In Sichuan Cookery, Mrs Fuschia Dunlop writes the following about this wonderful dish.
“Ma po dou fu is named after the smallpox-scarred wife of a Qing Dynasty restaurateur. She is said to have prepared this spicy, aromatic, oily dish for labourers who laid down their loads of cooking oil to eat lunch on their way to the city’s market. It’s one of the most famous Sichuan dishes, and epitomizes Sichuan’s culinary culture, with its fiery peasant cooking and bustling private restaurants”
I love mapo tofu, it is by far one of my most favourite meals. There are a few key ingredients to this dish.
The tofu, it shold not be too soft or too hard. Actually, the one I used, was a bit too hard but it worked out fine. Where I currenyly live, God do not bless this place, there is only one variety to be found so I had not option. Anyway, the first step is to cut the tofu into chunks and boil it for a few minutes in salted water.
Normal white refined sugar, beef cut into thin and short slices, spring onions and Sichuanese chili bean paste. There are a variety of these around, however, try to find one that says Pixian Dou Ban and is from Sichuan. It took me about 1 year to do so in Stockholm, good luck hunting!
On the plate you have ground Sichuanese chillies (no other variety really works), black fermented beans and roasted Sichuan pepper. The chili paste is also pictured here.
Start of with heating about half a cup of oil until it turns extremely hot. Then add the beef and let it fry for a couple of minutes until it crispy and a little brown.
Turn the heat to medium and add the chili bean paste, fry for about 30 seconds and the oil turns red.
Add the black fermented beans and ground chillies.
Pour in some stock and add the tofu. Cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add the spring onions, Sichuan pepper, sugar, some light soy sauce, salt to taste.
Finally, add a mix of potato flour and water to the dish and push around gently so that the tofu gets covered.
Mapo tofu is easy to make, however, you need all the authentic ingredients or you will not be able to produce a good version of it at home. I love mapo tofu! Enjoy bitches!
OMG! This was seriously tasty! One of my all time favourite sauces is the Thai Oyster Sauce, such wonderful flavour. Please try this recipe at home, you need the following ingredients: tiger prawns, Thai basil, garlic and Thai chillies.
You also need some Rice Flakes, this is a great alternative to rice and can be used in stir-fries where you want some texture. Before adding the product into your wok or sauce, boil them in water for a couple of minutes and they will curl up to an almost Italian penne type of form.
Add garlic to a hot pan, fry gently for a minute or so. Add the prawns and fry until they turn pink. Add a mixture of Thai oyster sauce, Thai soy sauce (Golden Mountain/Boy brand), sugar, water and corn starch. Finally, add Thai basil and the chillies. Mix and let simmer away for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and fold over the sauce. Serve and enjoy!!!
Check out this Hot Mamas! Vietnamese deep-fried spring rolls and kimchi! Actually, these rolls did not turn out the crispy golden colour and texture that I wanted. I think the problem was that the rice paper I used was too thick, I deep-fried them about 15 minutes on high heat and the colour just would not appear. However, the result was really nice and you can easily make these at home.
A few words and pictures about the kimchi. I found a new sauce mix at JFK Shop in Stockholm, this was far more superior to the other brand I have tried earlier. The one I recommend is the one to the left. The other sauce mix is commonly available but in my opinion far too salty.
Kimchi is very easy to make. You need cabbage and a sauce mix. Usually I add some other stuff, e.g. pears (pictured below) or ginger and white radish (picture above). Just add everything to a jar, add the sauce and stir. Leave the jar in the fridge for a week or so. Ready to eat!
For the spring rolls I used the following ingredients. Clockwise from top: carrots, crab meat, pork, garlic, black wood ear mushrooms, spring onions. I seasoned the mix with fish sauce, white pepper and salt.
Lay out some filling + vermicelli noodles on a moist rice paper. Roll and make sure the edges are sealed shut. Deep-fry in hot oil until the rolls turn golden brown (which did not happen in my case). Serve with a nice dip sauce, there are so many varieties to choose from. I tend to go for the sweet, sour, salty and spicy Thai ones. Enjoy bitches!
