With covid not allowing anyone to fly you have to make do and cook things yourself that you are craving. I was craving the Japanese Soup Curry! Simple, easy to make without the added need for Roux and the addition of oil and flour in your diet. I also feel that the Hokkaido Soup Curry contains lots of veggies never seen in curry such as lotus root, eggplants and pumpkin. So i decided to make mine!
Continuing with trying to go Vegan, one of the dishes I can’t live without is Nam Prik. Originally Thais eat alot of Nam Prik which literally translate to “Water of or from Chillies”. People would pound chillies, garlic, shallots, with either shrimp paste or Pla Rah – Thai anchovies to make a dip which is eaten with rice or sticky rice and an assortment of boiled and raw vegetables. I love Nam Phrik Pla Rah even more than cheese. I can almost give up cheese but i can’t give up my Nam Prik. On a Sunday with no one to feed but myself i went on an experiement of making a Vegan Nam Prik that i would be ok. First with no charcoal grill i used to oven to roast an assortment of Thai Long eggplant, chilies, garlic, shallots and tomatoes.
After peeling the veggies and shredding the eggplants and chilies i started to pound my dip.
I added some Pink Salt, white pepper and a tiny tiny amount of sugar and pounded.
I felt it lacked the umami taste of fish sauce and the fermented anchovy “Pla Rah”. Right now it tasted spicy, garlicky and sour with the limes. The eggplant has a nice mouth feel to it. But i felt it needed a savory aspect to it. So i added some vegan miso to it. It didn’t replace the Pla Rah but it gave i that savory kick i was looking for. Now what to eat it with as it was a hot day and i didn’t feel like rice. So i used a Konyakky seaweed noodle. Completely vegan as well. After poaching it briefly in hot water and rinsing it this is what it looked like.
It is a very strange noodle. It feels like an over set jelly with too much gelatin. But it has an interesting texture i felt will offset the soft Nam Prik Veggie Dip. So now let’s arrange our plate.
Now mix it all together and eat.
A great dish for a hot day. Simple to make and nothing complicated. A good solid Vegan dish 🙂 Maybe it’s easier to eat alot less meat with more weird experiments. Anyone with ideas please feel free to share them!
Since the last post I have been quite successful in keeping meat and diary products to the minimum, some days 100% some days 1 meal a day. This is more complicated than i thought considering the whole point of this is empathy and no waste. I am not sure that throwing my my leather goods makes sense, I dont think i will be purchasing any more leather products and since gaining a sense of “Enoughism? I stood in front of my closest and actually agree that i’m content in this lifetime not buying anything more – Branded goods etc… However i dont think i’m going to toss away my Chanel that i spent years saving for…. My Dr. Martens they still fit as well as all the good quality leather that was bought years ago. There seems so much debate on the internet. Anyways if anyone has some advice or a thought please let me know or what to do about this transition. Anyways – Mushroom Tempura – If you are not using oyster mushrooms where there are slits for the batter to hold on too ) ! had a big lot of Eringi Mushrooms as i was experimenting with a “Creamy Carbonara” made entirely of Eringi Mushrooms and salted crispy tofu skin as the “Bacon” the batter would slide right off. So i cut slits into my mushrooms, coated it with a salt and pepper flour and then a batter that was a total fluke. It made totally no sense to mix glutinous rice flour with corn flour. It was a fluke mistake that turned out totally perfect.
Eringi Mushroom Tempura Batter:
No measurements whatsoever – 1 Part Glutinous Rice Flour to 4 Parts Corn Starch.
COLD COLD Soda Water just enough until mixed well. Salt and Pepper to Taste.
That’s it…. Opps – Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce
1 Table Spoon Light Soy Sauce or Dark if you have – it’s fine
1 Teaspoon Honey or Maple Syrup
1 Table Spoon Grated Turnip and Ginger if you have it. 3 Tablespoons of Hot water or more to taste. Let me know how it goes!
During one of those endless sleepless nights and you tube surfing. I came upon a vegan talking about how he/she converted when they reasoned the fact that they have pets but kinda eating “other” types of “pets. I have 3 dogs and 1 cat and that started this journey of thinking how do people “turn” vegan” from a meat eater? Now i eat my steaks rare and i love my tartars. So I started more research and just looking at many points of views – Health – Ethics – Save the Earth and so forth. How does a one try to go veggie or vegan in an Asian meat eating family? I firmly believe in going the middle ground, do what you want but dont force or impose things on others. I then told myself let’s try things step by step. Let’s try to limit meat to one meat to one meal a day and limit my dairy intake. So i figured for my first meal i wanted to cook (i’m the cook of the family) something that can be vegetarian and then added the other stuff for my family.
One of the first meals was a pasta dish which i was made of spinach pasta – homemade hummus and avocado. It sounds disgusting but actually creamy and yummy. Then i added bacon and cheese for my family.
Not so bad after all. I survived the first meal. Then i got to thinking – Vegetarian meals aren’t so bad but i still couldn’t cut all my love for cheese but i could still try to reduce meat.
A very gross sounding combination: Sesame & Peanuts for a homemade peanut butter flavored with a hint of wild honey. Low sodium and honey tomato compote or sauce on top of a zucchini and minced pork omelette on whole grain toast.
Now there was bits of leftover homemade sesame peanut butter and tomato sauce. Somehow it turned out delicious!
Seeing the Internet Video of the famous Omelette from the famous restaurant made me curious whether i can copy it.
Apparently it’s possible….
Quite Oooozzzyyy and flufffy. Feels like you are eating a cloud.
This really is the fluffiest omelette.. Ever……
Another part of the Young Family Dinner Challenge… Making a version of Inspired Japanese Curry with no Roux Cubes, no artificial flavorings seemed like a very long challenge. I did my research and used the following ingredients for my Japanese Curry.
1 Pound of very very sinewy beef shank
A mix of Veggies – 1 Onion, Baby Potatoes, 3 Carrots, 20 Baby Carrots — Depending on Taste & Haricot Verts Beans quarter of a Pound & 3 Apples for the Sweetness & Sauce Thickness. Half a Pound of Chopped tomatoes – Skin Removed.
Curry Flavor – Tumeric Powder, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Paprika, Saffron & Dark Chocolate. I flavored as i went no measurement but roughly 2 heaping table spoons of each except for the saffron – Maybe 5 strands.
First up the beef: – Marintate with Pink Himalayian Salt and Black Kampot Pepper and lightly dust with rice flour.
Sear on High Heat with Rice Bran Oil until browned – Stir in Onions for 10 mins until softened.
Add water and simmer with apples and chopped tomatoes. – Let Simmer for 2 Hours Low Heat stirring gently.
Add all the seasonings and stir to combine. The color should now turn quite dark. Let simmer on the same low heat for another 2 hours – Try smushing the apples into the sauce after the 2 hours. As it’s on low heat the cooking time is much longer. I prefer the oven but this time i wanted to try using the stove which i thought worked perfectly fine.
Enter into the 5th hour. Add Carrots and Potatoes – Always cut potatoes larger ad carrots smaller to ensure similiar cooking times. Taste after almost done – 45 minutes – At this stage i add in brewers yeast for a darker flavor and color. You can leave this step if you prefer and add in some chicken stock if you like. I like my curries sweet and light.
Add in the baby corn and beans – 5 Minutes and close the lid, turn off gas and leave over night.
The Beef sinews becomes like a fatty expensive cut. It melts and breaks in the mouth with a rich fatty mouth feel without the fat. Really nice.
Enjoy Dinner – Young Family way…..
The secret to congee is low heat and constant stirring. Low heat and constant stirring. For hours and hours, in this case around 4. There is another trick however that i learned, if you set your rice cooker on warm and bring it to boil every hour it also works with less effort!
Egg Yolk in miso works if you leave it over night. The egg yolk turns jelly like and with a creamy rich consistency. Drop it in the piping hot congee which helps cooks it and eat right away.
- 4 Cups of Rice – Warm on Low in Rice cooker and bring back to boil every hour and stir (Min 4 Hours)
- 4 Fillets of Salmon – I used Organic Raised
- 6 Tablespoons of Miso
- 6 Egg Yolks
- Spring Onion
Salmon – Rub Miso on Fillet and Keep in Fridge over 24 hrs / Draining Water off every few hours
Egg Yolk – Line a small tupperware box with miso – separate the egg yolks and gently add the miso to cover. I left mine over night. Gently remove the egg yolks and drop in hot congee.
Simple and Home Made Goodness!
Everyone craves a good homemade sausage roll once in a while, yet no one who has a job, family and a bunch of dogs should even have to time to act Martha Steward and roll her own puff pastry. Guilt as charged. Buy a roll of ready made puff pastry from the freezer section, in Bangkok we have a great brand that made fresh with no preservatives – hence the short life span. Usually i made a mixture of pork, carrots, potatoes as the mince but after a hectic week i just grabbed a package of Cumberland sausage, a few carrots and potatoes. I thawed my pastry overnight in the fridge. Makes it easier to roll without breaking.
Dice the carrots a bit smaller than the potatoes so you have an equal cooking time, saute them in some olive oil and garlic. Season well with salt, pepper, paprika and a tiny hint of sugar. Just a small touch to offset the saltiness of the pork.
I unwrap the baking paper on the baking sheet and unroll the puff pastry directly on the baking sheet. I mix the sausage mixture into the cooled veggie mixture and mix well gently. I dont season anymore now as sausages tend to be quite salty. Shape into logs on the puff pastry and roll it over. Leave a bit of space before cutting it. No need to be neat. Roll it over again so the edges are on the bottle. Flatten slightly and cut into pieces with a wet knife wiping in between. As you see i cut into different sizes and they bake at the same time.
Rub a bit of beaten egg and throw in oven with fan at 125 degrees. Rotate tray after 15 mins and brush some more egg wash and they are ready to be eaten hot in 10 – 15 mins.