Southeast Asian Tag

THAI SPICY BRINY COCKLE SALAD

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AS HAPPY AS A CLAM

It’s veterinarian-day for me again, how about you?  Whatever your day’s like, appetize it with this spicy, herby, briny and juicy cockle salad (you heard right), from one of Fatty Crab’s and Fatty Cue’s Zak Pelaccio.  It tastes like the ocean with an attitude, certainly one of my favourite, and most interesting and delicious treatment of shellfish yet.  And I promise it will kick-open your palette, get you ready for whatever that’s on your plate.  Wish you a day as happy as a clam.

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Serves:  4 as appetizer

Adapted from Zak Pelaccio’s Eat With Your Hands

I like to use an assortment of cockles and clams for this dish.  In this case, tiny cockles for their meats plus larger/prettier clams for their shells.  You can choose whatever variety you like.  The original recipe does not include the kaffir lime leaf, but I added it because I think it gave the dish a sharper edge.  Use if you have it available (they freeze really well in the freezer).


THAI SPICY BRINY COCKLE SALAD

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs assortment of cockles and clams
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine or white wine
  • 2 ~ 3 small red Thai chili
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime leaf (if available), with the stem removed
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 4 small Asian shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Bring 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup of rice wine (or white wine if you prefer) to a boil. Add the clams and cover the lid. Cook for 2 min, then remove the lid and start picking out clams as they open (clams open at different speed so this way, you can avoid over-cooking them). Once all the clams have opened, continue to simmer the liquid until it's reduced to 1/4 cup.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the clams from the shells (you should have about 1 cup of clam-meats). Keeping a few shells that are bigger and prettier.
  3. In a stone-mortar, mash the red chili, the garlics and lime leaf until paste-like. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, light brown sugar, finely sliced Asian shallots, chopped mint leaves, chopped cilantro and the clam-meats. Mix to combine.
  4. Scatter the preserved shells over the serving platter, then spoon the clams to fill the shells. Pour the reduced clam-juice over. Serve with extra lime.
https://ladyandpups.com/2014/10/26/thai-spicy-briny-cockle-salad/
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DIRTY THAI FRIED RICE

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IF YOU DON’T DO IT, SOMEBODY WILL

EVEN though, for quite a while now, you and I have been sort of sitting inside a semi-private room, staring at each other and talking about what I ate yesterday… when it comes to predicting what you would actually like to eat, sadly, I’ve got very little clues.  As a matter of fact, for the sake of honesty and sanity, I spent a great deal of obsessive and compulsive effort not to think too much about that.  Instead I try to say, or at least most of the times, that hey look, if it hasn’t already, this is the kind of stuff that will make your world a much more exciting and tastier place.

I can’t say I’ve been completely frank… I was too afraid that this rom would look like a swimming pool inside a Pig’s soft parts, but on the other hand, striking the balance has proven to be tricky.  After all, convincing people to watch someone downing a tripe stew on TV, vs to make it themselves at home, is two completely different things.

But lately, I came across a recipe that, I believe, could be the great missing link.

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CRACK SLURP PT 2 – MAH KHAO SOI

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THIS IS MAH-KHAO-SOI,
AS IN…
MY KHAO-SOI.

PERHAPS this doesn’t come as a shocker to anyone who’s been stopping by for awhile, but I would like to, for once at least as public record, to officially confess.

Before we shake hands, break breads and plan our next travelling itinerary together, it’s best that you know this about me…  That to a point of being almost overbearing, I have an unhealthy, perverted… RAPACIOUS fixation on anything and everything that falls under the category of – street foods.

You, too! I heard?  No.  No, unfortunately I’m afraid, not like this.

I’m talking about an uncurbed obsession that overwrites all hygienic senses.  It could lead to an unpleasant behaviours that I’m dangerously comfortable with, that I would look right at your fearful eyes with unaccompanied excitement, drag you if I must, to sit down on a randomly scouted location where flies are feasting on bodies of other flies, and jitter over a bowl of something that I just ordered purely through hand-signals, as looooong as it looks tasty.  Then as if completely clueless, I’d turn and ask you with concealed hostility… Is there something wrong with your food?  

