Chicken Tarkari (Nepalese Chicken Curry)

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 Tbsp of cooking oil
3 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
1- inch of fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion peeled and chopped
5 dried red chilies seeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 large tomatoes diced
2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Marinade the chicken pieces with turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and black pepper for at least one hour in the refrigerator
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add in the mustard seeds and roast it until fragrant, take care not to burn the seeds. Remove from the skillet and crush them into coarse powder.

In the same pan, add in cooking oil and heat it up a bit and then add in the onion and saute until soft and translucent, then add in the garlic,ginger, bay leaves, chiles and continue to saute for another minute. Add in the marinated chicken pieces and stir fry until they turn into opaque color.

Add in tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer until the chicken is fully cooked through. Have a taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with rice or flat breads if you prefer.

Ayam Masak Bugis (Buginese Chicken)

INGREDIENTS:
3 lbs mixture of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp of cooking oil
4 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
10 small shallots peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp of shrimp paste
2 bay leaves/ daun salam
3- inch of cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp of nutmeg powder
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar
4 cups of coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups packed of baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup of sweet corn kernels if frozen, thawed

Preheat a large pot on high heat. Add in 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Add in garlic and the rest of the ingredients up to nutmeg powder on the ingredient list. Stir fry until fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add in brown sugar, vinegar, and coconut milk. Bring it back to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is roughly reduced by half. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper to your taste. It should be savory. Add in spinach leaves and sweet corn kernels. Stir to mix everything and cook just until the spinach leaves started to wilt. Remove from the heat and serve immediately or warm with plain rice.

Clay Pot Chicken with Ginger and Lime Leaves

3 cloves of garlic peeled and finely minced
2 Tbsp of cooking oil divided
3 Tbsp of chopped shallot
1 Tbsp of sugar
3 Tbsp of fish sauce
1 Tbsp of freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh kaffir lime leaves cut into strips
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves for garnish
1 lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size chunks
2- inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and cut into thin strips

Place garlic, I Tbsp of oil, shallot, sugar, fish sauce, black pepper, and strips of lime leaves in a large bowl. Stir to mix everything. Add in the chicken and turn to coat. Make sure all the pieces are coated with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate to let it marinade for 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a clay pot, you can use a heavy-bottomed pan. Preheat the pot. Add in the rest of the cooking oil. Add in the ginger and saute for about 2 minutes. It should be fragrant. Add in the marinated chicken along with its juices. Stir and cook until the chicken started to turn into opaque color. Reduce the heat, cover and let it gently simmer for about 45 minutes. Uncover and have a taste. Add more fish sauce if needed. Remove from the heat and garnish with the rest of the lime leaves and serve while pipping hot.

Bo Luc Lac (Shaking Beef)

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb of beef sirloin cut into 1-inch cubes
8 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp of cooking oil
Salad:
1 red onion peeled and thinly sliced
1 red chili -optional seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp of sugar
Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of watercress, baby spinach, or arugula

INSTRUCTIONS:
Place the beef in a mixing bowl. Add in the minced garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and salt and let it marinade for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

While waiting for the beef to marinade, prepare the salad. Toss the sliced onions and chili (if using) with vinegar.

In another bowl, mix the sugar, salt, and pepper and stir to mix everything. Just before serving, toss in the vegetables along with the soy sauce mixture and toss to mix everything.

Preheat the wok or skillet over very high heat. Add in oil. Tip in the beef in single layer and let it sear for a minute undisturbed to create that nice brown. Do this in batches if necessary. Shake the wok or skillet to flip the beef over if you can (or flip it over with spatula) and let is sear for another 30 seconds. Then shake the wok or skillet again if you can and let cook until they are about medium rare or to the doneness you like. (I like medium rare.)

Toss the salad with the sauce and onion you prepared earlier. Place on serving platter. Arrange the beef on top of the salad and serve immediately.

