Tag Archives: Snake beans

How to make the perfect Stir Fry…

What is a Stir Fry…?

Fish, meat, noodles or vegetables cooked in a small amount of oil over high heat while stirring briskly…Originating in China it has spread into other parts of Asia and the West.

I will be honest I struggled with stir fry’s when I lived in the UK now it is second nature to me…it is also the main method of cooking here…

I think the closest western countries come to stir-frying is sauté. It is also because food is cooked so quickly called blitz cooking by some…

The main sauces I use to stir fry are:

  • Oyster Sauce- richly flavoured, dark brown sauce made from oysters with salt and water.
  • Light Soy Sauce- Thai soy sauce has a mild and soft salty flavour not present in many other Asian soy sauces.
  • Dark Sweet Soy- very similar to Indonesian kecap manis, this syrupy sauce is thick, dark, and sweet. Also used as a dipping sauce.
  • Black Soy Sauce-a strong and bold, salty, and somewhat sweet soy sauce with a strong molasses flavour…I only ever use about 1/4 tsp for colour rather than flavour.
  • Mushroom Soy Sauce…made from mushrooms it can be used interchangeably with plain light soy sauce. It’s just a matter of preference…mine is the mushroom soy.
  • Golden Mountain Seasoning- a popular brand here and can be used instead of Maggi again its personal preference.
  • Maggi Seasoning- another popular seasoning sauce
  • Sesame Oil- an edible vegetable oil used sparingly in some of my stir-fries.
  • Soy Bean Paste-also is known as yellow bean sauce and salted soybeans, a much loved Thai condiment. There is also no doubt that it will heighten the flavour of food. Use in stir-fries particularly morning Glory.
  • Fish Sauce-made from fish or krill that have been coated in salt and fermented for up to two years.

Of course, there are other sauces used in stir-fries but these are my larder staples…I also buy the best that I can… like anything we all have favourites and there are many different makes…The only thing I will say is that with Soy sauce, in particular, they do vary greatly on whether you buy Thai Soy or Chinese/Korean Soy and do make a difference to the flavour of your stir fry.

Stir-fries are lovely because you can use anything and I do…I very rarely measure, weigh my meat, fish, noodles or veg… I go by eye …I think many cooks do this especially if they cook a dish often…

It also makes a difference in what type of heat you use...Gas or open fire and yes many Thais still cook on an open fire is better as your pan or wok heats up quicker and hotter and it does affect the taste especially with vegetable stir-fries like Morning Glory.

Other ingredients I always use in a stir fry…Again these are my staples for a stir fry.

  • Garlic
  • Chillies
  • Thai Basil
  • Holy Basil
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves
  • Fresh Lime Juice

I also sometimes use red curry paste, fresh peppercorns.

I will give you some examples…

If I stir fry liver I use shredded lime leaves, fish sauce, red curry paste and fresh Lime juice often I just squeeze the lime and chuck in the rind and remove before serving.

If stir-frying meat I would use garlic, birds eye chillies, oyster sauce, mushroom soy, a tiny amount of black soy and a couple of shakes of Maggi or green Mountain seasoning and a little water.

Plus any vegetables like snake beans which come in green or red, kale, broccoli, wing beans…

 

If making a vegetable stir fry then I would use shallots or onions, green onions, maybe bell peppers or I sometimes add some noodles plus the sauces…

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock


Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.


Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.
Enjoy!

This stir fry was just made up as Aston wanted pork with peppercorns…

smart

STIR-FRIED pORK WITH pEPPERCORNS AND WING BEANS.

To make I just thinly sliced pork loin but you could use fillet of pork or chicken, A small amount of red curry paste which I cooked in a tiny bit of oil and with some shredded lime leaves and a shake of fish sauce. I then added a little coconut milk to make a little sauce added some chopped garlic and then my pork… cooked on high for a few minutes until the meat was cooked…sliced thinly and cooked high this cut cooks very quickly then added a couple strands of fresh peppercorns, chopped a snake bean and a couple of lovely wing beans cook for about 1-2 mins as we like our veg crisp. Taste and adjust seasoning but if you taste all through the cooking it should be fine..serve with rice or noddles…Enjoy!

