Monday, December 6, 2010

Thai Dressing Eggs

Yum Kai Tom

At my house, another yummy way, among many ways, to eat eggs is to dress hard boiled eggs with spicy Thai salad dressing. It's an easy dish for the table - easy to cook, easy to eat - nobody says No to it.

It makes a great side-dish eat with stir-fried vegetable dishes, curry dishes etc. It can even stand alone at the party as an appetizer.

The Thai spicy dressing give the tasteless eggs more flavorful. The freshness of shallots, garlic, cilantro leaves and chilies add more to the layers of taste.

Start with hard boiled eggs
- 3 small heads of shallot, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 Thai chilies, minced
- Cilantro leaves
- 2 tbsp. finely ground dried-shrimp

- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar

Finish it within a blink
1. Put the eggs to the hard boiled. Peel them nicely after resting for cooling. Cut them up into four pieces for each egg - be ready on a serving plate.
2. In a small bowl, mix up all the dressing ingredients (except ground dried shrimp) together. Taste and adjust the taste as you like.
3. Pour the dressing on the eggs, top with dried-shrimp all over the eggs.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lunch Prix Fixe at DBGB

My lovely sister, Sam, came to visit NYC, and, like she always does as her favorite, wanted to explore the talk-of-the-town places to eat. This time is the time for DBGB kitchen & Bar restaurant at Downtown Manhattan, one of the places owned by Chef Daniel Boulud.

Sam always wanted to try this place, and had been trying to make a reservation for dinner and hadn't got any luck, she also had to fly back to Chi-Town that evening, so we ended up having lunch instead.

We met at my place and walked there since it's just a short walk. We got there very early, the place was still empty, but filled in half an hour later.

Fall Squash Soup, amber lager emulsion, crisp sage.

Besides the regular menu, they offer Weekday Lunch Prix Fixe menu for $24.07 which was what we opted for. We both started with Fall Squash soup since it's our favorite. It comes with tiny crisp sage in the middle. The taste is silky smooooooth...really enjoy it.

Sam said no mater where you eat it, it'll always be delicious, and this one was no exception.


My sister is another Curious George when it comes to Foods and Drinks, and when she saw THAI 14 in the menu, she went for it. Some people might think what's the point of ordering Thai food in French-American restaurant when you are Thai...

Plain and simple...she just wants to know how Thai influenced foods will taste like in this famous chef's restaurant. We were having a little fun guessing what is what originally in Thai, and I think he did a good job on creating and keeping the taste close to the original.

As for main, we chose different dishes, so we both could try two different dishes. Sam went for Spicy Tamarind Mussels, and I chose Risotto with butternut squash, chicken and mushroom.

Spicy Tamarind Mussels


Tamarind sauce is no stranger for us as Thai, but we never have it with Mussels before, so this dish is surprisingly delicious. My Risotto is comfortably delicious, but it sits on a little salty side, for me, well... still enjoyable.

Last comes the desserts; Gateau Tout Chocolate for Sam, and Green Apple-Honey Sundae for me.

Green Apple-Honey Sundae

We both loveeee the Sundae. We were agree that the Chocolate is too Chocolate-y rich, especially for me, who isn't a big fan of Chocolate. Oh Yes, people.....the people who doesn't like Chocolate is still existing :)

Gateau Tout Chocolate

I love the ice cream, it's light and delicious - well balance - little tang, sweet, crunch, smooth...easily want more. We couldn't finish the Tout Chocolate though.

Sam swiftly picked up the tab before I blinked. I promised, I'll tie her hands to the chair next time she comes because she always does that, and I told her so.

Next stop she wants to sit in is the Japanese Ramen Noodle restaurant called Ippudo in East Village, and I'll bring a chain with me this prepared, Sam.

My lovely Sis with Tamarind Mussels.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shirmp Paste, Ka-Pi

Now we are talking stinky - stinky but delicious. I believe every nations have their own delicious-stinky foods that they have to cringe their noses when smelling it, but when putting it into the mouth, it is like seeing the heaven on earth. Shrimp paste is a perfect fit in that category.

It is one of the important ingredients in South East Asian cooking. It's made from krill, Thais call Kueey shrimp. Fresh krill are fermented with salt over night, made into paste the next day then brought it out to Sun-dry for a day before storing it in an air flowed container for another seven days to be used later . We call the finish process Ka-Pi.

