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Eat Like a Local

Everyone in my Thai family was born and lives in Phuket, as we have for many generations. This is also true for many of Phuket’s over 200,000 natives, though there are about one million people living on Phuket Island today. Despite all of the changes, one place remains almost timeless. This is Rawai Beach, where the pace of change is slow compared to other parts of Phuket. So where do Phuket natives escape to on the weekend? Rawai Beach – หาดราไวย์.

Rawai Beach – Thailand

There we dine on seafood as we did for many generations before there were so many foreign influences, enjoying a typical menu of grill seafood or blanched cockers with Phuket seafood dipping sauce. In my next post I will show you exactly what we ordered the last time I was at Rawai Beach with my family, and how we ate it. This may help you understand our cuisine and culture. I hope you will enjoy my personal story of how my family eats and travels. When you get a chance to visit Phuket, I hope that you, too, will have a chance to eat like a local.

Talay-Zep Seafood & Wine Restaurant

ร้านอาหารทะเลแซ่บ ชายหาดราไวย์

Rawai Beach Phuket Thailand

Each visit I make to Phuket provides fun reunion time with my family. Almost every weekend during my short visits we bond over food, whether it is fresh home cooking, or take-out from Talad nad – ตลาดนัด  or nearby restaurants. Sometimes my family and I will take a little adventure travel to another end of the island or to the nearby province of Phang Nga. This trip my sister-in-law and I had a desire for seafood Phuket style. As always, we visited Talay-Zep restaurant, the scene of countless of our reunion dinners.

Talay-Zep Seafood Restaurant in Rawai, Phuket Island

ร้านอาหารทะเลแซ่บ ชายหาดราไวย์

My friend Kularb -กุหลาบ – and her husband Pho – โปั – own Talay-Zep Seafood and Wine Restaurant, which is on Rawai Beach Road among 15 other Phuket seafood restaurants. We enjoyed a big seafood feast, which I will share with you in my next post. Today, however, I will share just my family’s favorite dish: Horseshoe Crab Salad with Mango. Just like Anthony Bourdain, most of my family consider this a delicacy dish—though I myself was not convinced to eat these eggs, which are the only edible part of the crab. In fact, the horseshoe crab is not a crab at all, and it does not have edible flesh like other crabs. It is more closely related to spiders and scorpions, a living fossil that has remained virtually unchanged for millions of years. But now, after doing some research, I have learned more about the risks involved in eating horseshoe crab eggs, and how to avoid them, so I may take one bite the next time around.

Talay-Zep Seafood and Wine on Rawai Beach

Talay-Zep Seafood and Wine on Rawai Beach

Kularb, Pranee and Pho

Nevertheless, I asked Kularb to share her knowledge of horseshoe crab eggs and her verbal recipe with you. Today I am not encouraging you to cook, but to read and learn about something you may never have heard of before: Horseshoe Crab Egg Salad – Yum Khai Mengda Talay – ไข่แมงดาทะเล.

Horseshoe Crab – แมงดาทะเล

Kularb’s notes on how to prepare horseshoe crab for its eggs

Horseshoe crab is not difficult to cook, but  the person who removes the eggs—or roe—from the horseshoe crab must know the correct procedures to do this to prevent the other inedible parts of the crab from contaminating the eggs. If the eggs get contaminated, you can fall sick with dizziness or the symptoms of food poisoning and complications of the digestive system. Kularb suggests that you only harvest the eggs from cooked horseshoe crabs. The eggs, which are found in the belly area, can be green or orange-colored, about the same size as salmon roe but with a firmer, crunchy texture and an interesting flavor.

There are two ways to prepare horseshoe crabs before removing the eggs. One way is to place the whole horseshoe crab in boiling water and cook it until the eggs are just cooked. Another way is to place the horseshoe crab on the grill until the eggs have cooked, about 5 minutes. Kularb notes that it is a very difficult task to remove the eggs from the shell and that it requires a skilled cook to prepare the eggs. She or her husband prepares the horseshoe crab eggs for her restaurant.

Horseshoe Crab Egg Salad

Yum Kai Meng Da

ยำไข่แมงดาทะเล

Yum Kai Meng Da is the only way that Thais usually prepare horseshoe crab eggs. Kularb’s verbal recipe is the same as my green mango salad recipe so I hope you enjoy this recipe even beyond the horseshoe crab egg salad. For everyone to enjoy this salad without the risk, I have created a Mock Horseshoe Crab Egg Salad, which can be prepared substituting Israeli couscous cooked al dente with a touch of fish sauce in place of the crab eggs. With the mock salad recipe there is nothing to worry about—just enjoy the delicious salad! You may use horseshoe crab eggs if desired, but do so at your own risk and with an awareness of the risks involved.

Horseshoe Crab Eggs Salad

Serves: 4

 1/2 cup cooked horseshoe crab eggs (see Kularb’s note), or Isreali couscous cooked al dente
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 large lime
1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar
2  fresh Thai chillies, chopped, or 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons sliced shallot
1 cup shredded green mango, from about 1/2 green mango (or substitute a granny smith apple for the green mango)
1/4 cup Chinese celery, cut into 1 inch lengths
1/4 cup cashew nuts, chopped
2 lettuce leaves

Cook horseshoe crab eggs according to Kularb’s instruction and set aside.

To make the salad dressing, stir fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and chili powder together in a large bowl. Stir well until the palm sugar is dissolved. Then stir in Israel couscous or horseshoe crab eggs, shallot, green mango, Chinese celery, and cashew nuts until well combined.

Place lettuce leaves on the serving plate and top with salad mixture. Serve right away.

© 2013  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 

Should You Eat Horseshoe Crab Egg? 

“Although many experts and doctors would suggest staying clear of consuming horseshoe crab it is quite possible to eat them on a regular basis. It is important to ensure that the person preparing the delicacy is familiar with the correct procedure as otherwise it is possible to fall sick if you were to consume the wrong parts or organs. Today it is a species that is becoming more common in seafood restaurants tanks not just in south Asia but around the world.” from Crableghowtocook.com

Pranee's Thai Kitchen

Quail Eggs, Please

ไข่นกกระทาครับ

When I was in Phuket last month, on my way to Talad nad – ตลาดนัด – an open air market, my friend’s son asked me to get him some hard-boiled quail eggs please: “Khai Nok Krata Krub” -ไข่นกกระทาครับ. He said it with such expectation, his simple request tickled my fond memory of this petite egg. I loved quail eggs when I was young, just like any Thai kid. On my way back from the Talad Nad, I gave him a bag of a dozen hard-boiled quail eggs. I was glad to find them, afraid that if I had not he might be disappointed. He rolled the egg on the table until its thin shell cracked all around, then pinched the shell to break it and remove it. He popped the whole egg in his mouth with delight. It is a healthy choice for a snack. I could not help…

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Quail Eggs, Please

ไข่นกกระทาครับ

Quail Egg - ไข่นกกระทา

Quail Egg – ไข่นกกระทา – Khai Nok Krata

When I was in Phuket last month, on my way to Talad nad – ตลาดนัด – an open air market, my friend’s son asked me to get him some hard-boiled quail eggs please: “Khai Nok Krata Krub” -ไข่นกกระทาครับ. He said it with such expectation, his simple request tickled my fond memory of this petite egg. I loved quail eggs when I was young, just like any Thai kid. On my way back from the Talad Nad, I gave him a bag of a dozen hard-boiled quail eggs. I was glad to find them, afraid that if I had not he might be disappointed. He rolled the egg on the table until its thin shell cracked all around, then pinched the shell to break it and remove it. He popped the whole egg in his mouth with delight. It is a healthy choice for a snack. I could not help but taste one myself when he asked to share with me. I enjoyed the delicious egg with its rich, creamy, mouthful of flavor. Welcome home!

Cook and learn

Cook and learn

Quail eggs are usually served in one of two basic ways: as a 3- to 4-minute hard-boiled egg, or as a sunny side up fried egg. And now you are about to learn to fry quail eggs Thai style. Please enjoy the photos showing a Thai cooking style from a southern Thai fishing village. They are from my trip to Surat Thani in 2011. This technique has a special name: “Khanom Krok Khai Nok Krata” – fried quail eggs in a Khanom Krok Pan, which is similar to a pancake puff or aebleskiver pan. This group of friends was preparing their own healthy snacks on the weekend from chicken eggs and quail eggs in a Khanom Krok pan. They were teaching and learning from each other. I hope this will inspire you to try it at home.

Quail egg cook in Khanom Krok Pan

Quail eggs cook in Khanom Krok Pan

Fried Quail Egg Thai Style

Khanom Krok Khai Nok Krata

ขนมครกไข่นกกระทา

Fried Quai eggs in Khanom Krok pan or ebleskiver

Fried quail eggs in Khanom Krok or aebleskiver pan.