If I am using Thai basil or holy basil the I cook my meat with oyster sauce, soy and black soy instead of the curry paste and then I wouldn’t use fish sauce.I only use fish sauce when I use curry paste.

This link is for the recipe with Thai basil but using minced pork and will give you the measurements but once or if you make as many stir-fries as I do then it becomes second nature and I just use my wooden spoon or with the Maggi seasoning just a few shakes and taste…https://carolcooks2.com/2018/08/25/krapow-grapow-moo-pork-with-basil/

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

If Thais use Grapow Moo or holy basil they add an egg and if it is sweet basil called horapa in Thai ..no egg.

Don’t forget you can use fish cut up small or prawns or noodles…Yellow noodles are lovely with chicken and a few veggies or just without the chicken and some veggies…Almost anything goes with a stir fry…

I hope this has helped demystify a stir fry as many people I know just don’t like making them and steer clear just use your instincts and taste…As for measurement a handful of this and that depending on how many you are cooking for it will get easier any questions I am happy to help…

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 well being.

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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Beans – A staple food for 12,000 years

Beans, Beans are good for your heart, the more you eat the more you ****
I love beans and am trying to cut down and have a couple of meat-free days a week…The health benefits which Sally will outline for you are just amazing…The way to go if you want to get healthier and Sally also has a tip to cut the windy side of bean eating…Enjoy!

Just a word of warning and one I should have given you but omitted to do soMany apologises...The lovely Tabula Rasa reminded me and said…..You might want to put an addition on to remind people that raw beans must be boiled rapidly for ten minutes and must never be cooked in a slow cooker. This is to kill the toxins that are in the beans. You must also not substitute one raw bean for another in recipes unless you know what you are doing, for example using kidney beans or navy beans in a felafel recipe could leave you dangerously ill.

Canned beans are fine to substitute and eat raw as they have already been cooked enough. Using a pressure cooker can also significantly reduce down the time (and fuel) it takes to cook dried beans.

Thank you Tabula x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

This week in the Cook from Scratch rewind I explore the health benefits of beans and Carol Taylor will then use them as ingredients in dishes to please the whole family.

Beans can be tricky so Carol has been working away in the kitchen to give you some fool proof recipes to try so that you can include this very nutrient dense food.

Mention the fact that you are an ardent bean lover and people automatically give you a wide berth. Unfortunately this very nutritious food group has developed a rather anti-social reputation over the years but prepared and cooked correctly beans can overcome their wind producing properties.

History of the Bean

There is evidence going back nearly 12,000 years that peas were part of the staple diet in certain cultures and certainly natives of Peru and Mexico were cultivating beans as a crop 9,000 years ago. It is likely…

View original post 3,233 more words

Waste Not, Want Not…Part Six

Waste pollution climate change

Welcome back… How is your war on waste working I have had many notes from my readers on what they are doing to combat waste and it makes me happy that so many care about the world we live in.

Every time I go to the Farmers Market now I am so impressed as more and more of the goods are wrapped in banana leaves can you see the cone those little green buds are wrapped in it so lovely to get my fruit and vegetable wrapped like that or just loose without a wrapping if vegetables are too big like carrots and things, everyone is using brown paper bags and it takes me back to when I was young and you never saw a plastic bag they were all paper… Or my mum and all her friends used to take their wicker baskets shopping …That was a few years ago now…

wicker basket-2268218_640

Today I am going to look at how we can reduce waste of single-use plastic bags in the home.

Did you know about 300 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide every year and some 8 million tons is just dumped in the Oceans how much of that is recycled…ONLY 9%… That is disgusting…

How can we help?