At any given Korean restaurant you will find Jeon on the menu. These thin and crispy Korean “pancakes” are just great! You can have them with a variety of fillings; vegetables, pork, shrimp and why not fox? LOL, no stay away from the fox Jeon.
You will find a variety of pancake mixes in your local Asian supermarket. Pick your favourite and start mixing the stuff according to the instructions on the package.
I added turmeric powder, sesame seeds, onions and green onions to my mix.
In a pan, fry some onions and garlic with the protein of your choice. I had tiger prawns and pork in the fridge so I went for these.
Add some of the batter and let it fry for a couple of minutes, add some bean sprouts and herbs. Fold over and the pancake is ready! Great!
La Zi Ji, or Sichuan Chili Chicken, was really interesting to make. Mostly due to the fact that I was a bit nervous about how it would taste considering it contains outrageous amounts of Chili. It turned out great, not that hot at all. In fact, I will add double the chili next time around!
Start by cutting chicken into bite sized chunks, I used legs and wings. Keep the bones on, there is no need to discard them. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes in Shaoxing wine, Chinese light soy sauce, Chinese dark soy sauce and some salt.
Prepare the aromatics. You need about 50 Sichuan pepper corns and the equal amount of Sichuanese chillies. Cut some spring onions into 1 inch pieces, slice ginger and garlic into thin pieces.
Deep-fry the marinated chicken in hot oil for about 5 minutes, remove the chicken from the oil and drain.
Fry the garlic and ginger in a hot pan for a minute or so, until they start releasing their flavours. Add the Sichuan pepper corns and chillies to the pan, make sure that you have removed all the seeds from the chillies. Fry for a minute or so, do not burn the chillies! Add the chicken, spring onions and a pinch of sugar. Stir and serve! Enjoy bitches!
I made this great summer rolls for a small dinner party, LOL dinner party sounds so fancy. Basically, we had some people over and they were hungry.
The ingredients included: rice paper, green beans, cucumber, rice vermicelli, tiger prawns, crispy lettuce and herbs (Thai basil, cilantro and mint). You should also include some roasted pork, this would add some nice texture to the rolls.
Start by soaking the rice papers in some warm water for about 10-15 seconds until they turn soft. Place the wrapper on a plate and add the ingredients. I was in a bit of a hurry so I did not have to arrange the filling so neatly, you should do it in a particular order for the final product to look appetizing. Basically my summer rolls looked like a white sausage.
Fold in the sides and roll the paper so that you get a tight roll. I prefer to eat these cold, so make sure all the ingredients are properly chilled before serving.
A very nice dip sauce that is easy to make would include the following ingredients pictured below. Fish sauce, bird’s eye chili, garlic, lime, spring onions, palm sugar and water.
Bring the water and lime juice to boil. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add chopped garlic, chili and onions. Add fish sauce. Let it all cool down before serving, great!
Once again I must recommend all of you to buy one of Mrs Fuchsia Dunlop’s books, this particular recipe is from her book Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook – Recipes from Hunan Province. I think her books are great, the recipes turn out great and I love her passion for Chinese food.
This is a beef dish, use some sort of trimmed beef steak such as sirloin steak. Cut the beef across into thin slices.
Make a marinade using Chinese cooking wine, salt, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, corn starch and water. Add the marinade ingredients to the meat and mix well.
Heat a generous amount of cooking oil in a pan until it turns very hot, add the beef and stir gently until the pieces separate. Remove from the oil and drain well; set aside.
For the next step you need the following ingredients:
Ginger, garlic, dried chili flakes and ground cumin.
Spring onions and chili.
Heat some oil in a pan, add the garlic, ginger, chiles and cumin to the oil and let fry until very fragrant.
Return the beef to the pan and stir well.
Finally, add the spring onions and you are ready to serve! This was really a great dish, wonderful flavours!
Yes, here we have some (blue) glass noodle salad with pork. Actually, this is perhaps not what you would call a salad in Europe but let’s stay open-minded guys! It is a delicious meal so I recommend that you try to make it for lunch.
I used pork for this salad, you might also use chicken or some sort of shrimp. I would not use beef because you want a soft texture for the protein.
