for special occasions.

Well, this is it..I am now on the letter D for my self-imposed walk through the alphabet. Not much beginning with D…A few fruits and duck…a lot of recipes which say dried this and dried that but only really pre fixing the recipe with dried to say it starts with D.

So I have certainly set myself a task….mmmmmm…i am beginning to ask myself why but not one to give up..

I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas maybe a few florets of brocolli..really whatever I have in the fridge.

4

Let’s Cook!

Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium rare.

Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.

Sauce:

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite sized pieces.

10 cherry tomatoes.

6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.

100gm Thai egg plant cut into quarters.( Pictured below)

4

100gm pea egg plants( Pictured below)

4

If you can’t get these any small egg plant will be ok I sometimes use small purple ones if I can’t get the green.

1-2 tbsp red curry paste.

6 kaffir lime leaves torn

Bunch Thai basil washed and leaves picked..

2 tsp lime juice.

To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over a medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.

Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and egg plants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.

Now taste and adjust curry paste if you want more heat. If other seasonings want adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not..I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say¬†TASTE¬†and¬†Taste¬†again.

My very first duck curry I made was ok…so we left out the lychee next time and it was much better…also I know which curry paste to now use as they are all so different….Please don’t let this put you off making it as when you get it right it is a lovely thing.

When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and a sliced red chilli if you like.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

Traditional Handmade Thai pancakes..Khao Gle-at.

 

Pancakes drying  Making these pancakes the traditional way is still done in the Thai villages and I am very lucky to be able to witness these traditions which are passed down through the generations. The working of the wooden presses is a sight to behold again these are family heirlooms and passed down. And something which all the family participates in and is learning how to make, the oldest passes on her knowledge and the young ones start at the bottom and learn but if you look at the smiling faces everyone is enjoying it.

coconut mix

If you look closely when the old lady is pounding the flesh from the coconuts the children are working it by jumping up and down at the opposite end it is just like a see-saw and as much fun.

pounding the coconut

These pancakes are made from the flesh of the older coconuts and mixed with palm sugar, sticky rice which is ground into a flour and sesame seeds.There are many variations on this some are mixed with eggs.

Once the mixture is made it is shaped into pancake shapes with a wooden press. See below.

Flattening the pancake mix

Pancakes drying

They are then left to dry for about 3 days and then toasted over the open flames of a Thai BBQ rotated by hand between two wooden fan like paddles to ensure even cooking.

It is fascinating to watch.

I have seen these sold on the roadsides and now know how they are made in the homes. It certainly is a family affair as from the youngest to the oldest they all have a part to play.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit into this Thai families home.

Authentic Thai Village Soup

We were spending the day at a Thai village and I watched and helped prepare a red ant soup made with local herbs and leaves some of which I had not seen before.¬†One of the ingredients Pla a fermented fish which is very popular in dishes here in the North of Thailand is not one of my favourites,¬†the look, the smell and the taste are not for me. Saying that my natural curiosity to taste everything is often an overriding factor so what I am saying is I am getting used to it…Still not my favourite but getting used to it… I never thought I would say that…so never say never.

Firstly we stripped the leaves from the Thai vegetable called Melientha sauvis or in Thai Phak waan paa which comes from a wild evergreen tree which grows up to 10 metres high and it is the young shoots which are picked to make soup or a dried fish curry.

Melientha in cooking pot leave stripped

It is classed as a delicacy here and a quite expensive indigenous vegetable. I was told that the soup is also good if you have tummy problems…..I love that the Thais in the villages still practise the old ways with herbs and roots to cure a number of ills…¬†Rather than conventional medicines which some cannot afford or trust.

Before I start I will say that there are no weighing scales here but TASTE is king and that’s what cooking is about. A handful of this and a touch of that.

Let’s cook!¬†

Take a bunch of Melientha and strip the leaves also take a small bunch of lemon basil and do the same. Put in water.

Tear the yellow oyster mushrooms into smallish pieces and put in another pot.

