Cool Stuff To Check Out From J and B



Cold Radish Salad (Hutong Cuisine Beijing) Very cool and fresh!
radish julienned
white vinegar

Mix together and enjoy.

Green Vegetables with Garlic (Yangshuo Cooking School) A staple for us in China
1 bunch green vegetables (spinach, bok choy, snow peas, beans, etc.)
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp water

Heat wok, add oil, and heat oil. Add garlic, salt and greens and stir fry. Add water and stir fry until cooked, about 2 minutes. Can serve with rice.

Eggplant Yangshuo-Style (Yangshuo Cooking School) A little spicy
1 large eggplant sliced
4 Tbsp peanut oil
1 red pepper sliced
25 gms ginger sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed
3-4 spring onions sliced
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp water

Heat wok and add oil. Heat oil until smoking then add eggplant and fry until browned and cooked. Move eggplant to side of wok, reduce heat and fry garlic, ginger and pepper for 1 minute. Mix eggplant with vegetables, salt, water, and oyster sauce. Add spring onions. Serve with rice if preferred.

Spring Festival Dumplings (Hutong Cuisine Beijing) Could eat a thousand of these...
Even the dumplings are from scratch.

Pork and Cabbage Filling:
Minced pork 100 gm (or ground)
Chinese cabbage, celery, carrot 100g
½ tsp ginger finely diced
1 tsp spring onion finely diced
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine
½ tsp sesame oil

Method: Mince vegetables. Add salt, mix, keep 10 minutes then squeeze water out, saving water in separate bowl. (The salt helps to draw the water out). Put minced pork in a bowl, add soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, oil, then mix in one direction only. During mixing, add vegetable water (in . 3 divided pours). Mix until meat is firm. Add spring onion and vegetable. Continue to mix in same direction (I have no idea why) till meat and vegetable are mixed well.
Beef andOnion filling: Love the cilantro in this filling...
Minced beef (or lamb) 100gm (or ground)
Big spring onion and coriander (cilantro) 50 gm
1 tsp ginger finely diced
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
(for lamb, add 5 pieces Sichuan pepper soaked in 50 ml hot water for 1 hr.)

Method: Mince vegetables. Put meat in a bowl, add seasonings. Mix meat in one direction, adding water (over 3 pours) until meat gets firm. (For lamb use the sichuan pepper water). Add vegetables, mix well in same direction. Set aside.

Dough: easy...
120 gm flour
60 gm water

Add water to flour over several pours, mix well until becomes one whole piece of dough. (We carefully kneaded for a long time, until the dough met standard of perfection!)

Cover for 10 minutes. Mix again and roll into long round piece (like a playdough snake) and cut into 16 equal dice, rolling the snake each time you cut. Roll each dice into thin round slice. Put filling in each, fold in half, pinching along one side into half-moon shapes.

1. Boil for 10 minutes
2. Steam in dumpling steamer for 10 minutes.
3. Pan-fry (the best) by seasoning a flat pan with a little oil, add dumplings, medium-low cook until bottom of dumpling a golden color, add water until half-way covering dumplings (so that meat gets cooked well). Cover and cook until water is gone, about 4 minutes.

Sauce for dipping (Brett's favorite part):
6 cloves of garlic smashed
3 Tbsp dark vinegar
3 Tbsp sight soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
chili oil if you like more spice

Taiwanese Chicken (lunch on last day in Yangshuo) The cilantro in this dish was so strong and so good!

Saute in wok:
Sesame oil
Cubed chicken (dark meat)
Soy sauce
Rice wine
Lots of cilantro (whole)
Garnish with fresh cilantro

~Balinese Cooking class at Bumi Bali in Ubud.

Tuna Sambal Matah (Seared Tuna with Raw Seasoning)
Balinese usually use a fish called pindang with this dish.
½ lb tuna marinated with lime juice, salt and pepper for 20”
1-3 hot chiles
15 shallots
2 blades of lemongrass
1 piece of ginger
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 Tbsp coconut oil (or can use olive)
½ of lime

Chop chilies, shallots, lemongrass and ginger into small pieces. In a bowl, mix together the above 4 ingredients with salt, pepper and oil. Add the lime and squeeze mixture with hands to blend flavors like the Balinese do.

