Category Archives: Authentic Thai Food

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column – Carol cooks Stir Fries

Thank you, Sally, for hosting me once again… Nearly time for all the Christmas recipes…I love this time of year just wish it was a little colder(sort of)…lol…It adds to the atmosphere of Christmas…Hugs x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Hello and welcome wasn’t it fun last Wednesday at Sally’s Halloween party? I hope you all enjoyed our post on Onions and Garlic it certainly kept the vampires away and didn’t our Sally look absolutely amazing?

The week before Halloween I posted on how to make perfect Fried rice and it seemed from the comments to be a popular post…I also discovered that many of you love stir fries and dishes which can be made quickly and are just as easy to make for one as for 6 people. A boon when you are working or have writing deadlines to meet and know that you do need to eat but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen but want a tasty meal…

Most Thai meals are stir fried…Thais don’t have ovens like we do and many just cook on one ring or an open fire so one wok and…

View original post 1,906 more words

Saturday morning at Tessaban Market, Udon Thani, Thailand

Up bright and early to catch the bus to Tessaban market with Tik…The bus was really busy with ladies all going to market and all very interested in this lady who they say was very beautiful…They wanted to know how long I had lived in Thailand, did I like it here and how old I was ?…Life history time…Again..lol

A dull gloomy day here but ideal for shopping…What did I get today ? Some lovely fresh coconut and other vegetables my favourite snake beans, fresh mint and coriander and of course peppercorns …I just love fresh peppercorns they make a lovely sauce.

fresh-vegetables-thai- market

I love the early morning market it is so vibrant and busy lots of lovely fresh produce…Today I bought some lovely fresh prawns some hand picked crab ( so much easier than picking out the crab claws) and an Issan dish  called Mok pla siw which means various small fish. they are cooked on a BBQ wrapped in a banana leaf with chilli, Thai basil and spring onion…Then eaten with sticky rice either on its own or as an accompaniment to other dishes…We had ours with Grapow Moo       

Which Tik made when we got home for our brunch.

fish-chilli-pla-basil-banana-leaf

What other goodies did I buy? A whole coconut for hubby as he likes to munch on fresh coconut… a whole one lasts him about 5/6 days…

crab-betel-leaves-coconut

The betel leaves and the fruit are for Tiks mum …Which is an age old tradition which old people do..although it is actually against the law…A blind eye is turned so if you are visiting here and see someone with very red lips and teeth it is the betel leaves and nuts which they chew/smoke …It is illegal as it makes you a tad high so they will also probably have a calm faraway look…But it is big business here…

I just love the choice and the different foods I see every time I go…Lots of fish..Thais love fish of all sorts steamed, BBQ, smoked or as pla… and many smiling faces all trying to sell me their wares one stop shopping at its best you can buy almost anything here… if you love browsing you would love it anyway  back to food shopping  and not forgetting the rice and man farang ( potatoes) which I needed…

That’s all for my trip down the market today… It is still pretty gloomy here no sign of the sun today…But I am pleased with my shopping lots of fresh food for a few days…

I hope you enjoyed my local shopping trip today and you will most probably recognise a few of the vegetables some which are eaten all over the world others which are not an Aladins cave full of fresh goodies.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Enjoy your weekend , be happy and mindful and laugh a lot xx

 

Krapow( grapow) Moo Pork with Basil

 

ingredients for grapow Moo

Krapow Moo is my favourite Thai dish and one which we often have for brunch..we are a two meal a day family. It can be made with Chicken mince but I prefer pork mince. For maximum heat, I always grind my chillies and garlic together in my pestle.

Ingredients: This serves 3/4.

  • 200 gm Pork mince
  • 4 snake beans cut into 1/4 inch slices.If you can’t get the beans pictured then ordinary green beans will be fine.
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-5 Thai chillies
  • Krapow …A big bunch of Thai sweet basil  Leaves picked and as you can see from the photo I use quite a lot.
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black soy.
  • A splash of cooking oil…I use Coconut oil.
  • Good shake of seasoning..not sure if you would get the one I use here but if not just a little pork/chicken seasoning salt.

