Thai homemade dinner – Spring rolls with prawn and Chicken Thai salad

I bought this Thai cook book for quite some time, but never follow it to cook some dishes. Today, I tried to find some inspiration from the book and I ended up picking 3 dishes to cook for tonight. Unfortunately, I can only made two as we are already full after the second dish.

I always want to cook Spring rolls but I’ve never tried, so I really want to try it out today. I am not sure the Spring roll sheets that I found is the same as the one they used in Thai cuisine, this one is for Chinese and I’m not sure if there is any difference. I feel the sheet is quite thin and some how is hard to manage, and it breaks easily during wrapping. Maybe double up the sheet can help, but I haven’t tried.

First of all, have to prepare the filling. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the vermicelli in until they turn soft. Remove them and rinse with cold water. Chop the vermicelli around 3 to 4 cm long. For the prawn, cook them in hot water until they turn pink, and then slice them in two pieces right in the middle. Get a big bowl ready and just put all ingredients in after chopping, including the vermicelli and prawn. Finely chop the garlic, fungus mushroom, carrot, and some beansprouts. Season them with some light soy sauce and pepper, mix them well. Use Spring roll sheet to wrap the filling and close it with some cornflour mixed with water. It is hard to wrap every Spring roll in the same size, and please don’t be greedy, try to stay with a smaller piece instead of filling it up. Bigger Spring roll is with a higher chance to break and you will be ending up with re-wrapping. Deep fry all the spring rolls in a pot and serve them with the sweet chilli sauce. For the sauce, it’s with some white vinegar, some sugar, a touch of salt, some red chilli and some coriander. 

The best dish to go with Spring rolls is actually a salad! I’m making a chicken Thai salad, and I would like to do the chicken with sous vide cooking. Cook the chicken breast in vacuum bag without any seasoning under 61C for one hour. Remove the chicken breast from the bag and let them cool down. Use your hand to tear the chicken breast into thin strips, and place them in a large bowl. Then, chop the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, thin strips cucumber, finely chopped onion and ladyfingers, beansprouts, mint leaves and chopped red chillies. Mix everything well together, and put them in the fringe to chill. Now get the dressing ready, mix some fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar and some lime juice, taste and adjust the way you like. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the salad with the dressing and add some roasted peanuts and sesame seeds for serving.

The main course I’ve planned to cook is steamed mussels with galangal. Thai way of steamed mussels, would like to try it out! Maybe tomorrow night…..

Sunday dinner – Pan fried Salmon with potato and salmon salad

I was thinking to do a fish dish for last Sunday already, but I could not managed to cook last Sunday, as I was too busy making the enzyme fruit juice. Let’s think of a fish dish for tonight!

First of all, what kind of fish should I go for? I was thinking to cook sea bass, maybe something like pan fried sea bass, or grill? Trying to get some idea, and I came across with this recipe by Gordon Ramsay, maybe it’s a good idea to do a pan fried salmon, as I’ve never cook salmon by pan frying them. I used to put them in the oven and grill them, but never did with pan fry.

Trying to find a nice piece of salmon for pan fry, as maybe the middle chunky part is not working much for pan fry. So, I go for more the tail part of the salmon, and it is wider and a bit thinner, should be easier to control. What Gordon Ramsay did, was to serve this with  potato and crabmeat salad. I was not able to find nice crabmeat, so I decided to go for the potato with salmon instead. I guess taste wise, should be fine as they are both salmon, but in two ways, cold and hot.

The first thing to do, is to get the potato ready, better to get that prepared a bit earlier of the day, so that you have enough time to chill the potato, as it should be cold as salad. Boil a pot of hot water and put the whole skinless potatoes in by adding pinch of salt. Boil them for about 20 minutes, and put them in the fringe until they cool down. After an hour or so, get them out from the fringe, break them up in small pieces by simply using a fork. Do not smash them too much, as we are not making mashed potatoes here. Finely chopped some spring onion or chives in the potatoes,  put some salmon chunk in and start mixing them. Put the bowl back into the fringe and serve it when the pan fried salmon is ready. For the salad dressing, put olive oil, a bit of vinegar, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Mix them well, and keep it in the fringe as well for serving later.

To fry the salmon, first of all, make sure you get rid of all the scale, and then do a few cut on the skin side, season them with salt, pepper, thyme and tarragon. Heat up the pan with olive oil, fry the skin side first for 2 to 3 minutes, or until you see half of the section is cooked already. Then, cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes, and it’s done! Serve it with the salad and some dressing.

I have to say, the skin is really crunchy, and I really love it! I think I will cook this once again in the future, instead of grilled salmon.