Fry or saute tuna on both sides for total of 5 minutes, or to preference. Remove from heat. Can cut the tuna into bite-sized chunks and put on plate. Spread sauce over tuna and serve.

Tempe Manis
This is a crunchy tempe (soy) treat that can be eaten alone or on Gado Gado (next recipe). Can vary the recipe to be more savory or sweet depending on chosen ingredients.

½ lb tempe (or one block)
1 cup peanuts
2 cups small dried fish (optional)
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar (or palm sugar)
3 cloves of garlic sliced
2 red chile peppers
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

Cut raw tempe into strips. Dry for 1 hr in sun (optional). Fry tempe in coconut oil until it just starts to turn brown, set aside. Fry peanuts, set aside. Fry fish (if used), set aside. Fry garlic and chiles. Mix in salt and pepper. Add tempe, peanuts and fish. Mis in sugar. Stir completely and remove from heat. Serve crunchy!

Gado-Gado: “2 vegetables served with peanut sauce”
1/2 cup peanuts
2 candlenuts or macadamia nuts
3 hot chiles
2 veggies (green beans, cabbage, spinach, water spinach, bean sprouts, in any combo)
2 cloves of garlic
1 piece of lesser galangal (a root spice, but can skip)
2 Tbsp sweet soy sauce
3 Tbsp hot water

Blend peanuts, candlenuts, chiles, galangal, and garlic together.. Fry mixture for about ten minutes. Drain oil. The mixture should be dry and pasty. Next add enough soy sauce and water to make mixture into a smooth sauce. Chop veggies into bite-sized pieces. Boil or saute until al dente. Serve peanut sauce over veggies, garnish with fried tempe (see recipe) and a fried or boiled egg.

Black Rice
Sweet, can be breakfast or dessert. Takes some time to make, but worth it!

2 ½ cups black rice
2 ½ cups of glutinous or sticky rice
1 vanilla bean
2 ½ cups dark brown sugar or palm sugar
3 bananas
5 cups of coconut milk

In a large pot, half cook the black and sticky rice in boiling water. Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue cooking until the rice is fully cooked. Remove the mixture from the heat. Slice bananas into bite sized pieces and add them to the rice. Add salt to taste. Place rice in serving bowls and pour ½ cup of coconut milk over each serving. (Makes about ten bowls).

Go buy small and a large mortar/pestal sets. They are used for preparing many Asian dishes, and really put you in touch with the food. Get your hands dirty!

Som Tam Goong Sod (Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp) “The Paradise Resort” Koh Yao, Thailand: Chef Jan and Chef Tui

This cold dish uses young green papaya. In Thailand, when it is young it is prepared like a vegetable. When it is ripe, used as a fruit.
1 Tbsp sun-dried shrimp -very tiny dried shrimp
3 cloves garlic smashed
1-2 piece small red chilies (to your threshold)
1-2 Tbsp lime juice
1-2 Tbsp palm sugar
2 cups (this is the salad base) of julienned green young papaya
½ cup julienned carrots
½ cup green spring beans
2 piece bell tomatoes quartered
1 piece lime quartered
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp roasted peanuts
handful medium shrimp
optional: cilantro, sliced cucumbers for topping

Boil the shrimp.
Put the chilies and garlic together with the lime juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce and the sun-dried shrimp into a large mortar and grind (or pok pok, if you will) into large chunks.
Add the julienned papaya and carrot, grind (more like mix) together again.
Add the green beans, the bell tomatoes, and lime quarters. Grind into mix.
Make the taste balanced with sweet, sour and salt buy adding more sugar, lime juice or fish sauce.
Put on a plate, place the cooked shrimp on top and decorate with roasted peanuts, cilantro, and/or sliced cucumbers.