Spring onions (green parts), garlic and black fungus (or cloud ear mushrooms). Soak the mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes before using. The mushroom have little flavour but are very good to use for texture.
Banana shalots and snake beans. These beans are great, far more superior than common haricot verts.
The most important ingredient is the glass noodle itself. I have found that this variety is perhaps the best one around (at least where I live). They are called “Double Dragon Brand Vermicelli”. Cook them for a couple of minutes, cool under water and cut into pieces.
You also need to make a sauce for the salad. I use a mixture that includes Maggi Seasoning Sauce (the picture above). This sauce is great, it adds a very pleasant taste to woks, marinades, soups and you can also use it for seasoning fried eggs. A great universal sauce! I mixed this with some Thai soy sauce, Thai oyster sauce, Thai fish sauce, XO sauce, sugar and msg. It is all about the sauces!
The next steps are quite straight-forward. First, add the meat to a pan with some water (sic) in it. If you have a good non-stick pan then there is really no need to use oil because the pork itself contains a lot of fat. Fry until the meat turns white, remove from pan. Add the garlic, onions and mushrooms. Fry for a couple of minutes. Add the sauce at this point. Finally, add the noodles and meat and cook for a couple of minutes. At this point you could also add some lime juice and cilantro, all depending on what sort of taste you fancy. Enjoy bitches!
Mrs Fuchsia Dunlop http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/writes the following about Gong Bao chicken in her book Sichuan Cookery:
“This dish: also known as Kung Pao chicken, has the curious distinction of having been labelled as politically incorrect during the Cultural Revolution. It is named after a late Qing Dynasty (late nineteenth-century) governor of Sichuan, Ding Baozhen, who is said to have particularly enjoyed eating it – gong bao was his official title”. ‘
The book is a true masterpiece, her passion for Sichuan cuisine has inspired me greatly! Please buy it and support her cause. She also consults for Barshu in London, a Sichuanese restaurant that I hope to visit very soon.
I followed her recipe that can be found in the book but added some additional sauces and fried the chicken using a different method from what she describes. Let us get down to business people, enough talking!
The recipe calls for the following spices that are found on the plate: Sichuan skyward-pointing chili pepper, Sichuan pepper, garlic, spring onions and ginger. You also need some roasted peanuts, please do not used the ones that you snack on because they will kill the dish. Instead you should get some non-salted peanuts and roast them in the oven for 5 minutes in 175 degrees celsius.
You also need diced chicken breasts (I also included some legs). Prepare a marinade for the chicken with salt, Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce, Kimlan Light Soy Sauce, corn starch and some cold water.
Mix a sauce using Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce, Kimlan Light Soy Sauce, Hua Tiao Chiew Rice Wine, Chinkiang Vinegar, pure sesame oil, corn starch and some cold water. I also added some Fu Chi Chili Bean Sauce and Sichuan Zigong Baiweizhai Gongbao Sauce. These two sauces were not included in the recipe by Mrs Dunlop, however, I have seen them listed in other recipes.
I also deep-fried the chicken before actually frying it with the spices. Heat plenty of cooking oil in a pan and fry the chicken in batches, about 45 seconds or until the chicken turns a bit brown. It is not necessary for the chicken to be cooked through, you will fry them a second time so no need to worry!
Start preparing the spices. Fry the Sichuan chili and the Sichuan peppers in a hot pan for a minute or so, you want a nice fragrance from the pan. I also added some Sichuan oil at this stage, this was not part of the original recipe but I love the taste! Add the garlic, ginger and onions and fry for about 30 seconds. Finally add the chicken and fry until done, do not let it dry out however. Before serving, add the peanuts and the sauce and you are ready to go. What a great meal, enjoy bitches!
Today I made a true Asian food adventure and prepared Chinese red cooked pigs feet for lunch! My girlfriend commented that there was some hair left on the feet when we ate them, I replied “just eat it”. Obviously it is a good idea to check this before cooking, you can always burn away the hair. OMG, so much talk about hair already and I have not even started to go through the recipe.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some pigs feet at christmas. Pigs feet are included on the menu for christmas in Sweden, at least if you are old-school. So, I happily bought myself a pack and have had them stored in the freezer since then.