Quail eggs are a delicacy in Western Europe and North America, but in Southeast Asia, quail eggs are abundant and inexpensive. At Talad Nad wet market, you can find fresh quail eggs at the egg vendors, and at the snack vendor you will often find fried or hard-boiled quail eggs ready for you to enjoy. In the Seattle area, fresh quail eggs are available at Asian markets such as Viet Wah or Uwajimaya for $2 a dozen. You can also find them at the Pike Place Market Creamery where a package of 1o eggs from California are $4.75. At University Seafood and Poultry, Washington quail eggs are $6.98 for a pack of 10 eggs.

Yield 10

1 tablespoon cooking oil
10 quail eggs
Maggi sauce and Sriracha sauce

Heat a Khanom Krok pan or Ebleskiver pan on medium-high heat. Use a heat-proof pastry brush to brush the pan with a generous amount of oil. When the pan is hot, crack quail eggs and drop one egg into each hemispherical indentation. Let it cook until the bottom of the egg is crispy, the egg white is cooked, and the egg york is slightly cooked, about 3 minutes. Cook longer if you wish the yolk cooked more. Remove the egg with a metal spoon that fits the size of the indentation. Repeat the cooking until all the eggs are done. Serve with Maggi or Sriracha sauce; use one or two drops of each per egg.

Pranee’s note:  In some cultures, slightly raw quail eggs are preferred. These basic fried quail eggs can be a snack, or incorporated into a fried egg salad, or a side dish to a meal.

© 2013  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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Gone Fishing – ไปตกปลา

Kamala beach early morning

Kamala Beach early morning

Once again I found myself along Kamala Beach taking a leisurely walk—Dern Kin Lom—เดินกินลม—in Thai this means “walk to eat the wind.” I loved watching what was happening on the beach and wasn’t sure if I was walking slower, or the beach was getting longer, or I was simply spending so much time talking to people along the way. I knew for sure that I took quite some time taking pictures and talking to the villagers who were fishing leisurely for a type of fish called sand whiting. At early morning, the whole family together, gone fishing – ไปตกปลา.

IMG_0186

Families enjoy the rays of sunrise and fishing for sand whiting.

While mom fishes and enjoys her solitude, the children are at play with the sand and the waves.

IMG_0191

A white sand beach makes a great playground.

Shrimp are used for bait for sand whiting fishing.

Sand Whiting

Andaman Ocean Sand Whiting – ปลาทราย

Sand Whiting -ปลาทราย – pla sai

Sand whiting – ปลาทราย – live in shallow areas along the coast in both the Pacific and Indian oceans. Kamala Beach has a nice sandy beach, a perfect habitat for sand whiting, which live on bugs and small shrimp. A full-grown sand whiting is about 6 to 8 inches long, with a thin, narrow body about 1-inch wide. It has a delightful sweet flavor and a firm texture. Kamala villagers have a passion for sand whiting fishing. It is a tradition as old as the village itself.

Pla Sai Kratiem Prik Thai

Pla Sai Kratiem Prik Thai

For a Thai culinary delight, look for fresh sand whiting on local restaurant menus. The most popular dishes are Kratiem Prik Thai (with garlic and pepper), tom som (sour soup), tod khamin (fried with salt and turmeric), gaeng som (sour curry) and my grandma’s  favorite, tod tao jeow (fried with salted soy bean). The photo above is of Kratiem Prik Thai Pla Sai from Tha Maprow Restaurant in Phuket.

IMG_0061

Phuket sand whiting fish soup – Tom Som Pla Sai

At Kan Eng Restaurant at Chalong Pier, our family ordered Tom Som Pla Sai – Sand Whiting Fish Soup – a simple soup to savor the freshest sand whiting.

I hope you will enjoy our family recipe. It is typical of the recipes that you will find in Phuket and other Southern Thai kitchens.

Phuket Sand Whiting Fish Soup

Tom Som Pla Sai

ต้มส้มปลาทราย

Tom Som is a basic sour soup with a hint of sweet from the freshest fish. It is a typical sour soup in the Southern region of Thailand where sour fruit is used to give the dish its sour flavor. Each province has it owns preference among the sour fruits, such as som khaek or Asam fruit,  salak, hibiscus or young leaves, and tamarind or young leaf.

The word “som” has two meanings: one is “orange,” or “sour taste.” We also use som to call or identify sour tastes such as som khaek or asam fruit for example. Most sour fruits contains citric acid; when they are added to soup or curry dishes there is no need for vinegar or lime juice. An important part of learning the art of Thai cooking is understanding the sophisticated use of sour fruits to balance the sour flavor in Thai soups and curries. In America, substitutions for the sour fruits include sorrel leaves, tamarind, and Jamaican hibiscus.

Yield: 3 cups broth

Serves: 4

2 cups water
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
3 pieces dried Asam fruit- Garcinia Atroviridis –ส้มแขก , or 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
3 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, smashed, and cut into 3 inch-pieces
2 shallots, peeled, smashed, and cut in half
8 sand whiting, or 2/3 pound halibut cut into chunks
¼ teaspoon salt

To make lemongrass and shrimp paste broth, bring water to a boil in a medium size pot on medium high heat. Add shrimp paste and Asam fruit or tamarind concentrate. Stir until shrimp paste is dissolved. Add lemongrass and shallots and let mixture boil for 5 minutes. Place fish in the boiling broth, which should be slightly covering the fish. Cook until the fish changes color and becomes opaque and the size is a bit smaller—about 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Remove from heat and serve.

© 2012  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
Sand Whiting Fishing Competition 2012

Sand Whiting Fishing Competition 2012

Kamala women love fishing.

Loi…loi Krathong

Loi Kratong Festival in Phuket

Loi Kratong Festival in Phuket

November full moon shine, loi Krathong, loi Krathong… For Thais and visitors alike, once you have experienced the November Full Moon Festival in Thailand, the experience will stay with you forever.

Krathong

I arrived in Phuket just a week ago due to a family emergency. Thankfully, my mom’s health is no longer critical, and I have had a chance to visit places and participate in activities with my family in between each visit to her at the hospital.

I am lucky to have a chance to enjoy Loi Krathong with my family here at our village. Our last Loi Krathong together was 13 years ago. Loi Krathong day is one of joy, fun and hope. It is a ritual in our culture that enables us to celebrate yearly to have fun, make a wish, and to let go.

I hope you will enjoy sharing my day in Thailand on Loi Krathong Day, and knowing a little about how a traditional krathong, a floating decoration or boat, is made. Be sure to check your calendar for the date of the November Full Moon Festival before planning a visit to Thailand. Suksun Wan Loi Krathong – สุขสันต์วันลอยกระทง – Happy Loi Krathong!

using a saw to cut banana tree trunk into small disk-like bases

Using a saw to cut a banana tree trunk

A saw is used to cut the trunk of a banana tree into small, disk-like bases.

cut banana tree trunk into small disk-like bases

Small bases cut from the banana tree trunk

Small slices of banana trunk make a traditional, biodegradable base for a krathong. The banana trunk is full of air pockets, which is perfect for keeping a krathong afloat.

 Kratongl with flowers, candle and three incenses

Krathong with flowers, candle and three incense sticks

Banana bases are covered and decorated with banana leaves and flowers.

My Kratong

My krathong

Floating Decoration

Loi Krathong

ลอยกระทง

The full moon of the 12th Thai lunar month is Loi Krathong

When we were young, we were always excited about this special time. We made our own krathong using banana trunk parts for the floating device and decorated it with folded banana leaves or other green leaves. Then we added any flowers that were in bloom in our or our neighbor’s garden. Finally, we added three incense sticks and a candle. Before letting go of our krathong to the river or lake, we each added a few items to our own krathong, like small clippings of our fingernails or hair—things that were symbolic of letting go—and some coins. When we arrived at the lake we would spend a peaceful moment under the stars and the light of the full moon. After lighting the incense sticks and the candle, we would kneel and thank the Goddess of Water – Phra Mae Khongkha  พระแม่คงคา. Then I would make a wish for my family’s good health and happiness, and all of the things that I wanted to let go. Next I would place my krathong on the water and, with my hand, gently wave the water to push the krathong forward. As the krathong drifted away, we watched it float away and let go of all things needed. As the krathong became small, we headed home with a great sense of renewal!

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 

Oops! Excuse Me – ขอโทษค่ะ

What is considered good or bad manners can change when you take cultural differences into consideration. A slurping sound, for example, is acceptable in Southeast Asia when you are enjoying a food moment with your soup. My sister and I encountered an awkward experience at the dining table when we visited Kho Samui, an island off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus in Thailand. Later, though, it all made sense to us. Since November is a national peppercorn month, please let me tell you a story of my Thai family trip to Koh Samui and our discovery of Thai Green Peppercorn Dip – Nam Prik Prik Thai Sod – น้ำพริกพริกไทยสด

Samaui sunset

In 2011, on the day after Chinese New Year, my brother drove his pick-up truck with three passengers – my sister, sister-in-law and I — to Samui Island, or Koh Samui. We left Phuket before the sunrise around 5am and arrived at Koh Samui at sunset. We went to Nathon, the island’s main town, and stayed at the  Grand Sea View Resortel. A friendly staff person who was native to the island recommended that we dine at the hotel restaurant, which had a set menu of local Koh Samui cuisine. While we enjoyed the sun setting right in front of us, we feasted on six dishes that highlighted Koh Samuicuisine: Pork & Mackerel with Pickled Mustard Green Soup, Green Peppercorn Chili Dip, Stir Fried Sweet Pork with Soy Sauce, Grilled Tuna in Red Curry with Cumin Leaves, and Stir Fried Glass Noodle with Green Papaya and Minced Pork. Though we are southerners from the other side of the peninsula, we discovered that our southern cuisines are prepared in much the same ways, though with a different combination of ingredients.