European Green Papaya Salad a la Chef Jan (pronounced “Yaan”) “The Paradise Resort” Koh Yao, Thailand: Chef Jan

Okay, shift gears. Our Belgian chef, Jan, said he makes this dish for his European customers with smoked salmon, camambert cheese and grapes, instead of using the Thai spices or shrimp. If you want to experiment, tell me how it turns out!

Yam Nuea Yang (Thai Beef Salad): “The Paradise Resort” Koh Yao, Thailand: Chef Jan and Chef Tiu

Another cold dish that can be spiced up depending on how much chili sauce you use.

1 cup fresh sliced beef strips
½ cup each of yellow onion, tomatoes, coriander, Chinese celery, spring onions
2-6 piece long red chilies (non-hot), cut ¼ inch diameter
1 Tbsp white soy sauce or fish sauce
1 Tbsp chili sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp simple syrup (boil 1 part sugar/1 part water until sugar dissolves, cool)

Marinate beef with some of the soy sauce. Grill or saute beef.
Prepare the sauce: mix together soy sauce (or fish sauce), lime juice, chili sauce, and sugar syrup.
Slice vegetables, then mix veggies and beef into the sauce.
Serve cold.

Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk and Galangal) “The Paradise Resort” Koh Yao, Thailand: Chef Jan and Chef Tui

2 cup chicken stock
2 cup coconut milk
1 cup sliced chicken breast, sliced very thin
1-3 piece hot small red and green chili
2 Tbsp galangal sliced
2 Tbsp lemongrass sliced
1-2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp white soy sauce or fish sauce
1 Tbsp white sugar
½ cup straw mushrooms
2 small tomatoes, quartered
2-3 pieces kafir lime leaves
1-2 cloves shallot
¼ Tbsp salt
½ onion chopped in large pieces
¼ cup cilantro (coriander)
chili oil

Heat chicken stock and coconut in a pan until boiling.
Add chile, sliced galangal, lemongrass, shallots, and kafir lime leaves, Boil 7 minutes. You can choose to buy some mesh straining bags to put the non-edible stuff in while boiling, then pull it out at the last minute, OR you can choose to keep it colorful and warn your guests. The non-edibles are the galangal, lemongrass, and kafir lime leaves.
Add chicken, mushrooms, salt and onions, and boil until cooked, a few minutes.
Once cooked, add soy or fish sauce, lime juice and sugar.
Decorate with spring onions, cilantro, and chili oil.

Panaeng Goong (Traditional Red Curry with Shrimp): “The Paradise Resort” Koh Yao, Thailand: Chef Jan and Chef Tui

2 cups medium shrimp (also good with tuna and other meats)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
dash salt
2 cups coconut milk (add second)
1 Tbsp red paneang paste
1 Tbsp coconut milk (add first)
1 Tbsp palm sugar
2 Tbsp white soy sauce or fish sauce
1 kafir lime leaf (julienned into really thin strips)
jalapeno chili

Heat 1 Tbsp coconut milk in pan. Add curry paste and stir fry until it smells good.
Add the 2 cups coconut milk, palm sugar, and fish sauce to your liking.
Add the shrimp until well-cooked.
Pour into a nice curry cup or onto a plate, serve with rice.
Decorate with julienned kafir lime leaves, a few drizzles of coconut milk, and jalapeno.

Gaeng Kiew Wahn Gai (Classic Green Chicken Curry): “The Paradise Resort” Koh Yao, Thailand: Chef Jan and Chef Tui

1 ½ cups chicken, sliced
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 kafir lime (juice of)
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp green curry paste
½ cup small thai eggplant (young, pea-sized)
2 pieces wedged Thai eggplants (golf-ball sized, cut in quarters)
2 pieces baby corn cut in quarters
2 Tbsp palm sugar
2 ½ Tbsp white soy sauce or fish sauce
pinch salt

Soak cut eggplant in water with lime juice to keep from turning brown.
Heat up the pan and fry the curry paste in cooking oil with kafir lime.
Add the chicken stock and coconut milk.
Cook and add the chicken and veggies.
When everything is well-cooked, add more palm sugar or white soy sauce or fish sauce to your taste.
Pour into a nice curry cup and decorate with sweet basil leaves and jalapeno chili rings.
Serve with rice.

