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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.

Serve Four

Note:

  • 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.
Thai Style Glass Noodle Salad (Yum Woon Sen) ยำวุ้นเส้น

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions

Put tomato, carrot, cilantro leave, onion, basil, mint, celery, and bean sprout in a large mixing bowl for later use.

The dressing:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add noodles into the mixing bowl along with all the vegetables, pour the dressing over and quickly toss to combine.
  4. Toss in cilantro leaves and plate. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately!
Thai glass noodle Thai Style Glass Noodle Salad (Yum Woon Sen) ยำวุ้นเส้น Fresh ingredints
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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!

Note:

·       Use mini cucumber for best result

·       Use black vinegar if you can’t find Shanxi mature vinegar山西老陈醋

·       Don’t soak Black  Cloud Ear黑木耳 in water more than one hour

Cucumber Salad 涼伴黑木耳小黃瓜

Black  Cloud Ear黑木耳 20 gm
Young cucumber小青瓜 6 pieces
Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon
Shanxi mature vinegar山西老陈醋 120 ml
Soy sauce 2 tablespoons
Sesame oil 2 tablespoons
Honey 80 gm
Hot chili oil 1 teaspoon
Sichuan peppercorn花椒 1/4 teaspoon (grind to powder)
Fresh garlic paste 2 teaspoons
Fresh ginger 1 teaspoon (finely chopped)
Red Thai pepper 4x (remove seeds) finely chopped
Cilantro 1 small bunch (finely chopped)
Toasted Sesame seed 1/2 teaspoon

Method:

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 Cucumber wedge 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
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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

Ingredients:

Green lettuce X 2
Ground pork 1 lb
Shallot X2 – thin slices
Garlic paste From 2 cloves
Lemon grass (only the bottom thick part) X2 finely chopped
Red chilli X2 chopped
Fresh lime Cut to wedges (during serving)
Carrot 1 cup (finely chopped)
Fried shallot 1 tablespoon
Lime leafs 1 tablespoon (finely chopped)
Thai basil 1 bunch
Oil 2 tablespoons
Cooked jasmine rice 2 cups
The sauce
Hosin Sauce X 2 tablespoons
Fish sauce X 3 tablespoons
White pepper X 1/2  teaspoon
Lime juice From 2 limes
Crushed palm sugar 3 tablespoons
Tamarind paste

 

1 tablespoon
  • 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.

Optional serving idea:

serve with the Thai dipping sauce (please see my other recipe) and crushed peanuts

Tamarind-paste Thai Pork Lettuce Wrap 泰式生菜包
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 Thai All Purpose Dipping Sauce – 泰式萬用酸辣汁

Shallot X3
Fresh Thai pepper X6
Garlic X3
Cilantro stem 1 bunch
Lime X8
Lime leaf X6 – remove center hard stem
Lemon grass X2
Palm sugar X2
Fish sauce 2 tablespoons
Turmeric paste 2 tablespoons
Water 2 tablespoons

Method:

remove the hard middle stem from lime leaf – fold leaf to half and remove stem from bottom.

remove leaf from cilantro – the leaf will give the sauce a darker color

use only the bottom part of the lemon grass and peel away the outer two to three layers, use only the center part.

use a pounder to flatten the palm sugar

put the above ingredients in a food processor and use the pause several times to chop and mix all the ingredients.

keep the sauce in a jar (with lid) and keep in fridge for future use.  (can keep to up till three weeks)

*note: chop ingredients really well if you don’t have a food processor.

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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.

Note:

  • 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

Ingredients:

Beef Digital Shank            2-3 lbs

Brine water:

Orange peel                       ½ piece

Star Anise                           2x

Kaempferia Galangal        2x  (Zedoary)

Szechuan dried pepper corn     5x

Garlic                                    2x

Ginger                                  2 pieces

Cinnamon                            ½ pieces

Green onion                       1x

Dark soy sauce                    ½ cup

Rock sugar                           ½ lb

Salt                                        ¼ cup

Method:

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.

Szechuan sauce:

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.

材料:

金錢腱(細腱)                              四件

滷水料: 

陳皮                       1/2片

八角                       2粒

沙薑                      2粒

花椒                       5粒

蒜頭                        2粒

生薑                        2大片

玉桂                         1/2塊

生葱                         1枝

老抽                          1/2 杯

冰糖                          1/2 磅

鹽                              1/4杯

先燒熱鍋, 放入少許生油, 加入生薑, 生葱, 蒜頭爆香, 加入少許紹酒, 放入金錢腱以中火煎香至金黃色, 加入約3公斤清水至沸騰, 把以上滷水料放入滷水袋中, 再放入鍋中, 加入老抽, 冰糖, 鹽, 用文火煲大約一小時半後關閉灶火, 再浸金錢腱一小時以待入味, 等待凍後切件食用, 最好放金錢腱在雪櫃過夜, 以便切片時可切薄片.