Sate Padang (West Sumatra Beef Satay)

INGREDIENTS:
500 gr beef cut into cubes, brisket, flank, or sirloin tip steak
500 gr tongue
500 ml of water
6 Kaffir Lime leaves tear the leaves at the edges to release the flavor
1 stalk of lemon grass smashed with the back of cleaver to bruise to release the flavor
1 inch fresh galangal bruised
1 inch fresh ginger bruised
50 gr of rice flour mix with some water
Salt to taste
Bamboo skewers Soak in a water for 20-30 minutes so it won’t burn when you grill your sate

GROUND SPICES:
5-6 red ancho chili or you can use fresh long red chili
2 tsp of roasted coriander seeds/ketumbar
1 tsp of fennel seeds
5 garlic cloves peeled
5 shallots
2 inch of turmeric root
1 tsp salt

Parboil the tongue for about 15 minutes and then scrap the whitish stuff off the tongue and cut into cubes.
Place the meat and tongue in a large pot and marinade with the ground spices for 30 minutes.

Pour in the water and add the kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, galangal, and ginger. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let them cook for 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the broth. Discard all the spices and herbs. Strain the broth. Have a taste and season the broth with salt to your taste.

Thread meat and tongue pieces onto the bamboo skewers, about 3-4 pieces of meat + tongue for each skewer. Get your grill ready and brush the sate with some oil on both sides and grill until they are slightly browned but not too long so the meat won’t toughen and dried up too much.

Bring the broth back to boil. Stir the rice flour mixture again before pouring into the stock to thicken up the stock (this is important step or you will end up with lumps). Continue to stir vigorously after that until it is thick and smooth. Immediately pour the sauce over the sate and rice cakes (if using).

Sprinkle with fried shallots crisps. It is best to serve while it’s pipping hot. I served with some pork skins to scoop up that delicious sauce.

Mee Goreng

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb fresh or dried egg noodles, instant noodles, or ramen noodles
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 leek (cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly )
3-4 whole green/red bird’s eye chili (stems removed)
8 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and quartered). You can use grape tomatoes too (halved)

SEASONINGS:
5 Tbsp kecap manis
1/4 cup soy sauce and more to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

INGREDIENTS TO GRIND:
5 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6 candlenuts/kemiri or sub with macademia nuts

GARNISH:
Fried shallots crisp

If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan with oil. Add in the paste you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add green chili (if using) and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and saute until they cook through, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for another 30 seconds minute.

Add the noodles in follow by the sweet soy sauce. Mix well to make sure the noodles pick up the color of the sweet soy sauce, add more if needed. Add soy sauce for saltiness (to your taste) and pepper. Continue to stir and make sure everything is well mixed and turn off the heat.

Garnish with a deep-fried shallots crisp and serve immediately

Rice Noodles with Chili Bean Sauce

300 gr fresh/refrigerated flat rice noodles or dried flat rice noodles
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 cups snap peas trim both ends

AROMATICS:
1- inch knob of ginger peeled and finely minced
1 medium onion peeled, quartered and separate

SEASONINGS:
2 Tbsp chili bean sauce (dou ban jiang) or more, adjust the amount of other seasoning
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar

PREPARE THE NOODLE AND SEASONINGS:
If using dried rice noodles, soak in water for at least 2 hours. If you are using refrigerated sheets of rice noodles, they come in one large sheet or pre-cut. Microwave them for about 1 minute and then cut (if you need to) and then separate and loosen the noodle.

Mix all the ingredients for seasonings in a bowl and set aside.

Preheat your wok or skillet until very hot. You should see some smoke started to rise. Add in 2 Tbsp of the cooking oil. Add the aromatics and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Push them to the side and then crack in two eggs. Let them cook until the bottom started to settle and then scramble the yolk and break the eggs into large chunks and continue to stir fry for few seconds.

Add sugar snap peas and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes until they are soft but still have some crunch.

Add the rice noodles along with the seasonings. Stir to mix everything. The amount of seasonings may vary according to your taste buds. You may need to add more soy sauce to your taste. Stir to mix everything. The noodles will start to soften. It may take longer if you use dry noodles. Have a final taste and add more seasonings as needed. Dish out and serve immediately.

Notes: You can use other greens like brocollini, broccoli, bok choy, yu choy, mung bean sprouts.