I have had pigs feet before, in a restaurant in Stockholm. I believe that it was the sweet black vinegar and ginger version, however, I decided to make a red cooked version at home. Basically, the recipe is the standard for red cooking – you boil the meat, fry it in some nice aromatics and let it simmer for some hours until you get a nice intense dark sauce.
Let us go through the steps. OMG if you are vegan then please leave now because it is quite disgusting.
You need some feet from the creature that goes by the name pig. You also need some salt and ginger. Add water to a pan and let it heat up until it boils. Add the salt, ginger and meat. I also added some Chinese Hua Tiao Chiew Rice Wine at the beginning. Let it simmer away for about 90 minutes, I watched an episode of Mad Men and had a game of HoN while the feet were boiling away.
The boiling in ginger, salt and wine is to get rid of impurities in the meat. You will find that many Chinese recipes begin with boiling the meat in some sort of liquid for a while to get rid of the blood and stuff.
After an hour or so, the water turns cloudy and it really does look awful.
Remove the feet from the water and rinse under cold water. Discard the bone in the middle and cut each foot into about 3-4 pieces. Here is a picture before I separated the feet. They look totally retarded.
Start preparing the other ingredients. For the dish I use dried bean curd, this adds some nice texture. I really like this product, soak it in water for about 20 minutes and add to woks, soups or stews. If you are going to cook it for a longer period of time it is wise to deep-fry it oil for some seconds before you soak it in water. This will help it not fall apart later on.
Mix the sauce. For this you need salt, brown sugar, Kimlan Light Soy Sauce, Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce, Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce, Maekrua Oyster Sauce and Wan Fang Hong Fu Lu Red Fermented Tofu. The red colour comes from this product, I use the one in the picture below.
You also need a lot of other stuff for the dish. In the picture you can see (from top left) rock sugar, spring onions, dried liquorice, cinnamon, Sichuan skyward-pointing chili pepper, star anise, Sichuan pepper, garlic and ginger.
Soak some dried Chinese mushrooms in warm water for about 20 minutes, discard the stems but keep the water.
Now you should have everything prepared for the dish. Add the sugar and spices to the pan and fry in hot oil for a couple of minutes. Add the feet and stir for a while. Add the dried bean curd and chinese mushrooms and the soaking water. Add the sauce mixture and let simmer under a lid for an hour or so. Before serving, thicken the sauce with cold water and corn starch. Serve with rice and enjoy bitches!
Yes, finally a new and exciting recipe! I found this great video on youtube that showed in detail how to make this great Szechuan dish. Please have a look at the video http://www.youtube.com/user/yweelims#p/u/19/yfwrXxMKBOU or follow my instructions below.
This is quite easy to make actually. However, you need a lot of ingredients that might be difficult to find if you do not live in a capital city. For the sauce you need the following stuff:
From left: Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark Soy Sauce, Fu Chi Chili Bean Sauce, Hua Tiao Chiew Rice Wine, Chinkiang Vinegar, Pure Sesame Oil, Kimlan Light Soy Sauce, Corn Starch and White Sugar.
Mix about equal amounts of the ingredients and put aside for later use. Chop generous amounts of ginger, garlic and spring onions. For the recipe you also need a lot of Sichuan Skyward-pointing Chili Pepper, I used about 15.
You also need some minced pork, the fatty alternative.
Cut aubergines into equally big pieces and add to your bamboo steamer, they will take about 15 minutes to soften.
When the aubergines are ready, let them rest under the lid and start frying the pork. First, add the ginger, chili and garlic into a very hot pan. Fry for a minute or so. Add the pork and cook until done. Now it is time for the spring onions and the sauce. Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes and taste to check that you have a good balance between the flavours.
I added some Sichuan oil to the dish just before serving, this made it a bit more hot and fragrant.
Ok, so now it is time to eat. Put the steamed aubergines on you serving platter, mash them gently and pour over the pork. Enjoy bitches!
