Getting tired from eating your usual green salad with the usual dressing? Try this exciting Thai glass noodle salad for a change. It is sweet, sour, savory and slightly spicy. The traditional Thai glass noodle comes with mince pork or prawns. However, I like it just the way it is with a simple dressing with fresh herbs and vegetables for my summer backyard BBQ.
If you can’t find the Thai glass noodle, you can just buy the Chinese bean tread
You can make it as spicy as you want it, just don’t remove the seeds of the chilies
Tossing the salad with dressing just before serving to ensure freshness.
40 g dry glass noodles (bean threads) – two packages
2 tablespoon dried shrimp
2 cloves garlic
10 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves separated
Thai chilies, to taste (remove 3/4 of the seeds)
1 Tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped, packed
2 Tbsp + 1 tsp fish sauce
Fresh juice from two medium size limes
1 tomato, cut into wedges
¼ cup julienned red onion
1/4 cup julienned carrot
1/4 cup fresh mint
1.4 cup Thai basil
1/2 cup fresh bean sprout
1/4 cup julienned cucumber
Shallot – 1 teaspoon (chopped)
1/2 cup young celery heat leaves (the inner yellow part)
¼ cup roasted peanuts
Put tomato, carrot, cilantro leave, onion, basil, mint, celery, and bean sprout in a large mixing bowl for later use.
When the dried shrimp are ready, drain and pound them in a blender along with lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, shallot, palm sugar, chilies and cilantro stem. Use the pause function to mix and chop everything well.
Soak noodles in room temperature water for 30 minutes until soft and pliable. Drain, then cut the noodles with scissors 2-3 times to shorten them.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add glass noodles and cook for 1 minutes. Remove glass noodle from the water and place into a strainer to drain excess water; cool off noodle in ice water for five minutes, set aside.
Add noodles into the mixing bowl along with all the vegetables, pour the dressing over and quickly toss to combine.
Toss in cilantro leaves and plate. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately!
This recipe has to be one of the most famous appetizers from the province of Sichuan, China. It is best served during summer when the weather is hot and humid. This simple but complex vinegar dressing can truly tingle your Umami taste bud. Give it a try!
Cut cucumber to half, and each half cut into four wedges. (eight pieces from one cucumber) Use a knife gently pound the cucumber, but not broken. Place cucumber in a bowl and add salt. Let it sits in the bowl for one hour. You’ll see the cucumber water coming out. This’ll ensure the cucumber remains crunchy but will not produce any more fluid when dressing is added.
Rinse the cucumber really well under cold running water for half an hour. This is to make sure no more salts stays in the cucumber. Drain the water and use a paper towel to pad dry the cucumber and place in a colander, store in fridge.
Put the black cloud ear in a bowl and rehydrate with water for “only” half an hour. It is unnecessary to rehydrate longer. You can see the Black cloud ear expand about five time of it original dry size. Drain the water and wash it several time with cold water.
Boil a pot of water and blanch the black cloud ear for about 30 seconds. Remove the black cloud ear from the water and place it in a bowl of water with ice (to cool off and make it crunchy) Set aside for later use.
Making the dressing:
Whisk the vinegar, Sichuan peppercorn, soy sauce, honey, garlic paste, ginger, Thai red pepper, cilantro all together in a bowl. Take cucumber out from fridge into a bowl and add 1/2 the dressing to the cucumber, mix well, and put cucumber back to the fridge for at least one hour.
Take cucumber out from the fridge just before serving and line it up nicely on a plate. Put the black cloud ear in a bowl and pour in the rest of the dressing, mix well. Arrange the black cloud ear on one half of the plate. Sprinkle sesame seed on top and garnish with cilantro before serving.
Black mature vinegar
Pinch of salt to render the juice out
Cucumber juice after half hour with salt
Rinse cucumber with cold running water
Dry cucumber with dry paper towel and store in fridge
Black cloud ear
Soak black cloud ear in cold water for half an hour
Black cloud ear re hydrate after half an hour
This recipe must be one of the top ten summer patio dinning items, tangy, sweet, spicy and slightly sour. You can also use turkey, beef, or chicken to replace pork. You can also use firm tofu if you are on a vegetarian diet.
Thai Pork Lettuce Wrap 泰式生菜包
X2 – thin slices
From 2 cloves
Lemon grass (only the bottom thick part)
X2 finely chopped
Cut to wedges (during serving)
1 cup (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon (finely chopped)
Cooked jasmine rice
X 2 tablespoons
X 3 tablespoons
X 1/2 teaspoon
From 2 limes
Crushed palm sugar
Mix the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Wash the green lettuce and separate the leaf, use a paper towel to pad dry.
