Healthy Thai Food Recipes

May 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM | Posted in cooking, diabetes | 1 Comment
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Some delicious and healthy Thai Food Recipes from theEating Well web site. http://www.eatingwell.com/?utm_source=EWTWNL&esrc=nwewtw

 

Eating Well

 

Healthy Thai Food Recipes
Healthy Thai food recipes that are easy to make at home.
Thai food is full of flavor, but you don’t need a pantry full of exotic ingredients to prepare it. If you like to make Thai recipes at home, it’s a good idea to keep fish sauce, garlic, chiles and lime juice on hand. These simple Thai recipes will get you started making terrific Thai food at home.
Thai Chicken & Mango Stir-Fry
Both ripe and underripe mango work well in this chicken and vegetable stir-fry. If the mangoes you have are less ripe, use 2 teaspoons brown sugar. If they’re ripe and sweet, just use 1 teaspoon or omit the brown sugar altogether….

 

Thai Bouillabaisse
This flavorful seafood soup combines elements of the famous French bouillabaisse with the distinct Thai flavors of lemongrass, lime, ginger and hot chiles. Use two chile peppers if you like heat. Be sure to simmer, not boil, the soup or the seafood will be overcooked. Serve with a crusty whole-grain baguette to soak up the broth……

 

* Click the link below to get these and other great Thai recipes.

 

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_thai_food_recipes?utm_source=EWTWNL&esrc=nwewtw051413

Jackfruit Curry with Bell Peppers, Cashews, and Lime Leaf

December 20, 2011 at 11:56 AM | Posted in baking, diabetes, Food, fruits | Leave a comment
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This Jackfruit Curry Recipe is exotically delicious, and makes for a fantastic vegetarian or vegan main dish. Green jackfruit (purchased frozen or canned) is remarkably similar to chicken in consistency, and is even referred to as “vegetable meat” in many parts of Southeast-Asia. In Thailand, fresh jackfruit (“khanun”) can be seen in the marketplaces (a prickly-looking fruit similar to durian), as well as in its dried form. Jackfruit is very healthy, loaded with numerous vitamins and minerals, plus isoflavones, phytonutrients, and anti-oxidants.
From about.com  http://www.about.com/#!/editors-picks/

Ingredients:

SERVES 4
1 package frozen jackfruit, preferably unripe/green, OR 1 can prepared jackfruit in brine (not syrup), drained
1 small to medium cooking onion, cut into eighths (wedge-like pieces)
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped/sliced
1 red bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped/sliced
3/4 cup dry roasted (unsalted) cashews
1/3 to 1/2 can coconut milk (depending on how much sauce you prefer)
generous handful of fresh basil for garnish
2 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
3-4 Tbsp. white wine (or white cooking wine) for stir-frying
PASTE:
3 spring onions, sliced
1 fresh red chili (or more if you want it ultra spicy)
4-5 whole lime leaves, fresh or frozen (available in the produce or freezer section of most Asian/Chinese food stores)
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
2 Tbsp. vegetarian fish sauce (or regular fish sauce if non-vegetarian), available at Vietnamese stores
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp. coconut, canola, olive, or other healthy, good-tasting oil
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
optional: 1 tsp. dark soy sauce (available at Asian/Chinese food stores)
1 tsp. sugar

Preparation:

First, prepare the curry paste. Place all paste ingredients together in a food processor or mini-chopper and process well. OR you can pound the dry ingredients together using a pestle & mortar, then add wet ingredients to combine. If you do not have these implements: Simply mince dry ingredients finely by hand, then stir to combine them with wet ingredients in a small bowl.Lime Leaf Tip: Prepare the lime leaves using scissors to cut out (and discard) the hard central stem. If lime leaves are frozen, you can quickly thaw them by running under some hot water. Set paste aside.
Cut jackfruit into desired bite size, either in strips or cubes/chunks (as you would with chicken). Set aside.
Place 2 Tbsp. oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add a little of the wine (1/2 to 1 Tbsp. at a time) instead of more oil whenever wok/pan becomes dry.
Add the bell peppers. If using green jackfruit, add it now as well. Continue stir-frying another 2-3 minutes, or until peppers have softened and turned bright in color. Again, add a little wine when wok/pan becomes dry to keep ingredients frying nicely.
Add the paste you made earlier, plus the coconut milk (start by adding 1/3 can). If using ripe (unsweetened) jackfruit, add it now as well. Stir well to combine.
Reduce heat to medium-low, allowing curry to gently simmer 2-3 minutes, or until ingredients are nicely cooked, but not overcooked (bell peppers should still retain their firmness and color). Tip: Try not to overcook this curry, or you will lose the fragrance and taste of the paste. When done, the green jackfruit should shred easily (like chicken). If using ripe, unsweetened jackfruit, it should be soft (but not mushy) in texture.
Just before serving, add the cashews, gently stirring them in. Now do a taste-test, looking for a balance of salty, sour, sweet and spicy. If not salty enough, add more [vegetarian] fish sauce, soy sauce, or a little salt. If too salty for your taste, add another squeeze of lime/lemon juice. If not spicy enough, add more fresh chili. If too spicy (or if you prefer more sauce), add a little more coconut milk. Add a little more sugar if too sour.
To serve, either portion out in bowls or on plates, or ladle the curry into a serving dish. Sprinkle with generous amounts of fresh basil, and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine-scented rice. ENJOY!

