Seafood Thai Red Curry

Seafood Thai Red Curry

Hello Everyone! The secret to a great, vibrant, and spicy Seafood Thai Red Curry is of course the quality of the red curry paste, spices and aromatics, vegetables, and the freshest seafood you can find out there. The best thing about this dish is that it is pescatarian-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free!

Seafood Thai Red Curry

When it comes to a seafood-loaded curry, versatility is one of the things that I love about it. You can pretty much load it up with any type of fish, shellfish, and seafood of your choice. The same goes with the vegetables. Also, depending on the ingredients you choose to add to the dish, it can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

For those who know me, I would normally tackle recipes like this by making my own paste. However, due to the limited availability of certain ingredients here in the Philippines, I thought long and hard before I opted to use store-bought paste. Just make sure that if you are using good-quality and authentic Thai Red Curry Paste. They can usually be found in the international aisle of any large supermarket chains.

Seafood Thai Red Curry Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g salmon belly, skin removed* and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 100g baby clams, de-grit and cleaned**
  • 100g baby mussels, cleaned and debearded***
  • 100g baby squid, cleaned
  • 50g snow peas
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2-3 bunch baby bok choy, halved
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, whole or sliced
  • 1 block firm tofu, cut into large cubes
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
  • 1 small piece ginger, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, halved then sliced
  • 3/4 cup fish stock (or 1 fish bouillon cube dissolved in 3/4 cup water)
  • 3/4 cup extra light olive oil
  • 200ml full cream coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp Authentic Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Thai basil leaves or spring onion, to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

* Do not discard the skin
** Find out how to de-grit and clean clams over on Just One Cookbook
*** Find out how to clean and debeard mussels over on Epicurious

METHOD

  1. Crispy Salmon Skin: Place the salmon skin into a bowl and toss with about 2 tablespoons of salt. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. This is to draw out the moisture from the salmon skin to get it nice and crispy when fried. Pat the salmon skin dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a medium-sized frying pan, heat the 3/4 cup of extra light olive oil, or enough oil for shallow frying, over medium-high. The oil should be very hot, but not smoking or else the salmon skin will burn before fully crisping. Stir the skin around frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. The skin will look rubbery at first, so take your time as it can take a full 10 to 15 minutes for it to crisp up. Once crispy, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Set aside.
  3. Preparing the Tofu: Meanwhile, if using tofu from a package, drain and allow to sit on a clean tea towel or paper towel to get rid of any excess water. Set aside for about 15 to 20 minutes for it to fully extract moisture.
  4. In the same medium-sized frying pan, over medium-high heat, carefully add the tofu in and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the pan and let it sit on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess grease. Cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes, and set aside.
  5. Seafood Thai Red Curry: In a soup pot or heavy duty Dutch oven, heat about 2 tablespoons of the extra light olive oil over medium-high and sauté the onions, ginger, lemongrass, and chillies until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the Thai red curry paste and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the fish stock and cherry tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and black pepper, as well as with the Thai fish sauce and brown sugar to get the balance of flavours up to your liking. Feel free to add more chillies in if you feel you need a bit more of a spicy punch to the soup base.
  7. Add the lemon juice for some tang, together with the tofu bites, and followed by the snow peas. Cook the snow peas for about a minute and then remove them from the pot. Transfer to a separate plate. Do the same with the baby bok choy. This is to prevent the vegetables from overcooking.
  8. Add the baby clams and mussels and cook for 2 minutes before adding the salmon belly and baby squid to the pot, together with the coconut milk. Cook for a further minute, or until the soup comes back up to a rapid simmer.
  9. Turn the heat off and transfer the curry to a serving dish. Garnish with the crispy salmon skin, Thai basil leaves or spring onions, and fresh chillies. Serve immediately with steamed rice and enjoy!

Seafood Thai Red Curry

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Thai-style Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai-style Pineapple Fried Rice

Hello Everyone! Oh how it has been one heck of a super hectic and stressful week! So hectic that even until today I haven’t had the time to sit down and watch the second episode of the final season of Game of Thrones! *gasp* With that being said, I do have an important announcement to make which you can read about at the end of this post.

Moving on, we’re on our last Pineapple recipe for the month! How crazy is that?! It’ll be May already next week, and in another blink of an eye, we’ll be at the halfway mark of the year! Tonight I’ll be sharing a recipe that I first tried during my travels to Thailand – now I’ve been there a couple of times already so I can’t remember when exactly was the first time I had it there, whether 6, 10, or 15 years ago.

Cooking fried rice is fun as it is super quick to make and it allows you to get creative with the choice of proteins and vegetables that go into the mix. It can easily be a sort of clean-out-the-fridge. The end result, a tasty and satisfying weeknight meal to eat!

