Category Archives: A Taste of Thailand

Saturday Snippets…’Tis the Saturday before Christmas 19th December 2020…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I engage my whimsey and kitsch well it is that time of year…Christmas is not celebrated here and there are even fewer nods to Christmas here in the North of Thailand …I do believe Christmas is for kiddies and try to keep the magic going although this year methinks Covid has highjacked any hopes of buying anything the least bit festive …I do however have some festive parcels on the way from family and a dear friend to look forward to…x

In my kitchen:

What’s been cooking in my kitchen this week? A lovely chicken massaman curry...one-pot cooking is the way to go, my Christmas ham is brining nicely and if you haven’t started yours its not too late a loin of pork only takes between 5-6 days so you just have time, my Christmas cake has had its final drink of Brandy which means today or tomorrow I will be making Marzipan…As it is National Pear month I have pickled some pears this week there was also quite a lot of the beautiful syrup over…and not one to be wasteful I have popped it in a little jar and will use it as a glaze for when we cook pork.

Pickled Pears:

  • Orange zest and juice
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Juniper Berries lightly crushed
  • 10 cloves
  • 5cm fresh ginger sliced thinly
  • 800 fl oz cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 kg of  raw brown sugar
  • 2 kg pears peeled and quartered or cut into 8 depending on the size of the pears.

Let’s Pickle!

Put all the ingredients in a pan except for the pears, cook on a low heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved add the peeled and cut pear halves and cook for 15-20 minutes until they are tender.

Pears cooking in the syrup.

Remove the pears from the pan and drain, keep to one side and boil the syrup rapidly until it has reduced by about a 1/3 and is slightly thickened.

Put the pears in warm sterilised jars and add the syrup covering the pears. Seal tightly and leave for about 2 weeks and then enjoy with cheese and or your favourite meat.

N.B. Cooks Notes...I halved the recipe as it was the first time I had pickled pears it made 2 jars of pickles and I had some syrup over…the original recipe used all-spice berries which I didn’t have so I used Juniper berries…

I also made my last bread pudding of the year and added some cranberries to the mix to give it a festive pop it is really lovely those cranberries add that little pop of tartness…The last of my bananas I made into some banana muffins…and some latkes with a tropical twist... they were very nice the recipe came from a dear fellow blogger… Dolly from koolkosherkitchen…

Tropical Latkes

Please pop over to her blog ..say hello she will make you very welcome and have a look at her recipes they are all delicious and easy to follow.

Hubby also informed me that instead of wasting the banana skins he will be making some fertilizer for the garden with them…he is finding some new skills and for a man who at 74 is the proud possessor of his first electronic device…a man who won’t have a mobile phone and has never in his life used an Atm it is not bad going …

Since I have been baking my own bread I find I am not getting the leftovers which I have always kept in a bag in the freezer for when I want to make bread pudding or breadcrumbs…not sure that is a good thing neither does hubby as he is wondering why he had added a couple of pounds…eating too much bread and cakes is the culprit…x

Did you know? The Night of the Radishes” is one of the annual Christmas customs in Oaxaca, Mexico. On December 23rd, The Night of the Radishes (Noche de Los Rábanos in Spanish) is an annual event in the city of Oaxaca, Mexico, dedicated to the carving of oversized radishes. The event has its origins in the colonial period when radishes were introduced by the Spanish. Oaxaca has a long wood carving tradition and farmers began carving radishes into figures as a way to attract customers’ attention at the Christmas market, which was held in the main square on December 23. In 1897, the city created the formal competition. As the city has grown, the city has had to dedicate land to the growing of the radishes as the event has become very popular attracting over 100 contestants and thousands of visitors. However, since the radishes wilt soon after cutting the works can only be displayed for a number of hours, which has led to very long lines for those wishing to see the works.

♦♦♦♦♦

Let’s have some music…A tune or two…

Silent Night is one of my all-time favourite Christmas Carol’s  The song has been recorded by many singers across many music genres… “Silent Night” has been recorded at least 733 times over the past 36 years alone.

This weeks rendition is from  Jonas Kaufmann –

Conservation Corner:

Depending on where you live in the world some of you are going to have a white Christmas…Well, FORGET FROSTED GRASS and snow-covered windowsills, in Australia it’s the Christmas beetle that heralds the start of the festive season. They are so pretty with their metallic coats.