First of all, if you are my biggest fan then please buy me a proper digital camera because this picture does not do justice at all to this wonderful stir fry. Nian gao is something that is eaten around Chinese New Year, you can have a savoury dish like the one above or a sweet version with brown sugar.
Ok, so let us talk about the ingredients that you need. First of all, the rice cakes that I used were of the dried variety (there are also frozen ones). They need to be soaked in cold water for 24 hours before using them.
For the protein I used chicken which I cut into small strips and marinated in a mixture of Kimlan Light Soy Sauce, Lee Kum Kee Premuim Dark Soy Sauce, Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce, Maekrua Oyster Sauce, Hua Tiao Chiew Rice Wine and about 15 Pearl River Bridge Yang Jiang Preserved Black Beans with Ginger and corn starch. The products are shown below.
For the vegetables I used cabbage, spring onions and ginger.
Soften the cabbage in a frying pan by adding the thick parts and frying them on medium heat in oil for a couple of minutes. Then add the soft parts and light soy sauce, cover with a lid and let cook for some additional minutes. The cabbage should be a bit chewy, not crunchy. When ready, remove from the pan and set aside.
When the chicken has marinated for about 20 minutes, add it to the pan with the garlic and spring onions and cook on high heat until it is ready.
Remove the chicken and set aside. Soften the rice cakes by adding them into some Chinese chicken stock that is boiling away in your pan. Add the cabbage and chicken and mix it all together.
Serve and enjoy bitches!
Wontons, please God bless these small wonderful creations. I love wontons, that is no secret. I bought a bamboo steamer and needed to try it out and wontons were the obvious choice for me. This time around I made mixed meats wontons.
The meats are pork, shrimp and chicken. Start of by mincing these using a Chinese cleaver or any type of knife you have at home. Basically, attack the meat like a ninja until it finely chopped.
I added some minced ginger and garlic for flavour. I also seasoned the mix with Chinese soy sauce, sesame oil and Chinese rice wine. Add some salt and white pepper. Finally you also need to add some starch, I use corn flour. This will create a velvety coat on the meats when they are steamed.
Start folding the wontons, I buy my wonton skins frozen. There are several different techniques, you can find many good videos on youtube.
Arrange the wontons in the bamboo steamer. Make sure to oil the steamer so that wontons do not stick to the surface. Actually, the amount of wontons in the picture is not ideal since they will stick to each other. I was not that fussy about that since I knew that they would be inside my tummy in a couple of minutes so I wanted to get them done in one go. If you want to go fancy, steam about 10-15 at a time and make sure there is enough space between the wontons.
Fill a pan with plenty of water and add the steamer on top. Turn up to high heat and boil away for about 10-15 minutes depending on how many wontons you are making and how much filling you are using. Serve with a dip sauce of your choice or add to a soup. Enjoy bitches!
Usually when I buy chicken I go for the entire bird, it is very inexpensive and you do not need much experience to cut out the breasts and legs. What I usually do with the other bits is make a chicken stock. The stock can be refrigerated for a couple of days and you can use it in soups and sauces, it really adds wonderful flavour to any dish.
This time around I also used some pork, basically the cheapest fattest bits I could find in the supermarket. The spices that I used were: fennel seeds, cinnamon, star anise, Szechuan pepper, ginger, spring onions and a Chinese dried mushroom (not in the picture).
Put everything into a large pan, add water to cover and bring to boil. Add some soy sauce, salt and Chinese rice wine. Let the stuff boil at a low temperature for 2-3 hours, you might need to remove some of the froth that can gather on top of the stock.
After you are happy with your stock, just remove the meats and spices and strain the stock in a sieve or a chinoise. I store my stock in glass jars. The bit on the top is fat, do not discard this as it is very tasty.
When you store the stock in the refrigerator it will turn in to a jelly, but as soon as you heat it will turn liquid again. My advice to you is: make some stock bitches!
Oh, what a delicious meal this turned out to be. Great texture and great flavours, easy to make as well! However, once again I had to compromise since I could not find pork belly which this recipe calls for. I used the pork meat I could find and it turned out to be too lean, argh!!! Seriously, if I happen to see a pig walking down the road I will most definitely strangle it and rip out the belly so I can make some proper Chinese food. I would also chop off the legs for the nice trotters. Perhaps I should build some sort of pig trap device, I am really getting desperate here.