Thai-style Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai-style Pineapple Fried Rice is a refreshing twist to a classic/normal fried rice. It is one of Thailand’s signature dishes, It is often platted in a carved-out pineapple bowl to make it, not only delectable, but even more gorgeous to look at! The slightly tangy and sweet taste of the fresh pineapple is so enticing and the combination of spices just takes it up a notch. Not only that, it is so much cheaper and healthier than take-out fried rice.

Feel free to get creative and use your favourite kind of protein in this dish, i.e. ham, chicken, pork, or prawns. You may even keep it vegetarian with just the pineapple or bulk it up with tofu! Of course, don’t forget to switch out the fish sauce with salt if you’re going vegetarian with the dish. The version that I will be sharing with you guys tonight is pescatarian-friendly. It’s a true crowd-pleaser and is sure to be a hit at the table.

Thai-style Pineapple Fried Rice Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 to 4 cups cooked rice (preferably several days old)
  • 1 fresh, almost ripe pineapple (see method below on how to prepare)
  • 250g prawns, shelled with the tails left on and deveined
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables (green peas, carrots, and corn kernels, thawed)
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews or peanuts
  • 1 sprig afro parsley

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp Thai curry powder (or regular yellow curry powder)
  • 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar

METHOD

  1. Preparing the Pineapple: Cut the pineapple lengthwise, crown included.
  2. Take one half of the pineapple and run a sharp knife around the border of the pineapple. Make sure to leave a couple of centimeteres from the edge for a firm border.
  3. Slice the pineapple into large cubes and then carve out the flesh. Repeat for the other half of the pineapple.
  4. Cut the carved out pineapple cubed into smaller bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  5. Dry out the carved out pineapple bowls in the oven at 160C (320F or gas mark 2) for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Fried Rice: If using old rice, oil your fingers with about a tablespoon of cooking oil and work your way through the rice with you hands. Separate any chunks back into grains and then set aside.
  7. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the curry powder and sugar, and then set aside.
  8. Heat a wok or a large frying pan over medium high. Add about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil and swirl around. Add the minced garlic and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the sliced chillies and diced onions. Cook for a further minute.
  9. Add in the prawns and stir-fry until they turn pink and plump, about 2 to 3 minutes. Push the ingredients to the side of the wok/pan and then pour in the lightly beaten egg. Quickly stir the egg to cook (like scrambled eggs).
  10. Now add in the rice, pineapple chunks, and thawed mixed vegetables. Drizzle the sauce mixture over the rice and gently stir-fry to combine all the ingredients together. You want to be able to hear the rice “dance” (make popping sounds) as it fries for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. As it cooks, taste and adjust the flavours to you liking, i.e. if it needs more salt, add more fish sauce. Towards the end of the cooking time, add in the roasted cashews or peanuts.
  12. Remove from the heat and serve into your prepared pineapple bowls. Top with the prawns, fresh chillies, and afro parsley. Serve and enjoy!

Thai-style Pineapple Fried Rice

So yes, here’s the important update/notice I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I’m going to be taking a month off from Amcarmen’s Kitchen to plan better content for the upcoming months ahead. It has been quite a hectic month for me, as we’ll be moving houses this week. Thus, I haven’t had the time to really sit down and plan out dishes in advance for the month of May. Having said that, once we’ve settled into the new house by the end of the week, I can assure you that I will head straight back into planning and will be back again in June!

For now, TTFN – ta ta for now!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2016: Brendon D'Souza

Spinach, Broccoli & Thai Green Curry Soup

Hi Foodies, it’s so exciting to be able to share a recipe with you via Amcarmen’s Kitchen and I want to say a big thank you to Allison for organising such a wonderful global blogging experience. Last year, I was able to cook and collaborate in the same kitchen with Allison, where were exchanged some delicious recipes. If you haven’t had the chance to read them, here are the links to my Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie and Cookies & Cream.

My friends call me a chilli fiend. I can’t help it, I am after all Indian. I just love the pungency and zing it adds to soups, curries and stews. I created this recipe on one of those cold winter Sydney evenings when feeling a little bit under the weather. It’s packed full of delicious super greens, fragrant herbs and spices that will help to reinvigorate your senses. Make a big batch and pack it for work the next mayor freeze in snap-lock bags for 1-2 months.

