Sunday, September 28, 2008

Buffalo Lettuce Cheese - BLC

Buffalo Saucer

For dinner last night, I had this spontaneous creation that I dubbed the "Buffalo Saucer". I had a half-pound package of ground buffalo meat that has been sitting in the fridge for a few days so I finally decided to do something with it. I was initially planning to cook Mexican styled meat as a taco dish, except that I did not have the right Mexican spices or any taco shells. Off my partner went to the closest store to get some taco shells. Unfortunately, the store does not stock any taco shells so my partner made do on the only available alternative – English muffins; hence the creation of "Buffalo Saucer" in my kitchen.

Since we just went to a specialty Italian grocery store the other day, we had a full stock of Italian goodies such as assorted olives, the Italissima's red pepper spread and sun dried tomatoes that we couldn't wait to try out, so we decided to incorporate those ingredients into the dish.
The result was better than expected - the meat was juicy and slightly spiced and the English muffin gave a unique texture to the dish. It was a symphony of flavors, if I may say so myself ;-)

½ lb. ground buffalo
¼ tsp. of Salt and black pepper
¼ tsp. Mrs. Dash
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. paprika
A pinch of sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallots, minced
1 green onion
1/4 cup of red wine
2 tbsp. red pepper spread/paste
3-4 sundried tomatoes, sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil or canola oil

Lettuce leaf
Mozzarella cheese, grated
Hot sauce to taste
English Muffin, toasted
Salsa sauce
Olives (side dish)
Red beans (side dish)

Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat. Sautee garlic and shallot until fragrant, add ground buffalo and mix. Add salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash, cayenne pepper, paprika and a pinch of sugar and sautee meat until almost cooked. Turn heat down to medium low. Add green onion and half of the 1/4 cup of red wine and let simmer. Add red pepper paste and sundried tomatoes and the rest of the red wine and let simmer for a few more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit on in the pan.

Place one side of toasted muffins on a plate and layer with lettuce leaf. Add a tablespoonful of meat mixture, a teaspoon of salsa and a dash of hot sauce and garnish with grated cheese. Put the other side of muffin on top and serve.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mie Ayam ala luv0food

My Comfort Food

As an Indonesian living abroad, one of the dishes that I often miss is "Mie Ayam", literally means Chicken Noodle, except it's not the Chicken Noodle as it's know in the West that comes in soup base. The Indonesian Mie Ayam, or rather, Mie Ayam ala Jakarta (there's also Mie ala Medan, etc), is usually served dry with soup on the side and from my experience, you can not find anything like the original Mie Ayam outside of Jakarta, not even in other parts of Asia. There were times when I often craved Mie Ayam only to end up being frustrated by the lack of similar tasting noodles all around North America and as a result ended up stuffing myself, dissatisfying as they were, with Hong Kong style noodles instead.
The only time that I would ever satiated my craving for Mie Ayam was either when my mom came to town and prepared it for me, or when I went to visit Jakarta and gorged on every variety of Mie Ayam there was . But that was before I ever got used to spending time in the kitchen (preferring to eat out/take out most of the time). I am a little bit more familiar with working around the kitchen these days (as I've matured....), so I asked my mom for the recipe that she uses in constructing her homemade Mie Ayam (and with a little tweaking of my own, as usual); although it's still not the exact taste that you get from the original Mie Ayam that you can only get in Jakarta, it is close enough. As it turns out, it's not as hard as I have imagined - it never is. So these days, whenever I have a craving for Mie Ayam - which I consider to be my ultimate comfort food - I no longer end up stuffing myself with other dissatisfying food to compensate for the unfulfilled craving, but instead, I just go to my favorite Chinese supermarket (T&T supermarket, where they have just the perfect type of noodles for Mie Ayam), get all the necessary ingredients and concoct the perfect Mie Ayam as best I can. And I always end up being satisfied - even if I end up eating the same thing for three days in a row (sick, isn't it?)


