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Iyara Thai Cuisine

A friendly Staff

I have to give credit to my students for introducing me to the Iyara Thai Cuisine restaurant in Redmond. I took their recommendation seriously because the more I talked to them, the more I realized how serious they were about the Thai dining experience. They had mentioned their favorite Thai restaurants throughout America, including Pok Pok, and other renowned Thai restaurants, some of which are owned by people I have taken workshops with at various food conferences.

They said that Iyara may not be as good as the Pok Pok Thai restaurant in Portland in terms of the ambience, menu and creativity, but it is their favorite when it comes to authenticity close to their home in Redmond.

A week later, two Thai friends and I had lunch together at Iyara Thai Cuisine in Redmond. It is in a convenient location, with plenty of free parking spaces on the street. It has a casual setting; we started with soup, Suki nahm, and then used our fingers to enjoy the rest of our meal of Isaan food (the food from Northeastern Thailand).These were our choices from Iyara’s menu:

Suki nahm: Thai-style hot-pot in a bowl with crystal noodles, chicken and prawns, egg, napa cabbage, and green onion with a chili-bean curd sukiyaki sauce. $10

Sai grog kra prow: grilled homemade pork and spicy basil Thai-style sausage. $7

Muu ping: grilled pork sirloin skewer marinated in garlic, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. $7

Som tum and kai todd: deep-fried marinated half Cornish game hen, crispy shallots with a small green papaya salad and sticky rice. $11

Sticky rice $2

Chinese doughnut and pandan custard for dessert.

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Iyara is a great place for you if you love Som Tum (shredded green papaya salad). It is offered with three options. The standard one has lots of crushed peanuts, salted crab and Thai anchovy sauce.

There are many more dishes that I would like to return and check out. All are a rustic style or street foods of Thailand; these are the owner’s new menu items and a concept that they are working on. There are also plenty of standard Thai dishes if you have friends who may not be as adventurous as you are.

For all of you that love to explore new flavors, please check out Iyara Thai Cuisine. I hope that one day Thai foods in America will be as good as in Thailand, then we won’t need to travel to Thailand or Portland to savor the dishes.

Kin Hai Aroy: Bon Appétit

Iyara Thai Cuisine
16421 Cleveland St., #E
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 885-3043

Menu: http://iyarathai.com/iyarathaimenu.pdf

Website: http://www.iyarathai.com/


Pranee’s Thai Restaurant Review is a fun read to help students enjoy the Thai dining experience. I believe that eating Thai foods is a part of learning about Thai food and the Thai culture as well.

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Pranee’s Thai Lime-Green Chili Jam   

 

Thai Lime-Green Chili Jam

I have three different kinds of chili jam in my kitchen cabinet: Plum-Ginger Thai Pepper Jelly, Mango Madness, and Sweet Pepper Jalapeño Jam. These were precious gifts from good friends and they inspired me to create my own jam recipes. When my friend Ron gave me a bag of fresh green Star Fire Chilies from his favorite farm, “Krueger Family Peppers and Produce, Inc.” in Wapato, Washington, a journey began.

I wanted to create a Thai Lime-Green Chili Jam with a fun flavor from Kaffir lime leaf. First I explored the jam-making process and daydreamed about the flavor combinations, then I got a hands-on lesson on canning from my friend Kaia. She recommended a few books, and I purchased one, the “Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.” A week later, I found the best price for canning jars, and in the past few weeks, I have created three combinations of chili jam. Honestly, I love all of them: Sweet Red, Lime-Green and Pineapple-Orange.

I have also learned my lessons on the do’s and don’ts of using powdered pectin. If the jam doesn’t set, follow the Sure-Jell instructions on how to remake the jam. After a few experiences, I became comfortable with the process. The most important part was that I had so much fun making close to one hundred jars of jam, and so did my friends. All I have to do now is to listen to their creative ways of using the chili jam.

I would like to share my Thai Lime-Green Chili Jam with you. It would be fun to serve side-by-side with cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving. You can learn to use it creatively during the holidays, and it makes a great gift for families and friends.