Spinach, Broccoli & Thai Green Curry Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

For the green curry paste

  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 5cm piece of ginger, washed
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 bunch coriander, washed, roots and stems scrubbed
  • 1 bunch Thai basil, washed (optional)
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 small green chillies

For the soup

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 cup firmly packed English Spinach, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 broccoli, cut into florets, stem diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Lime wedges
  • Extra coconut milk, to serve

METHOD

  1. Roughly chop the garlic clove, ginger, spring onions, coriander leaves, root and stems, and Thai basil. Place these and the remaining ingredients into a blender along with a 1/4 cup water. Blitz to form a smooth paste. You may need to add some more water to help the mixture along.
  2. Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant. Add the spinach and broccoli and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1L cold water and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the broccoli stems are tender and the spinach is wilted. Allow to cool.
  3. Purée the mixture using a stick blender, then return to the heat and add the coconut milk. Allow to heat through. Serve with lime wedges and a drizzle of coconut milk. This soup goes really well with turkish borek or spinach and ricotta triangles.

Spinach, Broccoli & Thai Green Curry Soup

For more tasty recipes and Sydney food adventures head to www.brendonthesmilingchef.com

About Brendon
I’m a food writer, blogger and passionate home cook living and working in Sydney. By day I work at one of the world’s fastest growing premium restaurant delivery services, and by night I cook, style and photograph recipes for my award-winning recipe blog. I really can’t stop smiling, believe me, I’ve tried and probably lasted 2 seconds. Sharing food, stories and recipes with family and friends makes me happy, which is exactly why I created “Smiling Chef”. I often try to include a selection colourful vegetables in my cooking, for both it’s nutritional benefits, and the fact that it makes such great #foodporn for Instagram. Get in touch if you need #instaworthy shots of your restaurant or cafe food for your website and social networks. I’m also keen singer and pianist and also love street and landscape photography – see more at @my_omd_and_me.

Instagram: @brendonthesmilingchef/ @my_omd_and_me
SnapChat: bthesmilingchef
Facebook: brendonthesmilingchef
Twitter: bthesmilingchef

Recipe Copyright © 2016 | brendonthesmilingchef

Happy cooking and keep smiling,

Brendon D’Souza:)

myTaste.com

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste

Hello Everyone! I’ll keep this short and simple – and this time I won’t just say it and then go on a whole tangent, I actually mean it this time. I will go into detail when I get the chance to editing this part of my post… Perhaps, but I won’t make any promises. Long story short, I’m still at work and by the time I get home, I won’t be able to sit down a write like how I always write. I’m actually writing this post while taking a short break for my dinner. So… Let’s move on to the recipe now shall we? Apologies again for not preparing this post earlier *sad face*

Green curry paste is very versatile and can be used in soups, curries, stir-fries and marinades. It goes particularly well with chicken and prawns as well as green vegetables. Don’t forget to check out the original recipe over on Taste Australia.

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 4 MINS | YEILDS 1/2 CUP

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 white peppercorns
  • 4 coriander roots, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, spine removed and roughly chopped
  • 4 small green chilies, roughly chopped (or use 2 extra long green chilies)
  • 2 Asian red eschalots, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stems (pale part only), roughly chopped
  • 1 long green chili, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated galangal (or ginger if not available)
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric

METHOD

  1. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds together with the white peppercorns in a wok or pan over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, making sure to shake the pan to prevent the seeds and peppercorns from burning.
  2. Once done, turn the heat off and set aside to slightly cool down. Once cool, grind the seeds and peppercorns to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
  3. Wrap the shrimp paste in a square of foil and dry-fry in a wok or pan over medium heat for 1 minute each side to toast slightly.
  4. Set aside to cool and then add to the mortar with the remaining ingredients and pound with pestle until roughly crushed.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of water and use a stick blender (or transfer to a processor) to blend to a paste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Hello Everyone! Time sure flies by quickly as it’s already the third week of Seafood Month! I have a combination of squid and prawns for you guys tonight. Together, they make up a yummy Thai appetiser, bursting with fresh flavours and a kick of spice. The first time I had this dish was at my Aunt’s Thai restaurant here in Brunei. It was really spicy; I mean, I have quite a high tolerance when it comes to spicy, but even this was beyond my limit. My mouth was on fire! My Aunt also added white fungus in the dish she served which I don’t think is traditionally added; my Mom said she added it to bulk up the dish.

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น), or glass noodle salad, is a popular dish in both inside and outside of Thailand. There are many variations to this dish alone, and the one that I will be covering on my blog tonight is considered to be a much more “dressed-up” version than others. You can adjust your Yum Woon Sen to have more or less ingredients, depending on what floats your boat. If you want a lighter version of this dish, you can eliminate the seafood and the meat, and focus on bulking up your glass noodle salad with lots of veggies, herb, and crushed roasted peanuts.

It is also a recommended dish for pot lucks or parties as it stays delicious at room temperature for a few hours, and you can prepare all the ingredients ahead of time, mixing the dressing in at the last minute.