The metallic scarabs are synonymous with summer Down Under – or at least they used to be.

Research, however, suggests that  Australia’s endemic Christmas beetle (Anoplognathus) population is on the decline.

Entomologist Dr Chris Reid, from the Australian Museum, attributes the drop in sightings to drier than usual spring weather, especially along the coast of New South Wales.

Christmas beetles in the greater Sydney region have also been victims of urban sprawl, with species disappearing from the city’s west due to much of their natural habitat being used for development.

I know people have to live in houses but urban sprawl has a lot to answer for and more care and research should be undertaken before permission to develop has been given or provision should be made to keep wildlife disruption to a minimum…Most cannot readjust.

THE  NATURAL habitat for Christmas beetles is woodland, where there are plenty of trees and rich soil. The larvae develop in the soil, and remain there as curl grubs, feeding on grass and plant roots, as well as the surface roots of eucalypts.

As fully grown adults, they mainly eat eucalyptus leaves but are known to consume the foliage of introduced species, such as the peppercorn tree.

The reason we only see these colourful insects during the festive season has nothing to do with Saint Nick aka Santa and there was you thinking it did…Ha Ha

BUT the end of spring and start of summer is when the larvae hatch out. The adults aren’t active during the winter months; they are larvae only during those months. When the adults are spotted during the Christmas month they’re at the stage of laying eggs.

This time of year is also mating season.

Christmas Beetle. 1

Image by John Vossen from Pixabay

If you are lucky enough to see them during the day on young eucalypts… they’re usually in clusters trying to mate, with the males pushing each other off the females.

They are very pretty though and Christmassy …Don’t you think?

The information about the Christmas Beetle came from Australia’s National Geographic Magazine.

Bloggers Corner:

As you know I love Christmas Carol’s and Christmas Adverts…I have only quite recently started following Clive who is posting a daily Christmas Advent Calendar…which consists of two tracks and a comic strip…While I love Christmas songs like Clive I don’t like listening to overpaid diva’s screaming them out…Clive has introduced me to artists who were mostly previously unknown to me and are well worth a listen…some tracks are quite beautiful…some very funny and some you will only wish to listen to maybe once a year…This one is a Cappella (which) I love…and it’s funny they remind me a little of the Barber Shop Boys.

Please pop over to say hello to Clive and have a listen there are so many tunes and such a variety…you are guaranteed to come away with a smile on your face…

Finally today …Christmas Adverts: Spoiler Alert you will need tissues…a box x

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippetts next week it will be all over…

Have a great weekend …please stay safe and shop online where you can or a homemade gift are the ones which show how much you really care…Early next week I will have a few ideas of homemade gifts that can be made in your kitchen…

Stay safe and well, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is surely the best medicine and its free…xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Fruity Friday’s…The Tamarind

 

 

I just don’t know where the time goes it’s Friday again and this week I am showcasing the lovely Tamarind…The Tamarind is very plentiful here and used in many Thai dishes …I love just eating the fruit it has quite a sour taste but I like it…It is sold in little packs here on the markets the seeds already removed or as a paste to add to food. It is also sold dried and sugared as a snack food and although sugared is still has quite a sour taste…

This rather plain brown podded fruit does, however, have the capacity to elevate your food to something else.

Tamarind like many fruits and vegetables has a long history of healing and aiding stomach disorders and is used as a laxative.

Tamarind preparations are used for fevers, sore throats, inflammation of joints and sunstroke. The leaves dried or boiled are made into poultices to help reduce swollen joints, sprains, boils, haemorrhoids and conjunctivitis.

Tamarind is also great as a marinade for meat as it breaks down and tenderises tougher cuts of meat. It is used to make jams and syrups it is also one of the secret ingredients of Lea & Perrins  Worcestershire sauce which is a fermented sauce which has many uses.

Great for smoothies a mango and tamarind smoothie is very nice it also has many other culinary uses.

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend it is very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind. 

