Friday, July 29, 2005

The Dinner Omelette

My first dinner in Bangkok, my cousin took me around and around dozens of food stalls with innumerable tasty delights. Overwhelmed by all the choices, I finally asked my cousin to choose for me, and she brought me around to an omelette stall.

To me, the sweet chilli sauce is the necessary sauce to make it exactly the right taste. I have cut down the oil though significantly.

Thai Pork Omelette Kai Yad Sai

6 oz ground pork or chicken or oysters
1/2 ripe tomato diced
1/4 minced onion
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 T fish sauce
1/4 t soy sauce
dash white pepper
3 eggs

Garnish: few sprigs of cilantro, red chilli finely sliced

Heat vegetable oil and add the minced pork with all the seasonings, then after it's fully cooked, then add tomato and onion for another two to three minutes, set aside.

Heat small pan and make a really thin egg crepe and cook on both sides, add a few tablespoon of filling and make a square. Garnish with cilantro and chilli.

Or mix in the filling with the egg if you can't be bothered to make individual omelettes.

Serve with Thai sweet chilli sauce and rice.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

everyone loves a mango

A meal in sunny California

It's so nice what one can do when you have the right ingredients, pantry, and good stove, pans.

Equipment really does matter, and especially sharp knifes for all the dicing

Yesterday I threw together one of my summer favorites, which I would suggest be served with grilled corn, and salad:

Chile Lime Tilapia with Mango Avocado Salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa
dice the following
1 ripe mango
1 avocado
1 tomato
1 lime
1/2 a red bellpepper
2 chopped scallions
1 small bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper

Just dice and toss, try not to eat it all before the fish is cooked. Also fantastic with tortilla chips, or try pineapple instead of mango, although omit the avocado if you're using pineapple.

Chile Lime Tilapia
2 tsp chile
1 lime
freshly ground black pepper
4 Tilapia fillets

Rub the fillets with 1/2 tsp chile powder on both sides, salt and pepper to taste (try not to undersalt), squeeze over with fresh lime juice.

In a saute pan over medium high heat, melt a small bit of butter for each fillet, cook around 4-5 minutes depending how thick the fillet is, flip once.

White Nectarine, Mint, Blueberry Salad

4 nectarines
half a pint of blueberries
drizzle of honey
handful of mint

Toss and serve.

Monday, July 25, 2005

From the Beginning

Thai Food for Ultra Ultra Beginners

That's right, I finally have access to a stove and no access to cheap Thai food anymore, so I'll be posting whatever Thai recipes I've tried out and will hopefully successfully pass on to others for similar Thai-food happiness.

Today, I've cooked up no less than Thai Rice Porridge or Khao Nam, which literally translates to Rice Water.

Thai Rice Porridge/Khao Nam

3 c cooked rice (preferrably jasmine)
2 c chicken broth
1 c water
1 stub of ginger (half an inch) smashed
2 cloves of garlic smashed, skins left on
1-2 tsp of fish sauce
1/4 c minced pork (can also use thin slices of chicken or small shrimp)

1/8 c finely minced scallions
1/8 c finely minced cilantro
onion flakes
chili oil
lime wedges
white pepper

optional: egg

With the ginger and garlic, you can put them in a tea filter and close it and take it out at the end if you want, I follow my mom's example and just leave them in to the hazard of anyone who might eat it accidentally. Believe me, a bite of a gingerroot doesn't have the same delicacy as the pickled ginger one eats with sushi.

Boil the broth and water, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and crumble the pork into the soup until cooked, add the cooked rice and simmer at a low heat uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the rice is softened, but still rather separate.

If you'd like an egg poached in the soup, raise the heat to high and crack open a raw egg into the pot, and coddle.

The preparation of the rice soup is so easy that there really isn't an excuse not to ready the toppings, it's a simple, but very tasty start to the day.

the thai's have it

Eat Thai Style

Simply put, I lost about ten pounds in Thailand. I was thoroughly disheartened upon returning home and my family failed to exclaim over my newfound slimness.

Thailand is a great place to lose weight because most do without even noticing it or exerting or depriving oneself at all. I found myself wondering about why that was so, and how I could take full advantage of it.

First, I started putting toned muscle on again while doing ballet, but secondly I started to look at my diet during Thailand to see exactly how not trying in New York made me gain roughly five, and Thailand helped me lose twice as much (although with concerted effort).

Rudimentarily, putting muscle on always works because it's not just the work out that helps, but the continual higher burning of calories that muscles burn all the time. This starts to tip the scales (literally) in your favor.

The secret to eating Thai style:

1. Small portions, but often. I learned in Japan the same lesson too. Most of the time, you could probably eat a lot less.
2. Very little meat. The meat given in Thailand would make most Americans cry out in protest. Any given fried rice dish maybe contained four or five small shrimp, or slivers of meat.
3. Interesting taste, the fact that Thai food combines so much flavor and stimulation makes you not need to eat as much.
4. Sauces that are spice/broth based instead of cream based

In the month I lived there my dinners were always just a bit of meat, about equal portion of rice, and then I would eat vegetables and fruit until I was pretty much stuffed. I think I'm going to keep this ratio in mind for the rest of my life, but already it's proving quite difficult, seeing as the burrito I got from around the block at Alerto's was pretty much all meat, a wondrous chewy tortilla filled with guacamole, carnitas (roast pork), and cheese, with a zesty salsa ($4!). I've learned what pretty much all diets say, you can eat pretty much anything you want, but just a bit.

Monday, July 04, 2005

cool things

I just had a fabulous smoothie, and it couldn't get any simpler:

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie Blitz

5 ice cubes
1 serving of blueberry yogurt

Use ice crush and blend until completely combined. Serve with a mint sprig if feeling fancy.

Friday, July 01, 2005

lazing in thailand

I'm sitting at the Daily Dessert Cafe once again in Chiang Mai. One of my Thai-American friends mentioned how startled he was about the occurrence of roti in Thai food vocabulary. I've learned the pleasures of the roti, and it's an easy way to combine Thai/Indian/Western tastes all at once practically.

Shrimp Salad Roti Rolls

Small cooked and peeled shrimp
mayonnaise (preferrably japanese style)
minced shallots
minced coriander
minced mint

Green curry paste
Coconut chutney

Assembled shrimp salad from above ingredients, roll up roti, daub a bit of green curry paste with coconut chutney, serve with lettuce tomato and cucumber.