1) Noodles Mixing Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 shallots, minced and 1/2 green onion
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper and a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. Chinese white cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp. chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
2) Chicken and Mushrooms Toppings
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1 tbsp. chicken broth
  • 1/2 dozen of white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 shallots, minced and 1/2 green onions
  • 1/2 white pepper, a dash of salt and 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Chinese white cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. sweet soy sauce (kecap manis ABC or similar)
3) A pack of Shanghainese pulled noodles (usually comes with 3 portions of noodles)
4) Bok choi or any Chinese greens
5) Bean sprouts
6) Optional: Fish Cake, sliced, fried till crispy and add to toppings


1) Noodles Mixing Sauce - Heat oil in a skillet on low heat, throw in minced garlic and stir till fragrant, mix in sauce and stir for a few minutes till mixture is boiled, set aside and let cool.

2) Chicken and Mushrooms Toppings - Mix chicken cubes with cornstarch mixture and cook with half of prepared garlic in a skillet on medium-high heat. Add the minced shallots and green onions and mix. Pour a tablespoonful of sauce mixture and keep stirring. Add more liquid (chicken broth) to prevent meat from drying and sticking to the pan. Set aside once cooked. In same skillet, throw in the rest of minced garlic and mushroom and add sauce by the teaspoonful till mushrooms are cooked. Throw in the cooked chicken and mix together with mushrooms for a few more minutes, add the rest of the sauce mixture. Set aside in a bowl.

3) Boil vegetables and noodles. Once boiled, drain the water and put on a plate. Add the Noodle Mixing Sauce by the tablespoons to the noodle and vegetables and mix right away to make sure the noodles don't stick together. Put Chicken and Mushroom Toppings on top. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sweet and Colorful Cakes

Sugar High!

If you must buy one baking book, I recommend the (appropriately named)
"Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book". I bought this book about two years ago at a local bookstore and it has been indispensable in my kitchen ever since. I often skim through this book whenever I need some inspirations to bake something sweet or chocolaty. I have never baked any cakes or bread before I bought this book - maybe chocolate chip cookies, but only once or twice, using one of those ready made tubes of cookie dough from the store - and most definitely never from scratch! "The Better Homes and Gardens - New Baking Book" has brought out the hidden baker in me (as it has in everyone else who has this book) and it even got me hooked on baking (and decorating cakes) to the point of obsession during one period last year when I kept buying and collecting baking and cake decorating tools from cooking shops, especially the ones from Wilton (which can be quite addictive). The BH&G's New Baking Book has such easy-to-follow steps and instructions and over 600 recipes and baking tips that it can make a baker out of anyone, even someone who's never spent a lot of time in the kitchen before (like me a few years ago, ha...). The book also has an adequate number of pictures so that you can see how the cakes/cookies/bread/pastries/pies will turn out. I have tried a lot of recipes from this book: for cakes (for all occasions), cheesecakes, pies, bread and even pastries. Although, my pastries never really turned out well, only because I don't have the aptitude nor the patience to follow the pastry instructions closely; I learned that making pastries is very, very difficult - for me anyways - so hat off to all pastry chefs out there!

These are photos of decorated cakes that I had made all throughout last year (during my most enthusiastic period of cake making, though the enthusiasm has dwindled since then - not for baking in general but for decorating cakes). I took a series of Wilton's cake decorating courses that lasted for about a month last summer at a local cook shop, so I've included some pictures of cakes that were made for those courses (all cakes recipes are from the "BH&G New Baking Book"), although mine didn't turn out quite as nice looking as the illustrations on the Wilton course books (
and therefore came to the self-realization that I have no talent in cake decorating whatsoever - sad face inserted here). On the other hand, the cakes themselves had turned out quite decent and tasted pretty good - aesthetically speaking though, there's still a lot left to be desired. A few of my creations, I admit, were a little tacky. But I had enjoyed decorating those cakes while it lasted, after all, cake decorating was just a phase, but I just had to go through it! At least I was utilizing all of my Wilton's decorating tools to the maximum. Though these days, those tools are collecting dust in my storage room. I hope I'll be inspired to take them out of hiding soon and start using them again after I post this. We'll see.

