Dried fish, pounded into a dust. Shrimp can be used
Preparation (1 portion)
Chicken breast, boiled in chicken stock
Dried fish (above)
Bamboo shoot, finely chopped
Long green beans (or other green beans), chopped into 1cm lengths
Young chilli (or cucumber), cut into 1cm lengths
In a wok on a high heat add the chilli paste and cook until the oil turns to a very red colour. Keep the paste moving the entire time to ensure it doesn’t burn
Turn the wok to a medium heat and add coconut cream and chicken stock. Keep the mix moving the entire time. Cook until the cream turns a deep red colour. If the mix dries out add more stock
Add fish sauce, tamarind juice and palm sugar. Taste and adjust
Add dried fish and lime juice. Put in a bowl for serving
Blanch all the vegetables in boiling water and place them in ice water and assemble on a plate for presentation. Dry roasted coconut meat and deep fried red onions can be added for extra flavour and texture on the salad
Serve and allow people to pour the dressing over the salad and combine it in the way they like….YUM (tom yum)!!!
Chicken soup with banana blossom (Tom Kaa Gai Si Wha Pre)
Banana blossom (see below for cutting)
Red onion, chopped
Galangal Ginger, finely chopped
Lemongrass stalk (whole) smashed and tied in a knot
Kaffir lime leaves, spine removed
Coriander root, whole
Dried chillies, deep fried, torn into thirds
Thai chilli (very hot chilli)
Chicken thigh, chopped into cubes
1 1/2 Cup
To prepare the banana blossom first prepare a bowl of water with vinegar (about 2L water to 200ml vinegar) that’s big enough to fit immerse the blossom when cut. Peel all the outside ‘petals’ away to reveal the core. You may need to take more than one layer away. Cut the bottom stalk off the blossom. Do the next bit as quickly as possible as the blossom changes colour quickly. Cut the blossom in half down the centre from the tip to the bottom. Put 1 half in the water mix (stops it from turning black). Cut the other half in half and put one quarter in the water/vinegar mix. Cut the final quarter in half and place the two halves in the vinegar water.
Remove 1/8 of blossom from the water/vinegar mix and cut roughly.
In a pot on a high heat place chicken stock, lemongrass, coriander root, cut banana blossom, red onion and galangal ginger. Boil until chicken is cooked
Add coconut cream to pot and reduce heat to medium. bring to the boil
Add fish sauce, fresh chillies (not dried), and kaffir lime leaves
Allow to simmer. Turn off heat and add lime juice.
I discovered a down side to all this cooking…. Today after the gym session to attempt to burn the cooking and tasting I put the t’shirt on that I had on all day (normally I have a new one but washing cycles and all that….). OMG my t’shirt smelt of coconut cream. I go to a local pub to do the updates, now I am sitting in the local pub smelling like a sweet coconut ball…. Not so sure that’s a good thing. The menu is below:
Chinese kale, stalks peeled and leaves coarsely cut
Dark Soy for colour
To marinade pork put all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and leave in a fridge for more than 1 hour (overnight is better)
In a bowl mix together the corn flour, tapioca flour and 1/2 cup water. Put to one side
In a bowl combine the kale, carrot and mushroom and put to one side
On a high heat put 3 tab of vegetable oil in a wok and heat to very hot
Add noodles and flatten out the noodles to a pancake and allow to sit and fry. When they are brown on the bottom flip and cook the other side to brown. Place in the bottom of a large serving bowl (1 person) ready for pork. Put to one side. Allow wok to cool slightly
In the wok put 2 tab of vegetable oil and heat on a medium heat
Place garlic in oil and cook very briefly
Add kale etc mix, and soy bean paste. Combine with garlic in wok
Tun heat to high and add stock, pork, oyster sauce, soy sauce and white sugar. Bring to the boil
While stirring the mix slowly add the tapioca/corn flour mix until the mix is to the desired thickness
Dried red spur chillies, re-hydrated and finely chopped
Red onion, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
Lemongrass, white only, finely chopped
Kaffir lime leaves, spine removed, finely chopped
King fish or king mackerel mince (very sticky mince fish)
1 1/2 Cup
Sweet basil, very finely chopped
Kaffir lime leaves, very finely chopped
Combine 1/2 cup coconut cream and 1/2 cup of water in a jug and put to one side
In a bowl combine mince fish, sugar, and egg
While mixing the fish mix add the water/coconut cream mix little by little until the mix is quite watery. Add kaffir lime leaves & sweet basil. Stir until the mix thickens (a while; you can use a mixer here on low). Put to one side
In another bowl combine 1 cup coconut cream, 1/2 cup of water and rice flour. Stir until well combined
Put the fish mix in containers for steaming. Put a ‘dob’ of the coconut cream/water mix on top
As a hater of canned tuna today’s menu ended up with a surprise. The coconut tuna can only use canned tuna and, believe it or not, it is GREAT….. I think this will make up a standard for my personal lunch menu when I eventually have to go back to work.