Koh Samui – Green Peppercorn Chili Dip

We lingered over our dinners. The sunset was beautiful, though the air was still with a high humidity we could feel. Half way into the meal, while my sister and I talked about the unique green peppercorns chili dip, we both began to experience many light small burps that continued randomly throughout the rest of the meal. Finally we looked at each other and laughed. Suddenly I could not feel the humidity any more, just a refreshing cool air conditioning on my skin where there was sweat. It felt like a little fan was blowing air near my skin. We realized that the chili dip was total genius! This may be the answer to why people eat such spicy foods in hot and humid climates—spicy foods provide an instant remedy. They help you acclimate to the weather, they aid digestion, and they act as a diuretic. I think this will be a good recipe to share with you during the holiday seasons because black or green peppercorns are a natural food that you can use instead of Pepto Bismol to help your digestion. Oops! Excuse me. –  ขอโทษค่ะ

Green peppercorns – piper nigrum – perennial vine

Green Peppercorn พริกไทยสด

Green peppercorns are widely used in Thai, French and Western European cuisines. In Thailand, you can find fresh green peppercorn everyday in wet markets and as a staple ingredient in Thai restaurants. They are very aromatic, fresh tasting, and have a mild flavor of black pepper. Though you can use green peppercorns in the place of black peppercorns in Western cooking, that is not a practice in Thai cuisine, where green peppercorns have their own place and they define such dishes such as Phad Cha, Klue GlingPhad Ped, Green Curry, and any stir-fry that has curry paste or pungent herbs as a component. Green peppercorns create a playful flavor in all of these dishes, which generally have a rustic Thai style of cooking. In-depth Thai cuisine  is a healthy cuisine. Our ancestors cleverly disguised spices and herbs in our foods to accentuate and distinguish the flavors, but as we eat and enjoy the tastes, we are also taking in a healthy  benefit for our bodies. As for green peppercorns, the instant benefit is to promote appetite and aid digestion, and to serve as a diuretic to promote body sweat.

Fresh Green Peppercorn Dip – Recipe from Samui

The executive chef at Grand Sea View Resotel gave us a lesson on Samui local cuisine the following day. If you visit Koh Samui, please call ahead to arrange a time. The restaurant doesn’t have a regular schedule, but is available on request.

Green peppercorn, garlic and Thai chili

 I improvised with what we have here in Seattle: dry green peppercorns, garlic and Thai chili.

Thai Green Peppercorn Dip

Now the dip is ready for the dining table.

I use it as a condiment to add extra flavor to Thai and non-Thai dishes or to aid digestion.

Green Peppercorn Chili Dip

Nam Prik Prik Thai Sod

น้ำพริกพริกไทยสด

Yield: 2 tablespoons

This recipe is inspired by Samui green peppercorn chili dip – Grand Sea View Resotel, Kho Samui, Thailand

Since I remade this dish at home, I enjoy it often. Not always as a chili dip like in Thailand, but often as a condiment like salt and pepper. When I prepare a Thai meal, I use shrimp paste in place of the sea salt I would use in a western dish. Simply treat this green peppercorn chili dip as a new way you can use anytime to serve salt and pepper to your family and friends—especially during the holiday season when a seasoning can be a home remedy to aid the digestion of a large meal. No need for Pepto Bismol!

1 tablespoon fresh, dry or frozen green peppercorns
1 fresh Thai chili
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or shrimp paste

In a mortar with pestle, pound green peppercorns until they form a fine paste. Then add Thai chili, garlic and sea salt or shrimp paste and pound until the mixture blends into a paste. Place in a small bowl and set on the table with a small spoon to use it as a condiment to rice or a main dish.

Grand Sea View Resotel

175/4 Moo 3, Angthong, Koh Samui,
Surathani 84140, Thailand

Website: http://www.grandseaviewbeachresotel.com/

Tel. +66 (0) 77 421481, 426152-3, 426058-9
Fax : +66 (0) 77 426061

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 

How to Cook Peeled Split Mung Beans

Any time you come across Thai or Asian recipes that require cooked peeled split mung beans, you will find that you need to stop and learn about mung beans before you can proceed any further. Therefore I decided to do this blog post with step-by-step instructions that will simplify and demystify the process. This will make rest of the recipe less daunting and you will be able to make it with ease.

This is a technique that my mom and villagers use to prepare split mung beans before cooking them into sweet and savory dishes. Please prepare more than you need so you can keep some in the freezer for your convenience the next time you need them.

split muang bean

Peeled split mung beans are available in plastic bags at Asian grocery stores or online stores. They keep for a long time on the shelf, so I always make sure to have at least one bag on hand. They are made from mung beans that have been hulled, or peeled and split. Thai cooks always purchase them in the peeled and split form. Peeled split mung beans are one of the staple ingredients of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asian, and neighboring countries, and they are available in all Asian markets.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Cooking Peeled Split Mung Beans

Split mung bean soaking in water

Remove any dirt, sticks or debris that may come in the package, then place the split mung beans in a large bowl. Add water to cover at least 3 inches above the top of the beans. Let stand for at least 2 hours, or for the best results, overnight.

Split mung bean in a steamer

Strain the water from the beans then place them in the steamer with 2 inches of water in the bottom of the pot.

Steamed split mung beans

Cover the steamer and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and steam on medium-high heat for at least 30 minutes. Check the texture of the beans. They should hold their shape, but when squeezed between the fingers they should have a soft texture. They can be creamy, but not grainy. If needed, steam longer until you get the fine result. When the beans are cool they are ready to place in a freezer bag and freeze, or prepare them according to your recipe.

Steamed Peeled Split Mung Beans

Tua Keow Lawh Puak Nuang

ถั่วเขียวเลาะเปลือกนึ่ง

Here is the first step for you to learn to prepare steamed, peeled, split neans, the basis of many sweet and savory recipes. You will be able to refer back to this recipe often. My favorite recipes with peeled split mung beans that I cooked often when I was in Thailand include Met Khanon (mock jackfruit dessert), Tao Suan (mung bean pudding), and Tua Pap (mock bean pods). There are many more ways to enjoy cooking with cooked split mung beans as well.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

1 cup peeled split mung beans

Remove any dirt, sticks or debris from your package of mung beans, then place them in a large bowl. Add water to cover to at least 3 inches above the top of the beans. Let soak for at least 2 hours, or for the best results, let the beans and water sit overnight.

Strain. After soaking, 1 cup peeled split mung bean yields 1½ cups. Place mung beans on the steamer with 2 inches of water in the bottom of the pot.

Cover the steamer and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and steam on medium-high for 30 to 60 minutes. Check the texture of the peeled split mung beans. They should hold their shape, but have a soft texture when squeezed between your fingers. They should be creamy, but not grainy. If needed,steam longer until the beans have the desired fine texture. Remove from heat.

When the beans are cool, they are ready to be placed in a freezer bag and frozen, or to use to prepare your intended recipe. After steaming, this recipe yields 2 ½ cups cooked mung beans.

© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen

I Love Thai cooking

Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.

Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 

My Candy

This is not a Halloween Pumpkin Candy, but it is the Thai kabocha candy I enjoyed when I was growing up in my village in Thailand. Kabocha pumpkin is a squash that Thais cook to make a variety of dishes, sweet or savory. It is my tradition for the blog to share a new kabocha recipe with you every year. (Past years’ recipes include Kabocha Pumpkin Soup, Thai Kabocha Pumpkin Custard, Spiced Rum Kabocha Pumpkin Mousse, Pumpkin Curry and my mom’s Stir-Fried Kabocha with Pork.) This year, many aspects led me to choose a recipe for Thai Kabocha Pumpkin Candy-น้ำเต้าเชื่อม–Namtao Chuam. It is easier than a pumpkin pie, with more pumpkin satisfaction as there are not many ingredients involved—just kabocha pumpkin and brown sugar. Thais are fond of cooking fruit or root vegetables such as bananas, kabocha, and sweet potatoes in brown sugar. The results comes out well-covered with caramelized sugar and taste like candy. This technique is called -Chuam – เชื่อม in Thai.