Wilton Method - Discover Cake Decorating - Course 1
(using the "Chocolate Cookie Cake" recipe - pg. 136)

Wilton Method - Discover Cake Decorating - Course 1
(using the "Yellow Cake" recipe - pg. 113)

Wilton Method - Flowers and Borders - Course 2
(using the "Lemon Cake" recipe - pg. 150)

Wilton Method - Fondant and Tiered Cakes - Course 3
(using "Spice Cake" recipe - pg. 116)

And these are cakes I baked for fun and for a few special occasions:

Chocolate Cupcakes Fun!
(Using the "Devil's Food Cake" Recipe - pg. 114
Birthday Cake with loads of Chocolate Icing!
(using the "Caramel-Almond Torte" recipe - pg. 140)

Winter Holidays Mini Cakes
("Spice cake" and "Chocolate Cake" recipes)

And finally... Berries Christmas Holiday Cake 2007
(using the "Classic Chocolate Cake" recipe - pg. 114)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Flavorful Red Onions

The Perfect Complement to Red Onions
(at least the one that often comes out of my kitchen...yum!)

The red onion (or purple onion, as I prefer to call it sometimes, because of its lively purple color, which is also my favorite color, by the way) is my most favorite onion of all the varieties of onions available out there. Red onions can be eaten raw or cooked and either way they never disappoint. And unlike other onions, red onions are more palatable and even delicious when eaten raw. They are mildly sweet and aromatic (at least to me), and they make the perfect condiment to almost any dish, as long as you don't mind the onion breath that you'll be left with afterward. I enjoy adding thin slices of red onions to salads, burgers (of course!!), pizza (always!) and the occasional hot dogs or any other dish that I find too bland for my taste. When I want to cook something quickly and I have no other interesting vegetables to cook with, I always have my red onions available, ready to be sliced and diced and blended with any of my spontaneous and quirky dishes that I come up with when I am really starving and have little time to cook or prepare (or too lazy to). I always, always have red onions in my kitchen, in addition to garlic and shallots. But my favorite, definitely most favorite, way of pairing red onions is with smoked salmon/lox. That is not to say that I have supplies of smoked salmon/lox that are readily available in my kitchen all the time, I don't, because those packages of smoked salmon can be quite expensive. But during the rare occasions that we eat them, they always taste heavenly, only because I always prepare them with thin slices of raw red onions marinated with olive oil and fresh ground black peppers, capers, a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice and then serve on crackers or small pieces of toasts and garnish with dills.

I also use slices of red onions to garnish my cheese platter and cold dish platters when we have companies over for our little soirees that we occasionally have (always simple, nothing complicated).

When I don't feel like cooking anything (since I am not a great cook to begin with), and we want something easy and quick and fun, we just put together all the ingredients I mentioned above and enjoy....! It's more like jigsaw puzzle than culinary, really, but the results are always yummy, thanks to the great red onions, the tastiest onion of all onions!!
I had smoked salmon with red onions marinated in olive oil and pepper and dill and capers for dinner today because I just did not feel like cooking. Plus, it's healthy (I think)!

Red Onions rock in my kitchen!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Spiced Lamb Dumplings with vegetables fillings

My continued obsession with Dumplings.

From craving to obsession. Now that I have fulfilled my craving for the familiar pork and prawn dumplings - cooked in two different ways, I decided to explore a new territory in dumpling hood. After all, I have bought 3 packs of dumpling wrappers and there is one pack and a half left from my previous dumplings production. By now I have mastered the skill of dumpling wrapping with assembly line efficiency that I was confident enough to start the dumpling making process so late toward dinner time. It was about 7 pm when I decided that I will give this new recipe that popped up in my head earlier, a try.

