Posts Tagged ‘kaffir’

* Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

Posted on September 29th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Basil, Chicken, Chili Peppers, Cilantro, Cuisine, Entree, Fish sauce, Green onions, Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass, Lime, Mint, Noodles, Peppers, Rau Ram, Salads, Sides, Thai Chilis, Vietnamese.


Tossing in as many Vietnamese herbs I can find from the only organic Asian vegetables vendor at the farmers markets in San Francisco Bay Area – Phan Organics Farm of Elk Grove (Civic Center Farmers, SF – Wed and Sun, Berkeley- Tue, Alemany – Sat), this super light noodle salad gives lots of exploding flavors.  It’s a great introduction to the world of Vietnamese herbs.

Chef’s tips: To chiffonade herbs, stack several leaves and roll them tightly.  With a sharp knife, slice the roll finely.  Fluff the sliced herbs to separate them.

Ingredients

Meat:
1 lb ground lean chicken or pork or turkey
2 stalk lemon grass, white part only, very finely sliced
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
Juice from 1 lime
1 Tablespoon rice flour, roasted

6 oz dried  rice vermicelli

Herb:
5 Thai chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
1 cup cilantro, chiffonade
½ cup green onions, sliced thinly
½ cup rau ram, chiffonade
½ cup shiso perilla leaves, chiffonade
½ cup mint leaves, chiffonade
5 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
Lime zest from 2 limes

Dressing:
Juice from 1 limes
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fish sauce
½ teaspoon brown sugar
Cilantro or mint sprigs for garnish

Preparing the meat:
1.    Heat a non stick pan under high heat, add the ground meat, chopped lemongrass, 2 Tablespoons each of fish sauce and lime juice.  Cook 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through, while stirring constantly.  Transfer the meat to a large bowl.  Drain off excess liquids.  Cool.
2.    Dry-fry the rice flour (without any oil) under medium heat till golden brown. Add to the meat mixture.
Preparing the rice noodles:
3.    Bring a pot of salted water to boil.  Add rice noodles.  Bring back to a boil, cover, remove from heat and let noodles sit for 15 minutes in hot water.  Drain.
Preparing the herb and dressing:
4.    Slice and chiffonade the herbs.  Toss all herb ingredients together. Set aside.
5.    Mix dressing ingredients together.
Assembly:
6.    Toss the meat, noodles, herb and dressing together to combine.  Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavors to come together.
7.  Garnish with mint sprigs and cilantro.

Serves: 6

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* Chiang Mai Laab Lettuce Cups

Posted on September 27th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Cilantro, Course, Cuisine, Fish sauce, Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass, Lettuce, Mint, Pork, Salads, Thai, Thai Chilis.


This Northern Thai dish originates from Laos and is sometimes spelt “larb”.  Even tho’ it is served at room temperature, the heat from the Thai red chili will make you break a sweat.  This spicy sharpness together with the acid from the lime juice, the umami of the fish sauce, the essential oils from the mint and zest are balanced with the smokiness of the rice flour to create a flavor explosion moment.  Laab is typically served with sticky rice but I like to serve the laab on endives to make a tasty appetizer.  Using no oil in the cooking, this is as low fat as Asian foods go!

Chef’s tip: If you have the patience, pinch off the meat a little at a time as you add to the pot, instead of dunking the whole pound in all at once.  This will ensure every bit of meat surface gets browned.

Ingredients

Meat:
1 lb ground lean chicken or pork or turkey
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Tablespoons lime juice

1 Tablespoon roasted rice powder (from 3 tablespoon glutinous rice)

Herb:
1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, very finely sliced
3 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
4 Thai chilies, deseeded and chopped finely
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 sprig green onions, sliced
3 Tablespoons mint leaves, chopped

Dressing:
Juice from 1 lime
1 Tablespoon lime zest
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon brown sugar

Lettuce cups:
1 head of iceberg lettuce or 2 endives
Cilantro or mint sprigs for garnish