Thai Kabocha Pumpkin Candy

Another reason that I chose this recipe is that in Seattle, fall is the beginning of kabocha pumpkin season. My friend Pee Som Sawan brought Thai kabocha pumpkin candy to the potluck for the first time this year, as she has done every Sunday for the past 10 years. Then another day at a dinner party, I reconstructed my kabocha pumpkin custard with kabocha candy and the custard instead of following the regular recipe. This was because it can be hard to find the small kabocha pumpkin needed for that recipe and the timing was complicated. But most of all, I chose the Kabocha Pumplin Candy recipe for this year because it can be hard to compete with the many food bloggers out there to come with an exotic recipe and I thought what could be better than my Thai grandma’s recipe? So I hope you enjoy this old time, easy and simple recipe that you can prepare at home.

Kabocha Pumpkin Candy

I want to thank to my friend Pee Som Sawan who shared her easy tips for simplifying the cooking technique. She suggested that I cut and lay the kabocha pumpkin slices in a pan that has a glass lid, sprinkle them with brown sugar or any type of sugar, then add enough water to the bottom of the pan to create steam when they cook. My only tip to add is how to find the right kabocha pumpkin for the best results. (Please see Pranee’s tips on selecting a kabocha pumpkin.)

Kabocha Pumpkin Candy

Cover the pan with the glass lid and cook on medium heat until the kabocha is soft and tender when tested with a fork, but still holds its shape. Remove the lid. If there is too much water left, let it cook without the lid until the syrup has thickened. Serve for dessert or as a snack.

Thai Kabocha Pumpkin Candy

Namtao Chuam

น้ำเต้าเชื่อม

Serves: 4

The total time for this dish, including cutting and cleaning and cooking should be about 3o minutes. The cooking itself is about 20 minutes. It is delicious warm or cold, with whatever syrup is left behind in the pan or with salted coconut milk. It tastes so heavenly! Skin and flesh are all good together. It is like a cheesecake with a natural crust. This recipe has sugar to just the right amount. For a more decadent dessert, please add more sugar. Enjoy this any time of day!

3 to 4 wedges of Kabocha pumpkin (see instructions)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 pinches salt
3/4 cup water
6 tablespoons coconut milk plus 2 pinches of salt, optional
 

Remove any bad skin from the kabocha squash but keep all of the green skin; wash and dry. Cut into wedges about 2 inches wide, then cut each wedge in half across the middle to get two pieces from each wedge. Lay the pumpkin in the bottom of the pan and add the water. Cover with a glass lid and cook on medium heat until the kabocha is soft and tender when tested with a fork, but still holds it shape—about 15 minutes. Remove the lid. If there is too much water left, let it cook some more until the syrup has thickened. Remove the kabocha pumpkin candy to a serving plate and pour the syrup on top. If desired, stir the salt into the coconut milk until combined, then pour it on the top of each kabocha candy as a garnish before serving.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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Blue & Purple 

Dok Anchan – Butterfly Pea – Clitoria ternatea

What is that flower behind your ear? นั้นดอกอะไรอยู่หลังใบหูของคุณ. In a Thai village, the answer might be that it is a jasmine, hibiscus or butterfly pea flower. You often see women or men in Thai villages wearing flowers behind their ears on special occasions. For me personally, my answer would be that it is a blue butterfly pea flower.

In addition to wearing a blue butterfly pea flower – ดอกอัญชัน (dok anchan) or Clitoria ternatea – behind my ear while working in my garden, I would like to introduce you to its properties as a Thai culinary flower. Butterfly pea is an annual vine that is native to the land in southeast Asia near the equator. Thais love dok anchan for it beautiful unique looks and for its culinary uses as a food coloring and as an edible flower. My friend Somrak uses dok anchan in her Thai cooking at home, shredding it into a fine ribbon and adding it to rice salad, or for making a tea, or adding blue color extract to steamed jasmine rice. Many hotels in Thailand greet guests with a welcome drink made from dok anchan. But above and beyond all of these uses, our ancestors recognized it for its medicinal benefits, which include its anti-depression, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The blue concentrate added to hair products also promotes healthy hair growth (please see related links below).

In Thailand I grew butterfly pea plants on a trellis, but often enjoyed the harvest from friends’ gardens. In the Thai village lifestyle in the old days we shared or exchanged our surpluses with one another. The vines can produce many flowers a day, so often they went unused. This meant that at any  moment there were always flowers waiting for you in someone’s garden and we helped ourselves when needed. The pigment in the flowers comes from anthocyanins, and has long been widely used in Thai and Malaysian cuisines for blue or purple food coloring for butterfly pea sticky rice. In Thailand, any foods prepared with shades of blue, purple or pink come from dok anchan. In addition, southeast Asia uses the flowers in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

Double pedals butterfly pea flower

Where can you get dried butterfly pea flowers? In the U.S. you can mail-order homegrown organic air-dried butterfly pea flowers from Etsy.com and Alibaba.com. If you wish to plant them next summer for your backyard vine, this may be the right time to purchase them. Check online for a few sources where you can purchase butterfly pea seedsThompson & Morgan has the seeds for Butterfly Pea Fabaceae

Thai desert with dok anchan blue color

Khanom Chan – ขนมชั้น – Thai one-layer cake with anchan flower food coloring gets pale purple when cooked.

Thai snack, a dumpling with purple rice flour dough

Chaw Muang – ช่อม่วง, steamed dumpling, a famous Thai appetizer ใช้สีทำขนมช่อม่วง, ขนมดอกอัญชัญ


Chaw Mueng – purple dough and filling

Chaw Muang is a traditional Thai snack that can have a sweet or savory filling. After preparing a butterfly pea purple water infusion, the water is added to the dough according to the amount required in the recipe.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Blue and Purple Butterfly Pea Color Extracts

ขั้นตอนการทำน้ำดอกอัญชัญผสีฟ้าและสีม่วง

Blue color from dried butterfly pea flowers

Nam dok anchan (น้ำดอกอัญชัน)

First, steep 12 dried or fresh butterfly flowers in 1 cup boiling water.

Dried butterfly peas after 15 minutes of soaking in boiling water

Fifteen minutes later, or when no color is left in the petal, strain the liquid and discard the flowers. You will get deep blue water.

Fifteen minutes later, deep blue color is ready to use as blue food coloring.

Add a little lime juice to get a purple-red color

Add a few drops of lime juice. This will change the ph level and you will get purple water.

Pranee’s Tom Yum Martini with Butterfly Pea Coloring

I made butterfly pea simple syrup a day before my dinner party in order to make my signature Tom Yum Martini. A friend requests that I make them each year when I visit home.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com  

From Beak-to-Feet, Part II

Rock Sugar, Onion, Ginger, Star Anise, Cloves, Cinnamon Sticks and Black Peppercorns

Duck Broth

Nam Soup Ped

น้ำซุปเป็ด

Typically I don’t look at a recipe to make this broth, I simply randomly place my favorite spices for duck on top of the duck bones before adding the water. Last month I decided to take notes while preparing it so I could share it with you. Since the broth is for making a soup or for adding to a recipe that requires broth or stock, I decided to keep the ingredients simple. In Thai cooking, duck is almost always used in a Chinese-inspired dish, so all of the ingredients below reflect this. You should feel free, however, to adjust the spices according to how you will use the broth, which can be used in recipes in place of chicken broth. It will keep up to a week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.

 
Yield: 4 cups
Cooking Time: 3 to 4 hours
 
Bones from 1 whole duck, including beak, feet and neck
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cloves
3 star anise
2 to 3 teaspoons Kosher salt
15 whole black peppercorns
¼ cup fish sauce
1 cube rock sugar, about 1 tablespoon
½ to 1 onion, cut into wedges
3 slices fresh ginger, about 1/4″ thick
9 cups cold water
 
Take everything—from beak to feet—left from boning a duck and put it into a stock pot. or other large, heavy-bottomed pan.  Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise, salt, black peppercorns, fish sauce, rock sugar, onion and ginger. Pour cold water over all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 3 to 4 hours to make 4 cups of broth. Stir occasionally and remove any impurities. Pour over strainer into a sterile container and keep in the refrigerator up to a week and in the freezer up to 3 months. 
 

Steamed Rice with Duck Broth

Steamed Rice with Duck Broth

Kao Man Ped

ข้าวมันเป็ด

The method I used to prepare Steamed Rice with Duck Broth – Kao Man Ped – at the Thai Farm Dinner last month is the same one that is used for Steamed Rice with Hainan Chicken (Kao Man Gai), a famous street food in Thailand. I have never seen a recipe for steamed rice with duck broth, but because I applied the science and art of Thai cooking to this recipe I consider it a traditional dish. A week after the farm dinner, one of the guests expressed her nostalgia for this rice dish and its spices. It is a good side dish for a beak-to-feet duck meal, and can also be prepared using chicken broth and chicken fat.

