Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fresh Rice Noodle With Asian Sauce

Gauy Teaw Lhord

This is another delicious noodle dish, and yet easy to make. I love making them for Sunday lunch. The sauce can be made ahead, keep it in the fridge, and just reheat it when you are ready to eat.

The first time I found this fresh noodle at the corner of Bowery and Hester st. in Chinatown, I was so happy. It made me think of Guay Teaw Lhord (Lhord means tube or straw in Thai) at home in Thailand.

The broad flat noodle are made fresh, rolled in with the tiny dried shrimps and chop fresh scallion forming small rolls of noodle. I don't know what the Chinese eat this soft yummy noodle with, but I know it's going to be my Guay Teaw Lhord, and it's delicious!!

If you can't find fresh noodle just like this, you can buy dried broad flat noodle - boil them up until they are soft - just like boiling pasta, and have them ready for the sauce.

Making The Sauce

- 1/3 cup dried shrimp
- 1/2 cup fresh pork, small, thinly sliced.
- 5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water, or fresh shiitake, cut into small strips.
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots

- 1 tbsp herbal paste
- 2 cup of water + 1/2 cup of soaked shiitake mushroom water
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

1. A pan on medium high heat, saute herbal paste with sliced pork, add a bit of water into the pan to degrease the pan. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add in dried shrimp, and 2 cups of water and the rest of shiitake mushroom water. Let it reaches a full boil.
3. In goes bamboo shoots and shiitake mushroom.
4. Start seasoning with oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Stir to incorporate.
5. Taste it, and adjust the taste you like. The taste should has a balance of sweet and salty. If it was too strong, you can always thin it out with a bit of water. Turn off the heat - ready to serve.
6. Ladle out the sauce on to the fresh noodle.

This noodle isn't a "soupy-noodle", just a little of sauce goes along way to a yummy land. I recommend adding 1 tsp. of white vinegar to the noodle before eating. It'll make the taste more complete and deliciously balancing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Craving for Cupcakes

Even though I am not a sweet tooth person, still, there is a day that I was craving for yummy cookies and cakes, especially chocolate cakes, and this time my craving for chocolate cupcakes came at night, I checked the pantry and there were no any of chocolate supplies for my cakes, so I just had to go with what I already have in the kitchen.

The easy yellow cupcake was the winner that night. I took the recipe from Martha's, and killed my craving right there.

I 'm not a fan of the icing frosting, wayyyy to sweet for me. So the frosting was just for the show, and was scraped off when I ate it. Happy tummy!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Stuffed Cucumber Clear Soup

Gang-Jeud Tang-Gwar Moo-Sub

The temperature here in NYC has dropped suddenly - It' s cold, wet and windy - we even got OCtober! You are bit early Mr. Snow.

It makes me needed something to comforting my belly, and the clear soup with light taste like this stuffed cucumber with shittake mushroom is the best.

As we know, eating Thai way is that we have a few dishes at once on the table, and we eat them all together - each dish has its own distinctive taste, and will complement each other, and that all the tastes will be balanced.

This soup is one of a perfect soup to tone down some spicy dishes like this dish or some curries.

Preparing the cucumber.
Choose one good size cucumber, clean it, cut into small cylinders, scoop out all the seed and peel off the green skin

Marinate the pork stuffing.
- 1 cup ground pork (You can use ground shrimp if you like)
- 1 tbsp. of herbal marinade paste
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. corn starch

Mix all ingredients well, and let it marinaded for 10 minutes then stuff the cylinder cucumbers with the marinaded ground pork.

Making the clear soup.
- 2 cup water or stock
- soy sauce
- green onion, cut into 1 inch long
- shiitake mushroom

1. On high heat, bring water to full boil.
2. Turn the heat down to medium heat, carefully put stuffed cucumbers into the pot, add shiitake mushroom.
3. Cover a pot with a lid for three minutes.
4. Start seasoning with soy sauce, put the lid on - leave it ajar- for three more minutes.
5. Taste, and adjust the taste. Use a small fork to check if the pork stuffing is cooked through.
6. Add green onion, and turn off the heat.
7. a serving bowl, add a small spoon of garlic oil, and sprinkle with powder pepper.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Egg Noodle dressing

When I don't have time to cook, and still want to have something that will make my day, I go with egg noodle salad. Just simple boiled egg noodle tossed with ginger noodle dressing, eat as a side-dish with BBQ pork or as a main dish itself, I'll be good for the day.

This dressing has an Asian flavor, which goes perfectly with the noodle. I always have it in the fridge, in a dressing bottle, so that it can be used right away whenever I needed it.