Peel garlic and cut chillies finely at this point I put in a pestle and mortar as it brings out the flavour. If you don’t eat your food very hot like us then just cut chillies and garlic finely.

Add a splash of oil to a hot wok and add chillies and garlic cook stirring for 1 minute being careful the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the minced pork( chicken) and stir until cooked 3-4 mins.

Add all sauces and stir cooking for 1 minute. Add a little hot water if the sauce is too strong.

grapow moo cooking adding herbs
Then add the green beans and cook 1 min then add Grapow and stir until wilted.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

grapow- krapow-egg-pork

Serve with rice and a fried egg which is traditionally how Thais eat this dish.

herb grapow

N.B.Holy Basil is available now in many Asian stores throughout the world.

Please note I have put for example 1-5 chillies it all depends on how hot you like your food and the same with garlic I love lots of garlic and herbs BUT as I always say start with a litle you can always add and most importantly TASTE AND TASTE again and again while you are cooking trust your palate…

Enjoy!

Retired No One Told Me!… Weekly Roundup…Green Chicken, Smoked Watermelon and little known Thai Fruits

Weekly roundup 11 Aug

Welcome to my weekly roundup of posts by now you should know the drill comfy chair, favourite drink, relax and prepare to have a great read…

lady relaxing kindle-1867751_1280

The first post of the week was Green chicken a really lovely stir fry with coriander, mint, spinach and green chillies and the result is awesome with some lovely flatbread and an Indian pickle it is really lovely…

Green-chicken-spinach

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/spicy-chicken-with-spinach/

Next, it was the really good news that after a week of no biscuits( and ) I still haven’t had one or any haribos I lost 4 LB…Week 2 and I am still keeping my food diary it is certainly keeping me focussed and that little chart of Sally’s and the shopping list has really focussed me …If you haven’t already check out the links and you will find some great sensible advice.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/healthy-eatingno-more-dietseat-yourself-slim-2/

I then read a post from fellow blogger John Reiber and it was about roasted watermelon a fascinating post and I would definitely try it not saying I would like it but who knows …Have you heard of this dish? Have you tried it???

It would certainly mess with your taste buds…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/a-smoked-watermelon-roast-incredibly-creative-cooking-recipe-disguised-chinese-desserts-too/

Wednesday already and time for part two of my cookery column over at Sally’s …Last week I gave you the sauce mixes and spices so this week I gave you the recipes …

chicken satay

This is one of my favourite Thai starters nice and fresh…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-family-favourites-and-spices-in-action-part-two/

Thursday and my blog hopping continued I was over at Esme’s Salon for my monthly post on the Culinary Alphabet and this week it was the letter G…Obviously, there was garlic, ginger and galangal to see what else I had for you then pop over and have a read.

cauliflower cheese

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-this-month-it-is-the-letter-g/

It then was time to get a bit more serious and you have or do suffer from anaemia then you will know what I mean …Sally always offers good sound advice on how we can use our diets to help build up our immune system to keep us healthy.

smorgasbord Health Column

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-cardiovascular-system-and-the-components-of-blood-anaemia/

Lastly, it was Fruity Friday where I showcased some unusual Thai Fruits like the Matum Fruit, Thai cherries which look very much like cherry tomatoes but not in taste also the Mangosteen Fruit which I think you may find outside of Thailand and the Gac Fruit also some lovely recipes… I do hope you will enjoy learning about some of the fruits I  enjoy here in Thailand.

thai cherries 1

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/fruity-friday-thai-fruits/

Well that’s it that concludes my weekly roundup …Until next time thank you for reading.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you  for reading this weekly roundup I do hope you enjoyed it until next time stay safe, laugh a lot and enjoy your weekend  xxx

Thai Cooking…Sweet, Sour, Spicy, Salty and Bitter…

 

I think Thai food incorporates some of the best flavours in the world…Not laden with thick mayonnaise and cream which mask the taste of the other ingredients but lovely fresh food flavoured with herbs and spices which showcase the true essence of Thai food how the herbs and spices combine and as we all know who has cooked and eaten Thai food that the secret of a great dish is getting that right balance.