Yield: 5 cups

Cooking Time: 3o minutes

2 cups jasmine rice, washed and rinsed
2 3/4  cups duck broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon duck fat or butter, optional
5 star anise
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Place rice, duck broth, salt, duck fat, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick in a rice cooker. Stir and closed the lid. Turn on heat. When the rice is cooked, give it a stir. Taste the rice; if more moisture is needed, add a few teaspoons of hot water and stir again. Keep the rice cooker on warm until ready to serve.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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From Beak-to-Feet, Part I

จากจะงอยปากเป็ดถึงเท้าเป็ด

Time seems to pass by so quickly. I have not been forgetting about my blog, but like all of us, I have been kept busy setting priorities, fulfilling obligations, and working at finding balance in my life. With the bit of time I have this week, I would like to share some recipes with you in this post and my next one from the farm cooking I did last month. The recipes revolve around ducks and sustainable cooking. Making use of the whole animal—from beak to feet—is a practice that my grandma followed, like many cooks around the world.  I hope some of the recipes will be easy for you to try, or that you will learn from just by reading them. Please let me know if you have any experiences to share about cooking with duck.

It is not difficult to handle the whole duck. When I have a whole duck to cook some typical recipes that I might prepare include braised duck leg and wing, pan-seared duck breast with five-spice powder, and rendered duck fat. Then I would put any remaining parts of the duck in a pot to make a duck broth.

Thai Duck Curry with Local Fruit Side Dish

The picture above, taken by one of the farm dinner guests, shows seared five-spice duck on top of steamed rice, plus duck broth with braised duck red curry with nectarines and plums. I will be sharing three of my duck recipes with you. Today’s recipe is for seared five-spice duck. Recipes for steamed rice with duck broth, and for the duck broth itself will come in Part 2. Enjoy these stories and recipes from beak-to-feet.

Seared Five-Spice Duck

Ped Palo Todhaeng

เป็ดผงพะโล้ทอดแห้ง

Thais love to eat duck, but when we prepare recipes using duck we always start with duck prepared in a Chinese style of cooking such as “Roasted Five Spice Duck.” We would purchase it from a Chinese restaurant and take it home to enjoy either with hot steamed jasmine rice or incorporated into duck noodle soup, duck red curry, or duck salad. I enjoy the following duck recipe with all of these dishes. Traditionally, Chinese restaurants roast the duck whole, but to make it easy for the home cook this recipe first pan-sears the duck and then roasts it in the oven.

Serves: 2 to 4

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

2 duck breasts, scored
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup Thai light soy sauce or wheat-free tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or 1 tablespoon Chinese Rice wine such as Shao Hsing Hua Tiao
1 tablespoon canola oil

Pre-heat oven to 350° F

To score duck breasts, slice though the duck skin and fat with a sharp knife until you just reach the meat. Make rows by slicing diagonally across the breast from top to the bottom at a 45-degree angle. Continue the rows ½ inch apart all the way across the breast, then repeat the process by slicing similar rows perpendicular to the first ones.

Rub the five spice powder on the duck breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix sugar with soy sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over duck breasts and marinate for 15 minutes, or up to a day in the refrigerator.

Heat cooking oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Place duck in pan skin side down and sear until the skin is brown, about 3 minutes; repeat on the other side until it is brown. Place in the oven and let it cook to medium rare, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

 
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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Farm Dinner At Dog Mountain Farm

Dog Mountain Farm, located in Snoqualmie Vally near Carnation, Washington, offers summer farm dinner events that are a culinary delight. The dinners are prepared by a guest chef and served with wines from a local winery. I attended one of these dinners in  June 2010 and was blessed to experience a half day at the farm of sun-filled summer, a beautiful view of the Cascade mountains, and dining on white tablecloths surrounded by apple orchards. The farm offers various farm and culinary activities year round for all age groups.

View of the Cascade Mountain

September 2012 has provided the rare beauty of a long stretch of sunny days. Saturday, September 15th, the date that I cooked at the Dog Mountain Farm, was one of the most beautiful days among them.

The farm dinner guests arrived at 3pm. Farm owners Cindy and David welcomed everyone with champagne and an hors d’oeuvre, then took them on a farm tour.

Galloping Horse or Mar Hor with savory pork on plum brûlée

I was happy to have the hors d’oeuvre done just in time. The abundance of plums provided a good substitute for pineapple in the Thai hors d’oeuvre called Mar Hor or Galloping Horse, a savory pork mixture atop plum brûlée. I was pleased when I ate one to hear the excitement of taste from far away – like someone galloping a horse.

The Dog Mountain Farm raises French Grimaud Pekin and Muscovy ducks, Embden geese, French guinea fowl, and heritage turkeys.

While the guests toured the farm, I continued cooking—there were four more courses coming.

My Thai Farm dinner included wine pairings from the Wilridge Winery. The wines were served by the winery’s owner and winemaker, Paul Beveridge. Paul selected the wines exclusively for the menu above. They were Viognier Rosebud Vineyard ($11.89), Estate Nebbiolo Wilridge Vineyard ($210), Estate Sangiovese Wilridge Vineyard ($21), and Estate Mélange Noir Wilridge Vineyard ($21). The amazing wines, along with the details and personal stories that Paul shared, enriched the dinner experience.

Kabocha Pumpkin Soup with corn, kale, summer squash and lemon basil

The dinner was served around 4:30pm and I was able to pause at that point for just a minute to take in the sun rays that filled the farm kitchen. Then I ladled the Gaeng Leang – Thai country-style soup – into individual bowls. (Please click here for Gaeng Leang Recipe). Gaeng Leang is often served at Thai dinners to display local abundance. This one had a generous amount of lemon basil from the farm green house and was as authentic as my grandmother’s cooking 40 years ago!

Asian pear is crunchy, juicy, sweet and fragrant.

The third course was an Asian pear salad with mixed herbs and salad greens and a sweet chili vinaigrette. I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of the salad or write down the recipe, so I will have to recreate the recipe one day to share with you. This dish was totally impromptu. I adjusted my chili lime vinaigrette recipe by adding a few more ingredients to compliment the farm’s Asian pears and to echo the flavors of the overall dinner menu.

Braised Duck Curry

The fourth course was a traditional Thai duck curry, Gaeng Phed Ped Yang, made with Dog Mountain Farm’s French Grimaud Pekin. For more information and a recipe for curry dishes please check my future posts.

Thai Duck Egg Custard

Please click the picture above to see Pranee’s custard recipe

Coconut Duck Egg Custard Ice Cream

Please click photo above to see Pranee’s Coconut Duck Egg Custard recipe

Originally I had planned to make just one dessert: coconut duck egg custard ice cream with fried farm apples. But once I began cooking with the very fresh duck eggs, I could not help but make my mom’s Thai duck egg custard over black sticky rice, a traditional Thai dessert.

Once the five-course dinner was served I had a chance to relax, join in the conversation with the dinner guests, and take in the beauty of the double sunset—a beautiful sunset to the West and the reflected light on the Cascade Mountains to the East.

Where to find the Dog Mountain Farm Stand

For those of you who live in the Seattle area, Dog Mountain Farm has a stand at the Broadway Farmers Market on Sundays. Please check their website and then send them an e-mail to have them harvest fresh produce that you can pick up at the market on Sunday between 11am – 3pm.

Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen

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Loner

When I left East Wenatchee, my Thai friend, Suprattra Pornprasit gave me a bag of fully ripe apricots from her tree. When I returned home, I immediately cooked them with sugar until it looked almost like jam. I chilled the mixture overnight and prepared the apricot ice cream the next days. Frozen dessert is great to have around. I didn’t add any spices as apricot flavor really shines by itself at the frozen stage. I tried serving the apricot ice cream in many different ways to accompany other desserts, but its flavor seemed pale and uninteresting by comparison. The best way, I learned, is to enjoy apricot ice cream by itself; the flavor is so bright and lively and right after a Thai meal. I would do exactly the same ice cream with local apricots next summer.

Apricot Ice Cream – ไอศครีมแอพริคอท

Apricot Ice Cream

ไอศครีมแอพริคอท

Serves: 12

3 cups apricot puree from fully ripe apricot flesh, skin and stones removed
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk

Place apricot puree and sugar in a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the fruit is translucent and has a jam-like texture, about 20 minutes. Chill or keep in the fridge overnight.

Place heavy whipping cream and milk in another medium saucepan and cook until it begins to steam, then let it cook on low for 2 minutes. Bring to room temperature and chill. Place in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to make ice cream. Remove and keep in a freezer-proof container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
 

I Found My Thrill

On blueberry hill. My friend Noi and I enjoyed picking blueberries in the early morning sunlight at Crazy Larry’s Berries U-pick farm. Larry and his wife have found love and passion farming berries on a small hill in Monitor, Washington. Theirs is a perfect lifestyle for a retired couple and their farm reflects their life and the romance they’ve found farming and cooking blueberries. I could not help humming along to the tune of Blueberry Hill as I was  cooking with Larry’s blueberries and thinking of Larry and his wife in this sweet melody. Here is a desert recipe that I enjoyed cooking with blueberries. The memories of Larry’s Berries are part of me still!