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

  • Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
  • 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
  • 6 or more Thai chillies.
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

It is hard for me to pick a favourite dish made with Tamarind this recipe for Beef Rendang is a recipe given to me by my friend Mamik and it is very nice the beef is amazing. It is also my go-to recipe if I want that special dish to impress although there are many ingredients and it has quite a long prep time it is so worth it and as I said earlier if I am having guests a really lovely dish. You can see how rich and flavoursome that meat looks and it tastes amazing…

beef rendang

Ingredients:

  • 2” Galangal
  • 2” Ginger
  • 1 kg beef (Bottom Round)
  • 1-litre  Coconut Milk (3 sm tins and made to one litre with water)
  • Grind together and put on one side, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds and 1 tsp white peppercorns.
  • 2 Star Anise.
  • Half cup toasted coconut (pound in the pestle until oil is released and it looks like a paste.)
  • 1 Turmeric Leaf (Leave the leaf whole but tear side to stem along the leaf) this releases the flavour.
  • 2 stems lemongrass crushed along the stem.
  • 2 Lime leaves.
  • Soak 1-2 tsp Tamarind pulp in a little water and set aside for later.

Curry Paste:

Blitz the next 4 ingredients together to make the curry paste.

  • 2cm Fresh Turmeric.
  • 10 Shallots
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 10 large red chillies (de-seed if you want a milder curry)

Let’s Cook!

Cut the beef into large cubes.

Put a tbsp oil of your choice in a cooking pot (I use a wok). Add Curry paste, ground coriander seeds, cumin and white peppercorns plus add chopped ginger, turmeric and galangal stir for 5 mins, add beef and stir to combine. Add coconut milk/water mixture and stir to combine.

Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, add torn turmeric leaf, lemongrass and lime leaves and star anise.

Cover the pan and cook until meat is tender at least 3 hrs on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.

Add the ground coconut paste about a half-hour before the end of the cooking time and also the tamarind liquid and this is when the magic happens and the taste goes from just another curry to something wonderful.

When the meat is cooked and tender remove the turmeric leaf and lemongrass stalks although if we are not eating the curry until the next day I leave them and remove them before we eat the curry.

This curry should traditionally have a very thick paste and is also best eaten the next day to allow the flavours to develop.

However, as Europeans prefer a thinner sauce you can choose not to reduce down as much.

Enjoy!

Another of my favourites is Miang Kham although I have made this at home some markets sell all the little bits ready cut in bags with the sauce much easier and they taste just the same as much of the food sold on the markets here is made in home kitchens and sold from a market stall…

miang-kham-1188212_1920

 

Ingredients: Filling:

  • 3/4 cup grated coconut (this is often available in the baking section of most supermarkets) if you are not as lucky as me and can buy from our local fresh markets.
  • 2 small limes, unpeeled (try to get limes with thin skin), cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons shallots, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  • 6 tablespoons small dried shrimps
  • 4-5 fresh Thai chillies, cut into small slivers
  • 4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Ingredients: Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted until fragrant
  • 2 oz fresh galangal, cut into slivers and roasted until fragrant (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven until lightly brown
  • 4 oz small dried shrimps.
  • 2 oz shallots, peeled and coarsely cut
  • 1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
  • 8 oz palm sugar (broken into small chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons table sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind soaked in 3 tbsp water for about 10 mins.
  • salt for seasoning

Let’s Cook!

The Sauce.

In a pestle and mortar, pound together the shallots and galangal until fine (note about galangal: it’s ok to use dried galangal as long as it’s placed in a dish of lukewarm water for a few minutes to reconstitute). Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup or a bit less. Add tamarind liquid. Taste, and adjust by adding a bit of salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.

Wrapping Leaves

Your choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic flavour you should use the fresh Betel Leaves.

To serve:

Roast the coconut in a low-heat oven until lightly brown. Spoon the roasted coconut into a serving plate. In separate small bowls, arrange each filling ingredient listed above. With a fresh wrapping leaf in hand, fold it once across the bottom then sideways to form a pocket. Place about 1 teaspoon toasted coconut in the leaf together with a small amount of each filling to create a bite-sized quantity. Spoon the sauce on top, pop in your mouth and enjoy!

Although this can be a little time-consuming to prepare it is well worth it.

Lastly a beautiful salad with a Tamarind Sauce.