Heat up (medium heat) two tablespoons of oil in a pan, put in garlic and shallot until it is translucent. Turn heat to high and add the hot chilli pepper.
Add ground pork right away and stir frequently. Put in chopped carrot.
Add sauce when the color of the pork changes and mix it really well until the pork is fully cooked.
Add the lemon grass, lime leafs and half the basil (reserve the other half when serving). Stir the mixture well. Add the fried shallot after you turn off the heat.
How to serve:
Scope two tablespoons of the pork mixture onto the green lettuce leaf, add a tablespoon of rice on top.
Place a wedge of fresh lime and some fresh Thai basil on the plate and serve with the lettuce wrap.
Brine water is a cooking method by using seasoning, soy sauce, herbs and water as a medium to cook and tendering meat. it is a very popular cooking method in Southern China. There are two different types of brine water, dark (add soy sauce) and white (without soy sauce). After cooking the meat, you can bring the brine water to boil again for at least ten minutes. (to kill the bacteria and impurities) After cooling off, you can store the brine water in a container and keep it in freezer for future use. Just add salt, sugar, and herbs (smaller amount) just to make it tasty again when using it next time.
use digital beef shank for better result
Brine water is reusable if you boil it after each use, the taste will get better as it ages
you can make Taiwanese beef noodle soup by mixing the brine water with chicken stock 1/2 and 1/2
Beef shank with sesame dressing
Beef Digital Shank 2-3 lbs
Orange peel ½ piece
Star Anise 2x
Kaempferia Galangal 2x (Zedoary)
Szechuan dried pepper corn 5x
Ginger 2 pieces
Cinnamon ½ pieces
Green onion 1x
Dark soy sauce ½ cup
Rock sugar ½ lb
Salt ¼ cup
Making the brine water
Heat up two tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Put in ginger, garlic, and green onion and brown the beef shank (all sides). Add three liters of water and bring to boil. Make a bag with a cheese cloth and put the above dry herbs and tie the top. Add soy sauce, rock sugar and salt. Bring the heat down to minimum and let it simmer for half an hour.
Braising the beef shank
Turn heat back to high and bring the brine water to boil again. Put in beef shank and turn heat off. Allow beef to soak in the brine water for an hour and a half. Take the beef shank out and let it cool off. (it is always better to keep it in the fridge over night for easy slicing). Use a sharp knife to slice beef shank to thin slices and pour a few teaspoons of Szechuan sauce on top. Garnish with sesame seed, scallion and cilantro.
Brine water 3 tablespoons
Oyster sauce ½ teaspoon
Fish sauce ½ teaspoon
White pepper small pinch
Sugar ¼ teaspoon
Sesame oil 2 tablespoons
XO chili sauce or Hot Bean sauce ½ teaspoon
Hot pepper (optional) ½ teaspoons (chopped)
Mix everything together in a small bowl and add some chopped green onion and cilantro. It is now ready to serve.
The New Year’s Eve Feast is a “must do” dinner with all family members reuniting. Chinese try very hard to make this family event, often traveling long distances. This is the main reason for the huge travel stress throughout China.
Big families including several generations sit at round tables and enjoy the food and time together. Serving dishes with lucky meanings in the dinner such as fish, dumplings, niangao (sticky rice cake), roast pork belly, fish and spring rolls. Many New Year foods are symbolic.
My personal New Year’s Eve Dinner with the family
Sticky rice wrap with lotus leaf in clay pot
Roast crispy skin pork belly_1
Roast crispy skin pork belly, with Hosin Dipping sauce
BBQ Pork-Rib duo
Beef shank with sesame dressing
LAMBS and GOATS are two different species. Often lamb have wool whereas goats have hair, but there are hair kamb, without wool, as well. Goat meat is leaner, lower fat, and less cholesterol while lamb meat has a higher fat and cholesterol content. For the purpose of this traditional recipe, we are using goat meat as Chinese believes goat meat raises body temperature in winter thus is good for your body.
Buy goat belly with rib bones attach and stay away from the meaty leg part
Quick deep fry the bean stick in high temperature oil (380F) to create bubble look on the surface and it’ll be more tender after cooking
Use clay pot (heated) when serving the goat stew to keep the temperature
Bring about 8 liters of water to boil and blanch the goat belly for 5 minutes just to remove the blood and the impurities. Drain the water with a large colander and make sure you shake off any excess water.
Turn stove to medium heat, heat up four tablespoons of cooking oil in a medium size pot. Put in Browning ingredients (look at list from above) until strong aroma comes out from the pot. Add Sauce A to the pot until it reduces by 1/4. Turn heat to high, pour goat belly to the pot and stir frequently for about five minutes. Finally put in Sauce B to the pot and mix well. Add orange peel, rock sugar, sugar cane and bean stick. Make sure there is adequate liquid just to cover the meat. Once the liquid is boiling again, turn heat to low and cover it with a lid. Test the goat meat for tenderness after 45 minutes. Add another 15 minutes if you feel the meat is still chewy.