You can also add in slices of beef, chicken, pork, or even seafood. Just remember to cook the seafood or meat first and then dish out to preven overcooking.

Rempeyek Kacang (Indonesian Peanut Fritters)

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups raw peanuts without skin
2 cups coconut milk if you are using canned, give it a good shake
2 1/2 oz of rice flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
Oil for deep frying
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder

INGREDIENTS TO GRIND:
4 kaffir lime leaves
3 candlenuts
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of sugar

In a medium-size pan without oil, stir-fry the peanut on low heat for about 5 minutes or so. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Use a food processor to process the ingredients to grind into paste. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, coconut milk, and add in the paste, turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Stir to mix everything. It should be somewhat a thin batter.

In a small-size (deep enough for deep-frying) pot, preheat enough oil for deep-frying. Give the batter a stir each time before you drop them into the oil. Drop a tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil and let it fry until golden brown on both sides. Work with one at a time. Remove with slotted spoon and place on absorbent paper towel to drain. Let them cool down completely before storing in air-tight container.

Perkedel Jagung (Bakwan Jadung – Indonesian Corn Fritters)

500 gr sweet corn kernels
6 oz shrimps cleaned, deveined and finely minced
80 gr rice flour
1 large egg beaten
1 tsp salt
1 Thai chili
Oil for deep-frying

AROMATICS:
2 shallots peeled
2 garlic peeled
3 Tbsp chopped Chinese celery leaves

Place 1/2 of the corn in a food processor along with the shrimp, shallots and garlic and pulse few times until finely chopped.

Mix the chopped corn mixtures along with the other half of the corn kernels, eggs, chili, celery leaves, flour, salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil for frying. Lower the heat to medium and then drop one or two spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You may want to fry one first and then taste to see if you need to add more salt (as you can’t taste the “raw” mixture) and adjust by adding more salt if needed before frying more.

You can try to use egg rings if you have some to help hold the round shape, but you really don’t have to. If you use them, fill the ring with the corn mixture and then use the back of the spoon to kinda smooth it out to make sure there’s no “hole” so your bakwan jagung won’t fall apart later. Once the fritter is golden brown at the bottom, you can remove the ring and flip to the other side and cook until golden brown.

Continue with the rest of the mixture. You can serve with any of your favorite sweet chili sauce or just eat them as is.

Beef Chow Fun

INGREDIENTS:
1 lb flat rice noodles fresh or dried (1/2 lb if dried)
6 oz beef sirloin (freeze in the freezer for about 15 minute and cut very thinly)
2 Tbsp cooking oil
6 oz beansprouts

AROMATICS:
4 stalks green onion
1 inch fresh ginger

SAUCE:
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp fine sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

MARINADE:
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp corn starch

PREPARE BEEF AND RICE NOODLES:
Put the sirloin in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting. Make sure you cut the meat across the grain so you get a tender meat. Put all ingredients for marinating the beef and let it marinade for 30 minutes while you are preparing other things.

If using dried rice noodles, soak in water for at least 2 hours. If you are using fresh sheets of rice noodles, they come in one large sheet or pre-cut. If you are using one large sheet, cut into 1-2 inch wide.

PREPARE AROMATICS:
Separate the white and green parts of the green onions. Cut into a 3-inch length. Halve the white part of the onion. Set aside.

Peel and finely chop the ginger.

PREPARE SEASONINGS:
Place all the ingredients for seasonings in a bowl and stir to mix. Set aside.

COOKING:
Preheat the skillet/wok over high heat until really hot. You can start seeing smoke rising from the wok. Add in about 2 Tbsp of oil, swirl it quickly to cover the base and add the beef slices. Don’t stir and let them cook for about 1 minute and then a quick stir to separate them and dish out and set aside. Do not overcook the beef.

Scrap any crust off the skillet/wok, if any. Heat the skillet back until it’s stonking hot and smoking again, add another 1 Tbsp of oil (if needed) and add the ginger and white part of green onions, stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the rice noodles, spreading it across the skillet/work and stir fry quickly for about 20-30 seconds, it might be longer for dried noodles. The noodles will continue to get soften. Don’t over stir the noodles or they will break apart and turn choppy. Pour in the seasonings and give it a stir and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add the beef slices back and stir fry again for another 10 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and green part of green onions. Stir to mix briefly. Stir to mix everything. Dish out into a serving platter and serve immediately.

