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" .