Noodle dressing (yield about a cup of dressing)
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp. chopped green onion
- 1 tbsp. Asian chilli oil
- 3/4 cup red wine venigar
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. toasted white, black sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or olive oil

1. Except sesame oil, vegetable oil and sesame seeds, mix all ingredients together. Taste it, the taste should lead by sour taste.

2. Whisk all the ingredient together, and gently pour in the oils and later sesame seeds.

3. Collect the dressing in a clean bottle, it can be kept in the fridge up to two weeks.

4. Toss boiled egg noodle with the dressing, and fresh chopped cilantro.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Assorted Vegetables Sour Yellow Curry (Southern Style)

Gang Leung Pak Roum ( Gang=curry, Leung=yellow, Pak=vegetable, Roum=mixed)

This is another curry when my body needs something light to consume. This sour curry is water-based curry, no coconut milk added. It's very light and energized.

There is something to be clarified about sour curry in Thailand; There are two different way to call sour curry in Thailand, which is Gang Som and Gang Lueng. Gang Som is sour curry from the central part of Thailand. Gang Lueng is sour curry from the southern part of Thailand, called by people from other parts of Thailand except people from the South themselves. People in the South call their sour curry Gang Som, there is no Gang Lueng in the South.

People from the rest of the country call sour curry from the South Gang Lueng (yellow curry) because of the yellow color in the curry which come from Turmeric , sour curry in the central part of the country doesn't have turmeric in the ingredient.

So, if you are in central part of Thailand, and you want sour curry with central style cooking, you order Gang Som. If you want the Southern style sour curry with yellow color curry, you order Gang Lueng. Now, when you are in the South and want sour curry, you order Gang Som, what you will get is sour curry with yellow curry, and that's it! There is no Gang Lueng in the South.

When it comes to making Gang Som and Gang Leung, I normally made my own curry paste, since the ingredients of this curry are easy to find, and the best part is I get the fresh taste and fragrant from the herbs, which is better than those getting form the packaged one.

Making your own curry paste
If you have granite mortar and pestle, it's time to get them out and put them to work. If you don't, the food processor will work out fine.

- 3 heads of shallot, choped.
- 1 stalk lemongrass, fine sliced.
- 7 cloves of fresh garlic.
- 2 inches long of fresh or frozen turmeric, cut to small. (available in South East Asian groceries, mostly frozen)
- 10 small dried chillies, or as much as you think you can handle the spicy.
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tbsp. shrimp paste.

Head-up!....this process might make you cry because of the shallot, chilies and garlic, so if you don't want to shed some tears, go with the food processor.

Put all ingredients (except shrimp paste) in the mortar and pound them until they become paste then add shrimp paste to this point. Continue to mix until the shrimp paste incorporates with all ingredient.

- 3 tbsp. curry paste
- 2 cups of water
- Fish sauce
- Tamarind water
- Lime juice

(I don't give the exact measurement here because it's' better to gradually seasoning, starts with an equal part of fish sauce and tamarind water, and then build up the taste from there.)

Choose all vegetables you like.
These are some of vegetables that go great with this kind of curry : Bamboo shoot, young small corns, green papaya, Napa cabbages, Chinese broccoli, snow peas, cauliflowers, water spinach, watercress, mushrooms, etc.

1. Dissolve the curry paste in water, put on high heat until it reaches full boil.
2. In go, vegetables, start with the kind that isn't get soft easily. Let it reaches the full boil one more time then start seasoning.
3. Keep building up the taste by gradually add fish sauce and tamarind water. Add the soft vegetables.
4. Taste should lead by gentle sour taste.
5. Turn off the heat, add lime juice, stir to incorporate. To this point, the curry should taste slightly sharp sour after adding lime juice. You can cut the sour taste by adding a bit more of fish sauce, if you like.

Paring this sour curry with some fried fish, chicken or some kind of meats, or stir-fried dishes, and eat with steamed rice is a great way to balance the taste of the whole meal.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Grilled Fish at Robataya, East Village.

It was Friday, and Noom had a day-off, so we decided to eat out. Our fist choice was the famous Ippudo that we never get to be seated, still, because our patients for the waiting time were so short, and this time we thought we would try again since it was already late afternoon, and Bam!!..."45 min - 1 hr. waiting time" Okay, we pass!!, again.

We changed the direction to ninth street to another Japanese's called Robataya

It was Noom's friend, who is Japanese, recommended this restaurant to him, saying that the taste of the foods here is traditional Japanese. So we tried.

