Monday, April 19, 2010

Fava Bean and Radish Salad / Side Dish

from Epicurious!

In 2-quart pot of boiling water, blanch fresh fava beans 1 minute. Drain, then immediately transfer to medium bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain. Slip outer skin off each bean and discard skin; place beans in medium bowl. Add radishes, arugula, mint, parsley, celery leaves, and cheese (pecorino), and toss to combine. Stir in lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fish Curry Noodle Soup

An authentic Thai-Lao version can be found here, on this blog.


* 2 inch of galangal, or 1 inch of ginger (skin removed, flattened with a knife)
* 4 quarts of water
* 4 kaffir lime leaves
* 4 inches of lemon grass
* 1 tbsp salt
* 6 fillets of white fish (I use tilapia filets, but you could use catfish (skinless, boneless)
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 3 tbsp chopped garlic
* 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
* 3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste (add more if you want it spicier)
* 2 cans of coconut milk

Ingredients – Garnish:

* Shredded green cabbage
* Bean sprouts
* sliced green onions
* cilantro
* thai basil
* lime
* vermicelli noodle bundles

Begin by making your broth. Get your soup pot ready and add the water, galangal or ginger, kaffir lime leaves, salt, and your lemon grass. Put in the fish fillets, and cook on medium to high heat. Note that when the water comes to temperature, you will see foam rising to the top of the water. You see this if you are making chicken stock, or other items. Simply skim the foam off and discard. Continue to do this while the broth boils for nearly 25 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove the fish and set aside in a bowl to let cool. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking the broth, keeping the leaves, and roots in there. Once the fish cools, use a fork and mince the meat. This will basically just fall apart for you. Add back into the pot and continue to cook on low.
In the meantime, bring a skillet to temperature on medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil. Toss in the garlic, and cook, but do not let it brown. Toss in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Next, add in the Thai curry paste and coconut milk, stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes. Taste this mixture and ask yourself this question. Is it too hot? Keep in mind that this curry mixture is going to go into the fish broth so it will thin about a bit. If you want more spice, add in a bit more paste, or come to the reality that you can add a nice Thai chili as a garnish. You decide.

Add the curry mixture to the broth. and continue to cook on low.

In the meantime, cook your vermicelli noodles as recommended. Once cooked, drain, and rinse with cold water.
Take a pinch of the noodles, and wrap them around your index finger to make bundles. Continue this process, and place them in a bowl.

You are all set to bowl up. Bring the temperature of the broth up, and get a nice rolling boil going. While this is happening, get your favorite soup bowl ready. To the bottom of the bowl, add a few noodle bundles. Top with your favorite garnishes, and ladle in about 2-3 ladles of the fish broth. Stop and smell. It is amazing. You know what to do now, dig it. The texture from the noodle, the crunch of the cabbage, and the flavors of the lime, basil, and cilantro are out of this world with the softness of the fish.

Duck Noodle Soup

Title: Duck Noodle Soup
Yield: 1


2 tb oyster sauce
1 ts liquid honey or palm sugar
2 tb chopped garlic
1 bowl roasted salted peanuts
2 sl ginger
2 tb fresh coriander leaves
4 shallots
1 200 gram thai rice noodles
1 whole duck
1 oz cepes or shiitake mushrooms
4 chinese cabbage leaves
3 pt chicken stock; made with
1 ; stalk and ginger
1 whole chilli; finely sliced


In one pan squeeze the cepes. Strain to remove grit and then pour the
juice back over the cepes. Cook for 15 minutes. Peel ginger and add to
the chicken stock along with a teaspoon of honey. Leave to simmer for
half an hour, then fish out the ginger, garlic and coriander stalks.

Shred the duck. In another pan put water to boil in preparation for the
noodles. Add oyster sauce and remaining honey and chopped garlic to
stock. Crush half the peanuts and shred the cabbage leaves. Add to the
stock along with the duck and the cooked mushrooms. Heat through.

Cook the noodles in the boiling water with no salt added. Drain and stir
lightly so as to prevent sticking. Put in bowl and cover with soup.
Sprinkle on top peanuts, chopped coriander coriander leaves, chilli,
shallots and juice.



* Pinch of crushed dried chillies
* 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
* 1/2 tsp sugar
* 2 large duck breasts, skin removed
* 2 litres fresh chicken stock, hot
* 5cm piece fresh ginger, cut into thin strips
* 2 tsp sunflower oil
* 200g dried wholewheat noodles (we like Blue Dragon)
* 1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
* Bunch of spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
* 200g beansprouts
* 4 heads pak choi, roughly chopped
* Handful fresh coriander sprigs
* Dark soy sauce, to serve

1. Lightly grind the crushed chillies in a pestle and mortar, then mix in a shallow dish with the five-spice powder, sugar, some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the duck breasts skinned-side down on the spices. Cover with a plate and weigh down with a few cans. Set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring the stock and ginger to the boil in a pan. Season with a little salt and keep hot. Bring another pan of lightly salted water to the boil ready for the noodles.

3. Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Add the duck breasts, spice-side down, lower the heat slightly and cook for 3 minutes each side for medium-rare. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in the boiling water according to the packet instructions. Drain and divide between 4 warm bowls. Sprinkle with the chilli and half the spring onions. Add the beansprouts and pak choi to the chicken stock and cook for 1 minute. Ladle over the noodles.

5. Thinly slice the duck on the diagonal and place on top of the noodle soup. Scatter with the remaining spring onions and coriander sprigs and serve with the dark soy sauce on the side.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crab Noodle Soup

In Vietnam and in many Vietnamese restaurants, this soup is served with the crab ground almost to a powder or even in patties, but this inviting recipe allows you to leave it free-floating. Serves 4 as a complete meal.

8 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3 cups of flaked crabmeat
6 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound rice vermicelli, cooked
1/2 head lettuce, finely shredded (Romaine is preferable to iceberg)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
2 limes, quartered

Heat a large heavy pan over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots in the hot oil until soft. Add the crabmeat, tomatoes, fish sauce, sugar, and salt. Pour in 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 30 minutes.

To serve, divide the vermicelli among 4 large individual bowls. Ladle the soup over the noodles, and top each serving with a handful of lettuce and bean sprouts and squeezes of lime juice.