  1. Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. Purchase a reusable stainless steel, glass straw or bamboo straw and take it with you…It soon becomes a habit…
  2. Use a reusable shopping bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
  3. Give up gum. Gum is made of synthetic rubber, aka plastic. I get so angry when I am walking and gum gets attached to the bottom of my shoe…If you have to chew wrap it and put it in a bin when you have finished… However, if you click the link you may not ever want to chew gum again.
  4. Buy boxes instead of bottles or glass bottles instead of plastic as they are recyclable.
  5. Cereal, pasta, and rice buy from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. It saves money and unnecessary packaging.
  6. Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  7. Use a reusable bottle or mug for your drinks, even when ordering from a take-out shop…All you need to do is ask or measure how much is in your takeaway cup and go and buy a suitable sized reusable cup…Sorted…

plastic-waste-3698194_640

  1. Use matches instead of disposable plastic lighters or invest in a refillable metal lighter.
  2. Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic. Plus you’ll be eating fewer processed foods! 
  3. Don’t use plastic cutlery at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your takeaway box.
  4. Make freshly squeezed juice or eat fruit instead of buying juice in plastic bottles. It’s healthier and better for the environment.
  5. Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  6. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  7. Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Dolly from koolkoscherkitchen  is a keen supporter of reducing waste and plastic and came up with a great idea…She is having a book launch at one of her local stores soon and is going to take the advantage and ask what they are going to do to reduce waste and plastic waste…What a great idea…

Well done, Dolly please keep us updated …

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Here is a copy of a letter which you could write to your local store, council or government representative or even a manufacturer… the wording would need to be changed slightly depending on the recipient but we are bloggers and authors so that should be a doodle…

Dear …..

I support the initiative to ban single-use plastic bags in your store at …..

I hope this ban is the first step in which ……. your company shows vision and leadership in the region and perhaps in the nation by taking bold actions to reduce waste and litter and protect and improve local wildlife and marine life.

People coped before plastic bags and will do so again.

Without easy access to free bags, one quickly becomes accustomed to their own reusable bags.

Banning smoking from bars and restaurants was met with an uproar several years ago, and now it almost seems outrageous that this was ever allowed. People very quickly adapt …

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for the steps you have taken already by having days in the store where plastic bag are not available and by using banana leaves as packaging rather than a plastic bag…I would though like to bring to your attention the piece of plastic in the sushi packaging I noticed the other day could it not be cut from a banana leaf?

I await your positive response.

Kind Regards.

My local store is responding very positively about reducing waste and plastic which given that Asia is a haven for plastic and waste  I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased…

 

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…

vegetable stir fry

We just washed and cut and stir-fried with a little garlic and oyster sauce it made a nice vegetable side dish. It was a vegetable which none of us had seen or tried before and which I love about this market as the food is local and many of the fruits and vegetables not really grown commercially but by local people and farmers. The red Noodle snake beans were also a new variety for me very similar to the green and quite a rare bean so I will enjoy them while I can. It holds its colour when cooked and ideal for salads and stir-fries.

green and red snake beans

Notice how they are tied now with banana leaf and a bamboo tie instead of in a plastic bag and I think it is so much nicer isn’t it?

Thank you once again for indulging me in my war against waste… I have certainly opened a can of worms…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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

Krapow( grapow) Moo Pork with Basil

 

ingredients for grapow Moo

Krapow Moo is my favourite Thai dish and one which we often have for brunch..we are a two meal a day family. It can be made with Chicken mince but I prefer pork mince. For maximum heat, I always grind my chillies and garlic together in my pestle.

Ingredients: This serves 3/4.

  • 200 gm Pork mince
  • 4 snake beans cut into 1/4 inch slices.If you can’t get the beans pictured then ordinary green beans will be fine.
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-5 Thai chillies
  • Krapow …A big bunch of Thai sweet basil  Leaves picked and as you can see from the photo I use quite a lot.
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black soy.
  • A splash of cooking oil…I use Coconut oil.
  • Good shake of seasoning..not sure if you would get the one I use here but if not just a little pork/chicken seasoning salt.