Thai Tea
6 cups water

1 cup Thai tea
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cream
6 tablespoons condensed milk
In a kettle, bring the water to a boil. Place the tea in a teapot or glass container. Pour the water over the tea and let steep until bright orange in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Strain into a clean container, such as a pitcher (or, if in tea bags, remove the bags). Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Fill 6 tall glasses with crushed ice and add tea to 3/4 full. Add 1 tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon condensed milk to each glass.
Serve with iced-tea spoon so guests can swirl the mixture themselves.
Ginger Tea (with some advice from Jan)

Cut ginger root into thin slices, dry in sun for 1 hour. (or in oven if you live in Seattle or London)
Place 1-2 Tbsp ginger in boiling water (using tea bag if you want it “clean”), and let steep. Add 1-2 Tbsp sugar (this tea is meant to be sweet).

Lemongrass Tea

Prepare cup of black or green tea, add slices of fresh lemongrass.

Watermelon Juice
This is so easy, and cool and refreshing on a hot day!
Put ice and a ton of fresh watermelon (seedless is best) in a blender.  Can add sugar, but not necessary.


Three mixed Indian Spices are used for several of these dishes.  They are "Kitchen King" and "Garam Masala.  Here is a breakdown of those mixtures.

1.  Kitchen King:  coriander, cumin, red chile, tumeric, pepper, cloves, fenugreek, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, cussin, fennel, mustard, garlic, onion, mace, asafoetida.

2.  Garam Masala:  cumin, pepper, coriander, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, cassia, ginger, mace.

3.  The "Seven Sisters" spices that all Indians have in their kitchen are:  cumin, pepper, cardamom, cloves, tumeric, cinnamon, mustard seeds.

Paneer Butter Masala (Angela's fave) and vegetarian--From Bhimsen's Cooking School in McLeod Ganj, India

8 small tomatoes
1/2 red onion
100 grams paneer (solid unfermented milk) chopped into bite-size squares.
vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin, tumeric, chili
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Kitchen King
1 Tbsp butter

  Boil tomatoes just long enough to remove skins. Chop 1 cup cilantro and set aside.  Remove tomato skins and puree in blender with onion.  Add small amount oil to pan.  Add cumin, tumeric, chili, tomato puree and 1/2 cup water, heating and stirring until begins to thicken.  Add salt, garam masala, kitchen king, butter.  Stir as heats for 10 more minutes.  Add paneer chunks, warm.  Cilantro on top.  Serve with rice.

Malai Kofta-vegetarian Bhimsen's

3 tomatoes
2 red onions
2 Tbsp veg oil
1 Tbsp cumin, ginger, garlic paste
1 tsp cumin, tumeric, chili powder
4 green and 4 brown cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp watermelon seeds or cashews
1 1/2 tsp salt, "kitchen king"
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp "Garam Masala" spice mix
1 cup chopped cilantro

  Chop onions.  Boil in 4 cups of water (2 cups if using pressure cooker).   Chop tomato, puree in blender.  Drain onions.  To pan, add oil, cumin, tumeric, chili powder, ginger, garlic, and brown.  After 1 minute pour in tomatoes.  Add all cardamom seeds, cinnamon, and bay leaf.  (consider tea bag so you can pull ingredients out before eating).  Add 3/4 cup water.   Puree onions with small bit of water, add onion to pan when tomato mixture becoming thick.  Add 1/2 cup water.  Boil for 15-20 minutes.  Puree watermelon seeds (or cashews) with 1 1/2 cups water and add to pan with salt, kitchen king, butter, milk, garam masala.  Add cilantro.