They open for lunch with a lunch menu which is pretty much covers the general Japanese foods.

It turned out we love what we had. Noom had grilled fish, today they offered grilled Hokke fish. It's simply delicious - not too salty, not too blend with the right portion, only that a bit much of fine bones, well, that's the purpose of eating fish, isn't it - be conscious with what you are doing it in front of you.

I had fried chicken marinated in soy sauce, sounds boring, and I usually have it most of the time, but I didn't want to order the same dish with Noom when we first come to the new restaurant, we want to try different dishes, then yes, with this menu, the fried chicken seamed to call for my appetite.

Yes, we love the taste of the foods, and how they care for the foods compares to some Japanese restaurants we've tried before. Also the garden is nice and comfy to sit and lunch. We went there late afternoon, so we didn't really know if it was crowded by noon, by the time we were there, there were only a few table with customers.

So it was very calm and quite garden with the sound of small water fountain at the center of the garden.

With all the light, the decorations and the wall painting, they did a really good job on trying to create the garden that feels like you are sitting in the real open garden.

There is also a front section which is closed during the lunch time, and will be opened for dinner time, we later know, after checking out their website, that they have an open kitchen where people sit around them and watch all the foods are made, and we've agreed that we should go back for dinner later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Strawberry Ice Pop

The real summer is here - muggy and sticky all together out side. But hey, there is no complain about it when my freezer is already stuffed with yummy homemade fruity ice pop.

It is totally appropriate time to grab a bunch of berries and make all delicious foods, drinks and desserts out of them since Summer will be gone before we know it, and all the berries are very cheap during this time of year.

This is the recipe from the same recipe of my Lime Shake but I left out the alcohol this time. It's quick and easy ice pop and when I ran out of the mold, it is turned to be a sorbet in a pretty bowl!

- A pack of very ripe strawberries with strong sweet smell.
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 simple syrup
- a pinch of salt

Put everything in a blender, and blend it until smooth, taste it, adjust the taste, put in a mold, and freeze them. How's that easy!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Blueberry Pie

It's time for all berries. They are at reasonable price right now - strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc., and I love it. Yesterday, I got two pints of blueberry for $3, which is a good deal for me when normally I have to pay $4-$5 a pint...Ouch!!

So when I get a good deal of blueberries, I make pie.

This time I used the recipe from Baking with Julia cookbook, and I love it already. The pie crust is flaky crisp, the blueberry filling is delicious with a perfect balance of tang and sweet. It is one of my favorite recipe for now.

The problem is, again, this 9 inches pie is too much for two of us, so I think I have to share it with our neighbor as always.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Egg Wrap

Kai Yud Sai

Another comfort dish to eat with steamed rice. You'll get all of everything in this one yummy pouch. I just think it's a great idea to make almost-tasteless-egg into a sheet and use it as a wrap to wrap a very tasteful stuffing, and make it a very well balance taste in one bite.

It might look complicated - with the egg sheet......well, believe me it isn't- a good swirl to a pan will do the job.

- 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tsp. soy sauce, set aside.
- 1/3 cup ground pork
- 2 tbsp. diced carrot
- 2 tbsp. diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. diced onions
- 2 tbsp. small chopped string beans
- 2 tbsp. chopped green onion

- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. sugar
-1 tsp. ground pepper
- 2 tbsp. saute oil

Make stuffing

1. Small saute pan on hot oil, add ground pork, onion, saute until fragrant.
2. In goes, carrot, tomatoes, string beans (leave the green onion for the last) saute for 2 min.
3. Start seasoning with oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar. Saute to incorporate together for a minute.
4. Add green onion, sprinkle in ground pepper, give a quick stir then turn off the heat.
Set aside.

Next, the egg sheet.

1. A new frying pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp. oil. Swirl the pan making sure the oil coat the surface including the up rim of the pan.

2. Add the beaten egg to the pan, and quickly swirl the pan, spreading the egg into a thin sheet. The trick is to keep swirling for the egg to gradually spread until there is no liquid egg left. Turn the heat to low heat, and let the egg cook until the rim of the egg start to pull back from the pan. Turn the heat off.

Wrapping the egg sheet when it's still warm is more easier.

Spoon the stuffing on the egg sheet, and fold it close all four sides. Place a serving plate on top of the egg sheet, and flip the pan, so that the folding seams are hided.

Done!....with this egg wrapping technique, you can adapt into other wrapping as well, such as, instead of this stuffing, make fried-rice(without egg) and wrap it with egg sheet. It delicious too.
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