I love Saturdays as the small traders come with their produce from their little bit of land this is where I find the unusual the fruits or vegetables which are not raised commercially but just local grown like they have been for centuries…I am also pleased to see how many of the stalls now are ditching the plastic and using banana leaves to wrap foods like the lovely flower pods pictured.
Lively and bustling the markets here sell everything from meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, curry pastes, rice, clothing, garden pots and knives you name it it is sold here…On a Saturday I will share with you what I have found…
Do you ever have a hankering for a certain food and then it is right in front of you sometimes in the most unexpected places? Strange world… When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.
Usually available in speciality groceries or supermarkets, freshwater chestnuts should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lime juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.
The water chestnut is however not a nut at all, but an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes, underwater, in the mud. I have always connected water chestnuts to Chinese cookery here in Thailand they are more often used in desserts using coconut milk and often dyed a pretty pink…
Water chestnuts are an excellent source of nutrients and antioxidants, making them a good addition to a healthful diet.
Some evidence suggests that consuming water chestnuts could help reduce free radicals in the body and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
Water chestnuts are quite versatile — people can use them in many types of cooking or eat them raw.
Once peeled, they’ll only remain fresh in water that’s changed daily for two to three days.
Chinese Chicken with Water Chestnuts.
- ½ lb of chicken breasts or pork finely sliced.
- 1 tbsp dry sherry
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp of cornflour or arrowroot
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 2/3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp of spring onions
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated or julienned
- 2 cups of water chestnuts peeled and sliced ( tinned are fine) and can be found in most Asian sections of supermarkets.
- 1 cup of bamboo sliced (optional) or bean sprouts.
N.B…I have started using arrowroot instead of cornflour it is tasteless and gives a glossy sauce and where corn flour has a slight taste and cloudy appearance arrowroot is glossy and clear. It is a great thickener and can easily replace cornflour.
Arrowroot powder is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GMO and laden with pesticides.
Mix the sherry, soy sauce and arrowroot together, set to one side.
Heat the oil in a pan and add chicken /pork and stir fry for 2 minutes add garlic, spring onions, ginger and bamboo and stir fry for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked.
Add water chestnuts and stir fry I minute then add the arrowroot mix and stir fry for another minute or two until juice thickens slightly add beans sprouts if using.
I always add my bean sprouts if using at the very end as I like mine crisp and just cooked.
Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles…
I love snake beans and eat them regularly I particularly love the red variety…Thais eat many types of flower buds and this red coloured spinach is lovely in a stir fry,,,
The cream coloured flower buds are called Daylily ดอกไม้จีน usually used in soups and very popular with Thais and often used in herbal medicine and healing but also used in stir-fries we stir-fried ours with the Ceylon Spinach and it was very nice. The Ceylon spinach had a sort of beetroot taste. It is also used in natural medicine here and is believed to have many healing properties…
Lotus Seeds are a popular snack here...our first introduction was when we visit local wetlands here and the man who was steering the boat picked some for us to try…They are a pretty regular sight on the street markets here…
The picture shows Aston holding one to eat you just hook the seeds out with your fingers and munch away…Sometimes you will find the seeds sold in bags for convenience…The seeds are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Manganese.
This is what I love here there are so many lovely little snacks which are healthy natural nibbles.
Bamboo…(Mai Pai)…is grown everywhere here and is one of the most versatile plants I know…We have all seen those pictures of a cute Panda eating bamboo, haven’t we…?…
There are nearly forty different species of bamboo growing in Thailand and with its wide variety of use, this plant could be considered the most important Thai plant. With bamboo being so common that we can see it everywhere, we take it for granted and tend to forget how much we rely on it daily, not only in the villages but in the cities as well.
Bamboo is one of the most iconic plants, with some species growing over thirty metres in height, while other species have culms that can hold more weight than steel! That is why you can see bamboo stems used in construction work all over the country. Thai workers rely on its strength to build houses, apartment buildings, hotels, shopping malls and more.
Bamboo shoots are also very nice eaten…Bamboo shoots (no mai) are used as the main ingredient in a variety of traditional Thai dishes, they can be cooked, pickled, and eaten raw. Bamboo shoots have a high amount of vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.
See the little shoot peeking its head above the ground this is what we look for and when peeled they look like the second image…Always available year-round on the markets a very healthy vegetable which is a staple of the Thai diet…Lovely in a red curry…Spoiler Alert…the recipe will be in my cookbook…
Bamboo is also the fastest-growing plant in the world, the record holder is a bamboo that was measured to grow 121 cm in 24 hours! …It really is an all-round wonder plant…
Although many of the plants look like a tree it actually belongs to the group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae. Who would have thunk…xxx
That’s all for this weeks Saturday Market…
Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed xxx
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.
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 a fabulous weekend xxx