Yum Takrai (Spicy Lemongrass Salad)

Thai Lemongrass Salad with tamarind dip

 

Ingredients:

  • 15 stalks fresh lemongrass.
  • 14 cup finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp. toasted cashews
  • 2 tbsp. whole dried shrimp
  • 12 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 12 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2-1 12 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. whole dried shrimp, finely ground
  • 4-6 red Thai chillies stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, very thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 3 raw stemmed long beans, cut into 4″ pieces for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Trim and slice lemongrass very finely. Transfer lemongrass slices to a medium bowl, separate rings with your fingers. Add ginger, cashews, shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, ground shrimp, Thai chiles, and shallots, and toss well. Garnish with long beans. Serve on Banana Leaf or Betel Leaf as in my picture.
We also serve with a tamarind sauce made by combining 3 tbsp tamarind pulp with cup water in a small pan, bring to boil and simmer 5 mins.
Remove from heat and stand 15 mins you can help break tamarind down with a spoon, strain through sieve extracting as much liquid as possible.
Add 2cm peeled finely chopped ginger and 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 11/2 tbsp palm sugar,2 tsp fish sauce,1 tbsp chilli/garlic sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce to tamarind liquid. Bring to boil, simmer 5 mins.
Whisk 1 tbsp cornflour with little water whisk into sauce cook 1 min or until thickens.
Taste and adjust seasoning add more sugar if required.
Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
Enjoy!
Now if you ever get the opportunity to try young tamarind fruit are you in for a treat it is both
beautiful to look at and tastes amazing…
fresh young tamarind fruit

The fruit inside starts off white and tastes nutty and as it ripens it goes pink and you can slightly taste a sourness, the last stage when it is dried and you get the dark sticky tamarind is maybe the tamarind you see for sale in bright red boxes in your supermarket.

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed learning about this beautiful fruit……Thank you 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!

Have a great weekend, stay safe and be well xx

 

 

 

Travel, Traditions and Recipes…Go Bananas… with Fruity Fridays

Good morning…from sunny Thailand…It’s Friday and time for some recipes and a chat…Bananas… I reckon everyone can buy a banana and has most certainly eaten or made banana bread and or a banana muffin…But do you know much about the banana, its health benefits and uses?

Bananas grow everywhere here...In gardens, by the roadside and on plantations…

Its scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated  means  Fruit of wise  men

Here it is called Kluay pronounced glue eye.

Seasons vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry. Did you know that?

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri-coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork floss.

Tri Cloured sticky rice with pulled pork

The saying that you eat with your eyes certainly applies here as so much of the food is just so beautifully served and such lovely colours like this rice aren’t they pretty and all wrapped in a banana leaf.

Banana flowers are, as the name suggests, the blossoms from a banana tree. Left on the tree, considered as a vegetable.  It’s a very good source of fibre and has many medicinal values.

Banana flower

Banana flowers are the purplish-red flowers growing at the end of the long banana stem. The mature flower often has hard husks on the outside. When the husks have been peeled away, the leaves in the middle can be used to cook. It is also used to make a salad in some countries as well. If you are about to buy some for cooking, you should make sure to choose the fresh ones which are tight and undamaged. The outer husks should be closely overlapped each other for freshness purposes.

The flower can be eaten steamed with a spicy dip or made into a salad…For banana, recipes see this post…

As well as Thailand being known for a great source of Bananas...How about a trip to  Banana Beach in Phuket?

A small beach which can only be accessed by climbing down …Just as well I had Aston to help me and take my hand he is such a good boy to his Nannie…

It was a little way down and a bit slippery in places…But finally, we were on the beach…

It was well worth the climb apart from somewhere to buy a soft drink and a snack, a few boats offering trips to neighbouring islands just lovely sand and blue sea…

We spent a lovely few hours there just relaxing it was beautiful…

Nam Pboon Sai…A red banana dessert…

How was it made…The translation from my daughter in law was it is lime powder…from limes? Apparently not…It is a red powder she said…Ok…

Where does my red Lime powder fit in well it is sold here and apparently some of the powder is rubbed under the top gum of the mouth…I was warned( not) that I had any intention of doing that …To be careful it may burn!!!!!!!!

