“Tofu” is commonly known as bean curd in western countries. Widely loved by Chinese people, but loathed by most non-Chinese, especially the westerners, for its bland taste, unexciting and uninteresting to a person’s palate. This product has been produced for over 2,000 years during the Chinese’s Han dynasty. It is made from coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curd into blocks. It comes in various texture – silken, soft, firm or extra firm – use in the different style of Chinese cooking. Tofu is healthy – it’s low in calories and high in protein.
Thai food is one of the most well-known Southeast Asia cuisines in western countries. There are more than 3,000 Thai restaurants in Australia, 3 times more than the United States per capita of its population. Most of the Thai restaurants are located in Australia’s 2 largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne, from fine dining world-class restaurant to cafe style and street food takeaway.
When it comes to food, I am a big fan of traditional-style street food in Asia – authentic, simple, delicious and cooked the same way for generations. There is nothing pretentious about street food – what you see is what you get and it doesn’t put a big hole in your pocket.
“Pad krapao” is a popular street food in Thailand. “pad” means frying and “krapao or kraphrao” refers to Thai basil or Thai holy basil. It has anise and licorice taste. Normally serve with a fried egg with the yolk still runny and steam rice. The dish requires basic ingredients, except Thai basil which is easily available at an Asian supermarket if you live in a western country. It is easy and quick to make at home. You can either do a version of pad krapao “kai” which is chicken or pad krapao “neu mu” which is pork.
Below is my recipe for “neu mu” pad krapao.
what you need to make this dish are:
- pork mince
- garlic – 4 cloves
- onion – 2 french shallots
- chili – 2 fresh red chilies
- basil leaves – a bunch of Thai basil
- sauce – 1 tablespoon light soy, 1 tablespoon dark soy, 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce and 1 tablespoon sugar
what you need to do next:
- chop the garlic finely and set aside
- slice the chilies and shallots thinly and set aside
- remove the basil leaves from its stalk and set aside
- mix all the sauces in a small bowl and set aside
it’s time to cook:
- Heat a cup of cooking oil in a hot wok
- Once the oil is hot but not smoky, toss in the chopped garlic first. Give it a quick stir fry before adding the sliced shallots and chilies. Continue to fry until the ingredients are aromatic and infuse with the oil
- Toss in the pork mince. Mix through and fry until pork is almost cooked
- Add the sauces and basil leaves and continue to stir fry until pork is cooked
- Optional – add green beans (if you like some vegetables) with your dish. After adding the beans, pour in a pre-mixed 1/2 cup of water and starch to make the gravy and cover with a lid. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer until the beans are cooked. It should take less than 5 minutes not to overcook the beans
Penang Insights offers an exclusive private local experience for passengers arriving on a cruise ship at Penang’s Swettenham Pier. Depending on how much time you have in Penang, we will work with you to tailor your own itinerary to suit your needs and interest of our beautiful island.
If you are after a private and personal host, not a standard tour guide or a taxi driver, and want to do your own thing rather than following a fixed schedule and itinerary in a large group stuck in a tour bus or van, we would like to hear from you as your alternate choice.
On a recent arrival of the premium mid-size 1,220 passengers cruise ship Vasco da Gama on 26th April 2019, we hosted an American couple – Cindy and Brian from Colorado, based on their travel interest. Cindy started enquiring and working with us to tailor her program before their arrival. She wanted to see and do more in the 8-hours stopover, than what the cruise ship has provided them, with a list of standard tour programs on a tour bus.
Our local host met and welcomed our guests at the Swettenham Pier’s arrival hall at 8:00 am. Our tailored program began with a short visit to a couple of Unesco cultural and heritage sites in George Town before driving to the largest Buddhist complex in Malaysia. We then made our way to the rural side of the island, visiting fishing village and cottage industries, while driving through hillsides, finishing our program with a stopover at a butterfly and insect farm and a batik printing factory.
Since I came back to Penang after living overseas for almost 25 years, I have started a new pilot project to see if it will take off and to decide if this is something I would enjoy doing. And, most importantly is to earn a living.
Protestant cemetery or Northam Road cemetery is a disused christian cemetery after its last person was buried there in 1892. It is a significant historical and heritage site protected by UNESCO and maintained by the Penang Heritage Trust.
Check out the beautiful coast and sunset in Penang island. Explore with penanginsights.com. Let us customise your local experience while you are in Penang.
“Chneah Hoay” is a local Chinese tradition dating back to 1844 on the 14th day of Chinese New Year. This annual ceremonial tradition was recently held on 18th February 2019, year of the pig of the twelfth Chinese zodiac sign.
If you’re wondering what else you could do in Penang after indulging yourself with the food and walking the streets of George Town discovering street arts, exploring the Unesco cultural and heritage sites with wonderful architectures from eighteenth to nineteenth century maritime seafaring era…,