Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lotus Roots Soup With Baby Pork Ribs

Noom mentioned that he missed the caramelized lotus roots his mom used to make as a summer dessert when he was young, they are super delicious eating with ice cream.

Lucky Noom!, there are a lot of lotus roots coming out on the vegetable stalls in Chinatown during this time, but, since the weather outside isn't 80F, instead of caramelized lotus roots with ice cream, let's have a warm delicious soup with sweet fragrant of Chinese herbs and tender baby pork ribs better.

Lotus roots are consumed in most Asian countries with different ways of cooking in their own regions. This time I slow cooked them with some Chinese herbs with the names I couldn't pronounce, really, I only know them by the shapes and smells.

These good and weird looking roots have good health benefits, containing much iron, vitamins B & C. and lots of fiber content that help relieves constipation. In Thailand we also made them into dessert and a cool drink to cool down the body temperature.

- 1 lb. baby pork ribs
- 2 lotus roots
- Shiitake mushroom
- 2 cilantro roots
- Mixed Chinese herbs

- 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar

The set of Chinese herbs I use for the soup.

Just two pieces of each and a handful of Goji berries goes along way. They give a very sweet smell, and your body will love them.

1. Marinate the pork ribs with oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar for 15 minutes.
2. Clean all lotus roots, peel the skin off, cut into 1/4" thick, and rinse one more time.
3. Put baby pork ribs, lotus roots, Chinese herbs, cilantro roots into a pot, covered with water, bring to a full boil.
4. Reduce the heat to low, add shiitake mushroom, and let it simmer for 1 hr. - keep skimming out the oil foam floating on the surface.
5. Taste the soup,  if desired, season it with a bit of soy sauce, check the ribs, they should be tender - almost melt in your mouth.
6 Turn of the heat and enjoy, to this point your house will be filled with a light sweet smell, just like what you get from lotus flower.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Steamed Pompano Fish With Soy Sauce

Pla Nueng See-Ew

Recently I only cook one time a day, which is normally dinner, and then the leftover will be reheated for lunch the next day. So, most of my foods haven't met the natural light for me to have fun  photographing them anymore.

This delicious steamed Pompano with soy sauce, fresh ginger and shredded scallion was also our dinner, and was taken in a kitchen light, it might not produce a salivated pictures, but it's a great fish dish I so want to share, so let's go along with the fake light for a while.

It is such a light and good dish for dinner with easy preparation and takes about 20 minute steaming - depends on size of the fish, but, most of the time 20 minutes will do just fine.


- one good size fresh Pompano fish, cleaned.
- 8 spring onion, cut off the green part and save them for other cooking use, use a knife or folk to shred the white part spring onion
- 1 cup, julienne fresh ginger.
- 1/4 julienne red chilli for some colors (I didn't have them this time, so I left out.)

Sauce ingredients
- 1 cup stock
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. Mirin wine
- 1 tbsp. white pepper powder

Preheat a steamer, have it ready to steam the fish.
1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together, set aside.
2. Put half of the ginger and scallion on the plate as the base then put the fish on top.
3. Pour all the mixing sauce on to the fish, topped with the rest of the ginger and scallion, and send them to a steamer.
4. Steam for 20 minutes, use a fork to check if the fish cooked through. Turn off the heat. Serve.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Thai Little Egg Cake

Kanom Kai

Once we have been bombarded with the luxuries for the extended period of times we tend to crave for the simpleness as an antidote. Just like making this our childhood tiny yummy "cake" Thai call ka-noom-kai ( ka-nom=dessert, kai=eggs) to offset the "In The Moment" sumptuous desserts found around here in NYC, and that, my husband asked for kanoom kai instead of cupcakes lately.

I don't know if these Thai dessert could be fit into Western cake category....there is no butter or any shortening nor baking soda in the batch, just tiny air bubble beaten into the eggs that do the rising.

Originally, they are not oven-baked, which is how most Thai desserts are made, I believe these dessert is one of the Portuguese influence, since there are eggs in it, again, traditionally Thai desserts don't have eggs as recipes. That's why some people also call them Kanom Farang, which is what we call the people who comes from the West since the colonial times.

How they are made is to slowly bake them in a preheat brass mold set over an open fire charcoal stove with low heat until they start to rise and are golden crisp giving a texture of cookie-crisp at the outside and cakely soft at the inside.

Since I have to baked them in the oven, the end result wasn't that perfect as the authentic way of making them, but it's good enough to tame our craving for things from our home country.

Make 48 pieces mini muffin size.

- 1 1/2 Cake flour
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- butter for the pan

1. Preheat the oven at 350F, butter 2 mini muffin pans, set a side.
2. In electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggs until fluffy.
3. Gradually add sugar, and continue beating until the batter turns white at the soft peak.
4. Turn the speed to low, add flour ( divide it to tree times adding) mix the flour just to incorporate, do not over beat it. Turn the machine off.
5 Spoon the batter to the mold, 1/4 inch to the rim of the mold.
6. Bake for 12 minutes or more, use the toothpick to test if they are done.
7. Unmold. These egg cakes are more delicious when eat right away after bringing out of the oven.
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