I was also getting a lot of surprised looks and smiles which translated I think meant what is this lady doing buying that… just as well I had Tik with me to translate that I wasn’t intending to smoke or rub it under my gums but cook…They still looked slightly bemused but I am used to that now.

I just wanted to know and see what made this Banana dessert red…..

To make red lime, powdered turmeric is added to the mixture. Instead of turning yellow like turmeric, this pasty mixture turns bright red. Nam Pboon Sai or limewater is made when more water is added to the mixture. When the lime settles, the clear, pinkish water above is used in cooking.

Limewater is used in Thai cooking to keep fruit used in long cooking like a banana in syrup or breadfruit in syrup. The fruit is peeled and cut and let soak in the lime water.

The grandmother here stores her red lime paste in a jar filled with water. The heavier lime sinks to the bottom while the clear limewater floats above.  When she needs the limewater, it’s ready. She would pour the clear pinkish water out from the jar. She just tops up the limewater by adding more water to the jar. There is also no need to refrigerate limewater or lime paste.

Just a word of warning…

sweet radish croneck squah and red lime powder

The powder I bought was available in red or white but apparently also comes as a red paste. It is pictured here with the pretty eggplants I found…

If you get pickling lime from hardware stores, which often have canning materials available, make sure you get the food-grade quality. The lime building material may contain a metal such as lead.

This is where I began to get quite scared as I know that there are some who just mix whatever they have to sell with no regard for the consequences.

The bananas in this desert look bright and shiny and sweet but are not as sweet as they look… I have found a recipe and now need to find the right bananas…So that is for another day…

That is all for today...Thank you for joining me 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 a creative week ahead xx

 

Fruity Friday’s…Pomelo…

 

Welcome to Fruity Friday’s today I am showcasing a fruit which is similar to the grapefruit but without the bitterness associated with the grapefruit called the Pomelo.

The Pomelo is native to Asia and grows in abundance here it is also one of the original citrus species.

We were lucky to have a pomelo tree in the garden in our previous house…

It ripens from a pale green to yellow when fully ripe and has a sweet white flesh it also comes in a pink and red which is rarely seen much here.

With a thicker skin and a much larger fruit than the grapefruit, it is very popular in Thailand and can be found everywhere, segmented and sold with a  chilli/sugar mix for dipping.

Mostly the skin is discarded but makes a lovely marmalade it is also sold candied here or dipped in chocolate.

I freeze part segments and use instead of ice cubes in my drinks…A tip I was given by my Russian friend and it pairs very well with Vodka…

Did you know? The Liqueur made with honey and brandy was one of the ingredients in a cocktail called Forbidden Fruit which dates back to the early 20th century. It is also an ingredient in the famous Dorchester Cocktail…The Martinez!

The pomelo is also known as Jabong or Jambola and in its early days was also called grapefruit or Shaddock named after a Captain Shaddock who sailed ships for the East India Shipping Company. Which is why in very early recipes you will find a reference to the grapefruit but also reference to the sweetness which the grapefruit does not have. Quite confusing…

Thais eat it raw or use it in salads if you can’t get pomelo then pink grapefruit can be used as it is sweeter and not as bitter as the yellow grapefruits. Pomelo is also drier and not so messy as other citrus fruits to eat raw.

Packed with vitamin C and lots of Potassium it is a beneficial fruit to eat healthwise and is found to be helpful in combating urinary tract infections.

My favourite recipe is called Yum Som O  in Thai.

Pomelo Salad

Pomelo Salad or as it is known here Yum Som O is a wonderful light refreshing salad made with Pomelo or( Pink Grapefruit) can be substituted and there is very little difference in flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pink Grapefruit or 1 Pomelo.
  • 12-16 peeled prawns.
  • 1 Sm cucumber diced.
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced shallots.
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai Basil or Mint.
  • 1/4 cup Fresh coriander.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts/cashews.
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut.
  • 1 Red Chilli finely sliced.

Dressing:

  • Half to 1 lime.
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • 1-2 tbsp palm sugar.
  • 1 -2 red chillies finely sliced.
  • Kaffir Lime leaf very finely sliced for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add the prawns and boil for just a few minutes, until the prawns turn pink and are plump and firm to the touch. Drain and set aside to cool.

Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan or a wok over medium-high heat and stir until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant. Tip coconut into a small bowl to cool and set aside. Repeat with the shallots frying in a little oil until golden and crispy then tip into a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Prepare your grapefruit or pomelo:

Remove as much of the white peel/pith as possible from the fruit. Break into bite-size pieces or as I do shred a little finer – 3 to 4 cups is a good amount.

Put the prepared fruit in a salad bowl.

Add the cucumber, basil/mint, coriander, and fresh chilli.

Combine all dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

To put the salad together:

Add shrimp to the salad bowl, then pour over the dressing. Toss well to combine. Add most of the toasted coconut, shallots and nuts, reserving a little for garnishing, then toss again. Taste-test the salad for a balance of sweet/sour/spicy/salty. Adjust to your liking, adding more sugar if too sour. For more depth of flavour, add a little Fish Sauce.

Your salad is now ready to serve.  Top with reserved coconut, nuts, shallots and shredded lime leaf.

Enjoy!

Tip: Like most Thai salad dressings, this is an oil-free dressing, so it doesn’t appear to ‘cling’ as well as oil-based dressings, naturally collecting at the bottom of your salad bowl. This isn’t a problem – just be sure to toss a little more than you would for a regular salad

This salad is better served and eaten immediately, the fresher the better. If preparing for a party, keep the dressing apart from the salad until you’re ready to eat, then toss them together just before serving.

I do hope you enjoy as this is one of my favourite salads, I do shred my Pomelo much finer though rather than having too chunky. But as with anything, it is a personal preference.

Pomelo is also lovely mixed with rocket, walnuts some feta cheese and a light dressing…Play with it …It is a lovely fruit mixed with salad ingredients.

They make refreshing sweet fruit salads when combined with pomegranate seeds and lychees.

Despite their size, pomelos only yield enough flesh for one person if eaten plain for breakfast.

When buying a Pomelo choose a fruit which is heavy for its size.

That’s all for the pomelo if you are lucky enough to be able to find one then enjoy…it pairs very nicely with just chillies and fish sauce or as in the salad above.

Please stay safe and be well…Tomorrow I will give you the recipe for the pretzel bread I have baked today it actually looks like a pretzel…xx

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 stay safe and healthy xx

 

 

National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

We love our veggies…always have as do our children and grandchildren and a big proportion of our plates are always filled with vegetables…As I now live here… the world of vegetables, fruit, and herbs has been thrown wide open so many to choose from and enjoy…

It is also National Pecan Sandy Day...something which I have never heard of but I will endeavor to find out by the end of this post…

Seaweed Caviar or as it is called here grape bunch seaweed…

sea caviar with chilli dip

Also, known as sea caviar it is quite rare and harvested by hand diving …It gives a lovely pop in your mouth and with the chilli sauce, it is nice…I actually only got 1 small piece as Lily and Aston both love it and disappeared with the pot of chilli and the dish and it was soon gone xxx Has anyone else tried this…I know my friend Thelma has she eats it with salt, vinegar, ginger root, and chilli which sounds rather nice…Have you tried it???

These vegetables are Thai Spinach, Thai Basil, Thai Potatoes, and the last one is a type of Thai plum…The Thai basil is grown everywhere and commercially the Thai potatoes not so much and the spinach and the Thai plums are either foraged or found on local markets/gardens.

Coriander Root (Raag pak chee)
In Thai cuisine, the root is ground in a mortar and pestle with garlic and chili and is the basis for many curries, soups, and pastes.

coriander root

coriander root

When using coriander I just wash and cut off the roots and keep a bag in my freezer for when I am making a Thai dip or curry paste the flavour of coriander is much more pronounced in the roots…Also if I run out of coriander I just crush the roots and use it as coriander if it is for a sauce or curry.

Kaffir Lime Leaf (Ma krut)
It is a double, dark green coloured leaf. Kaffir Lime Leaves are used extensively in Thai cooking. Medicinally Kaffir Limes are good for digestion and they have quite a clean, fresh taste. There’s a tanginess without the bitterness.

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The leaves for cooking are always finely shredded which is an art using a very sharp knife it has taken me a while but I can now shred them finely.