2 small boiled potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
pinch chili powder
1/2 tsp "kitchen king"
1/2 tsp "garam masala"
1 Tbsp shredded coconut
1 Tbsp cornflower
100 grams paneer (unfermented solid milk)

Mix paneer and boiled potatoes into a dough-like consistency with hands.  Separate dough into 4 pieces, put raisins in the middle, and roll into cylinder-shapes.  Deep fry in vegetable oil while gently stirring until golden brown.  Pour sauce over and serve.

Chicken Biryani- Bhimsen's

1 tomato
1 onion
200 gram boneless chicken
vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1 small hot green chile chopped
one stick cinnamon
2 cardamom seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 cup Kofta sauce (from Kofta recipe)
1 cup rice cooked
1 Tbsp coconut

Finely chop tomato and onion. Boil chicken in 2 cups water for 20 min. Heat oil in pan, add cumin seed. Add the green chile and onion, brown. Add tomato and cinnamon, cardamom, salt, chile powder, tumeric. Stir for 5 minutes, then add 1/2 cup water. Add Kofta sauce and chicken. Add cooked rice and coconut. You can put cut carrots or other veggies in a bowl, pack in the rice dish on top, and turn upside-down for a nice presentation.

Garlic Naan

0.25 oz Active Dry Yeast
4 tbsp White Sugar
1 cup Warm Water
1 Beaten Egg
3 tbsp Milk
2 tsp Salt
4 1/2 cup Bread Flour
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1/4 cup Melted Butter
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Proof until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small amounts of dough to make 12 to 14 pieces. Roll into balls, and allow to rise again.
While the dough is rising, preheat grill to high.
At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until done, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue cooking until all the naan has been prepared.
You can lightly sprinkle some more garlic on top for garnish


Tikka Kebab Recipe (also called Boti Kebab in Punjab, India)

1 lb. boneless mutton or chicken cut into cubes
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 cup curd
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp. garam masala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee
6 black pepper
5 green cardamom,coarsely ground
Juice of 2 limes

Mix ginger and garlic and all spices in yogurt and marinate the meat
Dip the meat in ghee and arrange the pieces on skewers
Roast, grill or bake for 15-20 minutes, turning from time to time.
Now baste with lime juice and sprinkle black pepper
and cardamom powder and roast for another five minutes.
Serve hot with sliced onion and sauce.

Palak Paneer- spinach -based masala

2 bunches palak(spinach), washed and chopped
1/2 bunch methi leaves
3 large tomatoes
5-6 green chillies
5-6 clovettes of garlic
A large piece ginger
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dhania powder
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
1 1/2 cups of fried cubed paneer

1.Mix ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste and some water with spinach. Pressure cook it for about 7-8 minutes (just before the first whistle).
2.Cut paneer into small cubes. Keep 3 cubes separately for decoration.
3.Heat oil in a pan. Fry the paneer pieces on 'medium' heat till they turn slightly brown. Set the paneer pieces aside.
4.Heat 2 tbsp. of butter. Fry bay leaves and cumin seeds. Add chopped onion. Fry until the onions become pink.
5.Add salt, black pepper powder, garam masala. Stir well.
6.Add paneer and cooked spinach (grinded). Mix well.
7.Put palak paneer in a baking tray .
8.Add rest of the butter. Bake for 1/2 hour at 180 deg C.
Grate the paneer kept aside for decoration. Decorate. Palak paneer is ready to serve.

Fish Xacuti

Xacuti is a Goan speciality and the masala can be used to cook chicken as well. Eat it with plain boiled rice or a pulao (pilaf - rice dish) and a green salad.

1 kg fish (any fish with firm white flesh)
8-10 peppercorns
1" stick of cinnamon
6 cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
4 pods cardamom split and seeds removed
1 tsp poppy seeds
4 onions
2 tsps garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
3 tbsps white vinegar
3 tbsps grated dessicated coconut
3 tbsps vegetable/canola/sunflower cooking oil
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Roast all the whole spices and grind into a powder. Keep aside. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Fry till soft.
Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for another minute.
Add the spice powder made earlier, the turmeric, cumin, nutmeg and coriander powders, coconut, vinegar and salt to taste and fry the masala till it begins to separate from the oil. Add 2 cups of water to this and stir well. Bring to a boil. Reduce flame to a simmer and add the fish pieces gently. Cook for another 5 minutes. Take off from the fire, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Vegetarian Eggplant Masala
eggplant cubed
veg oil
garam masala
coriander powder
tumeric powder
cumin seeds
chili powder

Cut and fry eggplant. In a wok with hot oil, add all spices to taste. Add fried eggplant to masala, mix well. Cover and cook until eggplant becomes soft. Serve with rice.