Ka-Pi is widely made trough out the area coast where krill are found. Kra-Pi made from krill give a very delicious gentle salty taste and not too pungent smell - in my mom' s words "Lovely Smell"....

Shrimp paste can be pricey depends on the quality of shrimps used for making Ka-Pi. Some qualities of Ka-Pi are good for making all kind of curry pastes such as red, green, Massaman curry paste etc. Those Ka-pi have strong salty taste and smell and quite dark in color, which make a perfect taste once mixed with water.

As for the dishes that uses Kra-Pi as a main ingredient which normally show off the taste of Ka-Pi, such as spicy shrimp paste dipping called Numprik Kra-Pi or the rice dish called Kaw Klook Ka-Pi (cooked rice tossed with Ka-pi) we would use Ka-Pi that is not too strong in taste and smell. In these dishes, Ka-Pi will be grilled with very low heat before using to make it more "delicious" smell.

Some women might love to splurge on their perfume....well, that's not the case of my mom. Mom loveees to splurge on Ka-Pi. She's always proud of herself if she got top-notch Ka-Pi from someone, somewhere and will announce it to everyone who happens to set foot in her kitchen, and she will make to-die-for Numprik Ka-Pi that everybody loves.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Devil's Food Cupcake

Last week we went for a walk in west village and turned the corner at Magnolia on Bleecker street. I have to say though, since I've been living in NYC for ten years, I've never had famous Magnolia's cupcakes just yet.
Line snaking to the side of Magnolia Bakery on Bleecker St.

The long line in front of the store always turns me off. But because of this long line in front of Magnolia that I finally learn how to make cupcakes myself.

I'm not a big fan of sweet, but I always fall for cute cupcakes, and that makes me want to try to make them.

My only favorite kind of cake is chocolate cake, and these the Devil's food cake is my show off. This time I tried the recipe from Martha Stewart's.

I love it! This recipe makes the cupcakes that is not too sweet, which is the way I love.

Kudos for those who create super cute, yummy looking me, trying to come up with how to make my cupcakes look cute and tempting is just....not that easy.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thai Green Papaya Salad


Papaya Salad is everybody's favorite salad, almost. It's chock-full of flavors and textures yet very light and energized. This dish is usually pared up with grill or fried meats and also going great with sticky rice.

Papaya salad is an Eastern food, but, because of its huge savories taste, it becomes food that people in every part of Thailand loves to eat, no matter where they are living in, this salad will make its ways through.

You can find and easily enjoy them at every corners of Thailand from tiny street stalls to exclusive restaurants .

Mom's papaya tree

In the US you can find these green papayas at most Asian market. Besides making salad, we love to put them in water base curry with prawns. It's!!

Choose fresh and firm green papaya
- green papaya, grated into a handful of long string.
- grape tomatoes
- long string bean
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Thai chilies
- unsalted roasted peanut (optional)
- dried shrimp (optional)

- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. tamarind water
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tbsp. palm sugar

Mixed with carrot for extra crunch and colors

Normally, in Thailand, they mix this salad with wooden pestle and mortar, the idea of making this salad is to crushing and mixing all ingredients at the same time, but I don't have those.

So I just bruise the ingredients that need to be bruised- like string beans, garlic and chilies with my granite pestle and mortar then put everything in a salad preparing bowl and mix them together in salad bowl instead.

1. Grate papaya and carrot into long thin string. Set aside in preparing bowl.
2. Cut string bean into 1 inch long and slightly pound them with mortar and pestle, just that they are bruised. Do the same with garlic and chilies.
3. Put all ingredients in a bowl ready to dressing.
4. Add fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind water, lime juice in a bowl and start mixing all together until everything's combined.

Serve! ....with sticky rice, BBQ pork, grilled or fried chicken. Really a great dish.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stir-fired String Bean with Curry Paste

This is a perfect dish to spice-up your table a little without having your mouth on fire even though it's made with curry paste. It's also a delicious string bean dish eating with steamed rice and a bowl of light soup.