I never had any lamb dumplings before and wondered what lamb would taste like cooked as dumplings. I have only known about and eaten Chinese dumplings most of my life and I did not even know that dumplings exist in the cuisines of other cultures other than the Chinese, and most of the Chinese dumplings I ever had were either pork, prawns, pork and prawns together or occasionally, chicken.
Actually, I think some parts of China do have lamb and other types of dumplings in their cuisines, even though I have never tried any. So imagine my surprise when I found out that other "nationalities" have their own versions of dumplings. And as it turns out Turkish and Kazakhstanis dumplings are made out of lamb meat and spices and maybe cheese (correct me if I'm wrong). My first introduction to dumplings outside of Chinese cuisine was from eating Ukrainian perogies. In fact, eating Ukrainian perogies is the extent of my non-Chinese dumplings cuisine experience. I hope to expand my international cuisine horizon soon. Meanwhile, I will start my experimental culinary journey by making and trying out dumplings with lamb fillings instead of the usual pork, prawns or chicken. Lamb has such a strong scent, so given my Indonesian spicy taste bud, I figured that it is best to marinade the meat with exotic spices with equally strong aromas and flavors to mask the scent and enhance the flavor of the lamb at the same time. As I began my experiment with this new recipe, I crossed my fingers, hoping that it will not turn out to be disastrous and thus leaving my partner and me starving and scrambling for food so late past dinner time.

  • 1/2 lb. lamb
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas and corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. white and black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. fried fennel seed, cooled and then crushed
  • 1 whole anise seed, fried together with fennel, cooled and set aside
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. chili oil and a pinch of dried red pepper (optional)
  • a dash of clove powder and cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • A dash of ground ginger (optional)
  • Dumpling wrappers
  • Olive oil and cilantro for garnish
  • Place all of the cut and diced vegetables and herb in one bowl (carrots, peas, shallots, red onion, garlic, cilantro), season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small bowl, mix together sugar, chili oil (optional), a dash of salt and pepper and all of the spices, but leave out the fennel seeds and anise seed.
  • Season ground lamb with salt and pepper, add the cornstarch, fennel seeds, anise seed and canola oil and mix.
  • Add the vegetable mixture into the meat mixture, add the spice mix into the whole mixture and blend.
  • Take the anise seed out of the mixture and discard.
  • Beat an egg in a bowl and pour into the mixture and mix thoroughly until the moist is distributed evenly.
  • Take a spoonful of meat mixture onto each dumpling wrapper, wet the edges and fold.
Now that the dumplings are ready to go, they can be cooked right away or saved for later use by freezing them. For my first try, I boiled about a dozen of these lamb dumplings (using the same technique I used when boiling the pork and prawn dumplings from my previous post). Once cooked, I drained the dumplings into a bowl and drizzle them with olive oil (or rather, bath them in olive oil), and this was how I discovered that the taste of olive actually complements lamb very well. By 7.45 pm, we were enjoying one savory dumpling after another. They were quite delicious and better than I expected. The fennel and anise seeds give the dumplings a pleasant and distinctly sweet taste and aroma. The blends of spices really enhance the flavor of the lamb, and the combination of crunchy vegetables and the softly melting dumpling skins leaves a luscious and sweet aftertaste. It was very satisfying indeed. Overall, the recipe was quite a hit in my house!

The next day, I tried frying them.
"Flavorful, succulent and crispy" is how I would describe these fried lamb dumplings. Hmm...mmm.... My craving for dumplings of all kinds is sated for now.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pork and Prawns - Homemade Meat Dumplings

Dumplings Madness!