Masala Chai Tea- (experiment with this one)
6 cup cold water
1/3 cup milk (or to taste)
1 3 stick cinnamon
6 whole green cardamons
4 whole cloves
12 black peppercorn (opt)
12 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
6 teaspoon leaf tea (heaping) or 9 tea bags (o; range pekoe)

Combine water and milk in a deep pan, and bring to a boil. Add the spices and sugar. Stir to blend, and turn off the heat. Cover the pan, and let the spices soak for at least 10 minutes. Add the tea leaves or tea bags, and bring the water to a second boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, check the color and taste, and if desired add more milk and sugar. Strain the tea into a warm teapot, and serve immediately.

Rice Kheer from North India
 a sweet creamy dessert!

1/2 c Rice
4 c Milk
1/4 c Raisins
3/4-1 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Cardamom seeds
1/4 c Shredded blanched almonds
6-8 drops Rose water
1/2 c Water

1Wash and drain the rice. Soak in 1/2 c water for 1/2 hour. Boil the rice in the same water until it is coated and the water dries up. Add the milk and simmer on low heat till rice is well blend and consistency is that of porridge. Stir occasionally at first and then constantly when the milk begins to thicken, to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
3.  Add the sugar, almonds, ground cardamom, and raisins and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
4.  Remove from the heat and set aside. Sprinkle with the rose water.
5.  Serve warm or chilled in dessert bowls.

A semolina-based dessert
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
4 tbsp. ghee(clarified butter)
4 tbsp. sooji (rawa or semolina)
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp. raisins
1 tbsp. almonds, sliced fine

Melt the ghee in a non stick pan. Add the rawa and fry until the rawa turns golden brown. Mix the milk and the condensed milk in a pan and set aside. Add the rava to the milk mixture and the add the cardmom powder.  Stir well. Cook until dry and the ghee separates from the rawa. Add the raisins and stir well. Remove from heat. Garnish with almonds. Serve either hot or chilled.

LAOS RECIPES from Tamarind: A Taste of Laos

Lao food is very spicy, fresh, salty, and fishy. They add fish sauce to many of their dishes. This sauce is the 6 month old fermented kind, not like the stuff you buy in bottles! Unlike Thai food, they use sticky rice and do not make soupy, oily or coconut-based dishes. They often eat any meat available to them, which includes crickets, cicadas, squirrel, pig brains, eel, frog and birds, prepared by placing over an open flame...or not.

Sticky Rice- Eaten by balling up with fingers and dipped into spicy sauces and sides

10 oz sticky rice

Wash rice 3-4 times under running water until clear. Cover and soak atleast 3-4 hours but overnight is best. Drain rice and rinse again. Line a steamer (bamboo if you have) with muslin or cheese cloth, place rice into steamer, cover with lid, and place over boiling water for approximately 30 minutes. Flip rice over in steamer and steam a few more minutes. Should be soft and sticky but not mushy.

Jeow: A true daily staple of Lao food. We loved the many types of Jeow, or dips, usually served with sticky rice.  The trick is to get it as spicy as you can stand it!

Jeow Mak Keua (Eggplant or Aubergine Dip)

2 small Japanese or Lebanese eggplants, or one medium size standard eggplant
1 chili
½ tsp salt
4 cloves garlic
½ cup chopped coriander (cilantro)
green part of 1 small spring onion
fish sauce if preferred

Prick eggplant and chile with knife to let out extra moisture while burning. Grill the eggplant, chili and garlic whole over an open flame or under a griller/broiler, rotating until the skin is blackened. (or over stove top gas flame). Peel the blackened skins off. Pound the chili (as much as you can stand), salt, and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Add eggplant and coriander and pound until a soft paste. Add fish sauce to taste. Use as a dip with sticky rice.

