Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Herbs: Thai Basil - sweet, holy or hairy

There are innumerable sorts of basil.
The most well-known is surely the Italian basil,
without this tasty tomatoes with Mozzarella cheese would not be complete.
In the Thai kitchen 3 different sorts Basil are used .
The taste of the Thai basil can not be replaced by other herbs or spices
and is only freshly used.

1. BAI HORAPA oder Sweet Basil

One recognizes Horapa by its dark-violet stacks
and its anise or liquorice smell and taste.
for the red and the green Thai Curry Horapa is indispensably.
The leafes are added as a whole or finely cutted at the end of the cockingtime .
One hands fried, crispy Horapa leafes also to roasted fish, etc....
Also in Viet Nam Horapa is a popular and a much used herb.

2. BAI GAPRAO oder Holy Basil

The taste is hot- peppery.
It has the name holy basil probably from India,
where it was used for ritual purposes,
but in the Indian kitchen it does not have a meaning.
In the Thai Cuisine however the more.
Unfortunately there is no common writing for the Thai language
and so people write like : gaprao, krapao, krapaw and so on
for the probably most popular dish for Thai people: PAD Gaprao,
meat or fish fried with Gaprao Basil (very hot!),
fried crispy leafes served with fried fish
or "Tua khi mau" roasted nuts with hot spices.

3. BAI MENGLAK oder Hairy Basil

Menglak has a lemonish taste
and is mostly eaten as a condiment to "Khanom jeen" a Thai noodle curry.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Recipe: Fried rice noodles Thai Style - Pad Siiu

The Thai name of this mouthwatering noodle dish "Pad Siiu" (speak SI-I-JU) can´t be translated properly into English. "Siiu" means soy sauces,
like Siiu dam - black (darken) soy sauce
or Siiu khao - light soy sauce.
For this delicacy 2 different soy sauces and a soy bean paste are used.
This way we want to thank the cook of the Viang Bua in Chiang Mai for his support.
The noodle dish illustrated here originates from his kitchen
and is a variation of the "classic Pad Siiu" .
A variation because he used different vegetables.
With "classic Pad Siiu" one uses only Kale.

Ingredients for 2 persons:
oil to fry
200 gr. rice fettucine
approx. 200 gr. pork or chicken chest (vegetarians leave the meat simply away)
2-3 stems Kale (as a replacement Broccoli or cauliflower) other vegetable like sugar peas, carrots...
1-2 eggs
1 teaspoon Thai, dark, thick Sojasauce (Healthy Boy Brand, Formula 5)
1 teaspoon light Sojasauce
1 teaspoon soy bean paste
1-2 teaspoon oystersauce
1/2 - 1 teaspoon fishsauce
1 teaspoon sugar
optional:1/2 teaspoon MSG - Monosodiumglutamat - food enhancer
a piece of Lime to garnish and if very hungy also a fried egg.

Put the dried noodles for approx. 10 - 15 minutes (see package) in cold or lukewarm water and drip off the water. Heat up some oil in a Wok. Fry noodles with 1 tablespoon of dark Sojasauce , until the noodles are soft, approx. 3 min. Caution noodles stick easily in the Wok . Push the noodles at the highest place in the wok, add a bit more oil and add the meat and fry well , then the eggs will be add. If the eggs are come to a hold put the noodles above and spice with oystersauce, soy bean paste, light soysauce, fishsauce, sugar and food enhancer . Add kale and other vegetables and fry until done. Serve with a piece of lime .
To spice up one hands in Thailand: Fischsauce, Chiliflakes, sugar and vinegar with inserted chilis. For "Pad Siiu" , one gets essential soy bean paste in well sorted Asiashops. Here a picture of it:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rice noodles from Thailand

The scholars argue, who invented the noodles.
There was the Chinese and Marco Polo brought them to Italy or they been invented independently in Italy and in China
or was the ancient Greeks the inventors.
In Thailand it interests only whether they were prepared tasty.

Rice noodles consist of rice flour, rice starch and water.
The production by hand is very complex and requires some experience.
Thai people buy their rice noodles freshly at the market,
fresh noodles are durable just a short time (1-2 days) ,
but by the taste they are much tastier than dried rice noodles .
In Thai language one calls the rice noodles ก้วยเตี๋ยว
"Guawtiew" speak guad tiau.
For this word there are probably as many ways of writing,
like noodle soup vendors in a Thai village.

Guawtiew, Guitiew, Guatiew, Guai Thiau and so on and so on.....
Guawtiew is the comprehensive term for both noodle soup
as well as the noodles themselves.
In order to create clarity, one attaches still some words in the back.
On the picture you see:
Guawtiew sen jai - rice fettucines

"Sen jai" means "big strips".
They are cut from plates.