As soon as the goat meat is tender enough, put in water chestnut. It is customary to serve goat stew in a clay pot to keep the temperature. (pre-heat the clay pot on a stove before pouring goat stew in it) Also you can place some Napa cabbage or green lettuce in the clay pot when serving the stew.
Serve with Dipping sauce.
Fried bean stick 枝竹
sugar cane and water chestnut
Browning shallot, ginger, garlic and green onion
cooking Sauce A
dark say sauce
ground bean sauce
Voted as one of the most delicious food in the world ny CNN Travel, this Indonesian/Malaysian beef curry is one of the most complex flavoured dishes I’ve ever made. Herbs, spices and coconut milk are slowly cooked and reduced into a thick flavourful sauce that coats the fork tender beef.
Although culinary experts often describe rendang as a curry it is usually not considered as such in Indonesia since it is richer and contains less liquid than other curries.
It’s a dish that takes patience, but it’s quite easy and is well worth every minute spent. Beef is my favourite but you can also try making chicken rendang, using bone-in dark meat chicken.
Beef Rendang, serves with Jasmine Rice, fresh cucumber slices, tomato, lime and lettuce
The Beef: 2 lbs beef short rib (with bone)
I like using beef short rib for its strong beefy taste and the connective tissue gives extra flavor. When the dish is done, remove the bone from the pot. The bone gives addition taste to the sauce.
1) Fresh Herb Paste
10g dried mild chilies (add fresh Thai red chilies if you like it spicy)
6 cloves garlic
½ cup shallots, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped
2-inch pc galangal, chopped
2-inch pc ginger, chopped
2) Dry Herbs
8 pc cloves
5 pc green cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pc star anise
5 pc black peppercorn
4 candlenuts (Use cashew nut if you can’t find candlenut. Candle nut gives an extra woody/earthy taste)
-Use a dry pan to toast dry herbs (except the candlenut) to enhance the taste before putting it to a grinder
2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon coriander powder
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate (set aside and use it in step 6).
¼ cup dried shredded coconut (for making kerisik, see step 4)
6 fresh kaffir lime leaves, torn into chunks, Use it at the end along with the Kerislk (coconut) paste (use in step 9)
4) Kerisik: Toast the shredded coconut in a dry frying pan over medium heat, until it turns golden brown. Place coconut in a mortar and use a pestle to grind it. Add a couple teaspoons of oil while grinding it. It is easier to make it into a paste. Set aside for step 9.
5) Browning the Beef: Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground blacker pepper over beef rib. Use a thick bottom pan (I use a cast iron pan) to brown both side of the beef until golden brown, set aside.
6) To make the fresh herb paste: Put dry chilies (after soak in cold water for four hours). Cut up lemon grass, galangal, fresh ginger into smaller pieces. Prepare garlic, shallot and candle nut. Place everything in a food processor and make it into a thick paste. You might want to add half a cup of cold water while in the processor. It makes it easier to turn it into a paste.
7) To make the dry herb mix: put all dry herbs in a herb or coffee grinder, grind as fine powder. Set aside.
8) Bringing everything together: Bring 1/2 cup of coconut milk to a boil in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add curry, fresh herb paste and dry herb powder and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the beef and toss to mix with the paste, add the remaining coconut milk and scrape off any bits of curry paste that might be stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Add tamarind concentrate, then keep the pot loosely covered, let it simmer on low heat for 2.5-3 hours or until beef is fork tender. In the beginning, stir it every 20 minutes or so, but as the sauce gets thicker, you need to stir more frequently to make sure the curry paste doesn’t stick and burn to the bottom of the pot. Towards the end I stir it every 5 minutes. You should have a very thick, not runny sauce, and you can add more water if it gets too dry as it cooks. If the beef is done, but there is too much liquid, just open the pot and stir for a few more minutes to let it reduce.
9) The finishing: In the last few minutes of cooking stir in 1 Tbsp of kerisik, and roughly tear kaffir lime leaves into chunks and stir them in, letting them cook for a few more minutes to infuse. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve with jasmine rice, fresh cucumber slices, tomato and lettuce. Enjoy!
Dry and fresh herbs
Browning the short ribs
Making fresh herbs paste in a food processor
browning the coconut
Coconut in mortar for grinding
Kerisik – coconut paste
Adding beef rib in the cooking pot along with the herb paste and coconut milk
Braising after one hour
Braising after two hours