http://thaifood.about.com/od/vegetarianthairecipes/r/jackfruitcurry.htm

National Dish of the Week – Vietnam

November 3, 2011 at 12:14 PM | Posted in baking, Food, soup | 3 Comments
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Vietnamese cuisine is a style of cooking derived from Vietnam. Fish sauce, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and

Bánh mì

vegetables are commonly used. Vietnamese recipes utilize a diverse range of herbs, including lemongrass, mint, Vietnamese mint, long coriander

and Thai basil leaves. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for freshness of the ingredients and for the healthy eating style.

The most common meats used in Vietnamese cuisine are fish, chicken, pork, beef, and various kinds of seafood. The Vietnamese also have a strong vegetarian tradition influenced by Buddhist values.

The mainstream culinary traditions in all three regions of Vietnam share some fundamental features:

Freshness of food: Most meats are only briefly cooked to preserve their original textures and colors. Vegetables are rarely cooked; if they are, they are boiled or only briefly stir-fried.
Presence of herbs and vegetables: Herbs and vegetables are used abundantly in Vietnamese cuisines. Vietnamese dishes are incomplete without herbs and vegetables.
Broths or soup-based dishes are characteristic of all three regions
Presentation: The condiments that accompany Vietnamese meals are usually colorful and arranged in eye-pleasing manners.

While sharing some key features, Vietnamese culinary tradition differs from region to region.

In Northern Vietnam, colder climate limits the production and availability of spices. As a result, the foods here are often less spicy than those in other regions. Black pepper is used in place of chiles as the most popular ingredient to produce spice flavor. In general, Northern Vietnamese cuisine is not bold in any particular flavor – sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, or sour. Most Northern Vietnamese foods feature light and balanced flavors that result from subtle combinations of many different flavoring ingredients. The use of meats such as pork, beef, and chicken were relatively limited in the past. Freshwater fish, crustaceans, and mollusks – such as prawns, shrimps, crabs, oysters, mussels – are widely used. Many notable dishes of Northern Vietnam are crab-centered (e.g., bún riêu). Fish sauce, soy sauce, prawn sauce, and lime are among the main flavoring ingredients. Being the cradle of Vietnamese civilization, Northern Vietnam produces many signature dishes of Vietnam, such as phở, bún riêu, bánh cuốn, which were carried to Central and Southern Vietnam through the road of Vietnamese migration.

The abundance of spices produced by Central Vietnam’s mountainous terrain makes this region’s cuisine notable for its spicy food,

Bánh cuốn Thanh Tri

which sets it apart from the two other regions of Vietnam where foods are mostly non-spicy. Once the capital of the last dynasty of Vietnam, Hue’s culinary tradition features highly decorative and colorful food, reflecting the influence of ancient Vietnamese royal cuisine. The region’s cuisine is also notable for its sophisticated meals constituted by many complex dishes served at small portions. Chili peppers and shrimp sauces are among the frequently used ingredients. Some Vietnamese signature dishes produced at this region are bún bò Huế and bánh xèo.

The warm weather and fertile soil of Southern Vietnam create an ideal condition for growing a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, and livestock. As a result, foods in Southern Vietnam are often vibrant and flavorful with liberal uses of garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs. Sugar is added to food more than in the other regions. The preference for sweetness in Southern Vietnam can also be seen through the widespread use of coconut milk in Southern Vietnamese cuisine. Vast shorelines make seafood a natural staple for people in this region. Southern Vietnam has also been the region where influences from foreign cuisines (Chinese, Indian, French, Thai etc.) are most prominent.

As distinct as Vietnamese cuisine is, it has been influenced by several sources.