Use: Noodle soups and "Pad Siiu", "Rat-Nah".....

Guawtiew sen lek - Rice noodles in small strips

Use: Noodle soups and for the well known "Pad Thai"

Guawtiew sen mii - Rice hair noodles

Use: Noodle soups and for roast

Noodle soups (Guawtiew) are much liked in Thailand
and are offered at evening and nighttime in small mobile kitchens at the road.
The recipes for the soups are well guarded secrets.
In Europe rice noodles are offered, on different cuts , in dried form .
Before use one puts the noodles approx. 10-15 minutes
into cold or lukewarm water,
drip off the water and now can be roasted
or added to a soup .

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Herbs: Coriander leaves, coriander roots and Laos coriander

In Asia, Africa and Latin America Coriander leaves (Cilantro)
are a very popular and peppering herb .
In Thailand one calls the Coriander "Pak Tschi" or "Pak Ji"
and it occurs in innumerable Thai recipes.
Coriander looks similar to parsley,
the leaves are more softly and have an incomparable smell.

Coriander leaves are added at the end of the cooking time
and should not be cooked,
since then the very aromatic taste and smell evaporate.
In Thailand Coriander leaves and spring onions are roughly chopped
and strewn briefly before serving over the dish.

A relative of the Coriander, although its look is completely different,
is the "Laos Koriander", "Farang Koriander" or "saw leaf herb".
Home of this spice herb is on the Caribbean islands,
where it is frequently used in Puerto Rico.
It is cultivated also in Southeast Asia
(Laos, Burma, Thailand, Kambodscha, Viet Nam, Malaysia and Indonesia)
and finds use in the national kitchens.
Laos Koriander is more intensive from the smell and taste than "normal" Coriander.

Its leaves are harder and can also be cooked.
In Viet Nam, and/or authentic vietnamese restaurants
one hands to many dishes a basket with fresh herbs, like:
Laos Coriander, Coriander, Horapa (Thai Basil) and Mint.

Particularly in Thailand also the Coriander roots are used in the kitchen.
Mostly with the preparation of soups Coriander roots are added,
which before got a hit with the tappet of a mortar.
Thai people say because of the smell, but the roots are not eaten.
In addition, with the preparation of Curry paste Coriander roots are used.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Vegetables: KALE - PAK KANA (Pak Kanaa) - chinese broccoli

PAK KANA (Pak Kanaa, engl.Kale) or "Chinese Brokkoli" is a sheet cabbage plant. Its buds develop no head like the related Brokkoli. In the kitchen one uses the stacks and the sheets specially for the short roast in the Wok. The taste reminds of Broccoli, the stacks are wonderful crunchy. PAK KANA gives dishes like "Fried Rice", "Pad Siiu" (fried ricenoodles),
"Rad Na" (noodles in thickened soup) or
"Kana moo grop" (crispy pig roast with kana) the last whistle.
PAK KANA can be frozen chopped , however it will loose its crunchyness.

In the Intenet there is only few
and often also wrong information about PAK KANA.
A Website, which informs about Vitame and nutrients of PAK KANA:
the world´s healthiest foods

Replaceable (same, same, but different) by broccoli or cauliflower.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Recipe: Fried Rice with Shrimp/Chicken/Pork
Thai Style (khao phad goong/gai/moo)

Who already once spent its vacation in Thailand,
will have tried this tasty Thai dish.
Specially people, which do not like to eat hot and spicy,
will like this Thai Style fried rice.
Remaining rice from the day before can be recycled with this recipe.

Ingredients per person:
oil to fry
one cup cooked rice from the day before
3-5 shrimps
or 100 gramm chicken, chopped
or pork
1 egg
1/2 tomato
1 -2 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
1-2 stem Kale (Kana/Kanaa, chinese brokkoli)
1 teaspoon fishsauce
1 teaspoon light soysauce
1 teaspoon oytersauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon white ground pepper
optional: a pinch of MSG Monosodium Glutamat (food enhancer - Pong Tschue Rod)

Heat a bit of oil in a wok .
Add shrimps (chicken, pork) and chopped garlic.
and fry at a big heat,
until the shrimps get a redish color.
Add an egg and scramble until the egg is stiffed.
Now add the rice and fry at a big heat.
Add Fishsauce, light Soysauce and oystersauce
and stir well.
Add chopped vegetables (tomato, onion, kale) and
season with sugar, pepper and MSG,
and fry until the vegetables are done (about 2-4 minutes).
Garnish with corianderleaves and springonions
and serve with slices of cucumber and a piece of lemon.
To spice up provide a small cup with "Prik nam pla"

Tips & Tricks:

Absolutely use cooked rice from the day before,
otherwise Your fried rice will be slushy!
Alternatively for all hasty ones: Cook the rice and as soon as it is done,
remove covers and let it cool down, the longer the better.
This recipe one should prepare on a gas stove,
the heat of electric cookers can badly be adjusted and are not sufficient,
the result will be a slushy, fried rice.