Thai Lime-Green Chili Jam with Citrus Flavors

Like green curry paste, the green color in this jam comes from fresh Thai green chilies. I also use green-colored peppers, herbs, lime juice, and all the Thai herbs to give it a real Thai flavor.

Thai Lime-Green Chili Jam  

Yam Prik Keow  

Yield: 5 1/2 cups or 14 (4-ounce) jars or 6 (8-ounce) jars

4 green bell peppers, cored and diced
30-40 fresh Thai green chilies, stems removed (I used Star Fire chilies)
1/2 cup diced red onion, about 1/2 medium-size onion
1 package Sure-Jell fruit pectin
2 cups cane vinegar (a vinegar made from cane sugar, available in most Asian markets)
2 to 4 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
10 Kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and smashed
1 tablespoon butter
1 drop green food coloring, optional

Place bell pepper, fresh Thai green chilies, and onion in a food processor;  pulse to make a fine chunk (about 3 cups). Combine the  mixture with Sure-Jell, vinegar, lime juice and salt in a large, deep, stainless steel saucepan. Mix well until the pectin is dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in Kaffir lime, lemongrass and butter. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil; stir constantly for 4 minutes. 

Remove from heat and ladle into jars filling to within 1/8 inch of the top. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator.

Note:  If you want a jam that can be stored (unopened) at room temperature, visit the Sure Jell website for instructions on how to process the jars.

 © 2010  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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Sunflower Sprouts Salad with Chili-Lime vinaigrette

Yum Med Tan Tawan Ngawk

Sunflower Sprouts by the Alm Hill Gardens Stall – The Columbia City Farmer Market

July 15, 2010 – Yesterday I was at the Columbia Farmers Market. While waiting for my friend, I visited the Alm Hill Gardens stall, and was introduced to sunflower sprouts. I have tasted it before, but these fresh sprouts from the farm I will never forget. It was fresh, buttery and nutty. I brought some home and made a salad for a side dish to accompany my Thai chicken Baryani rice, Kao Mok Gai.

Chili-Lime Vinaigrette, tomato and dill

August 4, 2010- My friend Annette came over for lunch today and it is a perfect day for me to perfect my Sunflower Sprout Salad Recipe and do some photos for the blog. As I envisioned to add some texture, and sunflower seed is a perfect theme for salad. I have no reservations about adding the abundant and flavorful mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes. The rest is simple. I hope you like my chili-lime vinaigrette. Interesting and freshest  ingredients in an easy recipe is a way to go.

Sunflower Sprouts S

Sunflower Sprout Salad with Chili-Lime Vinaigrette

alad with Chili-Lime vinaigrette

Yum Dork Tan Tawan Ngawk 

Serves: 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or garlic oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or 2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon evaporated cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper flake
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon lime juice or lemon juice
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, whole or halved
2 cups sunflower sprouts, washed and drained
1/4 dill or cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds

Whisk olive oil, sea salt, sugar, black pepper, chili powder, lime juice until it is well mixed. Fold in shallot, tomatoes, sunflower sprouts and dill, and mix gently. Sprinkle sunflower seeds  before serving. Serve immediately.

 © 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen  

 I Love Thai cooking 

 Pranee teaches Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com

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Lovage and Snap Pea Soup

Kaeng Jued Pak

There is no real Thai name for this soup, but I started the process by stir-frying, adding broth and cooking until the vegetables are soft. It’s like a Thai soup that is called Kaeng Jued Pak. I pureed it down like western soup. It is best to enjoy lovage that way. It’s not a typical Thai dish but my grandma would have done the same — a dish from the garden or the nearest farm to the table. The freshness and simplicity were key. I don’t make it a habit to call for take-out or frozen food. I prefer to enjoy real food. When there is nothing else, steamed rice and fried eggs with some soy sauce and cucumber on top is enough. This is a kind of lunch; I enjoy it when I am at home by myself.