Oyster mushrooms

A few teaspoons of pla¬†was put in the pot and some water added as well as a¬†shake or two of fish sauce and a little msg….I do not use this in my cooking but I know that it still used in the majority of village homes.

This was bought to the boil and the mushrooms were added, this was simmered for 5 mins and then the picked greens were added alongside a portion of red ants eggs.

Melientha cooking

It looked lovely and fresh and vibrant…I was however not looking forward to the tasting because of the amount of pla…

Melientha Soup

A dish was duly given to me with smiles of expectation. Would I eat it? Would I like it?

Very tentatively I tasted it…Wow, it was good…The lemon basil and the ant’s eggs.which have a lemony taste overrode the strong taste of the pla…..A truly lovely taste of Thailand.

If you ever get the chance to cook with the locals do it…I feel truly blessed that they are family and I have many opportunities to do this.

I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing real Thai cooking just as it is ūüôā

 

Thai -style fried chicken.

Thai style chicken, the one if you come to Thailand that you will see on a lot of road-side stalls. Is very popular here and eaten with sticky rice and Som Tam makes a lovely meal of luscious Thai flavours.So how do you replicate it and bring the flavours of Thailand to your kitchen, well follow me and lets cook!

thai style fried chicken

 

First things first…forget about the western way of cooking chicken and when you get to the point of taking it out leave it another 8 minutes.

Don’t worry it will still be moist and not overcooked!

INGREDIENTS:

4 lb of chicken drums or if you want a mix of chicken that’s fine ( just) try and cut the same size pieces.

Marinade for the chicken:

6 large cloves of garlic.

2 tsp of coriander seeds.

1 tbsp white peppercorns.

2 tbsp coriander roots, stems finely chopped.

2 tbsp Fish Sauce + 2tsp of chicken stock granules.

OR 3 tbsp Oyster Sauce.

2 tsp salt.

1 tsp sugar.

To make the marinade for the chicken:

Grind the first 4 ingredients in Pestle and mortar( or) I have a small electric herb grinder which I use. Grind till it forms a paste.

Mix all other marinade ingredients in and coat chicken. I use my hands much easier and you coat the chicken better.

Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hrs or overnight.

Next, make rice flour batter:

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups rice flour.

1 tsp salt.

1 tsp chicken stock granules.

1 Cup water + 2 tsp Baking Soda.

For the dry coating, you will need 2 cups of rice flour.

Coat the chicken in the flour..I find it easier to put in a bag and roll it around until all the chicken is coated.

Dip in the batter.

You are ready to fry. Heat oil but don’t overload the wok as it will cause the temperature of the oil to drop and you won’t get crispy chicken.

Sometimes on the street stalls, you will see them remove the chicken and then put in another pan( double dipping) to make sure it is crispy.

At home, I take out when nearly done and then put back like you twice fry chips.

When you have finished cooking fry some chopped shallots as Thai fried chicken would not be the same without crispy shallots.

 

Banana Flowers

I continue in my quest to find you some unusual foods which actually are very tasty.

I hope you enjoy!

Banana flowers are, as the name suggests, the blossoms from a banana tree. Left on the tree, they would become bananas, they are also edible.

What do they taste like? Well…

They have a similar aromatic profile to a banana, but its more delicate when still in the blossom form.

Where would you find Banana Flowers? Well for me in my garden or the local market, road side stalls or even grocery stores…I am so lucky..

If unlike me you don’t live in a tropical paradise with banana trees, you may find banana flowers at Asian food stores or speciality markets, but usually only in the frozen foods section. If you buy them frozen, they work well in cooked preparations, but won’t defrost into anything you’d want to toss in a salad or otherwise serve raw.

Which is pretty much like any other frozen leaves or herbs which have been frozen.

They can be made into soup, salads or just lightly steamed and eaten raw with a lovely spicy Thai dip.

I hope you enjoyed this .Love you all and thank you for reading this… if you liked¬† it please reblog xxx