At this point, you should know that you’re stuck with a madwoman who has no intention to eat anything under a proper roof.  Ask Jason, and his collaterally-damaged digestive system has got some tearful stories to tell.  I’m not proud… I’m not proud…

OK fine, I am.

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THAI HERBS AND PORK SALAD

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I’m determined to get a life during this Labour Day long weekend so let me quickly leave you with this.  Best.  Damn.  “Salad”.  You’ll.  Ever.  Have.  Period.  Period.

HOW COULD IT BE?  OH WAIT, IT’S THE PORK.

It’s a recipe I developed for Food52’s column “Half Way to Dinner“, and initially I didn’t write any measurements down because I wasn’t sure how open you guys would be towards a “ground pork salad”.  But it turned out, a few request for it came in and so I made it again the other night… and again… and again…

I was incandescently happy being lost in a sea of gushing green that I got confused for a moment.  How could be?  What’s happened to me?  The flavour between a few thinly sliced shallots, splashes of fish sauce and lime juice is practically addictive no matter what you mix it with, but still… am I a “salad” person now?  Oh wait… there’s the ground pork… lots of it.  Actually.  Well forget what I said then.

Best.  Damn.  “Meat salad”.  Ever.  Period.

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ANDY WRECKER GREEN CURRY MEATBALLS

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Let’s all be honest here.  Yes.  Including those of us who say we love to cook, and would ferociously defend the legitimacy of home-making Turkish kofta platter, Taiwanese gua bao, or even Italian duck prosciutto, once in a blue moon at least, let’s not kid ourselves.  In practicality, the song and dance of travelling to exotic and exhilarating corners of the world through a dialogue in our own kitchen is, most of the time, only romantic in theory.  At the end of the day, if you are any lucky, the flaming urge for such adventures mostly gets put out by a take-out menu amidst a stack of its own kind, that quietly settles in a kitchen drawer with can-openers and plumber-contacts.  Authentic, or not authentic.  Good, or no good.  Doesn’t matter.

That’s what normal people do.

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ugly crackling chicken rice

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Previously on Lady and Pups, the bloodthirsty 9-days marathon of recipe-massacre was mercifully ended by the heroic Jasmine green tea granita, thus temporarily closed the tormenting gap between culinary imagination and reality.  But the narrative failed to mention the other type of food blog-limbo.  One that’s even more ill-hearted, ironic… a humorless prank that leaves the subject, in this case me, in a helpess panic with all hope diminishing after each and every other attempts to right it.  In this episode, we are going to closely examine this type of sucker.

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tummy yumyum tomato soup

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Who here shares a rooted enthusiasm for heads raise their hands (… what?).  To an undiscriminating extend on varieties, I love all types of heads (… what did I say?…), duck, fish, chicken, whatever.  Not that there’d be a fight but I seize it from the table at every encounter, nose-up thinking I am the only person in the party who knows what.  I’m a head-snob.  And on behave of myself, I’m filing a complaint towards America where under-informed citizens don’t appreciate heads, or serve enough of them (I think I hear agreement of some sort…).  I go quietly fury especially when I see shrimps heads being discarded on their plates, thinking they must be CRAZY passing that intense creamy foie-gras of-the-sea that’s just one loud sucking away.  Tsk tsk tsk… unworthy of a good head.

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Thai-style Green Pesto

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The demonic cold that has left me muted lingers…  In my thirty-some years of exceedingly LOUD life I was never able to prove that “silence isn’t louder than words” until yesterday when I tried to instruct the mailman on the phone to simply leave the package by the front door.  “…eeev….eeeh… by… eh… oore…”.  “Excuse me, miss?”.  “(regrouping my voice)… Leeeee… ehh by… UUH.. OOOORE…UH!”.  That went on for a few moments but I got the job done…  Even though my head feels like a loaf of stale bread brined in flaccid cola then baked in a 375ºF oven which will eventually turn into an inedible pudding…, a warm message from a D.ear reader gave me a shot of medical positivism and reminded me that, no matter how small and insignificant, I have a recipe to share.

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