Once a province of China for over a thousand years, Vietnam shares many of its characteristics with China. In culinary traditions, Chinese introduced to Vietnam many dishes like hoành thánh (wonton), há cảo (dumpling), hủ tiếu (ka tieu), mì (wheat noodles), bò bía (Popiah), bánh quẩy (youtiao), bánh bao (baozi), cơm chiên Dương Châu (Yangzhou-fried rice), mì xào (chow mein)…Vietnamese adopted these foods and added their own styles and flavors to the foods. Ethnic minorities in the mountainous region near China-Vietnam border also adopted some foods from China. Ethnic Tày and Nùng in Lạng Sơn province adopted “thịt lợn quay” (roasted pork) and “khau nhục” (braised pork belly) from China.

The French introduced to Vietnam baguettes, which were then combined with Vietnamese stuffing to become a popular fast food in Vietnam called bánh mì and known overseas as “Vietnamese sandwich“. The French also brought to Vietnam onions, potatoes, tarragon, asparagus, and coffee… Onions are called “hành tây” (literally “Western onion”), asparagus as “măng tây” (literally “Western shoots) and potatoes are called “khoai tây” (literally “Western yam”) in Vietnamese, which reflect their origin before arriving to Vietnam.

From India by way of possibly the annexed Indianized kingdom Champa in central Vietnam or the Khmer Krom, Vietnamese adopted curry.Though not common in the North, cà ri is a quite popular dish in central and southern Vietnam. The most common form is the chicken curry and to a much less common dish is the goat curry. The chicken curry is an indispensable dish in many social gathering events such as weddings, funerals and the yearly death anniversary of a loved one. In Vietnam, the curry is eaten either with the French baguettes or with steamed rice. The round rice noodles (rice vermicelli) are sometimes eaten with the curry.

From the Khmer, Vietnamese adopted mắm bồ hóc (prahok). Mắm bồ hóc is used as a central ingredient of a Vietnamese rice noodle soup called “bún nước lèo” – a Vietnamese dish influenced by Khmer.

From Thailand, Vietnamese adopted xôi xoài (mango sticky rice) and lẩu Thái (Thai hotpot) – a very popular party food in Vietnam, especially in Saigon.

A typical meal for the average Vietnamese family would include:

Individual bowls of steamed white rice
Fish/seafood, meat (grilled, boiled, steamed, stewed or stir-fried with vegetables)
Stir-fried, raw, and pickled, steamed, or fresh vegetables
Canh (a clear broth with vegetables and often meat or seafood) or other Vietnamese-style soup
Prepared fish sauce and/or soy sauce for dipping, to which garlic, pepper, chili, ginger or lime juice are sometimes added according to taste
Small dish of relishes, such as salted eggplant, pickled white cabbage, pickled papaya, pickled garlic or pickled bean sprouts

All dishes apart from the individual bowls of rice are communal and to be shared.

Feast (Vietnamese: cỗ) is a significant event for families or a villages, usually 4 or 6 people for each table (5 people is unacceptable). Feast is prepared for weddings, funerals or in festivals, including wish-for-longevity ceremony. In a feast, ordinary foods are not

Canh chua, sour soup

served but boiled rice is still used. The well-known feast is the feast of 49 quan họ villages with cỗ năm tầng.

Vietnamese feast has two courses: main course (món mặn. Literally: salty dish) and dessert (món ngọt. Literally: sweet dish). All dishes, except for individual bowls of rice, are enjoyed collectively. All main course dishes are served simultaneously rather than subsequently. The most major dish of the main course is place in the centers of the tables, usually big pots of soup or hotpot.

Attendants are arranged into several groups according to their social status, genders, ages, their degree of acquantaince and their eating habits and preferences. It is a custom that female guests will bring some food and help the hosts to prepare the feast.

A basic feast (Vietnamese: cỗ một tầng) consists of ten dishes: five dishes in bowls (năm bát): bóng, miến (cellophane noodles), măng (bamboo shoot), mọc (meat ball), chim or gà tần (bird or chicken stew dishes) and five dishes in plates (năm đĩa): giò (Vietnamese sausage), chả, gà or vịt luộc (boiled chicken or duck), nộm (Vietnamese salad) and xào (stir-frying dishes). This kind of feast is original and is organized in the Northern Vietnam. Other variances are held in Central and Southern Vietnam.

Four dishes are indispensable in the feast of Tết are giò (Vietnamese sausage), nem (spring roll), ninh (stew dishes) and mọc (meat ball). In this time, the feast for offering ancestors includes: sticky rice, boiled chicken, Vietnamese rice wine, and other preferred foods by ancestors in the past.

Gifts are given before guests leave the feast.

National Dish of the Week – Thailand

October 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM | Posted in baking, Food, grilling | 9 Comments
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Thai cuisine places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. Thai cuisine is known for being spicy.

Kaeng phet pet yang roast duck in red curry

Balance, detail and variety are important to Thai cooking. Thai food is known for its balance of the four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and (optional) bitter. In addition, many Thai dishes are also quite hot (spicy).

