Showing posts with label spicy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spicy. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pineapple Sauce for Daht Seen - Laotian Hibachi

Just this past weekend we had a few friends over for what we call "Daht Seen" in Lao. It's basically a griddle or skillet set up in the middle of a dining table covered in an oil then a variety of foods are thrown on to cook while everyone around grabs their chop sticks reaching for different foods to dip in different sauces.

There are many ways to eat in this fashion. Some people will cook their food then make either lettuce wraps or clear Vietnamese summer rolls. Some people prefer to just go from the griddle to the sauce and be done with it. Preference is up to you.

A very popular sauce being used now is a pineapple based sauce that my friend asked the recipe for. It's very easy and can be done with a blender.

1 can of pineapple - any (crushed, chunks, whole rings)
few slices of ginger - julienne (just to make it easier for the blender to process for slight hint of flavor)
2-3 garlic cloves - (this can also be sliced up)
2 thai chilli peppers - start small (with 1/2 of pepper) and build up to desired heat. Easier to add than to take away.
2 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp of chicken broth granuals for flavor

Once you blend it thouroughly taste and adjust as needed. You do not want a sweet sauce but a savory slightly spicy sauce. If it is too spicy, salty or strong in the other flavors just add more pineapple.

Add a few stems of corriander (leaving out most of the stems) and blend. Serve in small bowls for dipping.

This sauce can also be a dipping sauce for steak. My friend even suggested it may be used as a salad dressing. Have fun experimenting with it and let me know how many different ways you use this sauce!

-Bay N.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mok Bha - Lao Style Spicy Steamed Fish Recipe

Mok Bha Duke (Spicy Steam Catfish) Nuggets (diced herbs)
One of my favorite traditional Lao food is Mok Bha. Basically it is steamed fish. What makes this dish amazing is the aroma from the different herbs and spices that are added for the unique flavor. As with any dish everyone makes their own dish differently. I was told the basic ingredients from my mother with a few changes according to how my family eats. As with home cooking and traditional Lao food there are no measurements. You add a little until you feel its right. I apologize ahead for the lack of exact measurement but usually is a few pinches here and there! Try it experiment and if its too salty ... eat more rice!

This recipe can be used with any fish that you like but the most popular fish used is the catfish. To make my life a little easier I buy catfish nuggets from the local grocery store. Feel free to use any fish and feel free to just cut up the fish with the bone in.

This dish is usually eaten with rice, let it be jasmine or sweet (sticky) rice. It also includes a type of rue but in Lao tradition what they do is soak sweet rice until it is so soft that it crumbles when touched. It is taken out of the water and placed in a mortar and pounded until its paste like. This will create the gravy. When this is unavailable flour can be used but it will not be as thick as using the rice, but just as delicious.

Basic Ingredients include:

lemongrass stalk
lime leaves / kaffir leaves
fresh dill
fresh green onion / or shallots or 1/4 of medium onion
chili peppers
fish sauce
chicken broth powder
shrimp paste
flour / rice mixture (paste)

You can chop or slice up all the herbs or you can leave them in chunks. All the ingredients are edible but some people prefer not to eat the lemongrass or kaffir leaves. If you leave them in large pieces it is easier to eat around.

The lemon grass and kaffir leaves give this dish the distint aroma and flavor but it can be left out if you prefer. The MSG is a flavor enhancer and can also be left out as the chicken broth is used to enhance the flavor also. The shrimp paste can be replaced with badaek or fermented fish or it can be left out altogether.

Mok Bha Duke (Spicy Steam Catfish) Strips (chopped and whole herbs)
You basically chop up the herbs and peppers and mix everything in a mixing bowl. Place it in foil and steam. Using an asian soup spoon, one of each is a good amount of each of the ingredient being careful not to over salt (maybe just a pinch) since you are using fish sauce and chicken broth. Wrap it in foil closing it at the top and do it twice. The fish will cook and keep in mind the juices may leak out so be careful when wrapping.

I steam usually for 30 minutes or so making sure the fish is cooked. It should never be dry from not only the fish sauce but its own juices also.

This can be stored in the freezer or in the fridge to be enjoyed another day. Sometimes its even better the next day. Enjoy with jasmine or sweet rice.

Any questions please comment!!

Have fun cooking!

Bay Nan