Crazy Larry’s Berries Farm, Cashmere

Crazy Larry’s Advice

Larry gave me lots of good recommendations for preparing and storing my berries. First of all, he suggested that I place all of my blueberries on a baking sheet, then select those that have the same quality of perfect ripeness; put them in a bowl and set the others aside.

Next I divided up the perfect ones. Those that I planned to eat fresh I placed in a plastic container with a good air venting design. Do not wash them until you are ready to eat them because the natural wax will keep the fruit fresh for a long period of time—but do keep them in the fridge until then.

For the portion that I want to freeze, Larry recommended washing the berries before freezing. Here is his tip on how to wash them: Gently wash the berries with a lot of water. Remove them from the water with a strainer, then gently roll them back and forth on a towel  to get rid of the water. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze them right away. For the odd under-ripe ones, Larry recommends using them for cooking, from a blueberry vinaigrette to a blueberry sauce.

Blueberries at U-pick farm

After a week of eating and cooking fresh blueberries, the most memorable dish of all has been the blueberry cake with coconut cream cheese frosting which I took to the ordination ceremony at my Thai community event. I was thrilled by how well this cake turned out, simply by my playing with ingredients I had on hand.

Blueberry-Coconut Sauce

This blueberry and coconut sauce is simple and delicious. It is an all-purpose sauce that is great for pouring over anything from pancakes to shortcake, or even on toast. Keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for 6 months.

2 cups blueberries, washed
1/3 cup palm sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter

Bring blueberries, palm sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce to medium heat; cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. When blueberries look soft and jelly-like, stir in the coconut oil or butter. Stir well and let the mixture cook for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and let it cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Blueberry Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 2 cups

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed
1/4 cup coconut cream (or the top layer from a can of Thai coconut milk)
2 teaspoons coconut flavoring or vanilla extract (Frontier Natural Flavors preferred)

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until creamy. With a spatula, fold in sugar and coconut cream; then with electric mixer beat until creamy, about 3 minutes. Fold in coconut flavoring. Keeps well in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for 3 months.

Blueberry Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake Blueberry Nah Cream Cheese Maproaw

เค้กบลูเบอร์รี่หน้าครีมชีสมะพร้าว

I often get creative with cake mixes when I have a limited amount of time. I was hesitant to share this recipe using a cake mix, but  decided to share it with you because it was so scrumptious that I would prepare it the same way again. I hope you enjoy blueberries three ways: in the cake, as a sauce, and as a fresh garnish on top. Love, blueberries and now my dream blueberry dessert come true.

Serves: 12

1 box Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla Cake Mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
Blueberry sauce from recipe above, divided
1 cup coconut cream cheese frosting from recipe above
1 cup fresh blueberries, optional
 

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Oil and dust a 9-inch round cake pan and set aside.

Blend cake mix in a large bowl along with eggs, vegetable oil, Greek yogurt and 1/2 of the blueberry sauce. Use an electric mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Spread the entire cake surface with the coconut cream cheese frosting, then pour the remaining half of blueberry sauce on top and drop fresh blueberries on the entire surface as well. Place blueberries lightly to make them stick to the frosting. Cut into wedges and serve.

I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
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Thai Connection

My Thai friend, Suprattra Pornprasit, teaches Thai vegetable carving at supattrafruitart.com. For the past two years she has invited me to visit East Wenatchee with her. I did not have time until mid-July this year to make that happen. Here are my stories of summery days with Supratra and her friends with Thai connections in East Wenatchee and its nearby towns.

Day 1. I left Seattle around noon and traveled to East Wenatchee on the beautiful drive via Hwy 2. There was very little traffic at that time and I enjoyed the drive and the Pacific Northwest scenery. The beautiful views kept me awake and driving leisurely, I arrived at East Wenatchee around 4 pm.

Eastern Wenatchee, July 18th, 2012

The picture above is of the area of East Wenatchee. At 6pm the sun is still up high and Supatra and I were heading to see another friend in Cashmere to pick cherries. It was at the end of the cherry season, but with good connections with the cherry farmer we were able to visit a farm to look for those few cherries that were left behind. There were the sweetest and juiciest Rainier cherries that I have ever eaten.

Rainier Cherry

The Sweetest One!

Thai Connections

By 8:30pm we headed back to Noi’s home, each with half a bag full. Later Noi prepared a famous dish, Som Tum Sua, from her hometown .

It was a perfect summer evening to enjoy the moment with my new Thai friends who have found Washington State their new home.

Day 2. After breakfast, I checked out three farmers markets in East Wenatchee. First, I went to the East Wenatchee Farmer Markets. I saw a few stalls and decided to skip the rest. Then I drove on to Mission Street’s Farmhouse Table Local Foods Market. I was delighted with the local produces and dried beans and grains that are grown here in Washington State. I brought Lentz Black Nile Barley Pancake Mix to bring home. Then I headed out to North Wenatchee Avenue to Mike’s Meat and Farmers Market. It is an impressive market with meats and farmers’ produce, like the Orca beans that have skin that is a prominent white and black pattern like the Orca whale. Also I purchased Mike’s award winning spice blend for BBQ ribs.

Highway 2 to Chelan

It was a beautiful drive from Wenatchee to Chelan. I drove past fruit  orchards and Lake Chelan.

Vacation Home – Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan is a vacation destination for residents from other parts of Washington State as well as other nearby states.

Downtown Chelan

There are plenty of restaurants, hotels, gift shops and interesting places in downtown Chelan–areas for a few days’ visit or a long summer vacation.

Pranee explores downtown Chelan

I wandered around for a few minutes to decide where to eat lunch. The Bamboo Shoot restaurant caught my eye, and I decided to check it out. It is a Thai restaurant, but after learning that the chef was Indonesian, I asked for an Indonesian dish instead. The only one he could prepare for me that was close to Indonesian was fried rice –  Nasi Goreng. I anticipated a good fried rice when I heard the chef’s dramatic noise with the wok. It was remarkably good. The summery weather and the delicious taste of the East on my palate made me feel at home.

Chelan Museum

Then I went to the Chelan Museum. I wish I had spent more time there, but 20 minutes gave me a good sense of the history of Lake Chelan and the town from the past to the present. The volunteer at the museum, a former school teacher from Seattle public schools, sent me to my next destination–the Culinary Apple–to get some good fudge.

Culinary Apple

Culinary Apple  is down the road toward the lake from the museum. It has both high end and casual kitchen ware. I love the store and the caramel fudge was so decadent. I would recommend that it be part of your future visit. It will always be part of mine.

Sunshine Farm Market, Lake Chelan

The last stop on my way back to Wenatchee was the Sunshine Farm Market. It is where you will find all the local culinary delights. You can pick up the local ripe fruit or vegetables, or pancake mix and honey on your way home, or pick up some artisan bread, gourmet cheese and estate crafted-wine on your way to your vacation home.

At 5pm I picked up Supratra in East Wenatchee and then Noi in Cashmere and we  headed out to Leavenworth to visit Sandy, another Thai friend. Sandy and her husband own Veena Jewelry, an Asian boutique in downtown Leavenworth where you can get jewelry designed and hand made by Sandy. We then headed out for something good to eat.

Leavenworth

For dinner, we skipped Thai flavors and went for what Leavenworth has to offer: German sausage and more at Munchen Haus 

Farmers Market

Our last stop for the day is at nearby Lions Club Park where a farmers market opens every Thursday from 4 to 8pm. We had a great time checking out local produce, enjoying food from the food stalls and hanging around the park listening to live music.

Day 3: This is the last day of my trip but I had to experience a few more culinary highlights on my way back to Seattle. First, Noil, Supratra and I met at 8am for breakfast at the must-stop bakery, Anjou Baker. It is an impressive bakery and lunch place. We each had a cup of coffee with a pear pastry. Then Supratra headed out to work, and Noi and I headed to Crazy Larry’s Berries.

Blueberry Farm

Noi and I enjoyed picking blueberries at Crazy Larry’s Berries. We sat on the ground facing each other while filling each other with stories. We enjoyed the warm sun and delicious berries while our hands were busy picking.

Crazy Berry Farm

I brought home a box full of berries and have baked two delicious desserts so far. I would like to share the recipes with you one day, together with a story of Larry and his farm. All I can tell you for now is that he is not crazy. So please hurry to visit his farm and enjoy the U-pick as the blueberry season will end in a week or so. I know you will have a great time in Wenatchee.

Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen

Add Zing to Your Limeade

Ginger Limeade

During August I try to slow down my summer activities and I enjoy staying home and working in the garden. After a hard-working day in the yard, I reward myself with a homemade ginger limeade. This recipe is used often in summer cooking classes for kids. This week it worked out perfectly for me to test the recipe one more time before sharing it with you and savor the results at the end my gardening day. I planned ahead to have the  freshest limes and ginger on hand, then I made the limeade in the morning so all the flavors would have a chance to blend and chill to the highest delight.

Lime – มะนาว

Thai cuisine depends on lime flavor. It is in almost in every dish. One should always have at least half a dozen limes on hand.