The sweet coconut balls are something I would order in a Thai restaurant, they are the right balance of sweet and salt without being overpowering or boring. Again, another great day and 2 hours in the gym to attempt to burn it off. The menu is below:
In a blender put pandanus leaves and 1 cup of water and blend until the water turns green. Filter the water through a sieve and wring out the leaf fibers. Put the water through coffee filter (optional) to remove all leaf fibers in the green water. Put to one side
In a bowl mix all the flour and 1/2 cup of water and coconut cream. Create a smooth paste. Divide the paste in half
Add the green water to one half and the other 1/2 cup of normal water to the other. Mix the water in to each (individually) to give you green mix and white mix
In a steamer put your bowls or tins to hold the cake. Steam them for 5 minutes before putting in the first layer of cake mix.
Place a thin layer of mix (either white or green) over the bottom of each cake container. Cover the mix and allow to steam for 5 minutes
Remove lid and carefully pour to opposite colour over the cake to completely cover the previous layer. Cover for another 5 minutes
Keep laying a new layer with alternating colours every 5 minutes until you no longer have any more space or run out of mix.
Allow to cook for an additional 10 minutes after the final layer has been applied
Once cooked put the cakes in the fridge (or some ice water) to cook down. Once cool pry the cake away from the edges of the container and serve
Click on any of the images for the full size version.
Going to the grave yard was actually quite moving. Looking at the ages of all of the Australian troops and understanding how they must have suffered in the heat at the hands of their captors. It was great to see that some of the graves are clearly regularly maintained as the constant polishing of the brass has worn out the embossing on some of the badges had started to wear out.
At the bridge there was a farmer moving his cattle along. He stopped for me to take his photo after I had chased his ‘beasts’ around trying to get a 1/2 decent shot.
The boat tour took us to a palm sugar farm. We had the opportunity to see palm sugar being made, how it was farmed and a really fit guy running (the only way to describe it) up a tree. Great to see how that sugar that we use so much is produced.
Boat repair and production shop in the palm sugar plant
The newest labour force for the palm sugar trade. Perhaps if Thai cooking doesn’t work out this might be her new calling?
Pim did a great job of sorting out a van to take us outside Bangkok for the day. Stop 1 (except for the coffee) was the floating market. The floating markets where great. Pim organised for 300b ($10) the whole group to have a boat down the canals. It was a really brilliant morning with fruit, vegetables, pancakes, fish, and chicken all on offer down the canals. Any of the photos can be clicked on to get a full size version
Today’s menu was a Thai style barbeque with small pieces of squid, prawns and pork neck to be dipped into the various dipping sauces. The sauces are all great but are best served with certain types of meat.
I still have to update the blog with the recipes. I will get to this on Sunday. James is in Bangkok and we decided to show some paper who’s boss..
Bangkok shooting range in one of the army barracks for 3000b ($100) you shoot 3 types of handgun, .45mm, .9mm and a ’38’. Two clips in the 9mm & 45 and 15 rounds in the 38. As James said ‘the quickest $100 you can blow in Bangkok’. They did offer a M16 at 2000b ($65) but I think we had already illustrated to the paper that we shouldn’t be messed with.
Today James arrived. Although it’s rude to leave the poor guy floundering in Bangkok without a guide I felt it was more important to update the blog…. OK…… truth be told, he was flagging after crossing several timezones and going from Swedish, no dark summer to Bangkok no cold hot season. We went back to the hotel and I’ve put today’s menu up… Here you go (time for bed for me)….