Sunday, June 28, 2009

Instant Thai Breakfast

People usually eat lunch or dinner at Thai restaurants, so they have their favorite Thai dishes for the day. But noone seems to know that Thai people also eat breakfast, and they surely dont' eat cereal! so what do they eat? And what can you make for a quick Thai breakfast to complement the rest of your Thai craving?

Kao Tom Jao, or "instant Thai breakfast" as I call it, is what we usually make for a quick breakfast to get us going. It kind of like chicken rice soup, only Thai style. You can add what you'd like to it, shrimp, chicken, pork, or fish.

Use the following ingredients:

Steam rice 1 1/2 cups
Ground chicken, pork, or turkey 1 tablespoon
Galic (minced) 2 cloves
Cilantro (minced) 1 teaspoon
Spring onion (minced) 1 teaspoon
Salt or fishsauce 1 teaspoon
Soy sauce

And here's a quick way to make it:

1. boil water and garlic wait for a few minute add salt, ground chicken or (other meat).
2. add steamed rice after ground chicken is fully cooked
2. Let pot boil for 5 minutes add cilantro, spring onion and soy sauce and serve
4, add chili or lime juice or white vinegar for seasonning

See, that was fast right? and sure tastes better then cereal! Much more healthy too! Its also a good food for young children.......sure bets giving them cornflakes!

To learn more about Thai food, try my Thai Cooking Classes

Sour for the pregnant ones

(this was written last year, when Chef Saithong was pregnant)

Why does everyone think pregnant ladies want to eat sour food? I recently got to find out as I finished my first trimester of my own pregnancy. Yes, your very own Chef Saithong is pregnant (these things happen even to Chefs!) But the first 3 months I never felt any of this sour urge. Now though, things have changed.

Suddently as I hear people talk about pregnant women eting sour food, my mouth is full of saliva. So I walked around my home garden, and looked at all the fruit trees that my husband had planted for us years ago. The little furry neighbors must have stolen all the apricots from one tree, but our old plum tree was full. The plums were half red, half green, but I couldn't wait for it to ripen...I grabbed one! It was sweet and sour. I thought, hey, this is perfect to eat with Prik Klua. The unripe fruit with Prik Klua helps to wake me up now.

In Thailand, Prik Klua is a popular tangy dipping sauce. You can dip many kinds of fruit or veggies in it, like tomato, green mango, lemon, lemon, lime, strawberry, apple and even guava. The dipping sauce is easy to make, here's how to make the Prik Klua:

Salt 1 teaspoon
Sugar 2 teaspoon
Crushed chili - 1 teaspoon

Crush well with a mortar and pastel, and your dipping sauce is ready. Eat with your favorite fruit or veggie!

To learn more about Thai food, try my Thai Cooking Classes

Galangal - the unknown ginger

The first thing my cooking students ask me, when looking at the list of ingredients, is "what in the heck is galangal?" It is a white brown root that looks like ginger bcause it comes from the same family. When you slice its side, you will see a clear white color and smell that's different from anything else! It is the most common ingredient in Thai cuisine. Galangal is grown most Southeast Asia countries. Its used in many Thai dishes such as Tom Kha, Tom Yum, and many curry paste.

I prefer fresh galangal root for cooking. Luckily, the weather in some parts of California will permit growing it in your garden. Galangal loves tropical weather though, so don't expect the best results here. Galangal was first harvested for use in cooking and medicine in China and the Java Island of Indonesia. It traveled to Europe in 1098 and was used to treat everything from deafness and heart disease to indigestion. There are many countries using galangal such as in Turkey where they use it in tea and Arab nations, as a stimulant for their horses. Europe and Asia used it as a appetite stimulant and aphrodisiac, Russia of course used it for making liqueurs.

Galangal is commonly prescribed today by homeopaths, veterinarians, and other health care professionals and natural healers. It has been found effective as a remedy for the following ailments and conditions:

* indigestion and stomach complaints
* motion sickness and nausea
* ulcers and inflammation of the stomach
* rheumatism
* colds, flu, and fevers
* dementia
* bad breath
* diarrhea
* poor blood circulation
* tumors

To learn more about Thai food, try my Thai Cooking Classes

Growing your own lemongrass

All us Thai cooks know that Lemongrass is an essential ingredient to many dishes. But why keep running to the store to buy it. You can easily grow fresh lemongrass at home without using up much space.

In California, I grow my own Lemongrass in both pots of soil and straight in the ground in my front yard (that way I just lean over from my kitchen, open the front door, and grab a few!)

Is it really that easy? Yea, try it out! First you have to buy lemongrass at grocery store or farmer market. Then put lemongrass in a vase or jar, add water to about 4-5 inches, and keep checking the water in the vast. Make sure your lemongrass never dries out because of no water.

For a few months you will see white roots grow from the bottom of the lemongrass, wait until the roots get longer and become brown in color. At this time your lemongrass is ready to be planted in a pot with mixed soil or in your garden. Don't forget to give water everyday and put it in the place that is full of sun. Summer is the best time for lemongrass to grow and multiply.

Try it out and you'll have fresh lemongrass to cook with! Let me know how it goes.

To learn more about Thai food, try my Thai Cooking Classes