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Archive for the ‘Thai cuisine’ Category


Two years ago, my daughter and three of her friends went to Thailand  to learn the art of Thai cooking and to know a little of the culture of the place. They stayed there for about a week and enrolled in a Thai school. The other two who are certified chefs  enrolled in an advanced course in Thai cuisine. I am sharing some pics that would give you a closer look at an ordinary day in a Thai kitchen.

At the temple of the reclining Buddha.

The temples of Bangkok…

A typical wet market in Thailand. The vegetables displayed here are similar to what we have in our markets too.

Nissa with her cooking instructor shopping for fresh produce.

Look at those colorful array of veggies and spices and herbs in a Thai kitchen.

Don’t you just love these colorful food covers?

Preparing Thai Pandan Chicken

I love how colorful their dishes look…

She brought home some of these but our local cookies taste better.

A typical floating market selling mangoes. Nothing beats our sweet mangoes here in the Philippines though.

I love Thai food. Months ago, I found some authentic Thai ingredients in a supermarket  near our place and they are  now permanent fixtures inside our pantry. That’s how close I can get to experiencing  a little of Bangkok without actually being there.

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If you’re following my blog you would definitely ask, “what, food again?” I am wondering myself why lately, my blogs are focused on food.  Summer definitely brings that hungry feel, because every time I open our fridge, I often wonder what to prepare for the next meal. So I’m done with the tortilla  but I bought ten pieces of juicy apples which I plan to make as apple crumble. It’s not an immediate plan though because I am still in a quandary whether to use almond nuts which definitely cost sky-high  and which I still have to buy or  the local kasuy which you can buy cheaper.  One can eat the apples fresh  anyway if I decide not to labor again in front of the stove.Gosh, I am getting distracted because I am watching the Binibining Pilipinas Beauty Pageant 2012 while doing this blog.

Yesterday, a neighborhood suki passed by and he offered a bundle of these  young taro leaves which he says taste better than the traditional dried leaves which we make into laing. And he was right because it definitely didn’t need longer cooking  and it even tasted sweeter than the dried ones. We had it paired with pork barbecue , it was a yummy dinner. Sometimes, you don’t need to think of elaborate meals to enjoy eating, right?  You just need to be  a little enterprising , and a little budget goes a long way for one to enjoy home-cooked food.

Today, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. It’s rather late to wish you a happy and blessed  one. Oh yes, I’m rather getting good again from hopping on a tricycle to a jeepney and I spent the afternoon at Metro East mall visiting one of my favorite jaunts, Booksale.  I found hardbound copies of Frank McCourt’s  ‘Tis and Angela’s Ashes but I have to forego buying them (could have been an upgrade on my two old paperback copies, one couldn’t  be too greedy)  in favor of another book by Preston and Child (my third one) and one more book from another favorite author, Barbara Taylor Bradford.

         One could not go wrong with a Bradford book since it always is a good read. And Preston and Child’s books are fast-paced, and never boring. I was actually looking for a book by Mary Oliver since a friend told me that she found a copy in one of her forays at Booksale.  And even the bigger National Bookstore don’t carry it.  Another friend told me that she sent a package with Richard Paul Evan’s book in it and she won’t even tell me the title.  It’s a result of our book discussion once at Facebook  which I put in a blog two weeks ago. It would really be a lovely surprise.

I was looking for some authentic Thai food ingredients since the ones Nissa brought home from her trip to Thailand didn’t last long in the kitchen.  I’ve tried the red curry paste and Pad-Kapraow  and they tasted different from the more popular yellow curry powder which is locally available. This time though I was lucky enough to find two bottles of Thai ingredients, a green curry paste (it has lemon grass) and basil garlic and chili stir fry paste.  I am excited for another experiment in the kitchen, be sure it will be  here soon.

The joys of living can be found in simple things – books, friends, cooking!

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I had to cook early for dinner because I haven’t made my blog yet for today.  It’s not really that much of a problem since I still haven’t visited the blogging clues they churn out everyday here at WordPress, to make this daily challenge easy.  Maybe when I’ve gone out of subjects to blog about, I will join the others writing about those subjects at hand.

I opened the refrigerator door and what were left  in the freezer were  one whole deboned chicken breast,  a pack of pork sirloin plus mixed veggies,  a small pack of a  frozen cream dory and yes, lots of eggs for breakfast.  We are due for our  weekly marketing tomorrow so these are more than enough for lunch and dinner. I was scouring our cupboard for some ingredients to go with what I had in mind but the curry powder was not enough for one cooking. I was thinking of making a pork curry for dinner, then I saw this pack of instant Phad-Kapraow paste which my daughter brought home from Thailand late last year. Phad Kapraow is a combination of vegetable oil, chili, seasoning sauce, holy basil (kapraow) leaves and garlic.  It’s a ready-made paste which you can just pour into the dish while cooking.