Lovage-Snap Pea Soup

Lovage and Snap Pea Soup

This morning while working in the garden, I trimmed overgrown lovage. Some was young and tender; so I decided not to throw it away. Then around lunch break, I made a soup with some snap peas that I got from the farmers market the day before. All I had to do is find the right spice to go with it. I had some freshly ground coriander powder–seeds that I brought from Thailand. I gave it a try, and it was right on. It was a quick and easy summer soup. With a lovage plant, you will receive an annual return every summer with flavorful soup–the best tasting soup that no other restaurants can compete with because you have got the freshest one a few steps from your kitchen. 

Serves: 4

Yield: 2 cups

3 tablespoons canola oil or extra light olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped lovage
1 cup whole snap peas, end trimmed — about 20 snap peas
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground-toasted coriander powder
2 cups chicken brother or 2 cups water plus 2 teaspoons chicken powder

Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and when it is hot add canola oil. Stir in garlic and onion until fragrant and onion become translucent. Stir in lovage for 30 seconds before adding snap pea, sea salt and coriander. Pour into a large pot and add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lets it cook on medium heat until snap peas is cooked. About 8 minutes. Serve as is or use a blend in the blender. Garnish with chopped lovage or lovage leaf.

Vegetarian option: substitute chicken broth with vegetable or mushroom broth.

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
 I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com

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Thai Rice Salad with Nasturtiums & Sardines Recipe

Kao Yum Pak Tai, Southern Thai rice salad with edible flower and sardine

Thai rice Salad with Nasturtiums

Photograph by Pranee

I grew up in the Southern region of Thailand, the origin of the Thai rice salad Kao Yum and my grandmother was a pro.  I have several versions for my classes. I am a gardener and I planted some nasturtium for Kao Yum. That was when I planned to write this recipe, and today is a perfect time. I have cooked rice, fried sardines, dill and cilantro in my fridge and the nasturtiums are at their peak in my garden. Quick and easy Thai dish I put together in the summer day. It is a cool dish, so there is no cooking require. This is a versatile recipe that you can adjust to your needs as there is no wrong way of making it. If the sardines are omitted, then I serve grilled salmon on top. There are so many creative ways to use this recipe.

First, the fish is very important part of this recipe, but you may use smoked salmon instead. In my grandmas kitchen we used anything from grilled fish, fried fish, dry anchovies and dried shrimp powder. Just use enough to give a mouthful of flavor to the dish. The second, an important element is fresh herbs, and you may use any herbs that pair well with the fish you choose. Last, for edible flowers, I chose nasturtium because it has a nice pungent and peppery flavor. It is easy to grow them here in Seattle.  Choose one edible flower that pair well with your fish.

Serves: 2

1 1/2 cup cooked rice, at room temperature
1/4 cup fried sardine or smoked salmon, bone removed and cut into chunk
8 nasturtiums, removed petals by hand into small pieces
6 nasturtiums leaves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chiffonade fresh and tender Kaffir lime leaves or chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 tablespoons sliced shallot
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce, or more as needed
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 lime wedges, for garnish

Place rice in the center of salad bowl. Place sardine, nasturtiums petals and leaves, cilantro, dill, shallot and chili powder along the side of salad bowl. When ready to serve, stir in fish sauce, lime juice and mix gently and serve right away with lime wedge on the side.

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Thai Vegetarian Option: Saute shiitake mushroom with sea salt to substitute sardine, and sea salt instead of fish sauce.

Thai Cooking Recipe for Kids: add chili powder toward the end after kid serving portion is served.

