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Khun Ocha's Cookbook

Update December 30, 2016

Garlic prawns with lemon

Prawns are a perennial favorite, and with Pattaya being a seaside tourist venue, prawns are very cheap in the markets. Even the larger shopping centers have inexpensive fresh prawns where you choose your own.

This recipe is for a very easy stir-fry, but one that is very flavorsome. Splash the lemon juice and white wine with gay abandon. Preparation takes 5 minutes, cooking 10 minutes and on the table in 15 minutes from go to whoa. Serve with Jasmine rice.

Cooking Method

Remove heads and tails and the shell from the prawns, and also the vein down the back of the prawn. Rinse and set to dry on an absorbent towel

In a large frying pan or wok, heat the butter over gentle heat. Once melted, add parsley and garlic and stir-fry gently for 30 seconds.

Now add prawns to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until pink. Splash lemon juice, white wine and seasoning. Stir through for a minute or two to let the flavors combine, then serve.

Ingredients          Serves 4

Butter    2 tbspns

Parsley, chopped              1 bunch

Garlic, minced    4 cloves

Prawns, shelled  500 gm

Lemon, juice       from ½ lemon

White wine         75 ml or thereabouts

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

 Update December 24, 2016

Mussels in tomato wine

Mussels are cheap and plentiful in Thailand. However, before rushing down the markets make sure the catch is fresh. 

Cooking method

Scrub and de-beard the mussels under running water. Prepare a steamer and place the mussels on the top. Steam the mussels for around seven to eight minutes, or until they have opened. Important: discard any that remain closed.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, sauté onion in butter, stirring over medium heat for two minutes. Stir in the garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for two minutes, then add the wine and salt and pepper to taste.

Now quickly bring the tomatoes to a boil for around five minutes, until the sauce is thick. Stir in parsley and keep the sauce over very low heat.

Break off the empty half of the mussel shells and arrange the mussels on serving plates. Spoon some of the sauce over each mussel and serve immediately.

Ingredients Serves 4
Mussels 1 kg
Butter 1 tbspn
Onion, minced 1 small
Garlic, minced 1 clove
Tomatoes, coarsely chopped 4 large
Dry white wine ¾ cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, minced 1 tbspn

Update December 17, 2016

Avocado Pasta

Avocados are currently in the shops, and while they are great sliced with lemon juice drizzled over them and some ground black pepper, there are other ways of using the avocado. This recipe is simple and all you will need is a blender. Quantities are not so important, so just use what you have got.

Cooking Method

Put your pasta on to cook in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Scoop out the flesh of your avocados, discarding the skins and pips. Pop it into a blender with your lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and basil. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Taste at this stage and add more salt/pepper if needed. When satisfied with the taste, set it aside until your pasta is ready and drained. Toss together in a large bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan (better than the dried grated cheese you buy in a shaker).

If you have a couple left over basil leaves, pop them on top. Serve family style at the table.

Ingredients Serves 4
Spaghetti enough for four people
Avocados (ripe) 5
Lemon Juice from 2 lemons
Garlic 2 cloves
Olive oil 1/3 cup
Fresh basil 1 big handful 
Ground black pepper to taste
Generous pinch of salt
Grated Parmesan

 Update December 10, 2016

Salmon and Cheese canapes

This is an easy dish to prepare and makes a wonderful taste temptation.  At last, a way of making low-fat cottage cheese interesting – by lightly mixing it with pickled beetroot, and serving it with smoked salmon on crisped flatbread.  The recipe calls for pickled beetroot, which is available here.

Cooking Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Finely chop beetroot and stir all but 3 tbspns of it into the cottage cheese.  Add the pickling juices and dill and stir well to combine.

Slice the hard-boiled eggs lengthways (an egg slicer is ideal for this).

Cut the Lebanese bread into 8 wedges, and bake for 4 minutes until crisp and golden.  Allow to cool slightly.

Thickly spread the crisp wedges with the cottage cheese mixture and top with a slice of smoked salmon.  Arrange a slice of egg on top.  Scatter with the reserved chopped beetroot and dill sprigs, then season with freshly ground black pepper and serve with lemon wedges.

Ingredients Serves 4
Canned beetroot 12 slices
Beetroot juice plus 2 tablespoons 
Low-fat cottage cheese 250g
Dill roughly chopped plus extra sprigs to serve 1 tbspn
Eggs 2 hard-boiled, peeled
Lebanese bread 1 large round
Smoked salmon 8 slices
Lemon wedges, to serve 

Update December 3, 2016

Oyster Shots with WOW!

Jameson’s Irish Pub some time ago had an oyster shot recipe, which made me remember that I had a somewhat more potent version in my own files!  Warning!  Don’t let the children try this at home!  It does call for freshly shucked oysters, but bottled oysters are quite suitable (just don’t tell anyone)!

Cooking method

Crush the rock salt and moisten the rims of 12 shot glasses with water, then dip each glass in the salt to coat the rims.  Put an oyster into each shot glass.

In a medium bowl, combine the tomato juice, red bell pepper, shallots, coriander, and parsley.  Pour one tablespoon of the tomato juice mixture into each of the 12 shot glasses over the oysters.  Pour the tequila into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake to chill the tequila.  Add about two tablespoons of tequila to each of the shot glasses.  Serve immediately.  Drink immediately!

Ingredients Makes 12 oyster shots
Crushed rock salt, for coating the glass rims
Oysters, freshly shucked, with their liquor 12
Tomato juice chilled 1 cup
Red bell pepper minced 2 tbspns
Coriander leaf finely chopped 1 tspn
Parsley leaves finely chopped 1 tspn
Shallots finely chopped 1 tspn
Tequila 330 ml

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Garlic prawns with lemon

Mussels in tomato wine

Avocado Pasta

Salmon and Cheese canapes

Oyster Shots with WOW!