Soto Ayam Medan (Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk)

4-5 chicken thighs (skin removed)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
4 cups chicken stock
1 block chicken bouillon
1 cup of coconut cream (you can replace with whole cow’s milk, but I don’t recommend using low fat or fat-free)
Salt and Sugar to taste

TOPPINGS:
2 Roma Tomatoes seeded and chopped
Small bunch of Chinese celery leaves (chopped)
2 hard-boiled eggs quartered
1/3 cup crispy fried shallots
Kecap manis for drizzling

PASTE:
4 cloves of garlic
7 shallots
4 candlenuts omit if you don’t have any
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups Beansprouts (blanched)
2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of chopped ginger

OTHER HERBS AND SPICES:
4 bay leaves
3 Kaffir lime leaves
4 cardamom pods
3 cloves
1 stalk lemongrass bruised with heavy object

CHILI SAUCE:
50 gr long green chili or use serrano peppers
1/4 tsp salt

SERVED WITH:
Perkedel kentang (potato fritters)

Put all ingredients you need to grind in a food processor except for turmeric powder. Process into a paste and then add the turmeric powder. That way you won’t stain your food processor bowl.

Boil the chili in a boiling water until soft, about 5 minutes. Discard water and process into a smooth paste or roughly chopped if you prefer. Add in salt to taste. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Put in chicken pieces and lower the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Save the liquid and shred the meat when cool enough to handle.

In a meantime, heat up some oil in a large pot and stir-fry the paste you prepared earlier, cardamom, cloves, and lemongrass until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Put in bay Leaves and kaffir lime leaves and continue stir-frying for few minutes until fragrant.

Pour in the liquid from cooking the chicken and chicken broth and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Strain off the liquid and discard the solids. Add in coconut cream and let it heated through but do not let it boil. Have a taste and season with more salt and pinch of sugar to your taste. It should be savory

When ready to serve, portion the shredded chicken meat, bean sprouts, diced tomatoes, in a individual serving bowl. Ladle the hot soup over. Garnish with celery leaves, crispy shallots, hard-boiled eggs. Serve with rice, chili sauce, and perkedel.

Mee Goreng

1 lb fresh or dried egg noodles, instant noodles, or ramen noodles
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 leek (cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly )
3-4 whole green/red bird’s eye chili (stems removed)
8 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs (cut into 1-inch cubes)
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 Roma tomatoes (seeded and quartered). You can use grape tomatoes too (halved)

SEASONINGS:
5 Tbsp kecap manis
1/4 cup soy sauce and more to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper powder

INGREDIENTS TO GRIND:
5 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6 candlenuts/kemiri or sub with macademia nuts

GARNISH:
Fried shallots crisp

INSTRUCTIONS:
If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan with oil. Add in the paste you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add green chili (if using) and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and saute until they cook through, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for another 30 seconds minute.

Add the noodles in follow by the sweet soy sauce. Mix well to make sure the noodles pick up the color of the sweet soy sauce, add more if needed. Add soy sauce for saltiness (to your taste) and pepper. Continue to stir and make sure everything is well mixed and turn off the heat.

Garnish with a deep-fried shallots crisp and serve immediately

Nasi Goreng Rendang

INGREDIENTS:
1 egg
1/2 small onion peeled and diced
2 Tbsp Bumbu Rendang leftover from rendang Padang
2 Tbsp oil from cooking the rendang
1 stalk celery cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups cooked white rice made with 2 cups of long-grain rice + 2 cups of water

SEASONINGS:
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
Fresh slices of cucumber
Fresh slices of tomatoes

MAKE FRIED EGG:
Preheat the non-stick skillet. Large enough to cook the fried rice later.

Add about 1 Tbsp regular cooking oil. Crack one egg in and fry to your desired doneness.