Thai cuisine is a marriage of old eastern and western influences combined in something which is uniquely Thai… a dish can be fiery and chilli hot or by comparison quite bland but there is always that balance that harmony which comes together to say this is Thai food at its best…

It is why I always say TASTE and TASTE again start with a little and add an ingredient(s) little by little… everyone has a preference to certain flavours …As you know I love chilli and fish sauce so maybe I use a little more than some who may prefer more lime for example …It is all about the TASTE…and Balance.

Sweet…

There are different types of sugar produced in Thailand from white and brown sugar, palm and coconut sugars.

Palm sugar comes from sugar palm tree or Palmyra while coconut sugar comes from the coconut palm.

Both sugars are produced from the sweet, watery sap that drips from cut flower buds. Palm sugar usually has a darker colour, a more fragrant smoky aroma and a more complex flavour than coconut sugar.

Palm and coconut sugars are usually used in curry dishes but considerably more in Thai desserts.

I use palm sugar mostly as it has a milder sweetness and goes well with foods which contain coconut milk…Coconut sugar has a more intense caramel-like flavour which I use when baking banana bread.

Dark, black soy although strong in taste and salty there is an element of a sweet molasses flavour… Used sparingly it enhances the taste of stir-fries.

Thai Basil has a sweet but strong aniseed flavour which I love and as I really love fresh herbs if a recipe says 2 sprigs I would use 4…I love Thai herbs…

Sour…

The sour flavour is predominant in Thai salads, soups, dips, and some drinks, usually, it comes from the tamarind which I love … lime juice,  fragrant Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass and white vinegar.

fresh cut limes-1239267_1280

Tamarind that brown fruit imparts such a lovely sour/sweet flavour I just love the tamarind eaten raw or soaked and the juice used in a recipe ..just love it!

Spicy…

Flavour usually comes from fresh and dried Thai chillies, black and white peppers, garlic, and ginger. This taste of Thai food, spicy, is seldom missed in Thai cooking. Level relatively differs from personal preference.

Thai chillies or birdseye as they are often called are used in many Thai dishes like Thai curries, in salads…green or red or just eaten raw…Yes, raw I don’t go that far unless it is in my salad but many Thais just eat the whole raw chilli quite often the men here in my house have a competition on who can eat the hottest raw chilli….I do not participate I love chilli in my food but why would I just want to chomp on a chilli ????

Chilli plant- hot- spicy- Thai chillies

White peppercorns are used here for heat quite extensively more so than black peppercorns which are mostly used in western dishes.

Garlic is also used frequently and added to the oil first before stir-frying quite often the garlic and the chillies are added first.

Fresh coriander has a very strong smell and taste and the leaves and the roots are used in many dishes or as a garnish.

Bitter…

The bitter flavour in Thai food does not often exist in most Thai dishes. However, the bitter flavour comes from a few kinds of vegetables and fruit which are believed to have a medicinal benefit.

The bitter gourd is commonly used in soups and stocks or in a dish called Khiewchanta…

Thai food-raw prawns-spicy-dip

Thai raw prawns with spicy dip

 

Which is made with uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip. It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage, finely sliced and halved…arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns, cleaned, deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

Salty…

Salty flavour usually comes from sea salt, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Fish sauce is considerably used in Thai cooking while different kind of soy sauces are mostly used for soups and stir-fry dishes and it may be used instead to one’s personal preference or for Thai vegetarian cooking.

Sea salt is more commonly used in Thai cooking as a preservative for fish and eggs or it is used to help grind other spices sometimes when making Thai pastes.

