Saturday, July 11, 2009

Beef Noodle, Gui Teaw Neur

When I want some fast noodle as a lunch, I'll go to Chinatown. But, when it comes to a real treat noodle, I'll make it myself. When I say "real treat" I mean the taste that I am familiar with, the taste from home, just like this delicious Thai beef noodle.

In New York, if you want to find the real Thai noodle, you have to go to Queens. There are many Thai restaurants that make very good noodle. In Manhattan, there is the one I recommend, located at downtown on Fulton st. between Gold st. & William St. The restaurant name is the Bennie's Thai Cafe. They make a very delicious beef needle called Gui Teaw Num Tok or Waterfall Noodle, cute:)
dried rice noodle

Make this noodle when you have the whole day for cooking. It takes at least three hours to slowly cook the soup until beefs get very tender and soft, almost melt in your mouth. But, it's all worth it.
Chinese celery

What vegetable to buy?
- Chinese Celery
- Cilantro (with the roots intact)
- Green Onion
- Green-leaf Lettuce, here I used water spinach

Condiment for the soup
- 3 star anises
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 root of galangal, slice

Star anises, Cinnamon Sticks

Herbal Paste

- 5 cilantro roots
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 10 black or white pepper

- Soy sauce
- 1 small piece of sugar candy (optional)
- salt

Beef : I use chunk beef stew meat

Note : There is no specific measurement for these one. I made a big pot that would last us for almost a week. The best way is to taste it as you go, so you can make the right portion for yourself.

Making the soup

1. Make the Herbal Paste
2. Put all the meat into a pot, cover them up with water and put on high heat.
3. In goes, condiments and herbal paste to the pot.
4. As the meat start to get hot they will release the oil to the surface, gradually skim those foamy oil out.
5. Reduce the heat to medium and start the seasoning, start with three table spoon of soy sauce, and a pinch of salt, later you can taste and adjust the taste as you like it.
6. After the seasoning, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid and let them stew until the beef get very soft and tender.


water spinach

There are quite a lot of things to prepare when it comes to serving noodle.

1. Cut coarsely fresh cilantro, green Onion, Chinese Celery, water spinach or green-leaf lettuce.
2. Boil dried rice noodle (just like boiling pasta).
3. Put soften noodle in a serving bowl, in goes, fresh cilantro, green onion, Chinese celery and green-leaf lettuce or water spinach.
4. Ladle beef and soup in the bowl, top with garlic oil and serve.

Again, you can adjust the taste of your noodle before eating by seasoning them with sugar, white vinegar and fish sauce...oh...also a bit of chili powder is Delicious!!!

I also love to have some extra beef balls to go with this noodle. It is a real treat for me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thai Herbal Marinade Paste

When I was watching Daisy from the Daisy Cooks talking about her Sofrito, the herbal mixture she uses for her cooking, it surprised me how close the Spanish and Thai cooking is.

As for Thai cooking, these three pals, Cilantro roots, Garlic and pepper, play a very important part as a marinade paste to give a freshness, herbal scent to your nose, especially for meat that have a strong meaty smell. If you wonder what those distinctive fragrant in Thai grilled chicken or Barbecue Pork is, the secret is here.

Now that you love cooking Thai food, from now on, stop throwing away cilantro roots. Those are the gems. Here in the US, in most super markets, cilantro roots are more likely cut off, only the leaves and stems are left for use. That makes me cry.

Many time I have to use the cilantro stems to substitute for the roots, the part of cilantro that give out the strongest fragrant. Whenever I get cilantro with the roots are still intact I save them up by making them into this marinade paste and freeze them up to use it later.

Thai barbecue pork marinated with herbal paste

Only easy pounding is needed

Clean the cilantro roots with water thoroughly, use mortar and pestle, pound cilantro roots, garlic, black or white peppers and a pinch of salt into a paste. Use them to marinate meat, fish and seafood as the recipes call for.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Chinese Fried Bread, Pa Tong Go

As far as I remember eating this bread, I've never known before that it is Chinese's. We, Thai, also growing up with them, call them Pa-tong-go or Ja Qwai in some part of the South. I now know more that Chinese call them You Tiao and some others different names......You will never learn enough about food you eat every day.