At the vegetable You can add, what You like,
peppers, carrots, brokkoli, cauliflower, sprouts .....
The cookingtime depends on the cut of the vegetables.
Also with the meat there are no limits to Your fantasy,
permitted is what You like,
for example: Wiener sausage, minced pork or beef,
mixed chopped meat ( beef, pork, chicken, turkey,...)
chorizo(spicy sausage from Spain, ham, seafood, mussels.....

A Thai cook prepares "fried rice with pork" (Khao pad moo):

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fish Sauce - The Salt of the Thai people

One of the most important ingredients in the Thai, and Southeast Asian cuisine is the fish sauce. It is made of fermented fish, like anchovies and other small fish, salt, sugar, water and depending on the taste also oysters and shrimps.

"The variety fromVietnam is generally called nước mắm, and similar condiments fromThailand and Myanmar are called nam pla (น้ำปลา) and ngan byar yay respectively. In Cambodia, it is known as teuk trei and range from a variety of sauces using fish sauce as a base. The Indonesian semisolid fish paste trasi, the Cambodian prahok and theMalay fermented krill brick belacan are other popular variations of the same theme. The similarFilipino version common to Indo-China is called patis. It is the by-product of a popular crude fish sauce, bagoong."
(from Wikipedia)

The brighter the color of the fish sauce, the better is the quality. The sauce strengthens the taste of meals, without leaving a "fishy" taste. In Thailand one uses Fish sauce as a salt replacement and as when proportioning salt, dearer less than more. One will find a small cup with Fish sauce on the table in every Thai restaurant to spice up.

Keeping quality:
Opened Fish sauce keeps well, coolly stored about one year.

Recipe: Fish sauce with Chillies
(Phrik nam pla):

Along with many Thai dishes, like fried rice, fried noodles, Curries, etc.
one offers a small cup with "Prik nam pla" to spice up.


Fish sauce
1 clove of garlic, chopped
5-6 Thai Chillies (Phrik khi noo) red and/or green
1/4 Lemon

Fill Fish sauce into a small cup.
Cut Chillies into fine rings cut (note: wash Your hands afterwards with cold water)
Chop clove of garlic.
Add Chillies and garlic to the fish sauce and refine with the juice of a 1/4 Lemon .
Lemon can be added as a whole piece also.
Soak well.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tips & Tricks - Camping stove

Who doesn't love it, the mouthwatering Thai dishes made in a Wok, for example fried rice, fried noodles or pork with garlic and pepper? But who has no gas stove, comes here to the limits. For the short roast one needs a high heat, which can be regulated to the point, an electric cooker cannot keep up there. The result is usually slushy and is also missing taste.
A good remedy is a camping stove with gas cartouches (for small kitchens) or an installation gas stove with large gas bottles, which one can hide in a cupboard. With the purchase one should watch out, that the equipment is certified for interiors . Now stands nothing more in the way for the ultimate "Wok Fun" .

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thai wok from steel

The Wok is a mixture from pan and pot and originally from China.
It was invented at times as collecting fire wood was still hard work.
With its semicircular bottom the Wok fitted in the best way to the fire place
and offered so an efficient energy output.
Nowadays there are Woks in many variants.
The Thai Wok illustrated here is made from steel and is not stainless.
This form (semicircular soil) is used with gas burners and gas cookers.
Use: to roast, to fry, to steam(with cover and special inserts)
Cleaning and care : clean with water and detergent,
when persistent contamination with steel wool.
Important: after use rub with food oil (against rust)

How one roasts with a wok, the video shows.
A Thai cook prepares "fried rice with pork" (Khao pad moo):

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mortar and pestle from granite

In the Thai kitchen predominantly fresh herbs and spices are used.
These are converted in a mortar to pastes.
Most well-known are the red and the green Currypaste,
which are a main part of the tasty Thai Curries.

Under the term "Nam Phrik" there are innumerable pastes,
which Thaipeople like to eat just together with rice and vegetables.
A "good" mortar is heavy (better stand) and not too small,
so that the
spices does not jump out.
The mortar, shown here, is made from granite and
approx. 7 Kilos in weight.
It has a height of approx. 13 cm and an inside diameter of approx. 13 cm.

As an alternative You can also use an electrical foodprocessor .
In Thailand one swears on the hard manual work
and people believe the taste is much better.