Thai Sweet Basil (Bai horapha)
Thai basil, also known as Oriental basil or Asian basil, is a cultivar of sweet basil commonly used in the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Thai - Basil- horapa

Compared to the common Mediterranean sweet basil, Thai basil has more of a pronounced licorice or anise flavor. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as anise or licorice basil, but it should not be confused with the American cultivars of these basils. The flavor is peppery and warm, and although there is a difference between Thai basil and common sweet basil, they can be substituted for each other in most recipes. Thai basil tends to hold its flavor better when cooked than its Mediterranean cousin does.

Holy Basil (Bai krapow)
Holy basil is sometimes referred to as “hot basil” or “pepper basil” because unlike sweet or Thai basil, which has a flavour more reminiscent of licorice, holy basil is spicy and more like cloves.

thai holy basil-3252159_640

Because its flavor intensifies as it cooks, it is preferred cooked over raw. In Thai cuisine, holy basil is often matched with garlic, hot chilies, and nam pla (fish sauce) to flavor stir-fries. It is not interchangeable with Western, or sweet, basil in most recipes that call for the latter.

Sataw Beans or Stink Beans (Saadtaw)
Sadtaw is a prized vegetable in the southern region of Thailand. It actually is not a vegetable, but the young beanlike seeds of a large tree carried in long, flat and wavy, over-sized, bright green seedpods.

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Each seedpod yields only a small handful of seeds.

Wing Beans (Tua puu)
These Thai greens beans have a different appearance but a similar taste to long green beans. If you can’t find the Thai beans use long green beans. They are eaten raw with spicy sauce or sometimes steamed or par-boiled or stirfried as pictured with garlic and oyster sauce.

The wing bean plant produces pea-like beans with four-winged edges. Its lawn green pods are best picked when immature so that the pod and beans within can be eaten. Their flavor is sweet like many pea varieties, with a clean grassy finish.

Thai Eggplants come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, ranging from tiny green pea eggplants), to medium-sized green and white striped eggplants — Purple, yellow, white, you name it. Notice how all the vegetables and fruit now comes in banana leaves fashioned into containers.

They all have a slightly bitter taste, and flavor quite unlike Western or Japanese eggplants. They are most commonly eaten with dips or in Green Curry.

Meliantha…used as medicinal plants in Thailand I was introduced to this plant and the lovely soup when I visited family I have since seen it on local markets stalls on occasions.

It is classed as a delicacy here and a quite expensive indigenous vegetable. I was told that the soup is also good if you have tummy problems…..I love that the Thais in the villages still practice the old ways with herbs and roots to cure a number of ills… Rather than conventional medicines that some cannot afford or trust.

These are just a few of the vegetables which I enjoy here some you may be able to get from Asian stores where you live others you will have to visit Thailand to sample them.

National Pecan Sandy Day…I have discovered they are like a sable biscuit…

A shortbread-like butter cookie with a sandy texture, sablé means “sand” in French and refers to both the color and the texture of the cookies. The cookies originated in the Normandy region of France and are a very popular tea cookie. Common variations include chocolate and lemon sablés.
In some sandy recipes, the dough is lighter than traditional dense, buttery shortbread. A pecan sandy is simply the shortbread with chopped pecans added to the dough, or a pecan half embellishment on the top of the cookie.

Do you have a recipe to share of Pecan Sandy Cookies???

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed about the vegetables that I can get here in Thailand xx

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!

Be safe and stay well xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘J’ for Jelly Beans, Jalapenos, Jack Fruit and Jerky all with a little Jus

Time for the letter J…I am enjoying reading it again myself for the second time. Many thanks to the lovely Sally for rerunning this series…I hope you all enjoy the Letter J….From Jelly Beans to Jalapenos and Jackfruit….xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

This week in the A-Z of food it is the letter J

I hope you are enjoying this series of the A-z of food as much as I have the research and writing.

Starting with one of my favourite little sweeties the Jelly Bean…

Jelly Beans are primarily made of sugar with a jelly inside a candy shell…There are some awesome flavours…Tabasco Flavour, Chilli Mango, Marguerita and some beautiful fruity flavours…Cringe-worthy flavours like Earthworm, Earwax and vomit are for me a No No! But I suppose for Halloween revellers they will be on someone’s list…

Jelly:

Depending on where in the world you live Jelly can be a wibbly wobbly fruit jelly made with…

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