What to do, what to do? Adobo is a recipe which is uniquely Filipino using vinegar, pepper, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. I thought of making one but why not use Phad-Kapraow paste for a change? I didn’t add vinegar and soy sauce though since the spicy flavor of the paste is good enough for the recipe. I am wondering what to call this since it turned out really yummy, I’ll just give you the basic ingredients if you want to experiment on it just like I did.

1 whole chicken breast – deboned
1 whole piece pork sirloin
4 cloves garlic
small piece of ginger
1 head onion
salt to taste
ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups coconut milk

Saute pork and chicken together and let it simmer until tender. Add coconut milk and lower the heat, cook until the oil is visible, then add the Phad-Kapraow paste last. For garnish, I fried 3 pieces of medium-sized potatoes, cut into cubes and a whole medium-sized red bell pepper to add color to the dish. Hubby says, it’s good but I am still wondering what to call it really. We have this standing joke that when we can’t identify a dish (because we invented it), we call it “maskipaps” which means “maski papano” in Tagalog (anything goes in English). Would it be okay if I name it, Arlene’s Thai Chicken-Pork Adobo? What do you think?

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Tried a packet of the ingredients which Nissa brought home from Thailand.  It really taste different when you have  authentic Thai ingredients.  I  used  one whole deboned  chicken breast here and two small potatoes.  Hmmm…yummy!

One of my nieces gave me a box of this Jubileum ensaymada.  First time I’ve tasted  such a silky soft ensaymada.  More, more please!

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I was plain excited when my daughter came home from a five-day trip to Bangkok, Thailand.  She was in the company of some friends and she was so enthusiastic in sharing her experience touring the place and absorbing  the culture.  Five days would not be  enough to see all there is to see  about the place but they went there for the food tour, they enrolled in a Thai cooking school to learn authentic Thai recipes.  More than  anything , I was elated when she brought home several ingredients for Thai cooking.

Two months ago, I bought a cookbook on Thai Cuisine and both of us planned of trying some of the recipes there.  Thai cuisine has a lot of similarities to some Filipino food so it is not so hard to find fresh ingredients in the wet market.  I just told her to source for dry ingredients  which are difficult to buy here. And she came home with several packets of Coriander seeds, dried Kaffir lime leaves, red curry paste, chilli powder, whole white pepper, instant Phad-kapraow paste and hot and sour curry paste, good enough for several experiments in the kitchen.

The richness of Thai cooking is more pronounced through its skillful use of wealthy colors, tastes, textures and smell wonderfully incorporated in every recipe that they use.  Many people think that Thai cooking is a complex process since they use a lot of ingredients and spices.   It is said that  “much of the heat of the  spicy dishes comes from red and green peppers” which we commonly know as chillies. The Thai call it Phrik. Thai food comes in varied forms like soups, fresh vegetable salads, dips, grilled meat, fish or chicken but the most popular   is the use of curry paste.  I’ve been accustomed to using the yellow curry powder so I was surprised that there is a red one too.

Here’s one recipe which is the whole family’s favorite when we eat at a Thai restaurant.  It’s called Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus Leaves.

Chicken Wrapped in Pandanus Leaves (Kai Hor Bai Toey)

You would need:

2 cups of boneless chicken meat

10 pandanus leaves (Pandan  in Tagalog)

Oil for deep frying

Pound Marinade together into a paste:

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp. oyster sauce

1 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. sesame oil

1-2 tsp. pepper corn

3 garlic cloves

2 coriander roots

And the ingredients for the sauce:

1 tsp. white sesame seeds

1/2 cup ( 250 ml.) distilled white vinegar

1 cup (100 grams) sugar

1 tbsp. black soy sauce

1 tsp. salt

Cut chicken meat into bite-sized pieces.  Mix the marinade with the chicken.  Set aside in the refrigerator for three hours. To prepare the sauce, cook the same seeds in a skillet for 2 minutes without oil or until lightly browned. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix white vinegar, sugar, black soy sauce and salt.  Add the sesame seeds and set aside.

Wrap two or three pieces of chicken in each pandanus leaf to form a knot.  Alternatively, wrap each pandanus leaf around the chicken to form a bundle and secure with a toothpick.

Heat oil in a wok or small frying pan.  Deep fry until fragrant.  (about 5 minutes).  Serve with sauce and steamed rice.

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