Ok, back to the food. Start with boiling the meat in water for a couple of minutes, you want a warm grey piece of meat that smells disgusting. When it has cooled down a bit, cut into bite size pieces. Add rock sugar to hot oil, stir and let it melt and turn brown. Add the meat and the spices which are: spring onion, one star anise, ginger, cinnamon stick and dried chillies. Add water/chicken stock so that the meat is covered. Boil on medium heat under a lid for about 45 minutes, then remove the lid and turn up the heat to max and boil until the sauce thickens. This will take you a few minutes. Season with light soy sauce and sugar. Serve and enjoy bitches!
OMG I really should invest in a proper camera… Look at this picture, the food looks so – flat! It was really nice though to make this Tom Kha Talay
You actually need shit loads of ingredients for this recipe. Let’s have a look at the stuff in the picture. What we have is, from top clockwise, cilantro, shrimp balls (you buy these frozen, any sort of fish ball will do fine), lime, galangal, lemon grass, lime leaves, chillies, palm sugar, black tiger prawns. Then you need chicken stock, fish sauce and coconut milk.
I would recommend that you prepare everything in advance. Slice the galangal and lemon grass, rinse the cilantro and discard the stems, discard the tough parts from the lime leaves, squeeze out some lime juice.
Start with the soup base. Add chicken stock and coconut milk to a pot and bring to boil. Add the lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, chillies, fish sauce, palm sugar and MSG. Add the shrimp and fish balls into the boiling soup base. Cook until ready, it will just take a few minutes. Add some more coconut milk, cilantro and lime juice.
Serve as a soup or with rice on the side if you need some carbs. Enjoy bitches!
Time for something sweet, black (and white) sticky rice pudding! It is very easy to make and you do not need any crazy ingredients. Usually you would perhaps not mix the black and white rice together to make the pudding, but I was like “whateeever”.
Before going to sleep, put rice in a bowl and add plenty of water. When you wake up, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, use the toilet, take a shower and go to work. At work, drink a lot of coffee, complain about things with your colleagues and try to look busy. Ok ok, back to the recipe. When you return home and decide to continue with the pudding, drain the water and add the rice to a pan. Add water and let boil for about 20 min, remember to stir now and then. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and add coconut milk and palm sugar (the sugar has to be disolved). I also added a pinch of salt for balance. Stir and let cool under a lid for about 15 minutes. Eat and enjoy bitches!
Time for a new home made meal. Recently I was fortunate enough to get hold of some fresh Thai holy basil (or fresh-ish) from a Asian supermarket. I also bought a lot of other stuff that I hope to use in the following weeks; herbs, sauces, a bamboo steamer, fish balls and shrimps.
Ok ok, let’s get to business. Stir-fried pork with holy basil, what a great and easy thing to cook at home. The ingredients are as follows: minced meat (pork, chicken or beef), garlic, chicken stock, Thai chillies, holy basil, oyster sauce, Maggi sauce, Thai soy sauce, msg and sugar.
Actually there is a great youtube video that shows you all the steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nigq0MHnTc
Love the music in the video clip! I did exactly as the woman cooking in the street stall, however, the pork that I used was much more finely minced and I did not include green peppers. There are so many great videos on the net, youtube has to be God’s gift to man.
Serve the stir-fry with jasmine rice and you have a great main course. Since I am addicted to Kimchi I had a bowl of that as well! Enjoy bitches!
Ok, so it is time for another home made delicacy. Guotie, or Chinese pot stickers, is something that I make now and then. It is basically a fried Gyoza (Yaki Gyoza) with a filling made out of minced pork, spring onions, ginger and sesame oil.