I am really lucky as I get my salt fresh as we live close to some salt flats …

Salt-farming-northern Thailand

Lighter soy sauces are also used to balance the salty flavours as is shrimp paste which has an incredibly pungent smell and is often dry roasted to develop the taste…Used in curries and fish dishes it actually tastes better than it smells …It took me a while to get used to this one …

Unlike western foods which are often served in courses a Thai meal is served all at once as the balance of spice, salt, sour and sweetness are not only considered in individual dishes but the meal as a whole it has to have balance.

For example, if you have a really hot curry then this would be balanced by a soup and a mild stir-fry. Thai cooking is instinctive the taste is learned by instinct as chillies can be hot or a little milder, your limes may be really juicy or not so which is why I say TASTE and TASTE again as a recipe for Thai food is a guide and cannot take into account individual ingredients which may vary…

I hope this has been helpful and you now have a better idea of the complexities of Thai cooking…

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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Down on the Farm…Spicy Pork with Stinky Beans( Mu Baan Phat Prik Sa Tor)

Spicy Pork with Stink Beans a popular dish here in the North.

Down on the Farm Stink Beans

Growing on trees some 30 metres high the beans grow in clusters.

Popular in Indonesia, Malaysia,  Singapore, Laos, Burma and NE India they are known as Bitter Bean, Petai, Kampa, Mizo, Pakra and Sa Tor here in Thailand which translates as stinky bean. When you eat this bean it has the same effect on your urine and your farts as asparagus and I have also been told that if you eat Sugar Puffs then it smells like Sugar puffs …Totally off subject but that was what my son told me when I informed him they had the same effect as asparagus…When the beans are young they can be eaten raw, fried or pickled. The beans are either pickled or frozen when being exported.

Similar in looks to the Broad bean the seeds turn black when dried and may need to be peeled before cooking.

Healthwise this bean is packed with…Iron(42.50%) Vitamin C (36.33%) Protein 20.00%)

 Vitamin B2 (15.38%) Carbohydrate (13.00% another of natures powerhouses.

As a cure for hangovers combined with honey and milk, this particular milkshakes made is considered to help to ease a hangover because it can easily enhance blood glucose levels whilst the milk is wonderful for calming as well as re-fix the fluid level within the body.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm of pork thinly sliced I use hip or pork loin you can also use chicken if prefered.
  • 1 cup of stink beans
  • Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of coconut cream
  • Pinch sugar
  • 4/6 kaffir lime leaves finely shredded
  • Sm amount of red curry paste.

Let’s Cook!

Heat a small amount of oil in a wok or frying pan and add your curry paste.(see note below) Aff fine;y slice lime leaves and stir-fry for a minute until flavours are released.

Add the pork and stir-fry until cooked..4-5 minutes. Add the stink beans, Fish Sauce, Coconut cream and a pinch of sugar.

pork and stink beans

Serve with  Steamed Rice.

N.B: IF USING A REGULAR RED CURRY PASTE I WOULD USE APPROX DESSERT SP TO START THE CURRY PASTE WE BUY IS VERY HOT AND YOU ONLY NEED 1/2 TSP IT IS FIERY. BUT I ALWAYS SAY WHEN USING A CURRY PASTE THAT YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THEN ADD A SMALL AMOUNT, TASTE AND ADD MORE IF REQUIRED. 

We like our curries quite spicy and know our pastes so add accordingly but still taste as chillies vary but I have learnt that if buying fresh paste to ask to taste and you soon know if it packs a punch or not….lol

If you can’t get fresh stink beans then you can use frozen…When the beans fresh they don’t have a strong smell but the smell is stronger when the beans are older or frozen.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the stink bean or Sa Tor if you have please pin or share to your favourite social media and if you cook with stink beans please let me know what you cook in comments I love hearing from you…

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

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Enjoy your week, be happy and mindful xx

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Thailand… Street Food and Markets…

street food and markets

The one thing which I hope will not change for a very long time is the street food stalls and the markets.

