Tag Archives: Bamboo

Saturday Morning Market…Day Lily, Water Chestnuts, Bamboo and Lotus Seeds…

I love Saturdays as the small traders come with their produce from their little bit of land this is where I find the unusual 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..as the preparations are in swing for the annual fair and big market it means that the smaller market on the left-hand side is no longer there they have taken residence along one of side soi’s(streets),,,

Saturday Morning Market 7th March

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…

Do you ever have a hankering for 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, and in the mud. I have always connected water chestnuts to Chinese cookery however 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 —  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.

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.

Let’s Cook!

Mix the sherry, soy sauce and arrowroot together, and 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 the juice thickens slightly add beans sprouts if using.

I always add my bean sprouts if used 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 visited 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(The stalk or stem of grain and grasses including the bamboo, jointed and usually hollow). 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 to eat…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, it is a very healthy vegetable which is a staple of the Thai diet…Lovely in a red curry…

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-around 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 week’s Saturday Market…

Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed this post and  have a fabulous weekend xx

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Aromatic Leaves…Part 3…


Welcome to Friday Food Reviews, where I will cover a different food or product each week and look at… what they are.  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, and are they safe to eat, store, use, cook, or anything connected to that food? or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three… today I am looking at…Aromatic Leaves…Part 3.

Why am I looking at aromatic leaves?… As you know I am a foodie and I am always looking at recipes…many recipes especially Asian ones make use of aromatic leaves which are different from soft-leafed herbs like coriander and mint etc…

Many leaves that are native to other countries are now finding their way around the world as either dried or frozen I think that is great as we can widen our cooking repertoire and experience other flavours…some of which we may not like and others which may become a staple in our spice collection…

Bamboo Leaves:

One of the fastest growing plants on the planet bamboo has many uses including using the leaves to wrap food when steaming or cooking on the BBQ…The fresh leaves, harvested before they’ve dried and fallen from the plant, can be made into a delicious and nutritious tea, especially high in silica…

Herbal Aralia Leaf :

Herbal aralia is typically grown in the mountainous region of central Taiwan from 1,800m to 2,800m above sea level. The whole plant is edible, and the root and stalk are used for medicinal purposes. The tender leaves have a perfumed smell. That’s why the indigenous people use them to make dishes like stir-fried eggs and soup.

It can also be dried and mixed with other spices…the leaves are also used to smoke chicken on a charcoal fire, as the plant imparts its aroma onto the meat… it’s fast becoming a popular ingredient with local chefs as more and more local chefs are using little-known and indigenous ingredients which is great as at some point they will filter down to us in their dried form or in a spice mix.

Melientha Leaf:

Melientha…Is a wild tree, with evergreen leaves, that grows up to 10 m high…used as a medicinal plant in Thailand I was introduced to this plant and the lovely soup when I visited my Thai family I have since seen it on some local market stalls on occasion…

The young shoots, leaves and flowers serve as a vegetable in soup or dried fish curry. 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 enjoyed this lovely soup made with oyster mushrooms. melientha and ants eggs but not yet the dried fish curry…

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.

Vine Leaves:

When I think of vine leaves Dolmas spring to mind…or wrapping feta cheese in vine leaves and baking…delicious…pr made crispy and delicious in a low oven and used as a garnish…in my mind, I am now sitting shade of an olive tree with a glass of beautiful wine, some freshly baked bread, dolmas, baked feta in vine leaves and some beautiful squid garnished with crispy vine leaves…then I woke up…lol…so if you are lucky enough to have a grapevine then make full use of its leaves as well as the luscious grapes…

Thank you for joining me today for some more aromatic leaves…xxx

Recycling and Climate Change…15th June 2020…

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of recycling and climate change news from around the world. ..many countries are relaxing their quarantines and already some are seeing an increase in new cases and in light of recent developments around the world I am guessing it is not over yet…here in Thailand we are not many days of declaring ourselves Covid-19 free…fingers crossed.

But let’s not dwell on what we have no control over and do our bit to stay safe and well and look at the good things happening and the things we can control in our daily lives…

The bamboo we have plenty of it here and I love eating the soft stems of bamboo it is lovely in soup or stir-fries…It is also used for structural purposes here. Bamboo as a building material has high compressive strength and low weight it has been one of the most used building material as support for concrete, especially in those locations where it is found in abundance.

Packaging for food and containers is also another use here as I mentioned last week…A comment from trishthetrout made me think and of course start doing some research…Thank you, Trish 🙂

Bamboo textile is any cloth, yarn, or clothing made from bamboo fibres. Sounds promising, doesn’t it?