COOKING FRIED RICE:
In the same pan, add the rendang oil. Let it melt. Add onion and stir fry until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the rendang paste and stir fry for another minute. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to make sure nothing got stuck there. Add celery and stir fry for another minute. We want the celery to still be crunchy.

Add the rice and continue to stir fry to make sure the rice picks up the rendang paste and the changes color to brownish yellow, another 2 minutes. Add seasonings and adjust to your liking. It should be savory and spicy.

Serve immediately as is or garnish with chopped green onions and/or crispy fried shallots (bawang goreng), few slices of cucumber, tomatoes and prawn crackers if any.

Kwe Tiau Radna (Thai Rice Noodles with Sauce)

2 lbs fresh rice noodle or Fresh noodle Sheets or 1 lb of wide dried rice noodles
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2 to 3 Tbsp minced garlic
Scant 1/2 lb boneless pork butt or shoulder , thinly sliced across the grain into 1-by 1/2-inch pieces (or substitute lean beef or boneless chicken, sliced similarly)
1 tsp sugar
1 lb of Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch wide spears and well washed (3 to 4 cups loosely packed)
1 Tbsp fermented soybean paste (dao jiao/dao jio), mashed until smooth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp rice or cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups mild chicken , beef, or pork borth or water
1 Tbsp cornstarch , dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
Generous grinding of white or black pepper

CHILI VINEGAR SAUCE (1/2 CUP):
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 to 3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 mild chile (such as Cubanelle, Hungarian wax, or banana chile), I used 10-15 bird’s eye chiles, sliced into rings)

If using fresh rice noodles, rinse under warm running water. Stack the sheets, if using, slice into 3/4-inch-wide noodles, and separate gently with your fingers; set aside. If using dried rice noodles, soaking warm water for 30 minutes to soften, then drain and set aside.

Place all the other ingredients by your counter top near the stove. Have a platter and 3 or 4 dinner plates (one per person) nearby.

Heat a large work over high heat. Pour in 1 1/2 Tbsp of the oil and swirl to coat the wok. When very hot, toss in approximately half the noodles and stir-fry gently for about 2 minutes, pressing them against the hot pan, then turn out onto the platter and repeat with the remaining noodles, using only 1 Tbsp oil. Divide the noodles among the four dinner plates.

Wipe out the wok, then place back over high heat. Add the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp oil and, when it is hot, toss in the garlic. Stir-fry briefly until starting to turn golden, about 20 seconds, then add the pork slices and a generous pinch of the sugar. Stir-fry for about 1 minutes, or until all the meat has changed color. Toss in the sliced greens and stir-fry, pressing the vegetables against the hot sides of the wok, until they turn bright green, about 1 1/2 minutes or more (depending on the size of your wok).

Add the soybean paste, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, and the remaining scant teaspoon sugar and stir-fry to mix, then add the broth or water and the cornstarch mixture. Stir to mix, then cover for 30 seconds to a minute, until the liquid comes to a boil. Remove the cover and simmer, stirring carefully from time to time, for another 2 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened a little and the greens are tender.

Use your spatula or a ladle to distribute the meat, greens, and gravy over the noodles. Grind pepper over generously and serve hot, with a bowl or cruet of the chile-vinegar sauce.

Put the vinegar in a small bowl and stir in the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add the chile rings. Serve with a small spoon so guests can spoon a little onto their noodles. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, this will keep for 4 to 5 days.

Pressure Cooker Beef Khao Soi (Chiang Mai Beef Curry Noodles)

2 lbs boneless beef shank cut into 2-inch chunks
1 lb Chinese flat egg noodles reserve about a handful of it to make crispy egg noodles

RED CURRY BROTH:
1 Tbsp Madras curry powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1/3 cup Red Curry Paste less if you don’t want it too spicy
2 cups water
2 cups canned coconut milk

SEASONINGS:
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
TOPPINGS:
2 hard-boiled eggs halved
Crispy egg noodles
3 cups fresh mung bean sprouts briefly blanch in boiling water

CONDIMENTS:
Limes quartered
Fresh basil and mint leaves

PRESSURE COOK WITH INSTANT POT (CAN BE PREPARED THE DAY BEFORE YOU PLAN TO SERVE):

Place the beef pieces along with the ingredients for red curry broth and seasonings in the inner pot of instant pot. Add water and stir to mix everything. Cover the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “pressure cooker” and then “high pressure”. Set timer to 40 minutes.