Jeow Mak Len (Lao Tomato Salsa)
4 cloves garlic
pinch salt
1 chili
8 medium tomatoes
dash of oil
5-6 spring onions/scallions chopped
¼ cup chopped coriander
dash of fish sauce (optional)
squeeze of lime or lemon juice
pinch sugar

Burn over an open flame or grill tomatoes, chili and garlic until blackened. Peel blackened skin off. Place chili, garlic, salt in mortar and pestle and pound. Add tomatoes and pound further. Stir in spring onion and coriander. Add sugar, citrus juice and fish sauce if preferred, and use as a dip with sticky rice and serve with green leafy vegetables.

Mok Pa: Fish Steamed in Banana Leaves
3 Tbsp sticky rice soaked 4 hours or until soft
5 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 chili (to taste)
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp chopped basil
3 small spring onions chopped
4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp fish sauce
300 g white fish fillets, roughly cubed
8 banana leaf rectangles appx. 21X25 cm

Drain the soaked sticky rice, wash well. Allow to dry. Pound in a mortar and pestle to a fine powder. The longer it has been soaked, the softer it will be, and the finer the powder. To the powder add shallots, garlic, chili, lime leaves and salt. Pound. Add dill, basil and spring onions. Pound. Add water and fish sauce. Stir. Stir in fish pieces. Run each banana leaf over a flame. As they soften, they should become a little shiny. Don't let them burn. Take two banana leaf rectangles and place one on top of the other at righ angles (crossways). Put a quarter of the solids on the center of the leaf. Fold each side up, securing with a toothpick. Before finally sealing the package, spoon in a little of the watery residue.Be careful not to let the juice leak out. Steam gently for 20-30 minutes or until cooked.

Stuffed Lemongrass
5 cloves garlic chopped
4-6 medium spring onions chopped
1/2-3/4 cup roughly chopped coriander
1 kaffir lime leaf finely chopped
1 tsp salt
200 grams chicken, beef or pork minced (or tofu for veg)
10-12 stalks lemongrass, outside leaves removed
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup oil for frying

Pound in a mortar and pestle garlic, spring onions, coriander, kaffir lime leaf and salt. Add meat and combine well. Using a sharp knife and starting 1 cm from base, make a cut right through the stalk abour 4-5 cm long. Be sure to stop short of each end so the vegetable holds together. Rotate the lemongrass a quarter turn and repeat. This will give you a central “hole” to fill in with the meat mixture. Insert a spoonful of meat within this central core and shape smoothly with hands. Dip stuffed lemongrass pieces into beaten egg. Heat oil in wok, fry until meat is browned and cooked through.

Orlarm: Luang Prabang Stew
150 g pork diced
2 tsp salt
3 large round eggplants, tops cut into a grid, but still kept whole
20 small round pea eggplants
1 length chili wood, scraped and cleaned (or black peppercorn)
2 chilis
4 black cloud ear mushrooms
5 yard long beans, cut into 2-3 cm lengths
2 lemongrass stalks
a ping-pong sized lump of cooked sticky rice
½ cup Lao basil
½ cup coriander roughly chopped
1 Tbsp dill
8 spring onions
2 dashes fish sauce

Saute the pork lightly to seal to make taste stronger. In a large pot, bring 900 ml water to a boil and add salt. Add small and large eggplants, chili wood (or peppercorn), chilis, mushrooms, beans and lemongrass. When the mixture is boiling, add the pork. Over open or gas flame, briefly burn the ball of sticky rice until it hardens. Put this in the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally until the eggplant is soft. . Take the pot off the heat. Remove the eggplant, chili, rice and lemongrass from the pot and pound in mortar and pestle until it becomes soft. Put paste back into pot and add basil, coriander, dill and spring onions. Boil for a few more minutes. Add fish sauce to taste.