Mmm.... mmm....dumplings! I have been craving for some good, homemade dumplings for weeks and I even had dreams about them in my sleep. Truth be told, my constant craving for dumplings came about from watching too much of the Beijing Olympic on TV. Yes, the Olympic actually inspired me to do some physical exercise, not in the gym though, but in the kitchen. The Beijing Olympic was one magnificent show, and I was amazed that China was able to pull it off, because frankly, I had my doubts. I visited Beijing in 2005 when they were still constructing all those buildings and structures and the city was quite a mess. But I am glad China was able to successfully host the Olympic this year. I hope to be able to visit Beijing again in the near future and to further explore my heritage. But for now, I am content with enjoying my homemade dumplings. I love the succulent flavor of these pork and prawn dumplings and the soft dumpling skins that melt in my mouth when they are served warm in chicken broth. I enjoy them even more when I have them fried and crispy and then served with dipping sauce that consist of sesame oil, black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar), and "sambal olek" (Indonesian style chili sauce). Mmm....mmm.... is right on!

Making and eating homemade dumplings conjured up my memories of childhood in Jakarta when my family and aunts and uncles would get together on Sunday afternoons at my parents' house; with my mom and aunts sitting around the dinner table and preparing homemade dumplings, wrapping the fragrant mixture of pork and prawns sprinkled with spices and herbs, while chatting about mundane topics and gossiping about other relatives, while the kids, which included me, would run around the house and chase each other. In fact, the recipe I use for these dumplings is based on what my mom uses when she makes them: mainly pork, prawns, garlic, ginger, green onions, and black mushrooms. I think she also uses chives sometimes and I've made some with chives before too and they were good! This time around though I decided to use napa cabbage instead of chives just to see what they would taste like, although I'm not sure if my mom ever used napa cabbage...hmmm... I'll ask her later.

  • 1/2 lb. extra lean ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. fresh prawns, peeled and minced
  • 2-3 green onions, finely minced
  • 1/2 of napa cabbage or 1 cup chives, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. finely minced ginger
  • 3-4 cloves of finely minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp. dry black or Chinese mushroom, rinsed with hot water, dried and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Chinese cooking white wine
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil or any vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp. chicken broth (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. chili oil (optional)
  • Dumpling wrappers (preferably thin ones)
Note: It is quite simple to make the wrappers at home. The ingredients only consist of flour, water and a dash of salt. But the real trick is in the kneading of the dough. Since I am quite particular with the thinness of the wraps, I decided to forgo the risk of ruining my homemade dumpling experience by purchasing 3 packs of ready-made dumpling wraps from a Chinese supermarket. And I am glad I did!

  • Put the pork and minced prawns in a bowl and season with salt and white pepper and mix together. Add the canola oil and cornstarch and mix thoroughly.
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, chopped cilantro, black mushrooms, napa cabbage, green onions and shallot.
  • In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar, white pepper, Chinese cooking wine, chicken broth and chili oil and stir into the meat mixture and mix thoroughly until well blended. Prepare the wraps and take a spoonful of the dumpling mixture and place on each wrapper, wet the edges with liquid from a mixture of 2 tbsp. water and 1 tsp. cornstarch and stick one end to the other and wrap.

Once the dumplings are all lined up and ready to go, it is now time to cook them in whichever way you like. The recipe above will produce about 40 at once. I usually freeze some of the dumplings made for later use. When freezing them, make sure they do not stick to each other otherwise the skin will break when you defrost them. To prevent them from sticking together, wrap them in wax paper in batches, and then store them in sandwich-size zip lock bags to freeze. When defrosting, it's better to take them out from the freezer the day before and move them inside the fridge, and then let them defrost naturally instead of using the microwave.

I have the dumplings prepared in two ways:
1. In Chicken Broth - Put the dumplings into boiled water and bring to a first boil. Add a 1/2 cup of water after it is boiled the first time and then let it boil again for the second time or until the dumplings float to the surface and you can see the prawns turn pink. Leave them to boil for a couple more minutes to make sure the chicken meat is well cooked (I am always cautious when it comes to meat cooking), and then drain. Place the cooked dumplings in a bowl and sprinkle with canola oil to make sure they don't stick together. Put them in a bowl of chicken broth and sprinkle with green onions and/or cilantro. Serve with a favorite sauce. Hmm....