When the timer is done, wait 5 minutes and then release all the pressure. Unlock the lid. You can prepare ahead up to this point if you make it the day before. Don’t stir in the coconut milk yet until the day you plan to serve.

Keep in the refrigerator. The next day, you can heat it up, turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Have a taste and add more fish sauce and/or sugar if needed. It should be savory, spicy, with a hint of sweetness.

MAKING CRISPY EGG NOODLES:
Meanwhile, make the optional crispy noodles: place a plate lined with several layers of paper towels by your stove. Place a large wok or heavy pot over high heat and add about 1 cup of oil, or 1/2 inch oil. When the oil is hot, drop in a strand of uncooked egg noodles to test the temperature. It should sizzle slightly as it falls to the bottom, then immediately puff and rise to the surface; adjust the heat slightly, if necessary

Toss a handful (about 1 cup) of noodles into the oil and watch as they puff up. Use a spatula or long tongs to turn them over and expose all of them to the hot oil. They will crisp up very quickly, in less than 1 minute. Lift the crisped noodles out of the oil and place on the paper towel-lined plate.

COOK THE EGG NOODLES:
To serve, bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil over high heat. Drop in the remaining noodles, bring back to a boil, and cook until tender but not mushy, according to direction. Drain well and rinse in fresh water to get rid of extra starch and stop the cooking process.

SERVING:
Divide the cooked noodles among four large bowls. Portion out the mung bean sprouts. Ladle over the broth and meat. Top with halved egg, crispy noodles, crispy shallots. Serve with the remaining condiments set out in small bowls.

Green Beans and Bean Threads

1 lb green beans trimmed both ends and remove tough fibers, cut into 2-inch sections
2 oz minced lean pork or any meat you like I used left over sausages
2 bundles of bean thread noodles/vermicelli noodles soak in cold water to let it soften and then cut into shorter pieces
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion
3 Tbsp of canola oil

MARINADE:
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
Salt to season
1 cup water
Dash of sesame oil

Blanch the green beans in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes and quickly submerge into ice water bath. Drain and set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp of canola oil and stir fry the minced pork and use the spatula to break up the meat, toss in chopped spring onion, add dark soy sauce, salt and water. Lastly add the green beans and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the vermicelli and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Turn up the heat to reduce the gravy if you prefer. Lastly drizzle with some sesame oil.

Note on soaking vermicelli: If you want the vermicelli to further soak up the flavors and sauce of the dish you are cooking it in, soak it in cold water. If you are not cooking it in a sauce, soak it in warm water instead to allow it to swell more before cooking.

Chili Chicken

1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size
1 medium onion thinly sliced
Corn starch to coat the chicken
Salt to taste
1-2 Tbsp of sugar
Oil for deep-frying
CHILI INGREDIENTS:
20 shallots
1 stalk of lemongrass
2- inch piece galangal
1 tsp of shrimp paste/terasi
About 20-30 bird’s eye chili
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup of water

Put all the chili ingredients into a food processor and ground into a fine paste. The water is to get the grinding process going.

Heat up some oil in a pan, enough to cover the chicken for deep frying. Meanwhile, dredge the chicken pieces into the corn starch and fry until golden brown and set them aside.

In a separate pan, heat up about 3 Tbsp oil oil and stir fry the onion until they are soft, add in the chili paste and stir fry until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to your taste. Add the fried chicken pieces and toss them to make sure they are coated with the sauce and stir fry for another 1 minute and serve immediately.

