Tag Archives: Prawns

Fruity Fridays ! Kaffir Limes…

Kaffir Limes fruity Fridays


Kaffir Limes… I have used the leaves in many of the Thai dishes that I cook they are used in many Asian dishes…The trees are small evergreen trees and prickly. The one I had was quite a young one and I had not seen any fruit…It wasn’t until a neighbour gave me some of the fruit that I put two and two together and realised that was the fruit of the tree I had growing in the garden and now we have fruit.

Kaffir Lime tree and fruit

The rind is very bumpy unlike the normal limes I use and when cut open the flesh is quite dry and what juice there is has an acidic, bitter and is very strongly sour tasting.

A complete contrast to the zest which is quite aromatic.

A little zest goes a long way and very finely chopped or added to ingredients it imparts a beautiful citrusy flavour. I have added a little video as there is a knack for chopping the lime leaves very finely.

Here in Thailand, it is also pounded in a pestle and mortar as it is an ingredient in many curry pastes.

Tom Yum Goon

it is added to the iconic Tom Yum soup and other soups and stews here and also is an ingredient in Thai shrimp cakes.

Thai Prawn Cakes

The Madagascans use the whole macerated fruit and make rum I wonder if I could have a go….Carol’s distillery in her garden shed…Does that sound like a plan???

Called Rhum arrange it comes from the islands of la Reunion and Nearby Madagascar as well as the French islands in the Caribbean.

House or homemade rums flavoured with fruits, roots and spices that are macerated for a minimum of 1 month..although it is recommended to let it macerate for 6 months or even longer.

There are as many as 400 different recipes for rhum arrange and some have been macerated for 3-4 years…Wow, I bet they pack a punch!

And there is no end to what things are put into those bottles to “arrange” the rums…it could be a snake or sea urchin or just fruits and spices but all supposed to be quite delicious…

There are two different ways of macerating one is the traditional common way of submerging the fruits and spices into the rum. Then there´s another where you hang the fruits (usually citrus fruits) as they are or with things inserted into the fruits – like coffee beans and hung above the liquid.

The idea is that the aromatics and oils are derived from the citrus and spices without any bitterness from the pith and that´s the reason this method is usually used for citrus fruits.

Rhum Combava (Kaffir Lime)

Kaffir lime fruits

1 litre of white rum (traditionally Rhum Charette) or rhum Agricole

Grated zest of one combava/kaffir lime

1 vanilla bean, split in two

150g raw cane sugar

Mix and infuse the rum for at least 2 months.

I think I could manage to do that and make it into a nice cocktail… Oh Yes!

Nutritionally the benefits of the Kaffir Lime is from the oils in the rind and the high levels of citronella and limonene which are both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

Oil extracted from the leaves is also used for medicinal purposes, it is mixed into shampoos, soaps salves and fragrances.

Most often it is used in oral products or the leaves can be rubbed directly onto the gums as it eliminates harmful bacteria in the mouth.

In the rural areas and villages, you will find many herbs, fruits and vegetables are used like this to help alleviate and cure many ailments as many either are to far away to visit the doctor or cannot afford to or even just prefer to use remedies passed down through the generations.

It is also used as an insect repellant by mixing the juice or oil with a lotion or salve and it reduces the chance of being bitten.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Kaffir Lime…Do you use Kaffir lime or its leaves ????

Please share this post if you have enjoyed it on your favourite social media …Thank you xx

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Fish Friday…Tom Yum Soup with Prawns( Tom Yum Goong)

This is one of my favourite Thai soups and the first time I have made it from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady..Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup.


  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500 gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and a half tsp of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • Handful of cilantro ( Coriander)

N.B Next time I will use shallots instead of white onions and I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.

Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.

Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.

Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.

Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.

Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.

I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you’d still like the chilli flavor but not as much heat.

Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.

You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.

Now prepare your prawns I remove everything except for the tail…..others put in whole prawns…personal preference.

Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre rinse beforehand.

Cook for 4-5 minutes.

.Add tomatoes and onions.

Tom Yum Goon 3

Cook for further 6-8 minutes.

Now add prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins max( if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim off with a spoon.

Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve.

Tom Yum Goon

You will notice that this soup does not have the bright orange colour of many of the Tom Yum soups which you have in restaurants it is because either a Tom Yum paste or stock cube is used and it is not made from scratch.

This soup can also be made with chicken and coconut milk which is also a popular variation and known as Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)

Just in case I didn’t tell you…I now have a 2nd blog called Orienthailiving which is more about Thailand and my travels it would be lovely to see you over there and if you sign up to my newsletter you get a free pdf on how to make your own authentic Thai curry pastes.




Christmas Recipes…Christmas Dinner …the starter?


Well, the tree is up…or trees I should say two to be precise…Now to my Christmas menu every year we have the same well rephrase that we always have Prawn cocktail it is a family tradition plus one other…

I  have tried to have two completely different starters and no one will have it..nope! Nada! Not ever!

One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law… The only way to eat Oysters.

But we also had to have Prawn Cocktail….I think I would get lynched if I didn’t make it and the sauce has evolved over the years.I now add horseradish for that extra bite. Some add Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce but we like it with just horseradish  I use salad cream instead of mayonnaise. Sometimes I mix the two it just depends on how I feel on the day.But as with anything it is personal taste so play with the sauce and find how you like it best.

Prawn Cocktail.

prawn cocktail



  • 500gm of Prawns, peeled.
  • 5 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 5 tbsp Salad Cream.
  • 2-4 tsp hot Horseradish Sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper.
  • 3tsp Lemon Juice.
  • Paprika to garnish.

To Serve: Fresh crusty brown bread as an accompaniment.

Shredded Iceberg lettuce.Tomatoes to garnish. Extra prawns for garnish…I leave the tails on these.

Let’s Cook!

Mix tomato ketchup, salad cream together. Add horseradish sauce, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

At this stage, I taste and adjust the seasoning and add more of whatever I need to…. generally horseradish.

Chill in fridge until ready to serve.

To serve: Put some shredded lettuce in individual serving dishes with cucumber if using. Put a generous serving of the cocktail sauce on top.Sprinkle with Paprika.Garnish the dish with Prawns, A slice of lemon and tomatoes if using.


How about a baked whole camembert cheese served with cheese straws wrapped in bacon???

Now that ticks all the boxes for Moi…

Chicken Liver Pate:



  • 220g/8oz  butter.

  • 4 shallots chopped.

  • 2  cloves, crushed or finely chopped.

  • 450g/1lb chicken Livers, trimmed and cut in half.

  • 1 tbsp Brandy.

  • 1 tsp mustard powder.

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  • 1 bay leaf, to garnish.

  • 2-3 fresh cranberries, to garnish.


  1. Melt 110g/4oz of the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and fry until softened, but not coloured.
  2. Add the garlic and chicken livers and fry the livers until golden-brown all over and cooked through. Add the brandy and mustard powder and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Place the liver mixture and 55g/2oz of the remaining butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Transfer the pâté into a serving ramekin or small dish and decorate with a couple of cranberries and a bay leaf….. I use lime leaves as cannot always get fresh bay leaves.
  5. Melt the remaining 55g/2oz of butter in a clean pan. Skim off the froth and pour the butter over the pâté. Transfer to the fridge to chill, then serve from the ramekin when ready.



How about potato cakes with smoked salmon?

You can either serve it with dill and sour cream or cream cheese and capers or cream cheese with dill and horseradish..lovely!

Potato Cakes with smoked salmon.



  • 3 med potatoes, grated
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp Fennell seeds lightly crushed
  • Good pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Oil for frying.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat and add the onions cook the onions until they are soft then sprinkle over the brown sugar and cook until tender and golden make sure you stir them we don’t want them burnt, do we?

Put in a  bowl and set to one side.

Grate the potatoes and squeeze dry in a muslin cloth or clean t/towel it is surprising how much water you get out of some potatoes.

Mix the grated potato with all the other ingredients and mix well to combine.

