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Vol. X No.18 - December 1 - December 31, 2011

Around Town
Arts - Entertainment
Book Review
Animal Welfare
Birdwatching Tales
Care for Dogs
Community Happenings
Doctor's Consultation
Eating Out
Heart to Heart with Hillary
Let’s go to the movies
Life in Chiang Mai
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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern


Kao Soi made easy

Kao Soi is a Burmese curry.  Being a “peasant” meal it was made with chopped chicken, including the bones, but fillet is best.  This recipe uses pre-prepared Kao Soi Seasoning Mix (Lobo), available at all major supermarkets.

Ingredients                    Serves 4
Chicken thigh fillet            500 gm
Coconut milk                    600 ml
Lobo Kao Soi Mix             1 pkt
Fish sauce                      10 ml
Soy sauce                       5 ml
Lemon juice                     5 ml
Sugar                              1 tspn
Cooking oil                      100 ml
Egg noodles (“bamee”)     300 gm
Peanuts (roasted and ground) 4 tbspns
Onion (chopped)             4 tbspns
Shallot (chopped)            4 tbspns

Cooking Method

In the wok, heat 200 ml coconut milk and stir in the seasoning mix (low heat for 2 minutes).  Increase to medium heat, add chicken thigh pieces and cook for 3 minutes.

Now add rest of coconut milk, 600 ml of water, fish sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice and sugar.  Lower heat and simmer for around 6 minutes.

In a separate wok add oil and when hot add half the egg noodles and fry till crisp.  This will not take long.  Remove from the oil and allow to drain.

In a small pot, add the remainder of the egg noodles to boiling water and boil for 2 minutes.

Put equal portions of soft egg noodles into four bowls.  Add the chicken and curry to each.  Put fried noodles on top, then sprinkle with onion, peanut and shallot.


Refreshing Salmon entree

In this climate, cold delicacies go down very well.  This salmon dish is a cool and most refreshing entree. It is also one of the easiest dishes you will ever make, the hardest part is making the honey dew melon balls.  If you do not possess a melon baller, then you can always make nice scoops with a large spoon.  If the worst comes to the worst, cut it in slices!  You can make this dish a few hours before the guests arrive and keep it in the refrigerator, but apply the coconut cream and garnish just before serving.

Ingredients                     Serves four
Salmon (fresh is best but tinned is fine) 200 gms
Onion small                     ½
Garlic                              ½ clove
Lime juice                      1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil                          1 tbspn
Honey dew melon           ½
Cucumber                      ½
Coconut cream
Chives or Coriander as garnish

Cooking Method

Chop salmon into ½ cm dices and combine in a bowl with the onion, garlic, lime juice, oil and a dash of salt and white pepper.

Mix well and shape into four balls.  Place on a plate and flatten slightly.

Surround each with three balls of melon and three of cucumber.

Drizzle coconut cream over these and garnish salmon with a herb like chives or coriander.


Hor Mok Talay (Steamed seafood curry)

This is a very typical Thai dish and is generally on the menu of all seafood restaurants.  All the ingredients are available at the local markets, though if you are not too fluent in the Thai language, take a native Thai speaker with you.  Although the recipe calls for sea perch, any white fish will do.

Ingredients                        Serves 4
Prawns de-shelled, deveined 100 gm
Squid bite-sized pieces        100 gm
Crabmeat                            100 gm
Sea perch sliced fillet           100 gm
Kaffir lime leaf finely sliced    1 tbspn
Coconut cream                    3 cups
Fish sauce                          2 tspns
Sweet basil leaves               2 cups
Shredded cabbage               3 cups
Red chilli thinly sliced          2 tbspn
Hor-mok chilli                      2 tbspn

Cooking Method

Pound the Hor-mok chilli into a paste and add 2 ½ cups of the coconut cream in a bowl and stir well.  Add the prawns, squid, crabmeat, and sea perch and stir gently to mix well, adding fish sauce to taste.  Make a bed of sweet basil leaves and shredded cabbage in the bottom of a large bowl and spoon the seafood mixture onto this.  Pour the remaining ½ cup of coconut cream on top and sprinkle with chilli and kaffir lime leaf.

Place the bowl in a steamer in which the water is boiling and steam over high heat for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the steamer and it is ready to eat.


French Onion soup (for English speakers)

French Onion soup is one of those dishes that everyone knows and everyone has tried, but unfortunately can be incorrectly prepared. This recipe is close to the original, is easy to prepare but relies on sherry and tasty cheddar cheese for its flavors.

Ingredients            Serves 4
Large onions (sliced)                 6
Butter                            2 tbspns
Lemon zest from one lemon
Beef stock cubes                      3
Water                              2 liters
Sherry                           4 tbspns
Cheddar cheese (grated) 8 tbspns
Whole-wheat toast           4 slices
Ground black pepper to taste

Cooking Method

Dissolve the beef stock cubes in the two liters of water. Fry onions in butter until soft. Now add the beef stock and zest of lemon and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain off the zest and add the sherry. Prepare four soup bowls and place one slice of toast in each. Pour the soup over the toast and top with two tablespoons of cheese. Grind some black pepper over the cheese and place in microwave for a few seconds until the cheese starts to melt and then serve immediately.

Stuffed Bell Peppers (Capsicum)

Stuffed Bell Peppers are a very flavorsome entrée for your next dinner party.  Very quick and easy to make.  The recipe calls for curry powder and you can take your choice, though I recommend the yellow Malaysian curry powder as being milder than the Thai ones.  Use chicken breast rather than thigh.

Ingredients                       Serves 6
Medium green bell peppers  6
Cooked rice                       2 cups
Cooked cubed chicken       2 cups
Chopped celery                1 cup
Chopped onion                 ¼ cup
Mayonnaise                     1 cup
Curry powder                  1 tspn
Salt                               ½ tspn
Ground black pepper dash

Cooking Method

Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds and membranes.  Cook peppers in enough simmering water to cover them for 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain.  Combine cooked rice, chicken, celery, and onion in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Gently toss together the mayonnaise mixture with rice and chicken mixture.  Fill peppers; place in a greased shallow baking dish and pour a small amount of water in the baking dish, enough to cover the bottom.  Bake chicken stuffed peppers at 350° for 30 minutes, or until stuffed peppers are tender.

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