Get a wok on fire

- A bunch of long and firm dark green string bean, cut into an inch long.
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed.
- 2 tbsp. julienne Kaffir lime leaves
- Red curry paste, start with 1 tbsp.curry paste and you can add more if you want it more spicy.
- Generous amount of your meat of choice - pork, beef, chicken, or seafood like shrimps, squid or firmed tofu, cut into bite size. Here I used pork.

- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. palm sugar
- water

1. Heat up the wok, drizzling in saute oil.
2. Add in crushed garlic and meat, saute for 1 minute.
3. In goes curry paste and 1 tbsp. of water.
4. Add string bean.
5. Start seasoning with fish sauce and palm sugar.
6. Add julienne kaffir lime leaves, saute to incorporate until the meat cook through, string bean getting soft, but still crunchy, add more water if it's too dry.
7.Turn off the heat. Serve.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fried Whole Fish with Spicy Thai Chili Sauce

Pla Rard Prik

We've been eating a lot of fish dishes lately. It's just one of those moments when I feel enough of red meat and heavy food, so I stuff my fridge with all kind of fishes, vegetable, soy beans and tofu.

These dish is full of flavors - spicy, tang, sweet rounded it up with a touch of salty with a complement scent of kaffir lime leaves, shallots and garlic. Yum!

Get it fresh from the fish market

- Chose one good size of fish you like. This time the red snapper was smiling at me at the fish stall in Chinatown, so I had her cleaned and brought her home with me.
- Clean it one more time, once it's home, blot it dry with paper-towel, score it on both sides, ready to fry in hot oil

Spicy Thai Chili sauce

- Fresh Thai chili ( as much as you can handle the spicy taste)
- 2 heads of fresh shalot
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic
- 10 leaves of fresh kaffir lime leaf, super fine julienne

Chop up all of these ingredients together except the julienne kaffir lime leaves

- 2 tbsp palm sugar
- 2 tbsp concentrated tamarind water
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp water

1. Fry the whole fish in hot oil until perfectly cook - a bit crispy in both side.
2. In a small sauce pan with low heat, melt palm sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and water together until it reaches full bubbles.
3. Add it chopped garlic, shallot, chili and kaffir lime leave.
4. Taste and adjust the taste that suit you. Turn off the heat.

9. Ladle the chili sauce and top it on the fried crispy fish. Serve.

We eat it with plain rice, steamed Chinese broccoli tossed with a little bit of oyster sauce and garlic oil.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cooking Sticky Rice in a Microwave

Here comes everybody's favorite rice, the sticky rice. Sticky rice is considered a staple diet for people in the Northern and Eastern part of Thailand when rice is more of staple grains consumed commonly by the rest of the country.

Cooking sticky rice is a bit tricky for most people. As Thai, we all know how easy it is to cook rice - every households have rice cookers which makes no-brainer to have perfect fluffy rice - just pluck-in and press the button. But when it comes to cooking sticky rice, manual mode is applied, and I'm not a master of that.

Last time we went back to Thailand, Noom's mom asked if I knew how to cook sticky rice in Microwave because she's heard that's how most Thai people, including her friends, living aboard cook sticky rice.

It was my first time cooking something in her kitchen, and it happened to be cooking sticky rice for my mother in law who is a master of Eastern food. Even though I wanted to run out of her kitchen, I went for it.

It turned out she loves it. She loves that it's quick and easy compare to the original way which always takes times, and it became my job to do sticky rice when she made Eastern food.

It only takes 12 minutes to cook sticky rice in a microwave.

1. Rinse a cup of sticky rice a few times to reduce the starch.
2. Soak the rice with clean water for 30 minutes.

3. After 30 minutes of soaking, check the level of water. Make sure that there is 1/4 inch. of water above the rice, or check it with your fingers. Your fingers shouldn't be covered with water when the other side of fingers touch the rice.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the microwave for 7 minutes.

5. Take it out of the microwave after 7 minutes. Open the plastic wrap, be careful with the steam coming out. To this point, the rice is not completely cooked, still.
6. Use a fork to fluff up the steaming rice. Fluff it thoroughly.
7. Put the plastic back on again, and send the fluffy sticky rice back to the microwave for 5 more minutes.

8. And there you have it. Easy and delicious sticky rice. Eat with grilled chicken, papaya salad. Best lunch always.

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