As a child, I remember the thriving markets my mum used to take me to and now they are all gone disappeared…Yes, cities like London, York and others still have thriving Markets with organic produce and speciality goods but proper local markets seem to have all but disappeared.

It is different here wherever I have lived or visited in Asia there is a market or two…every single day no matter where you live. We can drive from one town to another through local villages and there are markets, not just the odd one but many they are the heart and soul of Asia to me..wonderful street food and beautiful fresh produce…They range from a small group of 10 stalls just selling meat or vegetables to huge markets selling everything.

Small local market

They keep the soul of the place going there are real communities which care not just an estate of houses where no one even sees their neighbours and shop online… A place where there are real friendships and community…Where people share and I have been overwhelmed with that…people I don’t know …people who do not speak a word of English who come to my gate with Mangoes, bananas, little delicacies for us to try and we, in turn, share our produce and when I cook I give them a little plate to try, a jar of pickles… A real community…

bangkok floating market

There are floating markets where you are hauled over to the floating boat to check the wares with a boat hook ..beautiful handmade goods, wonderful fresh fruit and freshly cooked food… If you haven’t experienced the wonders of a floating market then you haven’t lived.

floating market thailand-502480_1280

The vibrant fruit and vegetable market where I  shop open as early as 3 am in the morning...

I normally arrive around 6 am -7 am …they are still bustling with people and shops buying their fresh wares…People on their way to work or coming home from work getting their breakfast…All freshly cooked to order…

Tessabaan fresh vegetables and lady

The markets are generally held right in the middle of a community or on the outskirts… You can buy anything …One stop shopping..food, clothes, household items, bedding, electrical goods, a puppy or a kitten… Fresh fish, dried fish, still alive and wriggling fish, frogs which here in the North are a staple, rats…yes rats…tasty I am told by the stall holders and they feed on rice they say, so clean not like the sewer rats …But they have them here in the city where I live..where do they come from I wonder…I will not be enquiring or be eating…This I draw the line at…A big black line..nada, No, I am not even going there…

Bugs and insects, so many varieties all piled high,

Crispy Fried Insects

Deep fried and crispy, ant eggs, soy eggs, 100-year-old eggs the list is endless… If you would like to create an authentic Thai recipe in your own kitchen then here is the authentic recipe for ANT EGG salad…I hope you enjoy!

Pigs heads…and trotters…My father used to love a bowl of Pigs Trotters… So we were not so very different back then…

Pigs & Chickens

Stalls piled high with Pork, Beef, Fish…

It is a virtual treasure trove of new discoveries for me …I think every single market I have visited holds more new delights and things I haven’t seen or tasted before…Some I recognise…Much I don’t… Much of what is sold is localised from one area to another so always a surprise or a find…I love it!

Do I have a favourite…No!

There are so many and they are so varied that I would be hard-pressed to do so…

I am quite used to seeing stall holders fast asleep on their stall, under their stall, I suppose with having such long trading hours you have to catch a nap when you can…Some even live and sleep behind their stalls ..you will see evidence of this..clothes drying, a telly, sleeping children and babies for some it is a fact and a way of life…

market-3233394_1280

A way to earn a living, some more successful than others…some only sitting on the pavement surrounded by a few wares to sell…All the produce..generally very fresh, picked that morning…

I suspect many people here live from day to day…hand to mouth… depending on what they sell…

Some quite young but many very old… their only income..here there is no cushion, no social handouts, if you have nothing to eat …That, is exactly what it means … Nothing to eat!

When we say we have nothing to eat… What we mean is ..nothing we fancy ..we want to buy more food to put in our fridges, our store cupboard…

It is a whole different world and one which many have not seen or experienced…But hey…it is out there and we don’t know how lucky we are…

Thank you for reading and I do hope you enjoy these glimpses that I give you of my travels if you do please share on your favourite social media channels…Thank you…

If you really want to see even more from me???? There are many strings to my bow…If you still want to find out more…

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…  I look forward to meeting you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time xxx