“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
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Please like or share with people you know who will be visiting Penang and looking for something fun to do while they are there. Food lovers or someone who simply enjoy cooking some new dishes to impress their friends/families once back home.
Class is limited to no more than 6.
Dates available for the Cooking Class:
- Saturday 3 Nov, 2018
- Sunday 4 Nov, 2018
- Saturday 10 Nov, 2018
- Sunday 11 Nov, 2018
- Saturday 15 Dec, 2018
- Sunday 16 Dec, 2018
- Saturday 22 Dec, 2018
- Sunday 23 Dec, 2018
Cooking doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to be difficult either to make a healthy, delicious meal at home. And, when we are short of time after a long hard day doing whatever we had to do, the last thing on our mind is to think of what to cook at home. An easy way out is to eat out, have a takeaway or a quick microwave dinner.
Eating Thai food for a non-Thai person, who is not accustom to the culture and cuisine, is likely to think of a “pad thai”, “green curry” or “red curry”, the most commonly dishes available in a Thai eating place.
I am inspired to recreate a salad dish that I had at a Thai restaurant in Melbourne last year. I remember it was extremely delicious with the right balance of sweetness, saltiness and spiciness in the salad dressing. The mixture of green salad was fresh and crunchy, the mashed avocado was creamy and the grilled prawns were crunchy and yet moist on the inside.
This dish is simple to make and delicious to eat at home. It doesn’t require much preparation and takes less than an hour to cook.
What is curry? and, what is lamb shank curry? It can be anything, right? As long as there is a mixture of different spices. There is nothing standard about “curry” and the word is loosely used for any cooking style as long as it has a complex flavour and mixture of dry and wet spices to make the sauce for the main ingredient. It can be a dry dish or a wet dish. If you google the word “curry”, also known as “kari” in Malaysia, it seems to originate from India.