Examples include clothing such as shirt tops, pants, socks for adults and children as well as bedding such as sheets and pillow covers. Bamboo yarn can also be blended with other textile fibres such as hemp or spandex. Bamboo is an alternative to plastic that is renewable and can be replenished at a fast rate…you can almost watch bamboo grow…

However…as with many claims there is a BUT…I haven’t researched this fully but many claims made about the properties of buying bamboo bedding and clothing it seems maybe false… companies have been charged with false antimicrobial claims when the fibre has been made with rayon.

Some links supporting the use of natural fibres from bamboo and other plants:



I think it is very exciting but will take more research before it becomes available to a wider market for textiles and clothing at the moment it is more of a niche market.

Batteries…Often the source of discussion …

Not always easily and safely disposed of…There is an ongoing controversy about the mining of cobalt and lithium…but as always there is much research into alternatives which are as good but cheaper and safer…

As you know I love trees, forests and jungles even a little copse they all house their own beauty to me and sense of peace and calm…

What is tree cover loss…

Global Forest Watch explains:

Tree cover loss is not the same as deforestation. “Tree cover” can refer to trees in plantations as well as natural forests, and “tree cover loss” is the removal of tree canopy due to human or natural causes, including fire. The data presented here do not take tree restoration or regeneration into account and are therefore not an indication of net change. Focusing on tree cover loss within undisturbed humid tropical primary forests, however, allows us to highlight some of the world’s most critical forest areas where loss is likely to have long-term impacts.

The tropics lost 11.9 million hectares of tree cover in 2019, according to data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch.


Humankind relies heavily on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems to survive and flourish, whether that’s through the bees that pollinate our crops, marine species that keep the oceans healthy and a dependable source of food or the ever-expanding array of creatures that prove the source of life-saving medicines. As these species disappear due to habitat destruction, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change, so too do essential parts of a delicate system we depend on for our well-being.

When humanity exterminates populations and species of other creatures, it is sawing off the limb on which it is sitting, destroying working parts of our own life-support system,” says Ehrlich.“The conservation of endangered species should be elevated to a national and global emergency for governments and institutions, equal to climate disruption to which it is linked.

This little child’s book is a lovely book which is all about the Bees and other animals fight to survive…written by Paul  Noel it can be found to purchase on Amazon… The bee is also one of the endangered species and we need to educate children as well as their parents on what we can do to ensure their survival as those little bees are important to our survival…Don’t forget that!


Silent Spring is a follow up to Busy Bee and the Endangered Meadow. In that story, Bea (Beatrice) and the inhabitants of the meadow fought off some developers who wanted to build houses all over it. In this second story, the bees and many of the other creatures are starting to feel ill during the spring of that year. Some bees mention that there is a strange smell in the air, different from the normal ones that arrive with the season. Even though everything looks normal in the meadow to the people walking through it, there is an eerie silence and with Doctor Bee recommending to some of the songbirds that they rest their voices it is not hard to understand why. The problem gets worse and some bees are found lost and confused and unable to fly so have to be rescued. Doctor Bee and her nurses become very busy treating the bumblebees, the solitary bees and many of the meadow’s other inhabitants that aren’t feeling well.

Good News!

The Nature Conservancy, one of the oldest nonprofit organizations dedicated to the preservation of lands, animals, and rivers, has just purchased a large tract adjacent to the majestic Zion National Park for $4.3 million to preserve the ecosystem enshrined within the famous canyon.

The picturesque 419-acre Utah property called Sheep Bridge includes a 2-mile stretch of the Virgin River, which is relied upon as a water source for Washington County residents.


The river itself eroded one of Zion’s many canyons, and it was snapped up by the Virginia-based Nature Conservancy as part of a greater effort by advocacy groups to protect the area around Zion from development.

The shipping sector has been on my radar for a long time…not only do some of these cruise ships regularly flout waste and dumping laws but because many are built to last it means that urgent action on emissions from existing ships is the key to tackling shipping’s impact on climate change.

It is no longer viable to state they are waiting for new low carbon ships to enter their fleets they need to focus attention on decarbonising and retrofitting existing ships, rather than just rely on new, more efficient ships to achieve the necessary carbon reductions required in line with Paris Agreement targets, according to a University of Manchester study published today in the new journal BMC Energy.


The research highlights the multiple ways that ships can cut their committed emissions, such as travelling at slower speeds, fitting new renewable technologies such as Flettner rotors, connecting to grid electricity while in port, and retrofitting other energy-saving measures.

That’s all for this week…we are in our rainy season now so hot steamy days and stormy nights so everything is growing super quick…including the bamboo…x

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 stay safe and healthy xx