น้ำเชื่อมขิง – Ginger Simple Syrup

Crush the ginger until juicy and softened before adding it to the pot of sugar and water.

Ginger Limeade

Nam Manoa Khing

น้ำมะนาวขิง

Before you put together the ingredients to make ginger limeade, I would like you to follow closely my culinary insight on how to make ginger infused simple syrup. I didn’t make this technique up, it has been in my family for a long time. Infused fresh ginger provides a different flavor than dry powdered ginger or the fried ginger used in savory dishes. Crushing the ginger until the juice comes out helps break down the ginger’s cell walls. Thais use smashed ginger in a simple syrup for many dessert dishes. The aroma and taste of fresh ginger syrup is the first entry to sweet dishes such as Bua Loi Nam Khing (glutinous rice ball in sweet ginger syrup). I add ginger syrup to my limeade for a refreshing drink to enjoy in the hot summer or with a Thai meal.

Serves: 6

4 cups hot water
6 (1-inch) ginger pieces, peeled and smashed, about 3 ounces or 86 gram
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 to 1 cup lime juice, from 4 to 6  limes
10  slices of  limes, from one lime, for garnish
6 cups ice cubes

To make the brown sugar-ginger syrup, bring water, ginger and sugar to a boil in a medium-size pot. Let it boil on medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove ginger and strain. After it has cooled to room temperature, stir in lime juice.

Set aside enough lime slices for six glasses of limeade, then add remaining lime slices to a nice pitcher and pour in the limeade mix. Chill overnight, or for at least 6 hours. Before serving, add 2 cups ice cubes to the pitcher and stir. Fill six tall glasses with ice cubes and garnish each with a lime slice before adding the limeade.

Pranee’s note: 

To peel or not to peel? Peeling ginger is a personal option. I prefer to just peel off any tough skin or bruised parts. Ginger is abundant in Thailand. It is reasonably priced and I always had some at home, fresh and in the freezer.

© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking 
 Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .
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The Holy Herbs

It has been a busy summer for me so far. This has kept me away from writing, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t cook up a delicious dish for my Thai Kitchen blog. I have a lot of photos and notes and testings that have been done but that are waiting for me to write them up. While waiting for those posts from my food experiences in July, I have a delicious, unpretentious and impromptu dish to share with you. From my garden and Thai kitchen to yours!

Oregano Buds

Why oregano? Ten years ago, oregano was widespread via self-sown seeds in my Seattle garden near Thai spirit house. That year, my niece was visiting from Thailand and I used oregano in place of Thai holy basil when I prepared Phad Kraprow Gai (stir-fried minced chicken with Thai holy basil). I didn’t tell her that I’d used oregano and she didn’t notice the difference. Later on, when I told her it was not Thai holy basil, but Greek holy oregano we laughed! Fresh oregano has a peppery and pungent taste that I love and which is similar to Thai holy basil. Try using oregano in place of Thai holy basil when oregano leaves and blossoms are abundant in your garden.

Oregano Blossoms

Yesterday was my day off from traveling on the road and I was hanging around home and working in my garden. My girlfriend and I were immersing ourselves in the sun, surrounded by flowers, herbs and weeds. All of a sudden I realized that most of my oregano plants were blossoming. As it got close to lunch time, I began to think about what I could cook with those blossoms. I decided to make Oregano Blossoms Fried Rice for lunch. I cut the stems down to six inches long so there were some leaves attached to yield more leaves until the end of the summer.

Oregano Blossoms Fried Rice

Does frozen cooked rice work for this dish? This is the first time that I have experimented with previously frozen rice from my fridge. I thawed the rice before using it to loosen up the cooked rice grains and it worked perfectly well for fried rice. Off course my passion is to share what is happening in my Thai Kitchen with you, so here is my recipe for oregano blossoms.

Oregano Blossoms Fried Rice with Tomato and Garlic

Khao Phad Dok Oregano Makrua Thet Kratiem

ข้าวผัดดอกออริกาโนกับมะเขือเทศและกระเทียม

Oregano is not a Thai herb, but it has long been a substitute ingredient for me in the absence of my beloved Thai holy basil. Both belong to the mint, or Lamiaceae, family. The flavor undertones of both herbs are alike, and as a gardener I love herbs that can grow wide and are easy to take care of. Now that I have discovered how great oregano blossoms taste in this recipe, I will enjoy the same dish often this summer! Cheers to the holy herbs!

Serves: 2 to 4

3 tablespoons canola oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cayenne pepper, sliced (remove seeds if preferred)
1/2 cup oregano leaves and blossoms, stems removed
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
2 eggs
3 cups cooked rice, cooled or frozen
2 pinches of salt, optional
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
4 lime wedges
8 sting beans or cucumber or any fresh vegetable condiment, optional
 
Heat canola oil in a skillet or wok on high heat. Add garlic and stir until golden, then add onion, cayenne and oregano leaves and blossoms and blossoms. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Clear the center of the wok and scramble in eggs for two seconds before adding rice. Stir in soy sauce and  fish sauce. Serve with lime wedge, vegetable condiment and spicy fish sauce. (See recipe below).
 
© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com  
 
Follow Me on Pinterest
 

Monastery Banana Bread

Assorted desserts

My son and I were at the Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery early in the morning one day last week. We had volunteered to water over 20 newly planted trees surrounding the new meditation hall. Later in the morning I also offered food to three Thai monks. They were Southern Thai dishes such as stir-fried spicy stinky been with beef, Thai chili dip, Thai yellow curry rice and fried eggs. Since I am familiar with the kitchen, I also became a temporary helper there for the day. I helped visitors to properly place foods they had brought from home and to properly present them to the monks. At the end of the day, there were more than a dozen fully ripe bananas that had not been eaten. Waste not, I offered to take them home and return them to the Monastery as banana bread.

My banana cake recipe

This is my banana cake recipe from Thailand. I modified it into a quick and easy recipe for banana bread.

My banana bread recipe has long been on my list to share with you, but it never seemed to work out to do so until now. First, I found my 28-year-old recipe notebook which is always misplaced and hard to find. Second, I had the free time to make banana bread as well as a good reason for making it. The next day I made 4 loaves with one single recipe. It is a perfect recipe to bake once and share with friends and families as hostess gifts or for a community event.

Banana Bread-Cake – ขนมปังเค้กกล้วยหอม

This recipe makes an oil-based cake or quick bread that is baked in a loaf pan like a bread. Since vanilla and butter taste so good with bananas, I kept them in my recipe. I used olive oil because it is a healthy fat, but you can use any vegetable oil. There are no nuts in this recipe because I prefer it without. This recipe is light, somewhere between banana bread and banana cake. If I wanted to make a banana cake, I would keep the recipe the same but add one more cup of sugar, bake it in a cake pan, and then frost it with my dreamy coconut frosting recipe. But since I baked it in a loaf pan, let’s call it banana bread.

Banana Bread

Khanom Cake Kluey Horm

ขนมเค้กกล้วยหอม

This recipe makes four loaves of banana bread with a cake-like texture. It is unbelievably easy. Just stir the ingredients together and bake with fun. Enjoy it plain or with the frosting. If you wish to have it plain but sweeter, you can add one more cup of sugar or garnish it with frosting.

Yield: 4 loaves

7 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 sticks butter, melted
¾ cup olive oil
10 to 12 ripe banana, peeled, sliced and chopped
3 1/4 cups white sugar
8 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare loaf pans with oil and coat with flour, then set aside.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt twice.

In a large bowl or 6-quart pot, stir butter, olive oil, banana and sugar together until blended. Then stir in eggs and vanilla until creamy. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at the time, stirring after each addition until mixed. It will yield about 16 cups of batter. Divide equally into 4 loaf pans. Baking time is about 50 to 60 minutes. Bake without disturbing the cake for 45 minutes and then check the cake with a toothpick or wooden skewer; when it comes out clean, remove the pans from the oven. Let them rest on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove banana bread from the pans.

© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com  
 
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Related articles

Romancing with Lavender

Can you smell that? This time it is something familiar to us all: lavender. It is not an indigenous Thai ingredient, but it is one that is easily adapted to Thai kitchens, just like any fragrant flower. So here is my contemporary Thai dessert, Coconut-Lavender Ice Cream. It was born last week from romancing with lavender in my kitchen. It has been three years since I met my friend Kathy Gehrt, cookbook author and the founder of the website Discover Lavender. She opened my world. Like most of us, I wondered how could one eat perfume flowers? The more I learn about how to cook with lavender, the wilder I get. It is an amazing discovery. For a change this post is not directly related to Thai cuisine, but a study of taste as a food lover. One should never stop exploring.