Start of with mixing the pork with about 1/2 cup of water so that you get a sticky dough. Add chopped spring onions, ginger, sesame oil and some additional seasoning (soy sauce, salt, garlic or whatever you prefer). Take a wrapper, add about 1 tsp of filling and fold using a technique where one side stays flat (youtube: “folding gyoza” or “pot stickers”). Heat a non-stick pan with peanut oil, add the dumplings, fry for about 1 minute. Add water so that about 1/3 of the dumpling is covered, steam under lid for about 6 minutes. Remove lid and fry for another 1 minute. The fry-steam-fry procedure makes one side crisp and the other side soft.
Serve with a dip sauce of your choice, I use sweet black vinegar. Enjoy bitches!
You guys thought I was all about that Chinese stuff, surprise bitches!!!
Ok, so here you have some larb. LOL “larb”. No, seriously – this is a great invention of the Thai/Lao people. There is some sort of dispute between the Lao and Thai people, both claim that the dish originated from their country. You could even say that Larb is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of Asia. I think they should cool down a bit and eat some larb and stop the nonsense arguing! It is a wonderful meat salad that will bring peace to your mind.
The ingredients that I used were minced pork, lime juice, fish sauce, red chilli, ground toasted rice, shallots, coriander, kaffir lime leaves and cabbage. Some recipes also include mint leaves, string beans and thai basil. Obviously I would have used these as well if I had access to the stuff.
You need to roast sticky rice for this. Heat a pan to medium high, add rice and stir until dark brown. Let it cool down and crush it to small pieces in a mortar. You will get some exercise, I would rate the crushing as 2/10 on a muscle building scale. The ground toasted rice is however essential to larb, so do not cheat!
Ok, so now you have your rice powder – great! Add about 1/2 cup of water to a non-stick pan, do not use oil. Bring to boil and add meat. Let cook until the pork turns white. Remove from heat and add sliced shallots, herbs, about 2-3 tsb of fish sauce, the juice of 1 lime, chilli, sliced kaffir lime leaves, and about 1 tsb of roasted rice. Mix it all together and serve with cabbage. Enjoy y’all!
Kimchi! When I eat this delicious crazy dish I always think that God has to be Korean. I mean, you can eat this with whatever is on your plate. I loooooove Kimchi, love love love it! I would easily marry Kimchi if it would be legal.
Ok, so preparing Kimchi is easy. You need some cabbage, ginger, garlic, radish and Kimchi base (I cheat, you can also buy the powder and mix it with some fish sauce). The stuff is in the picture below (I forgot about the garlic, just add some of it).
Cut the cabbage into pieces, about 2 cm. Sprinkle generous amounts of salt all over the cabbage and place in a bowl with a weight on top, keep in room temperature. After 24 hours, rinse with cold water and drain.
Cut the radish, ginger and garlic into smaller sticks (you can also grate the radish).
Layer the ingredients in a glass jar, make sure to add the Kimchi stuff. At the end, mix it gently so that the whole thing turns red. Leave the jar in the refrigerator for one week. After this you should have a nice amount of Kimchi! Eat it with everything, if you are a Kimchi addict like me you will start making a new batch very soon. God bless Kimchi!
Ok, so let’s talk a bit about wontons. I love wontons, God bless these fabolous dumplings! Order them in Chinese restaurants, buy them ready-made in Asian groceries or make your own. You can have them in soups, boiled with a great dip sauce or fried crispy golden crazy!
These are the ingredients that I used. From top left: light soy sauce (I use Thai soy sauce which is a bit sweeter), pure sesame oil, leek (spring onions would be a better choice), ginger, garlig, wonton pastry, minced pork.
Start off with mixing the pork with the soy sauce and the sesame oil, add very finely chopped ginger, garlic and leek. This is your basic filling.
Be sure that the wonton pastry has had time to defrost. Start folding your wontons using the basic technique shown in the pictures below. Take about 1 tsp of your gorgeous filling and place it in the middle of your wonton sheet.
The wonton is ready! Repeat 50 times and you have enough wontons for 3-4 people.
The next part is easy. Bring loads of water to a boil. Add the wontons, make sure they do not stick to the bottom. The water cools down a bit at this stage, wait for it to boil again and just leave it for some minutes.
When the wontons are ready you can add them to a soup base with some basic veggies. I had mine with a dip sauce made with chinese black vinegar and garlic – grrreat!