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น) Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 10-12 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g medium-sized prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 250g glass noodles, uncooked
  • 50g minced pork (you can use minced chicken or leave this out completely)
  • 2-3 red bird’s eye chillies, sliced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1-2 large squids, cleaned
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, sliced
  • 1-2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Thai basil leaves (or green spring onions)

METHOD

  1. Add in the chillies, onions, and thai basil leaves in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the chicken stock power in. Cook the minced pork, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and then set the minced pork aside in the large mixing bowl together with the onion mixture.
  3. In the same cooking liquid, cook the prawns, about 2 minutes, and then the squids for about 30 seconds. Then add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Cook the glass noodles in the same liquid for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Drain and add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Toss well and add in the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and adjust the quantities of the fish sauce and lime juice to your liking. Add some of the leftover cooking stock liquid if the glass noodles are looking too dry.
  6. Garnish with some more basil leaves and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

Yum Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - DESSERT: POPULAR POPCORN PARFAIT

In Asia Restaurant & Bar

Hello Everyone and welcome back to an all new Review Sunday! I think I will keep the introduction short today just because you’re about to dive into a 2200 word review below and I’m already tired of typing and spinning words out of my brain at this hour of the night. Seriously though, if university essays were this easy to write in less than 4 hours, I’d never hate writing essays (most probably)…

About three months or so, I actually don’t remember, I attended a talk organised by General Assembly on the Business of Food Blogging. It was there that I met Brendon D’Souza from brendonthesmilingchef, and he was indeed a happy smiling chap. Last week he invited me and a few other bloggers for an Instagram Meet Up at In Asia Restaurant and Bar in North Strathfield. He told an interesting story about how he came to know about this restaurant; basically he and his family were driving along looking for a place to hold his graduation dinner. They came across In Asia and I think he pretty much fell in love with the food here and even said that the Popular Popcorn Parfait dessert sold it for him. He met the owner of the restaurant and talked about organising a food blogger’s event to basically build up a social media presence of the restaurant. I’m really glad that Brendon organised this event because it was definitely a great experience for not just me, but for everyone else who was a part of the night. I met a lot of other food bloggers, and shared a few laughs over the night as we all started getting a bit tipsy from the drinks.

Let’s get straight into their menu and what I thought of their awesome dishes:

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - COCKTAILS: SUGAR FLOSS MARTINI
COCKTAILS: SUGAR FLOSS MARTINI
Vodka, fresh strawberries and limes, with candy floss ($16.00)

I remember seeing one of the blogger’s ordering this drink across the other table. Rachael and Angela, who were seated in front of me, bolted over to take a picture of this very photogenic drink that looked like a fluffy unicorn. I wasn’t bothered to get up, only because I was sitting on the inside of the booth(?), not sure what kind of seating it was, but it meant that I had to ask people to get up for me, slide over, and then get out. When the girls returned, we decided to all order a cocktail each and share so that we could get a taste of what In Asia had to offer. I really liked this drink, mainly for the fairy floss and vodka combination, but you can’t really go wrong with strawberry and lime.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - COCKTAILS: TOBLERONECOCKTAILS: TOBLERONE
Baileys, Frangelico, Kahlua, cream, chocolate syrup, and Toblerone shavings ($16.00)

This was something that I’ve not actually seen before elsewhere, but then again, I’ve only been to how many bars in my life? Yeah, not a lot. Anyway, this was by far my favourite cocktail of the night; alcohol and chocolate? Don’t mind if I do! I’m not a heavy drinker myself, but I’d definitely have 2 or 3 more glasses of this. For me, I couldn’t really taste the alcohol, but that’s okay because it tasted more like a chocolate drink to me, and I like that!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - COCKTAILS: FINE LYCHEE DAIQUIRI
COCKTAILS: FINE LYCHEE DAIQUIRI
Bacardi, Soho Lychee Liqueur, fresh lychees, and lime ($16.00)

I am currently obsessing over lychees so this drink was also a favourite of mine that night. Loved the sweetness of the lychee paired with a tangy lime. I very much enjoyed this drink and would definitely come back for more of this… And the two above as well *cheeky grin*

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - ENTRÉE: PAN-SEARED CANADIAN SCOLLOPS
ENTRÉE: PAN-SEARED CANADIAN SCOLLOPS
with chilli purée and lime sauce, fresh pear ($15.00)

I love love love love LOVE scollops. Have I told you how much I really love scollops? Well, as you can tell for my love of scollops, it is without a doubt that this was my favourite entrée of the night. The scollops were cooked perfectly and surprised me with that great kick of heat. I say surprised because I wasn’t expecting it to be that big of a kick to my mouth. I found it quite spicy to my liking at first, but loved it as I had more of it. The pear was a nice touch of freshness to the dish as well.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - ENTRÉE: BARBECUED CALAMARI
ENTRÉE: BARBECUED CALAMARI
with pickled papaya, fennel, cashew nuts, and crispy pork crackling ($15.00)