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and take a scoop of potato mix I  use a tbsp then put into the oil and flatten with the back of your spoon I make mine about 3 inches in size but on Christmas may even do slightly smaller…

Fry until golden brown and keep warm in the oven until you have fried all your little cakes…

Serve maybe 2 or 3 per late with some smoked salmon topped with your chosen topping I prefer the cream cheese it has a little more body to it…

Or lastly and what I will probably do this year is some lovely steamed mussels with a chilli dip…

The worst job is the debearding and they can tough little buggers to get out but well worth the effort and no one likes to eat the beard do they? It doesn’t look appetising either.


  • 2lbs fresh mussels scrubbed and debearded.
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 2 shallots sliced
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 3 stalk of lemongrass crushed
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 sm chilli sliced
  • A handful of Thai basil.

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large straight-sided pot and add shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes add the other ingredients except for the mussels and bring to the boil, stirring then lower heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium add mussels and put on the lid cook for 2-3 minutes then stir and cook further 1 minute all the mussels should then be open. Discard any which are not.

Spoon the mussels into individual bowls or one serving bowl and spoon over liquid.

These are lovely served with a spicy chilli dip.


If you want something a little more special then try this instead.


  • 1 stalk of minced lemon grass
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • good 1/4 cup white wine
  • tbsp rice wine vinegar.
  • 2/3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 chillies sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander.
  • tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • tbsp brown sugar
  • 2tsp cornstarch dissolved in a little water.

Let’s Cook!

In a large straight-sided pan bring the chicken stock to the boil. Add wine, vinegar, fish sauce, chilli, sugar, lime leaves, garlic and 1/2 cup of chopped coriander when the sauce is gently boiling add the mussels and stir gently, put on the lid.Cook for 2/3 minutes remove lid and stir and cook for further 1 min any mussels which are still closed remove.

Push mussels to one side and add dissolved cornstarch cook 30 seconds and it should have thickened gently stir in mussels.


Now taste and if too salty add lime juice and if not salty enough add more fish sauce.

Sprinkle with Thai basil.

Serve in a large bowl or individual bowls.

I hope you enjoy these mussels as much as we do…Let me know which ones you prefer with or without the wine???

Well, that’s it for Christmas starters…What is your tried and tested family favourite Christmas starter????

If you are still shopping for that gift …Then I have some ideas over on Orienthailiving it would be lovely to see you there…

Have fun and don’t  get too stressed over Christmas and all the planning I do hope these daily recipes have helped you a little…

Until tomorrow Ciao …










Fish Friday and it’s Fish Pie…


Fish Pie can be pastry topped or topped with mashed potato…

My mum always used to make it topped with potatoes sometimes she sliced them and others she boiled them… I think the slices potatoes look very pretty if you are having someone to dinner but when I am making especially here as I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen…It’s hot!

I top with mashed potatoes either sweet potatoes ( which) I love but everyone one else likes the normal mashed potato as they call it…


For the filling

  • 400ml/14fl oz whole milk
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500g/1lb 2oz thick white fish fillets, skinned…although if I can I get a pack of mixed fish pieces which includes salmon, smoked fish and other fish and it is very nice.
  • 40g/1½oz butter
  • 40g/1½oz plain flour
  • 150g/5½oz frozen peas/sweetcorn
  • 200g/7oz large raw prawns, peeled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 800g/1lb 12oz medium  potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 40g/1½oz butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 100g/3½oz mature cheddar cheese, grated/ or breadcrumbs and parmesan makes for a nice topping.

Let’s Cook

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

To make the filling, pour the milk into a large pan and add the sliced onion and bay leaves. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place the fish fillets in the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for two minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand and infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the fish and transfer to a colander over a bowl, then pour the milk into a jug.

Half fill a large saucepan with cold water. Add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Drain the potatoes and cover with a clean teatowel which absorbs the steam. Mash with the butter, milk and three-quarters of the grated cheese. If I have cream in the fridge and feel a bit decadent then I omit the butter and milk and mash with cream.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

To finish the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually add the infused milk, stirring constantly, and simmer over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in the peas and season with salt and black pepper.

Spread one-third of the sauce into the base of a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint ovenproof dish. Scatter half the fish fillets over the sauce, breaking them into chunky pieces as you go and discarding the onion and bay leaves.