 

Grilled Lamb Kebab with Red Cabbage Salad

This new cooking show is one of my favourite, Jamie Oliver’s ” Save with Jamie”. I like the show, because they talk about how you save money by eating at home, as that’s what Jamie always emphasised in his previous cooking shows. He always encourage people to cook and eat at home instead of dining out. This new show, they also talk about the nutrition and calories level of the meal, which is good information to get about the dish. One more thing I love, is about food waste. How to make use of food that you always have problem with, those you almost need to throw away, but turned into something else that you can just save them instead.

Watched him cooking this the other day, and would like to cook this for my husband, because he likes lamb kebab. To shop for the ingredients, minced lamb, breadcrumbs, red cabbage, mixed greens, tortillas, Greek yogurt and some pistachios. First of all, to get the minced lamb done, season with salt and pepper, then mixed them well with some finely chopped onion and some breadcrumbs, and get them on the skewer or stick. Then get your red cabbage chopped into thin slices, place them in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add some white vinegar into the bowl, then squeeze the red cabbage until they are all soft and well absorbed the vinegar. Finish them by adding a touch of sugar.

Now, let’s get the pistachios, cumin and fennel seeds into the mortar and crash them nicely and fine, put them aside and we will use them later for the lamb. Grill the lamb with a pan, when they are almost done, paint a layer of honey on top and then dive them into the pistachios to get that nice texture and coating as the final touch. Heat up the pan and fry the tortillas, serve them with the mixed greens and lamb with some Greek yogurt on top, and some red cabbage aside.

Sticky Pork Ribs with Mashed Potatoes and String Beans

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I really feel to have pork ribs tonight, I don’t know why, but really craving for pork ribs. Weather is super cold today, 4C is really cold in a place like Hong Kong. It’s good to have something grill and maybe with mashed potatoes as well. Let’s go for grocery shopping!

So, go and get everything I need for this dish, olive oil and butter, just run out of them. Ginger, garlic, potatoes and string beans, for the rest of the ingredients, I have them at home. The most important thing is pork ribs, I don’t know what happened, but 2 stores both sold out of pork ribs. Maybe because weather is too cold, everyone prefer to stay home for dinner, and also think of cooking pork ribs? Luckily, I got them in another super market, but they are not the kind of pork ribs I am looking for, they are too small and lean. I am looking for the big piece, with a bit of fat mixed with lean meat. But it’s still OK, better than nothing.

First of all, boil a pot of hot water and put the potatoes into the pot and boil them. The trick is, to slightly cut a cross mark on the potato skin, so you will get the skin out easier when you peel them. On the other hand, get the pork ribs prepared and season them with salt and pepper. Use a tray or pan to cook the pork rib which can transfer that directly to the oven later on. Heat the tray or pan with olive oil, fry the pork ribs on both sides until they turned golden brown. Put the chopped onion, ginger slides and garlic into the tray, fry them a bit. Then, put dry pepper flakes, some pink peppercorns, and some star anise in it. Now, it’s time to put a good amount of honey, followed by soy sauce, vinegar, lemon juice and some rice wine. Give a good stir, and then finally add some pork bone broth. Here I would like to use pork bone broth than chicken broth, as I think the taste should go better together since this is a pork dish. Place the tray or pan into the oven and grill it under 180C for 25 to 30 minutes, and then flip the ribs and grill for another 25 to 30 minutes.

While waiting for the ribs to grill, we can work on the mashed potatoes. By this time, the potatoes should be ready, if you are not sure, use a chopstick or something like that to see if you can get it all the way down to the entire potato easily. If you can, that means it’s done. If not, or even if you can but seems hard, that means you need to boil it longer. Peel all the potato skin, and place the potatoes into a large bowl. Cut them into small pieces, or you can use one of those potato mashing tool. I only use a fork to do it, which is simple and easy, as long as your potatoes are fully cooked, then should not be a problem. Cut few slides of butter into the potatoes, and season them with some salt and pepper, and I like to add some ground paprika as well. Then you can start to smash them and mix them, until they look like a good mashed potatoes. Actually, this is my own way to make the mashed potatoes, as there are many other ways, with milk or with cream. But I kind of like it without, just find the right type of potatoes and they will do the work even without adding cream or milk, I just feel adding butter is good enough. Now we need to prepare the string beans, heat the pan with butter, then fry the string beans and season them with salt and pepper until they are done.

When the pork ribs are done, take them out and fry them when all the juice becomes really thick. If it is already thick enough when you take them out from the oven, no need to do so. Serve the pork ribs together with a bit of mashed potatoes and string beans. Enjoy~~~

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