Gluten-Free Recipe

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
 
Pranee teachs Thai Cooking class in Seattle areas, her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com

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Pike Place Market

Travel and Eat Like a Tourist

Pranee at Pike Place Market, be a tourist

I wanted to enjoy the beautiful summer we are having and decided to visit Pike Place Market. I pretended to be a tourist for the day to taste foods and to enjoy the sites from a tourist perspective. I arrived around 10 am, when it was easy to find parking – two hours was just perfect.  First I walked around to see the farmers stalls and admired all of the fresh vegetables. Being early bird meant that there were not many people around, so I could ask a lot of questions and chat with the stall owners, which is how I got inspired and wanted to know about the source of ingredients. I always learned somthing new. The fish person said that the fresh sardines are from California and he like to grill the sardines until they are crispy, so you can eat the whole thing including the bones. I shared with him that my grandma would cut the skin into tiny stripe just enough to hit the backbone on both side before frying them. Then I asked the owner of a honey stall, to find the right kind of honey for my future recipe for almond pancakes. We talked and tasted and came up with the “Twin Peaks Wild Flovors” honey. I hanged out with the tourists and enjoyed the music played around the market. The color of flower bouquets was stunningly beautiful and the small doughnuts were so tempting but I passed for today. I stopped at the pig statue, and stood in line for photo opportunity with the famous pig. A kind tourist took a photo of me.

I started to get hungry and was debating where I should eat. I decided that today would be a French Day, so I decided to eat at Le Panier. I had a Pate French sandwich. It was perfect with a crusty baguette which had a crumbly  crust, and I didn’t mind being messy. I sat at the window bar table facing the street and watched the tourists go by. There is no rush, this was my French vacation after all. I was a tourist for two hours. Life is short, and there was no way I could have skipped dessert. In case you don’t know La Panier, it is a very French cafe and bakery. So I had palmiers with their house coffee (they used a Cafe Umbria dark roast, which is from a local roaster in Seattle).  I splited my La Pamier into perfect halves. I ate one half the french way with coffee and the other like Thais would do with Chinese doughnuts. That is, I soak it in coffee for 10 seconds before enjoying it slowly. Oh, life is good!

Before heading home I took a few more photos of places that I would recommend to tourists who are planning to visit Seattle. For the first time you will need to spend a good three to four hours there.

I got some sardines and a few herbs home. I will post a fried sardine recipe, which is my inspireational ingredient for the day.

I will cook, write and eat Thai locally this summer!

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Chef Olaiya Land

Culinary Instructor &  Chef Owner of OlaiyalandCatering.com

Chef Olaiya and I have been teaching at many schools together but only in the summer 2009 at the Dog Mountain Farm did I have a chance to knew her and her food. Her cooking presentation was a feast of the edible arts but yet were simple and real with what was taken fresh from the farm.  She had presented all of her food-related philosophy with her specialty is local, seasonal and organic ingredient. I have seen all in action happen at the Dog Mountain Farm Chef dinner program, where the locals of Washington state and guests from as far as Europe have attended this event to surrounded by orchards, and the vegetable garden with a view of Cascade Mountain. They have chosen the perfect activity with which to enjoy the Pacific Northwest had to offer: with local food, outdoor style of experience.

http://www.dogmtnfarm.com/

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This Summer Chef Olaiya Land returns to teach her cooking class at the Dog Mountain Farm with a three-course lunch. Students will have a chance to harvest some ingredients, cook and enjoy the foods; and the farm lifestyle. Please see her schedule below. Please learn more about Chef Olaiya Land on her website to get up closed and personal with her cooking.

About Chef Olaiya Land: http://www.olaiyalandcatering.com/about_olaiya.html

 

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

 

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Recipe by Chef Olaiya Land

Serves: 4-6

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds (about 6 medium) heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup very thinly sliced red or sweet onion, cut into rings
2 shallots, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil and/or mint, cut into chiffonade (thin strips)

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic and sugar.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the oil in a slow stream while whisking.  Continue to whisk until the vinaigrette has emulsified.  Arrange the tomato slices on a serving dish, scatter the onion and the shallots over them, and pour 2/3 of the vinaigrette over the salad. Rest the salad for 20 minutes to allow flavors to come together, then taste and add more vinaigrette if you like.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with the basil and/or mint and serve immediately.

http://www.olaiyalandcatering.com/

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