I honestly cannot remember what my tastebuds were going through when I had this dish. I mean, it was not a bad dish, but I feel like I didn’t have an overwhelming reaction towards the dish like I did with the other entrée dishes. The calamari was cooked well, and the salad was dressed nicely too. I like how they’ve added the crispy pork crackling in the dish for that added crispy element, but they were all gone before I could get any onto my plate (yes, most of the bloggers who I shared the dish with picked most of the crackling out)!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - ENTRÉE: BETAL LEAF OF POACHED PRAWNENTRÉE: BETAL LEAF OF POACHED PRAWN
with roast coconut, crushed peanuts, ginger, chilli, lime, and caramel sauce: 2 pieces ($12.00)

As soon as this dish hit the tables, I was flabbergasted by its presentation. Loved the shot glasses. Moreover, I was impressed with the flavour combinations in such a little piece of betal leaf wrap. You’ve got the roast coconut, crushed peanuts, together with the ginger and caramel sauce I presume, that is topped with the tender, melt in the mouth poached prawn topped with roe and a tangy hit with a thinly sliced piece of lime, all wrapped in a peppery betal leaf that gave a nice fresh crunch to everything. It was a bit of a guessing game on how many bites you should take with this; it feels a bit big for one bite, but not big enough for two if you get what I mean. I tried two bites, but then you’re left with just the coconut and peanuts at the bottom without the prawn for your second bite. So I just went for it in one bite for my second serve. I find it quite expensive though because that means that one betal leaf wrap if $6.00; it’s quite a spectacular dish, but I don’t know if I’d pay that much for it.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - ENTRÉE: SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER CALAMARI
ENTRÉE: SEA SALT AND BLACK PEPPER CALAMARI
with wasabi mayo and sweet chilli sauce

I had a look back at their main menu and didn’t see this dish so I can’t say how much it’d cost you to order this. There’s nothing much I can comment on this only just because it’s salt and pepper calamari; I mean you can practically get it anywhere you go. Nothing special, but I did like the tender calamari, however not a big fan of wasabi myself.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - SALAD: TEA SMOKED DUCK BREAST
SALAD: TEA SMOKED DUCK BREAST
with roasted rice, chilli, lemongrass, Vietnamese mint, and tamarind dressing ($22.00)

I felt like it’s quite similar to a Thai dish known as Nam Tok in terms of flavour, but anyway this was a very innovative dish and the flavours were a nice accompaniment to the duck. I actually wouldn’t have been able to tell that the duck was tea-smoked, but nonetheless, the duck was delicious and I wanted more!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - STIR FRY: WAGYU BEEF
STIR FRY: WAGYU BEEF
with asparagus, shallots, and onion with hoisin sauce ($28.00)

Again, this was nothing special for me because I know how to make a mean beef stir-fry myself. I mean, it’s a good, simple, and humble dish, but nothing really as innovative as what I’ve already covered from this point on their menu.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - MAIN: CRISPY SKIN SALMON
MAIN: CRISPY SKIN SALMON
with IN ASIA’s spiced Kumara mash, cashew nuts, sweet potato chips ($27.00)

I wasn’t a fan of this dish for several reasons: firstly, I thought that it was a curry-based dish because of the ‘sauce’ and then I was surprised when I re-read the menu again at it was actually kumara mash. In my opinion, it was a bit thin for a mash. I like my mash creamy no doubt, but this felt like it took creamy to a whole other level. Secondly, though the salmon lived up to its crispy skin, it was however overcooked to my liking; it was a bit dry on the inside for me. The only thing I liked on this dish was probably the sweet potato chips. Sorry!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - MAIN: CRISPY SKIN ROASTED DUCK
MAIN: CRISPY SKIN ROASTED DUCK
with tamarind sauce, pumpkin mash, and navel orange

This I liked better than the salmon dish, and I loved the pairing of the duck with the navel oranges. Though the skin wasn’t as crispy as I thought it would be, it was still a very good dish, and that’s also mainly because I love duck no matter how it’s cooked (just not overcooked of course). You may have noticed as well that there is no price – same what I mentioned above for another dish, I couldn’t find it on their actual menu so sorry to say I can’t make out how much this dish would cost if you want to order this dish.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - MAIN: KOREAN STYLE BARBECUED WAGYU BEEF
MAIN: KOREAN STYLE BARBECUED WAGYU BEEF
with grilled pear, black sesame, pickled radish, and ginger ($28.00)