Arrange half the prawns on top of the fish and pour over another third of the sauce. Repeat this with the remaining fish and prawns and finish with the final third of sauce on top.

Spoon the mash over the fish mixture, spreading to the edges with a palette knife. With a fork just take it across the surface and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Sometimes I also slice some tomatoes and arrange them around the side of the dish.

Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.

Serve with some lemon slices.

Some steamed vegetables if a more substantial meal is required.

N.B This is also a nice recipe and can be made in individual servings just divide the mix between 4 bowls and brown the top for about 15 minutes.


And do I have a special treat for you if you sign up to my new blog Orienthailiving and newsletter then you will get a FREE PDF of Thai curry paste recipes.

I look forward to seeing you there…


BHAPA Chingri….Golda Chingri…..Shorshe Narkol……..Giant Prawn in coconut Mustard Sauce….

I love this post it tells you how to clean prawns properly and some other great tips for a lovely flavoursome prawn dish…Very nice and it has chillies…Can you hear the excitement in my tone when I mention chillies???

Cook With Reena!


I have thought of a  series on Prawn preparation in next few days . My fist preparation on the series is “Bhapa Golda Shorshe Chingri”. Its an authentic Bengali (Easter region in India) preparation. Bhapa means steamed, Golda Chingri means giant prawn and shorshe means Mustard. So key ingredients to this preparation are Giant prawns, mustard paste.  Add poppy seed paste and coconut scrape adds texture to this dish.

Golda Chingri is available only in Bay of Bengal. It is famous for its tender flesh and heavenly Taste. The sound of Chingri   plays music to the ears of Bengalis and is very popular throughout Bengal.  It’s almost a compulsory dish during any celebration in Bengali household. It is best paired with steaming white rice. The pungent taste of freshly ground mustard paste and mustard oil makes it more appealing. I have posted Bhapa Ilish preparation. Similar technique is used for…

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Barking Deers Mango

Of course, you all know exactly what that is …Don’t you????

It is all here in another edition of Down on the Farm!

A busy time of year as the rice has just been harvested, The Goose aka Turkeys are getting fat and the Wild almond tree aka Barking Deers Mango, nuts are ready to eat…

The name Barking deer’s mango is a strange name I can only surmise that it originated from the Indian Muntjac also named barking deer as it was often hunted around the outskirts of agricultural areas as they are considered a nuisance for damaging crops and ripping bark from trees.


This wild evergreen tree can grow as tall as 50 metres high the wood which is of low quality is used for general construction or fuel but is also very sought after and popular here for making charcoal.

The seeds of the tree are a source of a non-drying oil called cay-cay fat which is used in the manufacture of candles and soap making.


The nut is eaten raw or is dry roasted and sold on the local markets as a snack this time of the year. The outer shell is really hard and no mod cons or nutcrackers used here just a very sharp knife and it was wielded very ably if I tried cracking a nut that way I would definitely be minus a couple of fingers…



Our Turkeys are no longer babies and the girls have just started laying eggs so we are hoping they will produce some lovely little turkey chicks when they hatch.

Our big boy turkey

The rice harvest has just finished for us…..It is hard work producing the rice and harvesting it and for little money, as rice prices are quite low at the moment but at the very least it will provide rice for eating until the next harvest is due…

rice farming

Lily and Oi picking rice

A food break is always welcome…

lunch time picking rice

That’s about it at the moment we have plenty of morning-glory, lemongrass and galangal so I will be making Tom Yum Goong (Prawns) Soup which is one of my favourites and breakfast most days this week has been morning-glory with rice a simple vegetable dish but very spicy and tasty…

Jackfruit is nicely ripened at the moment and it’s banana time of the year again so they are very plentiful…It is all or nothing with bananas as they are either all unripe or all ripe at the same time….although I will be making more of those raw green banana Kofta’s the recipe courtesy of my blogging friend Reena they are very nice indeed…It was the first time I had made anything using raw, green bananas and well worth it ..very nice they were…I would recommend you try them…

Until next time..stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot 🙂