Although popularly considered a single cuisine, Thai cuisine is more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern (or Isan), Central, and Southern, each cuisine sharing similar foods or foods derived from those of neighboring countries and regions: Burma to the northwest, the Chinese province of Yunnan and Laos to the north, Vietnam and Cambodia to the east and Malaysia to the south of Thailand. In addition to these four regional cuisines, there is also the Thai Royal Cuisine which can trace its history back to the cosmopolitan palace cuisine of the Ayutthaya kingdom (1351–1767 CE). Its refinement, cooking techniques and use of ingredients were of great influence to the cuisine of the Central Thai plains.

Thai cuisine and the culinary traditions and cuisines of Thailand’s neighbors have mutually influenced one another over the course of many centuries. Regional variations tend to correlate to neighboring states (often sharing the same cultural background and ethnicity on both sides of the border) as well as climate and geography. Southern curries tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice. The cuisine of Northeastern (or Isan) Thailand is similar to southern Lao cuisine whereas northern Thai cuisine shares many dishes with northern Lao cuisine and the cuisine of Shan state in Burma. Many popular dishes eaten in Thailand were originally Chinese dishes which were introduced to Thailand mainly by the Teochew people who make up the majority of the Thai Chinese. Such dishes include chok (rice porridge), kuai-tiao rat na (fried rice-noodles) and khao kha mu (stewed pork with rice). The Chinese also introduced the use of a wok for cooking, the technique of deep-frying and stir-frying dishes, and noodles, oyster sauce and soybean products.

Thai meals typically consist of either a single dish or it will be rice (khao in Thai) with many complementary dishes served concurrently and shared by all. It is customary to serve more dishes than there are guests at a table.

Thai food was traditionally eaten with the right hand but it is now generally eaten with a fork and a spoon; this was introduced as part of Westernization during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. It was his brother, Vice-king Pinklao, who, after watching demonstration of Western dining etiquette by American missionary Dr. D. B. Bradley, chose only the Western-style fork and spoon from the whole set of table silverware to use at his own dining table. The fork, held in the left hand, is used to push food into the spoon. The spoon is then brought to the mouth. A traditional ceramic spoon is sometimes used for soups. Knives are not generally used at the table. Chopsticks are used primarily for eating noodle soups, but not otherwise used.

Thai market

It is common practice for Thais and hill tribe peoples in north and northeast Thailand to use sticky rice as an edible implement by shaping it into small, and sometimes flattened, balls by hand which are then dipped into side dishes and eaten. Thai-Muslims frequently eat meals with only their right hands.

Thai food is often served with a variety of sauces (nam chim) and condiments. These may include phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (consisting of fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, or a spicy chili sauce or paste called nam phrik. In most Thai restaurants, diners can find a selection of Thai condiments, often including sugar or MSG, available on the dining table in small containers with tiny spoons. With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition. Cucumber is sometimes eaten to cool the mouth after particularly spicy dishes. They often also feature as a garnish, especially with one-dish meals. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy curry or stir-fry, tends to counteract the spiciness.

A Thai family meal will normally consist of rice with several dishes which form a harmonious contrast of ingredients and preparation methods. The dishes are all served at the same time. A meal at a restaurant for four people could, for instance, consist of fish in dry red curry (chuchi pla), a spicy green papaya salad with dried prawns, tomatoes, yardlong beans and peanuts (som tam thai), deep fried stuffed chicken wings (pik kai sot sai thot), a salad of grilled beef, shallots and celery or mint (yam nuea yang), spicy stir fried century eggs with crispy basil (khai yiao ma phat kraphao krop), and a non-spicy vegetable soup with tofu and seaweed (tom chuet taohu kap sarai) to temper it all.

Thailand has about the same surface area as Spain and a length of approximately 1650 kilometers or 1025 miles (Italy, in comparison, is about 1250 kilometers or 775 miles long), with foothills of the Himalayas in the north, a high plateau in the northeast, a verdant river basin in the centre and tropical rainforests and islands in the south. And with over 40 distinct ethnic groups with each their own culture and even more languages, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Thai cuisine, as a whole, is extremely varied and features many different ingredients and ways of preparing food. Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices. Common herbs include cilantro, lemon grass, Thai basils and mint. Some other common flavors in Thai food come from ginger, galangal, tamarind, turmeric, garlic, soy beans, shallots, white and black peppercorn, kaffir lime and, of course, chilies.

Culinary tours of Thailand have gained popularity in recent years. Alongside other forms of tourism in Thailand, food tours have carved a niche for themselves. Many companies offer culinary and cooking tours of Thailand and many tourists visiting Thailand attend cooking courses offered by hotels, guesthouses and cooking schools.

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