This dish wasn’t actually on the pre-planned menu that the restaurant had for us. One of the girls, as she called herself, “that annoying person who just doesn’t like seafood”, ordered this off the menu as the owner of In Asia suggested that she did as he felt bad for having pretty much a seafood-heavy planned menu for the night. I am actually glad that she got to order off their menu and shared a little bit of her food with everyone else because this was a really REALLY lovely dish. The wagyu beef was cooked perfectly and was very tender. The grilled pear, I mean, where do I even begin with this pear? It was so good and paired so well with the beef. It was a match made it heaven.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - MAIN: CARAMELISED TWICE COOKED PORK BELLY
MAIN: CARAMELISED TWICE COOKED PORK BELLY
with crispy panko egg and sweet tamarind sauce ($23.00)

This was another dish that was ordered off the menu, and yet another great dish that made me happy that she doesn’t like seafood. This was actually my favourite main dish of the night. The pork belly was crispy and sweet, and that panko egg was just lovely. I honestly wanted more of this dish, but since we were only sharing, it made me sad that I could not have more that night. I would definitely recommend this dish if you’re ever thinking of dining here. It is a must! I would definitely go again if it weren’t so far from where I live!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - DESSERT: MONKEY SNICKER
DESSERT: MONKEY SNICKER
with banana pudding, passionfruit curd, pandan foam, pandan granita, shredded coconut, and coconut ice cream ($12.00)

Finally on to dessert! This was probably not one of the best desserts of the night just because I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other dessert that you’ll see below, both in terms of presentation and flavour. This didn’t really wow me that much I’m sorry to say!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - DESSERT: MRS B'S FIRST KISS
DESSERT: MRS B’S FIRST KISS
with organic banana lightly battered in shredded coconut and fried, palm sugar caramel, tapioca sauce, and rice puffs, served with passionfruit sorbet ($14.00)

I apologise in advance because I cannot comment on the flavour of this dish, and I will tell you why. So when the desserts arrived at the table, everyone went nuts for this dessert, as well as the one below because of their spectacular presentation. It was almost too beautiful to eat! So I got my pictures, and then I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. I thought, okay I’ll go to the bathroom quickly since the other bloggers were still busy taking pictures of the desserts. Came back about 2 or 3 minutes later and this dish was completely demolished. Lesson of the night? Hold it in, no matter how urgent it is. It’s not worth it especially if dessert is concerned and you’re sharing one dish with about 12 other bloggers. I was so sad!

In Asia Restaurant & Bar - DESSERT: POPULAR POPCORN PARFAIT
DESSERT: POPULAR POPCORN PARFAIT
with IN ASIA’s crushed corn flakes, caramel popcorn, grilled sweet corn, and caramel jersey cream ($14.00)

Okay, at least there was a good quarter or so of this dessert left when I came back from nature’s calling. Thank goodness because this dessert was the absolute bomb. I loved the flavours and different textures that you got in each mouthful of the dessert, and I didn’t think that grilled corn would be such a great compliment to the overall dish. The presentation was on point as well. Well done In Asia for this dessert!

There were some ups and some downs with the dishes that we had over the night, but I can safely say that the positives overpowered the negatives greatly. There was really only one dish that was a let down for me, and the others that had minor issues based on just my personal opinion and palette is nothing major to say that it was a bad dish. I’d rate the food of the night a solid 9.5 out of 10; the food really blew me away and clearly the definition of modern (kind of, sort of fine dining) Asian cuisine. For me, it’s sort of somewhere in the middle like it’s not casual but not extreme fine dining either. Not only did the flavours and textures impress me, the presentation of some of the dishes, mainly the entrées and desserts, really blew me away. The service was great as well, though I wasn’t sure why it took quite possibly close to 30 to 45 minutes for the light menu (which were the tea smoked duck salad and the barbecued calamari salad) to come out to the table after entrées – I wasn’t complaining though because I had a pretty hefty entrée to begin with. I’d give the service an 8 or possibly 9 out of 10 anyway. Now, value for money – the dishes here are pretty pricey to be honest but I guess you can say that you actually do pay for what you’re getting. If you’ve got the money to spend, definitely spend it here, otherwise it’s not really a place you can just rock up to if you don’t have the money or for a casual dine.

In Asia Restaurant & Bar
181 Concord Road
North Strathfield, New South Wales
Australia, 2137

– Ally xx

Goong Ob Woon Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น)

Goong Ob Woon Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น)

Hello Everyone! Tonight’s recipe is actually quite different from a traditional Goong Ob Woon Sen (Prawns and Glass Noodles in Claypot), only because my Auntie taught my Mom how to cook it very differently. I only knew that it was different when I looked up the Thai name for this dish before I started to write this post and saw other recipes that used bacon, and other ingredients to make up the broth/sauce.

Goong Ob Woon Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น) Ingredients

Oh well. Also, you would whip up this recipe in a claypot, but since we didn’t have one, we cooked it in a regular frying pan. Actually, we remembered that my Auntie had one, and so we borrowed it and transferred the prawns and glass noodles to the claypot for the presentation. Anyway, the dish was nevertheless still delicious, but I bet would taste even better with the bacon in it – because who doesn’t love bacon?

Goong Ob Woon Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น) Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 750g tiger prawns, washed, cleaned, and deveined
  • 500g glass noodles
  • 2 cups chicken broth, hot
  • 2 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 heaped tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp annatto powder
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • Fish sauce to taste, optional
  • Fresh coriander, cut into 1-inch lengths

METHOD

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic, ginger, black peppercorn until fragrant. Add in the prawns together with the chicken stock powder; mix and let to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the prawns pan, leaving the garlic, ginger slices, and peppercorns in the pan. Set the prawns aside.
  2. Dissolve the annatto powder in the hot chicken broth and pour into the same frying pan. Bring to a boil before adding in the glass noodles. Cook the noodles in the broth until they start to soften.
  3. Place the prawns back into the frying pan, together with the coriander and fish sauce (if you need to season it a bit more) and cook until the noodles have absorbed the gravy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once done, turn the heat off an transfer to a claypot. Garnish with some more coriander and serve hot. Enjoy!

Goong Ob Woon Sen (กุ้งอบวุ้นเส้น)

PS: On the train home from Melbourne City to Cranbourne, I was going through my Instagram feed and saw that Thanis Lim also made Ob Woon Sen with a twist, adding clams instead of prawns. Maybe I will give this recipe a try, using bacon and cooking it the traditional way for next time!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Tom Yum Gài Tôt (ต้มยำ ไก่ทอด)

Tom Yum Gài Tôt (ต้มยำ ไก่ทอด)

Hello Everyone! So, if you have been following my blog recently over the past few weeks, you will have noticed some changes to the theme of blog. If you head on over to the About section of my blog, you can read about the reasons for the changes there.

Tom Yum Gài Tôt (ต้มยำ ไก่ทอด)

Back when we were still in Brunei, before we set off to travel Australia, I wanted to make fried chicken wingettes for the family. I used the basic fried chicken batter that I always used, and before I added in the dried chilli flakes to give it a little kick, I remembered that I had made my own tom yum paste the day before. So I decided to experiment and added just about a teaspoon and a half of the paste to the batter. Marinated it for at least an hour or two, and then got my mom to fry the wingettes. It tasted really, really good! It had just the right amount of spice, and we even had some sweet chilli sauce on the side for the wingettes.

It was so good that I even made a second batch before we flew off, and the even more batches from my friends in Sydney (with store-bought paste since I was not really bothered to make my own paste at that time). The taste of the tom yum didn’t quite shine through and I’m guessing it’s because it didn’t have much of a kick of heat in the paste, and I couldn’t really taste the freshness of the galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves, etc. Nonetheless, the wingettes were still succulent and juicy.

Tom Yum Gài Tôt (ต้มยำ ไก่ทอด) Ingredients

Tom Yum Gài Tôt (ต้มยำ ไก่ทอด) Process

PREP TIME 1 HOUR* | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 4

*Includes marination time

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g chicken wingettes, wash and cleaned
  • 8 tbsp water
  • 6 tbsp cornflour
  • 6 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp Homemade Tom Yum Paste
  • Dash of ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix the chicken around until well coated. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave to marinade for 1 hour (I usually leave it for about 4 hours minimum to let the flavour of the tom yum infuse into the chicken. Do not refrigerate it to bring the meat down to room temperature before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Heat up oil in a large frying pan an working in batches, shallow fry the chicken until skin is crispy and golden (about 5-6 minutes per side).
  3. Remove from the heat and place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Place the wings in the oven for a further 8-10 minutes to finish off in the oven.
  4. Serve the wings with thai sweet chilli sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Tom Yum Gài Tôt (ต้มยำ ไก่ทอด)

I think you can try and experiment with other pastes if you wish. When I get around to, I will attempt to make my own green curry paste and try some green curry friend chicken wings!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่)

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่)

Hey Everyone! Just letting you guys know that I’m currently in Victoria with my family for 9 days; staying in Cranbourne with a family friend. Anyway, yes, besides that, today’s recipe is based on what I uploaded on Tuesday; using the homemade tom yum paste to make a (yes) chicken feet tom yum soup. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Chicken feet, really? And gizzards as well? Ew!” – actually not ew, well in my opinion that is! When I first learnt this dish from my Auntie, she cooked this with these cuts of chicken. My mom even gives the chicken feet a little pedicure; scrubbing them clean and cutting off their nails on each toe – so much work that I myself wouldn’t even be bothered to do! If you’re not into chicken feet, this spicy and sour soup can be made with other meats varying from mixed seafood such as prawns, squid, and clams, or other cuts of chicken, pork, and fish.

Also, I didn’t know this until I did a bit of research, but tom yum is actually a Lao and Thai dish; all along I thought it was just Thai. Anyway, for those of you who don’t know what tom yum is, it is a clear, spicy, and sour soup served widely in many neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore, but has also been popularised around the world. “Tom” actually refers to the boiling process while “yum” refers to a spicy and sour salad; and therefore “tom yum” is a hot and sour soup characterised by the fragrant herbs used to flavour the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce, and crushed fresh chillies. When I first learnt to cook this dish, I added coconut milk to the broth. Over time, we eliminated the coconut milk because my mom can’t eat, or more like, isn’t allowed to have anything with coconut in her diet.

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่) Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 5-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg chicken feet, wash, cleaned, and nails cut off
  • 250g chicken gizzards, washed and cleaned
  • 2.5L boiling water
  • 1 heaped tbsp Homemade Tom Yum Paste (or more if you’ve deseeded your chillies before making it into a paste), likewise, you may use store-bought paste
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 4 pcs kaffir lime leaves
  • 3 inch galangal, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 pcs red bird’s eye chillies
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Fish sauce to taste

METHOD

  1. Add the all the ingredients, except for the kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, and tom yum paste, into a large pot. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Then add in the kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, and tom yum paste. Give it a good mix and then add in the fish sauce about a tablespoon at a time; taste until the seasoning and taste is to your liking. At this point, you may also add in straw mushrooms or oyster mushroom if you wish. Let it cook for a further 45 minutes, or until chicken feet and gizzards are tender.
  3. Serve with steamed rice and enjoy! Quite a nice dish actually for a cold winter night.

Tom Yum Gài (ต้มยำไก่)

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Hello Everyone! Today’s post will be a simple one – well at first before even tackling the recipe, I thought it’d be a complicated and labour-intensive process. Actually, it took a while to finely chop up the garlic, onions, galangal, and ginger as I did not have a food processor to do it all for me in a jiffy; nonetheless, it helped me improve on my chopping skills (probably not really).

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

Tom Yum is one of the first Thai dishes that I learned to love, and it was probably from this dish that I slowly started to love chillies and the kick of spice it gave to my palette. In fact, Chicken Tom Yum was the very first Thai dishes that I learnt to cook from my auntie, who is Thai; but at that time I still used pre-packed tom yum paste from the supermarkets. It wasn’t until recently that I decided that I wanted to learn how to make my own tom yum paste – and quite a success I might add! The flavours were obviously tastier and had more kick than store-bought paste, and very easy to make as well! The opportunities are endless with this paste; you can use it to make a tom yum broth to accompany various meats such as chicken, pork, prawns, fish, and mixed seafood’s including clams and squid, or you can use it as a seasoning to various dishes. The original recipe can be found at Pickyin.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 45 MINS | MAKES 40 TBSP (approx.)*

*What I normally do is place about a tablespoon of the paste in small plastic bags and place them into the freezer. Each time I make a dish that requires Tom Yum Paste, I defrost a bag (or two) depending on how many I need. This is how I keep my batch on Tom Yum Paste without the need for additives or preservatives to keep them on the shelf/fridge.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g chili paste (from soaked, deseeded and blended dry chilies)**
  • 20g shrimp paste (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup tamarind pulp water
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 pieces kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 inches ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 inches galangal, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp ground coriander

**I couldn’t be bothered to deseed each and every dried chilli, so I ended up adding the seeds in. I’m not sure if you can buy already deseeded dried chillies in stores, but I could not find any myself. I mean, if you want the heat then by all means leave the seeds in – caution though, very hot!

METHOD

  1. Heat vegetable oil over high heat in a medium-sized frying pan, and then add in the onions, garlic, galangal, and ginger. Sauté until softened and slightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside, leaving the remaining oils in the pan.
  2. In the same pan, add the chilli paste, kaffir lime leaves, lemonsgrass, coriander, shrimp paste, fish sauce, tamarind water, and brown sugar. Cook until the mixture slightly thickens before adding the other fried ingredients into the chilli mixture.
  3. Continue frying until the paste is thick and the oil starts to separate from chilli and surfaces. Set aside to cool down before sealing them in jars/cans. The paste can keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for a few months.

Homemade Tom Yum Paste

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com