Preparing the meat:
1.    Heat a non stick pan under high heat, add the ground meat, 2 Tablespoons each of fish sauce and lime juice.  Cook 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through, while stirring constantly.  Transfer the meat to a large bowl.  Drain off excess liquids.
Preparing the toasted rice:
2.    Dry-fry the glutinous rice (without any oil) under medium heat till golden brown.
3.    Remove, let cool slightly and grind into a powder with a spice mill, or a mortar and pestle.  Set aside.
Preparing the herb and dressing:
4.    Slice lemongrass, kaffir, and chilies.   Zest lime.  Mince green onions, cilantro and mint.  Set aside.
5.    Mix dressing ingredients together.
Preparing the lettuce cups
6.    Remove the iceberg lettuce leaves one at a time and trim into little cups.  If using endives, leave leaves whole.  You may want to use the heart of the lettuce.
Assembly:
7.    Pour the rice powder, herb mixture and dressing into the cooked meat and toss to combine.  Let sit for 10 minutes for the flavor to come together.
8.    Scoop 2 tablespoons of the chicken into the lettuce cups and garnish with a sprig of cilantro or mint.

Serves: 6

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* Laksa Johor

Posted on September 6th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Entree, Fish, Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass, Malaysian, Noodles, Street Foods.


This recipe is adapted from a recipe from my friend, Tammy Kang, whom I used to work with in Kuala Lumpur.   We used to love seeking out all the best “makan” joints –  street foods being on top of our list.   Laksa is really the king of street foods.   Laksa Johor is my all-time favorite of the laksa family.  We use many different kinds of fragrant herbs like kaffir lime leaves and if you can get it, bunga kantan, a pink ginger flower bud, and of course, laksa leaves, or more commonly known in the US as Rau Ram.

Chef’s tip: Instead of using a ikan kurau masin (salted dried fish), I use the bacalhao salted cod which is more easily found here and offers just as much sweetness and umami flavors.

Ingredients:

Meat:
½ lb salted cod
½ teaspooon kosher salt
1 lb cod

Spice Paste:
10 dried Japanese chilies or 5 fresh red jalapeno
10 shallots
1 inch of ginger
1 inch of galangal
1 inch fresh tumeric
1 tablespoon roasted belachan
5 candlenuts
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoon dried shrimp, soaked
3 tablespoon toasted desiccated coconut

Broth:
¼ cup of canola oil for frying
3 cups coconut milk
3 pieces of lemongrass, bruised
5 stalks laksa leaves
3-4 cups fish or chicken broth
1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Toppings:
1 cup of shredded English cucumber
1 red jalapeno
½ red onion
1 cup of fresh pineapples
2 eggs
1 cup of mint leaves, whole
2 tablespoons laksa leaves, finely minced
1 Tablespoon ginger flower, finely minced

8 oz spaghetti, some salt and olive oil
1 lime, quartered

Preparing the salted cod:
1.    Soak the salt cod for a couple of hours.  Change the water if needed.
2.    Remove the bones and mince the fish fine. Soak the dried shrimp for at least an hour.
Preparing the fish:
3.    Salt the fish.  Steam the fish until opaque and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
4.    When cooled, remove bones and skin.  Coarsely flake the fish with a fork.
Preparing the spice paste:
5.    Grind together spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  Set aside.
6.    Grind dried shrimp, salt cod, and toasted desiccated coconut into fine flakes.
Preparing the laksa soup base:
7.    Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat until just hot.  Stir in spice paste. Stir constantly, until the red oil separates from the spice paste about 8 to 10 minutes. Add fish mince.
8.    Lower the heat, slowly add coconut milk, lemon grass, tamarind slices, laksa leaves, chicken broth and bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly.  Simmer for at 20-30 minutes.  Salt to taste.  Remove tamarind, lemongrass and laksa leaves.  Add flaked fish.
Preparing the vegetables:
9.    Finely julienne cucumber and jalapeno. Slice the onion. Cut pineapples into small wedges.  Chiffonade the laksa leaves and ginger flower.
10.    Beat eggs with a pinch of salt.  Make thin omelets. Slice them into ¼ inch strips.
Preparing the noodles
11.    Bring a pot of water to boil.  Boil spaghetti till el dente.  Drain.
Assembly
12.    Place a serving of noodles, vegetables, herb, eggs in bowls and ladle laksa broth over.
13.    Serve with quartered limes and sambal.

Serve: 6

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