Naam Tok Nuea (Isaan Grilled Beef Salad)

3 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 pinch of sugar
1 tsp chili powder
5 oz (150 g) beef tenderloin
2 shallots , sliced finely lengthwise
1 spring onion , sliced finely in rings
1 stalk of lemongrass , hard bottom end cut off, outer leaves removed, white part sliced very finely in rings (optional)
1 handful of mint leaves
Toasted sticky rice/sweet rice/glutinous rice

Preheat a small to medium skillet on high heat without any oil. Once hot, put in one handful of sticky rice and use a wooden spoon to move it around and let it toast until golden brown.
You can even smell the nuttiness. Set aside to let it cool down a little bit. Put the toasted rice into a food processor and process into fine powder and let it cool and store in an air-tight container. You can do this a night before if you prefer.

Mix the lime juice with fish sauce, sugar and chili powder. Balance well; this dressing should taste spicy, sour and salty.

Grill the meat, preferably on a wood charcoal grill for that authentic flavor if you can. If not, don’t sweat it just grill it they way you normally would using outdoor grill or using grill pan. Grill it to the doneness you like.

Once you finish grilling, cover with aluminum foil and let the beef rest for a while before you slice it. Slice the beef into bite-size. Don’t waste the meat juice, save as much as you can. Combine beef and juice with shallot, spring onion, lemongrass when using, and fresh herbs. Finish with dressing and toasted rice powder.

Ohn No Khao Swe (Burmese Chickpea Noodle Soup)

1 lb of fresh egg noodles, blanched in boiling water
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed
6 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup oil
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and grated)
1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 Tbsp chili flakes
1/2 cup chickpea flour or besan flour or gram flour + 1/2 cup water
6 cup chicken stock
1 1/3 cups coconut milk

GARNISHES AND CONDIMENTS:
4 hard-boiled eggs , peeled and sliced
2 green onions (thinly sliced)
1 medium onion , finely sliced
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes , quartered
1/2 cup chili flakes
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (blanch in hot water briefly if you prefer.)
12 oz (350 g) fresh egg noodles, deep-fried in oil until crispy, drained on paper towel, cooled and crumbled by hand into bite-size pieces
Fish sauce

Marinate chicken with fish sauce for at least 15 minutes. Heat oil in large pot, saute onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and chili flakes. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent chicken sticking to pot. Meanwhile, add chickpea flour to water and whisk to remove lumps.

Add chicken stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes and the chicken is cooked through. Add coconut milk and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.Stir in chickpea flour paste until the soup thickens slightly.

Arrange each garnishing item on a separate plate on the table around a central bowl of chicken and coconut chickpeas soup. To serve, take a portion of fresh noodles and a generous helping of soup, add a little of each garnishing (a dash of fish sauce if desired).

Bagan Char Kwey Tiau (Stir-fried Rice Noodles)

1 lb (450 g) fresh wide flat rice noodles / kwe tiau. If using dried, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes then discard water
2 handful of beansprouts (washed)
6 cloves of garlics (finely chopped)
4 eggs
2-3 Tbsp of soy sauce or more as needed
1 small cube of chicken bouillon
6 Tbsp of ground red chili paste
1/4 cup of canola Oil + 4 Tbsp of canola oil (Lard for best result)
3 cups of hot water

It is best to use a wok if you have one. Preheat until the wok is stonking hot and smoke started to rise. Add in 1/4 cup of oil and the flat rice noodles and stir fry for about 30 seconds, splash in 2 Tbsp of soy sauce. Dish out and set aside. You may end up with some “crust” on the wok from cooking the noodles. Scrap them off with wooden spoon.

Preheat the wok again until really really hot. Then add in about 4 Tbsp of canola oil and add in the garlic and ground red chili paste and stir-fry until fragrant, another minute.

Push it to the side of the wok, crack in 4 eggs and stir to break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 1 minute, then stir to mix everything. Add in the hot water (it’s important that it’s hot so you won’t reduce the temperature of the wok too much) and chicken bouillon and bring it to a boil for about 1-2 minutes.

Add in the rice noodles that you have stir-fried earlier, and soy sauce. Stir to mix everything, have a taste and add more soy sauce if needed.

Lastly add in the beansprouts and turn off the heat. The beansprouts should be still crunchy. The fried noodles should be red in color and a little bit saucy, but not entirely soupy. Give it a stir one more time to mix everything. Portion into individual serving plate. Serve immediately.