Peel garlic and cut chillies finely at this point I put in a pestle and mortar as it brings out the flavour. If you don’t eat your food very hot like us then just cut chillies and garlic finely.

Add a splash of oil to a hot wok and add chillies and garlic cook stirring for 1 minute being careful the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the minced pork( chicken) and stir until cooked 3-4 mins.

Add all sauces and stir cooking for 1 minute. Add a little hot water if the sauce is too strong.

grapow moo cooking adding herbs
Then add the green beans and cook 1 min then add Grapow and stir until wilted.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

grapow- krapow-egg-pork

Serve with rice and a fried egg which is traditionally how Thais eat this dish.

herb grapow

N.B.Holy Basil is available now in many Asian stores throughout the world.

Please note I have put for example 1-5 chillies it all depends on how hot you like your food and the same with garlic I love lots of garlic and herbs BUT as I always say start with a litle you can always add and most importantly TASTE AND TASTE again and again while you are cooking trust your palate…

Enjoy!

Horapa Moo….Pork and Sweet Basil

Pork and Basil……..recipe as promised.

Ingredients:

For 1 serving.

  • 100 gm pork loin sliced finely
  • 2/3 birds eye chillies. cut in small slices.
  • 2/3 cloves garlic finely sliced.

 

  • SAM_6054
  • 2 long beans( snake beans) chopped in small pieces.
  • 2 stems Thai Sweet Basil called Horapa in Thai
  • 1 tbsp Oyster Sauce.
  • Shake or 2 of Maggi ( seasoning sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp black soy.

Let’s Cook!

Put a tiny bit oil in a small frying pan.

Add Oyster Sauce, Maggi and Black Soy stir to combine.

Add chillies and garlic and cook for  1 minute then add your finely sliced pork loin-stirring until cooked about 2- 3 mins. Add Green Beans and Thai Holy Basil cook for further 2 mins.

In the picture, I have served it with cauliflower rice but I also serve with steamed rice it depends just how I feel…

Enjoy!

This is one of my favourite dishes…Holy basil is also used when making Thai Green Curry and also Thai pork salad… Called Larb here……Holy basil is truly a  lovely herb…

I hope you enjoy recipes which are all tried, tested and authentic….

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot…..

Chicken Liver Red Curry with Green Beans.

This lovely  spicy chicken liver dish is very easy and quick to make…..In Thai it translates to  Pad Ped Kuang Nai Gai Tua Fuk Yaao

SAM_7988

try saying that after a few vino’s.

This dish is a family favorite..even hubby eats it and he doesn’t really do spicy but I think his love of liver takes over 🙂

Ingredients:

350 gm Chicken Livers

4 or 5 long green beans.

Tsp Red curry paste….. depending on red curry paste you use you may need to add more…I use a locally made one which blows your head off …so only use a tsp and it is still hot!

1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce.

6/8 Lime leaves very finely sliced.

4 tbsp Coconut Milk.

Small amount of coconut oil.

N.B You can use oil of your choice I just always cook with Coconut oil.

Serve with steamed rice.

Method:

Clean and cut up chicken livers..I do bite size pieces.

Cut up long beans into half-inch long pieces.

Finely shred lime leaves…..I roll them and shred.

Heat Pan over fairly high heat, add a small amount of oil, add chilli paste and 1 tbsp Fish sauce stir until paste is liquid, add finely sliced lime leaves and chicken livers , stir  until just cooked.

Add green beans and coconut milk and cook gently for 2/3 mins.

Taste and add more fish sauce if required…I generally add about another half tbsp.

It is now ready to serve..this is quite a dry dish so can be served with a small bowl of miso soup with chopped spring onions if liked.

My Luffa plant is still growing like mad…..

 

 

I hope you enjoy the Spicy Liver my photo is not the best..steam got on my lens but it is a lovely dish……Thank you for reading this stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy!