Archive for the ‘Fish sauce’ Category

* Thai Curry Crabs

Posted on January 17th, 2015 by Linda. Filed under Cooking Method, Course, Crab, Cuisine, Entree, Fish sauce, Stir Fry, Thai.



OMG, this is too good.  We made this in Thai class at Cavallo today.  With a sauce made from coconut milk, evaporated milk, eggs, oil and crab roe, it has to be nothing but velvety good to make up for the calories!

Chef’s tip:  The sauce is like making a bearnaise or hollandaise.  When you add the eggs in, it is crucial that you temper the eggs first by adding the hot liquid to the eggs, before whisking the tempered eggs back into the pot.  Once eggs are added, do not overcook or the egg will scramble.

2 cups coconut milk
½ cup evaporated milk
1 Tablespoon Maggi seasoning, or Braggs liquid amino
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Tablespoons cup palm sugar

2 Tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 Tablespoons cold water

2 Dungeness crabs (2 ½ lbs each) – uncooked, cut into 6 pieces each

1/4 cup rice bran oil
5 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 small yellow onion, cut into thin strips
1 cup Chinese celery, cut into 2 inches sprigs
2 Fresno chili, seeded, cut into thin strips
1 Tablespoon turmeric powder
2 Tablespoons Madras curry powder
1 cup green onions, sliced into 2 inches strips

3 eggs, beaten
½ cup red chili oil

Cilantro for garnish

Preparing mise-en-place

Mix sauce ingredients together.  Set aside. Mix cornstarch with water; set aside.  Cut vegetables and place on baking sheet mise en place.   In a separate bowl, beat egg with red oil; set aside.

Preparing the crab
Ask your fishmonger to kill,  clean and cut the into 6 the crab, but you must cook it within 2-3 hours of killing. Pat dry shellfish. Include the crab roe.

Heat oil in wok.  Fry shellfish including crab roe till bright vermillion red and fragrant.  Remove crabs from wok.  Do not wash wok!   Using same wok, brown garlic with remaining oil till fragrant; about 1 minute.  Add onions, celery and fresno fry till slightly softened.  Add curry powder and turmeric powder and fry till fragrant.  Add the sauce ingredient mixture from your mise set,  then bring to a boil. When boiling, add cornstarch mixture and stir to thicken.  Taste for seasoning.

Ladle a few tablespoons of the hot sauce into the eggs-oil mixture, while whisking.  When eggs are tempered, then slowly add the eggs back into the sauce, while whisking till it thickens.  Add back the crab. Mix well.  Sauce should envelope the crab.   Cover to steam for 2 minutes under low heat.   Do not let the egg scramble.  Add in the green onions.  Toss.  Serve immediately with garnish of cilantro.

Serves: 6

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* Thai Olive Fried Rice

Posted on January 17th, 2015 by Linda. Filed under Cooking Method, Course, Fish sauce, Stir Fry, Thai.

Olive Fried Rice


I recall going to a great Thai restaurant on Boat Quay in Singapore like twenty years ago and had a smorgasbord buffet of tasty Thai food.  The dish I recall best is the Olive Fried Rice.

We used Chinese olives – with its dangerously pointy pit, which is super salty.  It has a nice earthy flavor; in the fried rice, its saline flavor matches well with the generally sweet Thai dishes.  I love the purple color it imparts on the rice.

Chef’s tip:  If you cannot find salt brined Chinese olives, kalamata or the canned black olives make a good substitute.  A black olive paste from the Italian deli would do, too.

2- 4 Tablespoon fish sauce, depending on how salty the olives are
2 Tablespoons palm sugar
2 Tablespoons lime juice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
8 oz medium shrimp, shelled, deveined
1 cup Chinese olives, pitted, and chopped

5 cups cooked (about 2 cups raw) long-grain rice, chilled

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup dry roasted cashews, for garnish
Make steam rice the and place on a baking sheet and let it cool.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together fish sauce, sugar and lime juice until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat and add oil, swirling to coat. Add garlic, stir fry until golden, then add shrimp and fry until shrimp is pink. Add fish sauce mixture and olives and stir to combine.

Add rice and stir-fry, breaking up clumps with a wok spatula, until hot and coated with sauce, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove wok from heat.   Taste and season with more fish sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves and cashews.   Serve immediately.

Serves: 6

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* Calamari and Pomelo Salad

Posted on August 21st, 2012 by Linda. Filed under Cuisine, Fish sauce, Pomelo, Salads, Sides.

 Calamari and Pomelo Salad


Another yummy Vietnamese salad – this one is updated with the use of olive oil that blends well with the fruitiness of the pomelo.  My friend, Mai, gave me the original recipe during my bridal shower where I requested for a favorite recipe contribution.  I added the crispy shallots, shallot oil and crank up the herbs – kaffir and rau ram – to make the dressing a little more complex, and poached the calamari instead of sauteing them.  I grow my own kaffir and rau ram…..surprisingly they grow well in San Francisco 217 feet above ground.

Chef’s tip:
Poaching the calamari in hot water (removed from heat) just cooks the calamari without making it rubbery.

1 small Thai red chilies, finely chopped (1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper for less spicy version)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup EVOO
1/4 cup shallot oil
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/3 cup palm sugar/ brown sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Zest from 1 lime
1 teaspoon kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

3 shallots, sliced finely lengthwise
1/2 cup rice bran oil
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
Handful cilantro leaves

2 lb  fresh calamari, cleaned, scored
2 pomelos, peeled of skin and membranes
1 cup  cilantro, leaves coarsely chopped, stems finely chopped
1 cup basil leaves,  chiffonade into thick ribbons
½ cup mint, chiffonade thinly
½ cup Rau Ram – polygonum (Vietnamese Mint), chiffonade thinly
½ cup green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise 2 inch

Preparing the Dressing and crisp shallot topping:
1. Place the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
2. Make the shallot oil.  Place shallot in cold oil and start to heat on medium.  When shallots are nicely bubbling, bring heat to medium high till light golden brown.  Remove from heat immediately.  Separate the crisp shallot from oil.

Preparing the calamari
3. Wash and clean the calamari.  Slit the squid open.  Lightly score the squid with a criss-cross pattern.  The cut the squid into 2 pieces.  Bring a pot of salted water to boil.  Drop in calamari and remove from ehat immediately.  When calamari just turns white, remove immediately and p;unge in an ice bath.  Drain and pat dry. 

Preparing the salad
4. Peel pomelo and separate sac flesh into bite size chunks.  Toss pomelo with herbs and half the dressing.  Set aside.
5. Toss the cooled calamari with remaining dressing.  And place on top of the pomelo.
6. Garnish with crisp shallots, peanuts and cilantro leaves

Serves: 6

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