2. Fried - Heat oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat. Prepare 1 tbsp. of flour dissolved in 5 tbsp. water and set aside. Once oil becomes hot, place dumplings in the pan and let sit for a minute and then pour about 3-5 tbsp. of plain water and cover. Let them cook for about 5 minutes and turn them over and cook for another 5 minutes. Add more water if necessary to prevent from burning. Add the water and flour mixture one spoonful at a time to the pan and cover for a few minutes more, and turn over a few times until reaching the desired crispiness. Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes in the pan. Serve with a favorite sauce. Hmmm....mmm....mmm.

Note: Apparently using the mixture of water and flour keep the dumpling skins crispy without being burnt. I found out about this technique while observing a cook at a Chinese Dumplings restaurant. All I can say is that I tried it, and it worked. It was a hit indeed!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Southeast Asian Dish - Grilled Fish, Curry Rice and Green Beans

Banana Leaf Wrapped Broiled Lemongrass Fish or Chicken

ya..ya.. I know, it's a mouthful (pun intended), but here it is: my latest spontaneous creation in the kitchen from a few months ago and I happened to have the picture on file. This recipe is adapted from the April 22, 2001 edition of the Globe and Mail Canada which was originally intended for chicken - Myanmar style and there was no banana leaf involved. So I did a few tweaking of my own by switching the chicken to cod; adding a few more ingredients that suited my taste bud and finally wrapping the fish with banana leaf to broil....ha...and the result was not bad at all! The dish was served together with Curried Coconut Jasmine Rice and Curried Green Beans in order to create the full Myanmar cuisine experience.

  • 4 pieces of cod fillet (or skinless chicken breasts)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass - discard all but the bottom 3 inches
  • 2 tsp fine chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • lime juice and peel
  • banana leaf
  • Smash the tender white part of the lemongrass (after removing the tough outer leaves at the base) and then finely chopped.
  • Make a paste out of garlic, ginger and lemongrass using either mortar and pestle, rolling pin or food processor.
  • Add chopped green onions, including the green tops, to the paste.
  • You can also add a little lime juice and lime peel for added flavor if you wish.
  • Add the fish sauce, sugar, and salt & pepper.
  • Marinade the fish or chicken with all of the above processed ingredients and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450F.
  • Rinse and air dry 4 banana leaves and set aside.
  • After 30 minutes, take the marinated fish out of the refrigerator and then wrap each piece with banana leaf. Place each piece in the oven and let broil for 15 - 20 minutes. The banana leaf will add some nice fragrance to the fish while keeping it moist.
  • With Chicken - Heat a skillet on high and add oil. Add jalapeno pepper once the oil becomes hot and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 3-5 min on each side or until each side turns golden brown.
  • Place the chicken in oven-proof baking dish and roast/broil for 10-15 minutes or until cooked and crisp.
p.s.: I've also tried the chicken version and it was just as good if not crispier.

Curried Green Beans

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 12 ounces of green beans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander or basil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 dozen prawns (optional but recommended)
  • Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat.
  • Optional: Stir fry prawns until cooked and set aside.
  • Add more oil to the same skillet without rinsing it and reheat on medium heat.
  • Add curry paste and ginger and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in coconut milk and fish sauce and a few tablespoons of chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add green beans and simmer together for 10 minutes or until green beans are cooked but crunchy.
  • Add the necessary amount of chicken stock to keep the sauce liquid.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Add the cooked prawns and stir for another minute.
  • Garnish with coriander or a lime wedge.
Curried Coconut Jasmine Rice

  • 2 cups of jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp curry madras or garam masala
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp of chopped garlic
  • salt, freshly ground black and a dash of white pepper
  • Combine rice, water/chicken stock and curry madras in a pot.
  • Bring to a boil and stir in coconut milk and cover.
  • Reduce heat to low and steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
As a start, saute some chopped garlic until fragrant and then add rice, garam masala, salt and white pepper and stir for a few seconds before adding the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add coconut juice, cover pot, and then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more stock if need be. Once rice is cooked, squeeze some lemon juice. It was a hit!