Culinary Lavender

Two years ago my friend purchased a few varieties of culinary lavender plants from the Lavender Wind Farm. This summer the plants took off. They have yielded many flowers, so last Tuesday Barbara and I got together and celebrated our first harvest day. We prepared lunch together and added a lavender accent to everything we had for lunch. We got creative. First I made an avocado and nectarine salad with lavender as a fragrant herb and garnish. Then we added a sweet bread spread with lavender butter, followed by baked salmon with lavender salt, and a lovage and lavender earl grey tea. After lunch we made lavender sugar, lavender infused honey and lavender salt. How lucky am I to have then also returned home with two large bunches of fresh lavender? Please feel free to check out my photos on I Love Thai Cooking flicker.

Coconut-Lavender Ice Cream with mixed melon

 Coconut-Lavender Ice Cream is ideal to serve in a summer month with a chilled mixture of water melon, honey dew melon and cantaloupe.

For a summery dessert in July there is nothing better than coconut ice cream with a scent of lavender. I have made a few versions and love to keep the coconut with a custard texture as the main flavor followed by a hint of lavender. It is a simple, easy recipe but the trick is to heat the cream mixture above 175 degrees, then after tempering it with the egg, bring it back to the stove top again but do not let it get higher than 160 degrees. When churning the ice cream, I recommend starting with a cold batter then do not churn it more than needed—about 25 minutes or until it starts to form a solid ice cream consistency. Finish the process in the freezer. Follow these tips to get a custard-style ice cream with a soft silky texture. I hope you have a chance to share this coconut-lavender ice cream with your families and friends this summer. Let’s create a romantic flavor and the fragrance of lavender in the air.

coconut cream, half and half and lavender

Heavy whipping cream, coconut milk and lavender.

Coconut-Lavender Ice cream

Coconut Lavender Ice Cream

ไอศครีมมะพร้าวลาเวนเดอร์

Anyone can make ice cream today. All you need is a simple machine and a good recipe to follow. For a lactose-free recipe, simply replace the heavy whipping cream with the same amount of coconut milk.

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups coconut milk
3 tablespoons culinary lavender
8 egg yolks
1 ¼ cup lavender sugar (please click to see recipe)
 

First you will need to freeze your ice cream churning bowl at least 24 hours beforehand.

Prepare an ice water bath in a container that is larger than the pot.

Bring heavy whipping cream, coconut milk and lavender to a gentle boil and cook on medium-low with a gentle boil for 5 minutes or until it reaches 175 degrees.

Whisk yolks and lavender sugar in a large bowl until they are creamy, light and puffy like ribbon, about 10 to 12 minutes.

While slowly pouring the cream mixture into the yolks and lavender sugar mixture, stir constantly with the other hand to prevent the egg from curdling. Strain the mixture to remove the lavender as you pour it back into the same pot; whisk constantly while cooking on medium-low heat. The setting should keep the temperature below 160 degrees and the mixture should be steaming but never boiling. Observe the texture; watch for it to begin to thicken, changing from creamy and beginning to take on the appearance of a soft custard. When it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, remove the pot from the heat and place it in the prepared ice water bath.

Cool it in the ice bath and and then pour it into the prepared ice cream machine. Turn on the machine and continue according to the machine instructions, usually about 20 to 25 minutes. It should have a texture of soft ice cream. Put it in the freezer for 4 hours before serving.

Pranee’s Note

For further study on making ice cream, please check out the science related to making ice cream by Harold McGee.

Where can you find culinary Lavender in Seattle?

I found culinary lavender at Pacific Food Importers, Inc. By chance you can sometime fine them at some Seattle Farmers Markets. But best of all is if you have sunny spot in your garden, plant your own culinary lavender. Kathy Gehrt recommends the Royal Velvet variety. Next I recommend that you immerse yourself in a lavender world by visiting the Sequim Lavender Festival in Sequim, Washington.

Lavender at a Hmong farmer’s stand at the Columbia City Farmer Market

© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com  
 
Follow Me on Pinterest

Stink Bean: Top Ten Facebook Photo

Can you smell that? Stink bean, called sator in Thai – สะตอ – is also known as Parkia or Petai. It is a flat edible bean that is large, but dense in texture. Whether fresh or cooked, it has a taste and aroma similar to asparagus, but 3 to 5 times more powerful. You may never have heard of it or seen it before. Sator looks a like a large fava bean but is found on a large tree that only grows in southern Thailand, the neighboring countries south of Thailand, and near the equator. At home in Thailand, I have 55 Sator trees in various stages of development. It happens to be a native plant that survives on hilly mountains and thrives side by side with my durian tree. A perfect pair, stinky fruits and stink bean.

The scientific term for sator is Parkia speciosa. One cluster has from 3 to 15 pods and each pod can have 6 to 16 beans. Sator, like asparagus, has an amino acid that is responsible for the noticeable smell. Southerners, like my family and friends, are delighted when the short sator season finally arrives and they prepare and share sator dishes and photos. Below is a picture my niece posted on Facebook on May 30th; many of my friends and other chefs from Thailand did the same. Perhaps the famous smell of this rare edible bean is precious for those who value its deliciousness and take culinary pride in this special bean.

Phad Phed Sator Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

One of many food photos of a stink bean dish. This is one my niece posted on Facebook. The dish was prepared by my sister Rudee. It is a one dish meal of Stir-fried Spicy Stink Beans with Prawns served over steamed jasmine rice.

The middle of May is the beginning of sator season in southern Thailand. As the bean starts to make its appearance, sator fans get so excited. The most famous stink bean dish of all is Phad Phed Sator Goong – Stir-fried Sator with Prawns.

Sator and durian grow side by side in Phuket

Sator, สะตอ, grows wild in Phuket, a twisted cluster bean that grows on a tall tree, often side by side with durian.

What is Sator, Parkia or Petai?

It is an honor to once again present you with a local dish cooked by a local home cook, my friend Varunee who also teaches southern cooking on my culinary tour. Varunee will present you with Phad Phed Sator Phuket – Stir-fried Spicy Stink Bean with Prawns, Phuket Style. This is the way my mom and her mom and the local people in Phuket would cook it in their kitchens for family and friends. Please feel free to modify the recipe to suit your liking. There is no substitute for sator, however you can enjoy this recipe with any seafood or with other vegetables such as asparagus, fava beans or edamame for a similar texture.

Phad Phed Sator (Parkia) Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Stir-fried Spicy Stink Beans with Prawns, Phuket Style

Phad Phed Sator Goong Phuket

ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้งภูเก็ต

Serves: 4

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Phuket red curry paste, or any brand from Thailand
1 teaspoon shrimp paste, optional (omit it if you use Mae Ploy Brand red curry paste)
8 prawns, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar or brown sugar
1/2 cup Sator or Parkia beans, fresh or frozen
3 Kaffir lime leaves, center vein removed 

Heat a wok on high heat until it is hot, pour in vegetable oil and then stir in garlic, curry paste and shrimp paste. Stir well until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in prawns and stir for 30 seconds. Pour in water. Stir well until curry paste and oil are well-combined and prawns are cooked well in the sauce. Stir in soy sauce. Stir in palm sugar until well-combined.

Fold the Kaffir lime leaves lengthwise, remove the vein, then add the leaves to the wok. Stir in sator. Stir back and forth until the sator is partially cooked. Be careful not to overcook the prawns or the sator, which doesn’t need to be cooked very long. A shorter time is better for sator to keep its crunchy texture. Remove Kaffir leaves. Serve hot with steamed jasmine rice.

Please see instructions and photos below for cooking step by step.

Varunee shows you how to prepare her Phad Phet Sator Goong Phuket Style

 

My friend Varunee will show you how to prepare a famous Phuket dish Phad Phed Sator Goong, Stir-fried Spicy Stink Beans and Prawns, Phuket Style. Please enjoy her cooking.

Red curry paste and shrimp paste

In Phuket there are two kinds of red curry paste. One is for coconut-based curry and one is for stir-fries without coconut milk or with very little—just about 2 to 4 tablespoons coconut milk to make the sauce or to tone down the spicy level of the dish. Please do not be overly concerned with this level of complication, use Mae Ploy or Thai kitchen brands as you wish. For the best results, I recommend my Phuket Red Curry Paste Recipe.

Cooking oil and curry paste

Heat a wok on high heat until it is hot, pour in vegetable oil and then stir in garlic, curry paste and shrimp paste.

Phad Phed Sator (Parkia) Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Stir in prawns and stir for 30 seconds.

Phad Phed Sator (Parkia) Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Then pour in water and stir well until curry paste and oil are well-combined, making a good sauce, and the prawns are cooked well.

Phad Phed Sator (Parkia) Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Stir in soy sauce.

Phad Phed Sator (Parkia) Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Stir in palm sugar until well-combined.

Phad Phed Sator (Parkia) Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Fold the Kaffir lime leaves, remove the veins, then add the leaves to the wok.

Stir in Sator – Stink bean

Stir in sator.

Phad Phed Sator Goong – ผัดเผ็ดสะตอกุ้ง

Stir back and forth until the prawns are cooked and sator is partially cooked. Be careful not to overcook the prawns or sator. A shorter time allows sator to keep its crunchy texture.

Credit: Khun Varunee

© 2012 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
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