川汁做法:

滷水                            三湯匙

蚝油                             半茶匙

魚露                             半茶匙

白胡椒                         1/4茶匙

白糖                             1/4茶匙

X○醬, 或(豆板醬)    半茶匙

把以上醬料攪勻, 再慢慢將大約二湯匙麻油攪拌, 加入葱白粒, 芫荽放上已切薄片之牛腱上,再放上少許花生碎便成.

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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

有魚有剩,有頭有尾,大桔大利,開枝散葉 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
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Year of the Pig
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Eddy's kitchen by Eddyskitchen - 5M ago

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.

Note:

  • 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
Goat Stew 枝竹羊腩煲

Serve 4

Time required: 2 hours

Basic Ingredients:

Goat belly with bone and skin 2 lbs (cut into small cubes)
Bean stick 枝竹 3 sticks (cut into 5-6 pieces each)
Sugar cane 1 stick (cut into 4-5 pieces)
Water chestnut 6 pieces (peel the skin)
Orange peel (陳皮) 1 pieces (soak in water)
Sauce A
Hosin sauce 2 teaspoons
Ground bean sauce 2 teaspoons
Salted red bean sauce (南乳) 1 teaspoon
Shaoxing wine (紹興酒) 2 teaspoons
Sauce B
Light soy sauce 1 teaspoons
Oyster sauce 2 teaspoons
Dark soy sauce 1 teaspoon
Water 1  1/2 cup
Rock sugar (冰糖) One small piece (about 30 gm)
Browning Ingredients:
Ginger 4 pieces
Garlic 4 pieces
Shallot 2 pieces
Green onion (bottom white part) 2 pieces
Dipping sauce
Fermented bean curd 腐乳 2 cubes
Fresh Lime leaf 2 pieces (cut to very thin)
Water 2 tablespoons

Method:

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 rock sugar ground bean sauce hoisin sauce oyster sauce
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Eddy's kitchen by Eddyskitchen - 5M ago

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

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

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

3) Curry

  • 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)

METHOD:

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 Shredded coconut 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
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Vegetarian Spring Roll with Thai Sweet Chilies, Lime Dipping Sauce – 素春卷
How to fold a Spring Roll - YouTube

Ingredients:

(for filling)

Clear glass noodle                               100 gm (soak in water for an hour before use and cut to 1 in length)

Garlic                                                      1 teaspoon (chopped)

Marinated tofu                                       1x julienne

Carrot                                                      1 cup, julienne

Shitake mushroom                               1 cup

Cabbage                                                  1 cup, julienne

Green onion                                           ½ cup, julienne

Kosher salt                                              ¼ teaspoon

Sugar                                                        ¼ teaspoon

Fish sauce                                                ¼ teaspoon

White pepper                                         small pinch

Oil                                                             six cups

(for wrapping)

Tapioca flour                                          2 teaspoons

Water                                                      3 teaspoons

Mix tapioca flour in water and stirring over low heat until become glue for sealing.

 

Preparations:

  1. Blanch cabbage and carrot in a pot of hot water for a minute, drain well and remove excess water by squeezing it.
  2. Heat oil in wok, add garlic, mushroom and stir until translucent
  3. Turn stove to high, add tofu, glass noodle and vegetables in wok and stir quickly for three minutes. Season with salt, sugar and fish sauce.
  4. Place filling in a sieve and let it cool off for ten minutes
  5. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of spring roll wrapper. Turn the bottom edge over to cover the filling
  6. Use your fingers to tug filling in tight
  7. Fold the left and right sides
  8. Roll the wrapper almost to the top then brush the top edge with tapioca glue and seal tightly
  9. Fill the remaining wrapper the same way
  10. Heat oil to medium in wok and deep fry spring roll until crisp and golden brown
  11. Serve with sweet chilies sauce

Sweet Chiles, Lime Dipping Sauce:

Vinegar                                     ½ cup

White sugar                             ¾ cup

Salt                                            1 teaspoon

Water                                        ¼ cup

Fresh lime                                3 slices

Hot chilies                                1x (or more if you like it spicy)

Garlic                                        1 teaspoon (chopped)

Green onion                             1 teaspoon (chopped)

Cilantro                                     1 teaspoon (chopped)

Method:

  1. Finely chop chilies and garlic together, set aside
  2. Simmer vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, chilies, lime slices and water over medium heat. Simmer until the sauce is thick.
  3. Place green onion and cilantro in a small bowl
  4. Remove from heat. Pour sauce in the bowl with green onion and cilantro.  You may want to add more chopped chilies slices as garnish.
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