Saturday Morning Market …Not this Saturday morning or until further notice although as it is a food market it is still open…I, however, do not want to take that chance so for the foreseeable I will regale you with fruits and vegetables that I have already discovered…it will help me while away the time …instead of just eating…sigh…
I have also taken this exile as a prompt to have a clear-out..some 500 plus posts are now in the Trash and at some point, I probably will resurrect some of them and the others will go to the permanently deleted bin…
In the meantime, I will share with you some of the lovely fruits and vegetables that I have already discovered here and love to eat or not…
This tiny little sweet and sour fruit is part of the Sapindaceae family which includes lychee, longan and rambutan.
It is a tiny little fruit which grows wild and is often called the wild lychee the tree it comes from is enormous and the fruit so tiny it also quite rare to find… I came across this fruit quite by chance when I took a ride back from the market in a tuk-tuk. I have not had the pleasure of finding any since maybe one day as they are a beautiful little fruit.
My tuk-tuk driver had a bag of these in the back of his tuk-tuk and me being nosey asked him what they were he told me to try some which I did ..of course…when I expressed my pleasure he gave me some…Thais are very generous… if you try what they offer and you like it you will always be gifted some. He told me that he had a tree in his village which was where he got the fruit from…his snack for the day…
When peeled they look like very small lychees and I could find very little information about this lovely little fruit… It may be found locally on markets or often people just sit on the sidewalk with a few fruits and vegetables from their land which they are selling to make a few baht but this is also where you come across unusual fruits and vegetables which are not commercially grown or they are just grown wild.
Found also in Laos and Myanmar it is not grown commercially or generally cultivated so quite rare.
Korlan... the rare wild fruit juice has a delicious and unique taste of sour and sweet variety with health benefits from vitamins and antioxidants.
It is said to regulate blood sugar and also to improve concentration and stress. Locals say eaten daily or taken as a syrup/extract made from the fruit it gives increased energy and boosts the immune system, therefore, combating flu viruses and colds. I could certainly do with some of them right now…
My daughter in law said they were also eaten with dried chilli, fish sauce and lime they were quite nice and as I didn’t have enough to make a syrup we enjoyed them just like this… this type of dip/sauce is quite commonly eaten with fruits.
The stones if I had thought I could have maybe sprouted them and had my own tree…next time methinks…
Have you come across this fruit?? Do you have any recipes using this fruit?? If so I would love to hear from you in the comments x
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…
These rather plain brown pods of fruit do, 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 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. rich and flavoursome it tastes amazing…This recipe will be in my cookbook…
Another of my favourites is Miang Kham although I have made it 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 on the market…
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for reading this post I hope you have enjoyed it and the recipes 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 again for reading enjoy your weekend and stay safe and healthy xxx