This week in my Kitchen…Pickles…Thai Duck Larb…

I am so pleased you have joined me once again for a peek into my kitchen…Welcome…I pickle almost everything as we all love pickles and everything seems to have run out at once I had to eat my curry last week with no mango chutney now that to me is a crime…I was brought up in a household where every meal had its accompaniment…With lamb it was a mint sauce, with ham it was mustard, with Pork it is Apple sauce you get my meaning so you understand that curry without mango chutney is just wrong on so many levels…

Of course, I make my own pickles...Two reasons...They are imported here so expensive or I just can’t buy them here…Well, three reasons really but knowing me you know the third…Don’t you????

They are being eaten much faster lately as after living here for seven years I have finally found a source of cheese which doesn’t break the bank…As a cheese platter or cold meat, mashed potato and pickles are among hubbies favourite foods…The pickle mill is working at top speed…

Mango Chutney… Mangoes of all varieties are so plentiful here it would really be remiss of me to not make my own and it tastes so much better than some of the sweet sugary varieties which are in the supermarkets…


  • 4 under-ripe Mangoes.
  • 3cm Fresh ginger finely diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic finely diced.
  • 500 gm sugar.
  • 1tsp salt.
  • 1/2-1 tsp dried chilli.
  • 1tsp cumin seeds.
  • 2 cardamom plus 4 cardamom seeds.
  • 7cm cinnamon stick.
  • 5 whole cloves.
  • 250 ml vinegar I use Apple cider but have used white vinegar and malt vinegar.
  • 5 black peppercorns crushed.

Let’s Cook!

Peel mangoes and cut in small strips.

Place mangoes in large pot Crush diced ginger and garlic in pestle and mortar and stir into mangoes.

Stir in sugar,salt,chilli,cumin,cardamom,cinnamon and cloves.Stir to blend. Cover and leave overnight at room temp. N.B. We are prone to ants here so put water into a shallow tray and put the bowl in the centre and cover  the ants won’t swim the moat..ha ha

Mango cooking in pan

Mango chutney

Next day place mangoes in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring occasionally until the mix starts to thicken about 30-45 mins. Stir in vinegar and crushed peppercorns and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Put into warm sterilised jars. Once cooled I keep in the fridge where if you live in cooler climes a cool larder will be fine. This makes 3 medium-sized jars.

Watermelon is well in season now and freshly picked from the farm they are beautiful ..not so red as the ones you purchase in the stores but they are treated to enhance the red colour down on the farm we do not use any chemical treatments…



How often have you bought a watermelon and thrown away the rind?? Hands up! I have or I did until I discovered a lovely recipe for Pickled Watermelon Rind.

Now I make a lot of pickles and this one thing I hadn’t thought of pickling… you live and learn, don’t you?


  • 4lb of Watermelon
  • 1 chilli thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger finely sliced or diced
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp salt I use fresh mineral salt dried here
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Using a vegetable peeler remove the outer green rind and slice the watermelon into I inch slices. Cut away all but 1/4 inch of the flesh (it is) the white part we are pickling. The red flesh I keep for smoothies or ice cream or a nice salad with feta cheese.

Then cut the rind into 1-inch pieces.

pickled watermelon rind

Add the chilli, ginger, star anise, salt, pepper, rice vinegar and sugar plus a ½ cup of water together in a pan, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the watermelon rind and bring back to a rolling boil and then again reducing the heat to a simmer for 5 mins or until the rinds are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat, and leave the liquid to cool down. You may need to weigh the watermelon down with a plate or lid, as it needs to stay submerged in the liquid until cool.

Once cooled then transfer to a container with a well fitting lid and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before you eat…This will keep refrigerated for about 2/3 weeks if it lasts that long…lol

My daughter in law took some of this to her village and they loved it …I thought maybe it would be too vinegary for them but no although they did suggest that next time I made it add some tamarind which I think( as) I love Tamarind is a great idea.

Another great idea which I only saw today on Masterchef when the challenge was to cook and not waste anything…Larissa made a beautiful Tiramisu French toast with a passion fruit compote…That ticked all my boxes and something I will be making…She used the whole of the passionfruit just cut it in half and blitzed it…Just like this…It was a beautiful red colour it looked glorious…topping that French toast…The only thing missing was some crispy bacon…

  • For the Passionfruit Compote, cut the passionfruit in half place the whole halves with 70ml water into a high-speed blender and process on high speed until smooth.
  • Pour into a small saucepan, add the sugar and place over low heat. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, to taste and set aside.


Lastly, Pickled onions …


  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbsp Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in a cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Home made pickled onions

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour vinegar over the onions making sure they are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

Recycling Corner… Crayola Crayons/Markers/Felt tips

coloured markers

Dead markers NEED NOT end up in landfills or our oceans. Did you know that Crayola has a program called ColorCycle? Crayola ColorCycle will accept all brands of plastic markers, not just Crayola markers.

That includes dry erase markers & highlighters. If you collect the dead markers, they’ll send you a free shipping label & you can ship them back to Crayola to be recycled!

Great idea whether you have kids or not or you could start a communal box among you closest neighbours or friends and ship them for free…

My last recipe is a version of Thai Larb made with duck…

Thai Duck Larb

Ingredients…Serves 1-2 people.

  • 200 gm Duck (Pork or chicken mince.)
  • 3 shallots finely sliced.
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced green tops as well.
  • A handful of fresh Mint, pick the leaves from the stem and tear the leaves into large pieces( mine is a big handful)  I love mint.
  • A handful of fresh coriander chopped.
  • A few Thai Basil leaves for the decoration.
  • I Lime.  use half to a whole lime juice depending on personal taste.
  • Dried chillies..dry roasted in a pan and grind in pestle and mortar.
  • 1 large tbsp toasted rice.( recipe below)
  • 1-2tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A small amount of palm sugar….I use it sparingly.
  • Mint, whole dried chillies and sliced cucumber to garnish

Let’s Cook!

Using a small saucepan dry cook the mince, I add a small amount of water to stop it from sticking.

Stir until cooked, remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in toasted rice, sm amount palm sugar, chilli( as desired) start with 1 tsp and once all ingredients added ..taste and add more if required.

Stir in the mint and coriander, shallots and spring onions, stir well but carefully.

Add fish sauce and half of the lime juice.

Taste! if required add more chilli, fish sauce and or lime juice and Taste again as lime and chilli. Put in a serving dish.

Garnish with Mint leaves, dried chillies and cucumber slices as pictured here we would also add any other raw herbs that we had available or picked.

Traditionally here in the North of Thailand the duck livers will be fried and thinly sliced and added to the larb, As duck has a gamey taste then I think the livers are a nice addition.

NB: To make the dried rice mix, take a thick bottomed pan put it on a medium to low heat, cover bottom with uncooked sticky rice( if you don’t have) normal rice will do. Stir until rice turns a golden brown colour, tip into pestle and pound until powdery but slightly coarse.

N.B. Glutinous rice is gluten-free. The misleading name simply comes from the fact that glutinous rice gets glue-like and sticky when cooked. … It all comes down to starch content.

You can store the rice in a small container and it will keep for 6-8 weeks…

Kitchen Disasters…

If anyone was under any illusions that everything I cook comes out perfect then you are sadly wrong…I have kitchen disasters and generally, they are the worst kind like this one when I took my eyes of the mango chutney…I was writing and got carried away until I heard hubby…I mean he is downstairs so why he doesn’t smell it until it gets to that stage I haven’t a clue…

Burnt mango chutney

This batch was well and truly burnt as was the bottom of my saucepan…

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen if you have any recipe requests please let me know and I will be happy to find them and try them…x

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have had a creative week and enjoy the weekend xx




8 thoughts on “This week in my Kitchen…Pickles…Thai Duck Larb…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Weekly Roundup…Pickles, Plastic, Thai Duck Larb, Heart Health and more… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Norah

    I love mango chutney – but not what it did to your pan. That’s so sad. Was it salvageable?
    The watermelon pickles are something I hadn’t heard of before you but they sound delicious too. Pickled onions always go down well. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      If you mean the pan, Norah yes it was and is as good as new…My pans cost me a lot 20 plus years ago and have travellled the world with me..never a loose handle and no matter what I burn it comes of with some soaking and hubby’s elbow grease…haha Have a great weekend 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person


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