As a Thai, every day waking up in the morning, it is quite common to see a plate of Pa-tong-go on the table along with everyday breakfast. Every morning, either my mom or aunty will get up early and go to the market or to a nearby stall that sells these yummy bread and buy them for the house.

Pa-tong-go with Jok

We eat them with Jok or Soy milk or other warm drinks as a breakfast . Since I've moved to New York, I long for them. I now know that they are Chinese breads, I went to Chinatown hoping to find them, but it is too difficult to communicate. Chinese are so diversity in their own language, different region speak different Chinese, as well, these fried bread has so many names in Chinese. I gave up!....

Pa-tong-go with Clam Chowder

I started to search for the recipes, and there are tons of them out there. The original recipes of making these bread mostly call for Ammonia powder, and I have a hard time finding it. I searched for more and got lucky with this recipe, posted on Thai community website by Thai woman living in another country, my bad that I don't remember exactly what the site was.

Her recipe is simple and doesn't call for Ammonia powder. I am dancing with this recipe. Even though this recipe is not exactly as the original Pa-tong-go has, the taste is as good as its original, and I like it already.

Making the dough
Serve for three people

- 1 1/4 cups of Self-Rising flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup of warm water
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1. Mix the yeast with warm water until it becomes foamy.

2. Mix flour and oil together, and in goes the yeast mixture.

3. Mix them well to from a dough.

4. Flour the surface of your kitchen top, put the dough and kneel them with hands for 3 min.

5. Leave it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap for the rising for 1 hour.

6. After the dough get a good rise, take it out on the floured surface and kneel it a bit more then start to shape it into a long strip dough.

7. Cut the long strip dough into small strips about 1 x 2 inches.

8. On one strip, use your finger tip touch a bit of water and apply on one side of the strip, stick two strips together, water will act as a glue to hold them together.

Fry the Dough

1. Heat oil to the high, then reduce the heat to medium high, in goes the doughs.
2. Fry them until golden, take them out, and rest on the rack.
3. Enjoy.

They are good with
Milk, soup, porridge, dip with sweet condensed milk.

Saute Garlic Liver, Tub Tod Kratiem

Last time I did an annual health check-up, my doctor said that I need to add more iron into my dietary list. He said my red blood cell count is a little below normal, and that my body needs more iron to help the process of increasing red blood cells.

Besides green leaves, one of my iron-rich of choice is liver. As we all know, it is also very concentrated source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals.

Just like other kids out there, I fed my aunt's dog with livers from my plate as soon as she turned away. I didn't like the smell of it, and the taste was bitter to me. As I grow up, all of the sudden the bitter livers become tasty, and the smell never bother me anymore. I now know how to deal with liver smell......Got Milk?

Since liver is known in high cholesterol, to balancing them out with garlic is a good way to enjoy eating liver. Light soy sauce using as a marinate gives liver a very tasteful dish.


- 2 oz. Pork liver or Beef liver
- 10 cloves of fresh garlic, coarsely chopped
- black pepper
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. whisky

1. Cut liver into 1/4 inch thick. To get rid of the liver smell, soak them in milk for 10 min.
2. Rinse off the milk, and then marinate the liver with all ingredients, except vegetable oil, for another 10 min.

Get your saute pan ready

1. Heat up a pan, put in vegetable oil.
2. Add marinated liver to the pan, and saute until no red blood on the liver left. Seasoning with black pepper. Turn off the heat. Serve.

*Be conscious that liver doesn't need to be cooked too long, if so it will become dry and too hard.*

Eat them together with any kind of vegetable dishes and steamed rice. Make your mother proud this time, and listen to her when she say "Eat your liver, they are good for your body."
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