About Aye

Humanitarian. Mother. Eater. Teacher. Doer of Good Deeds. Life without Chili~Lime~Garlic™ would be -- ummm-- Tragic.

Simple Sautéed Shrimp and Onion Recipe

 

I like simple dishes with great flavors. Sometimes having a kid, simple is better and quicker.

We cook a lot of vegetarian food at home.  However, while we were at Maung Mai the other day, we decided to get some fresh shrimp.  Nice medium-sized, half-kilo shrimp for only 110 baht or $3.66.

Brought the shrimp home and cooked it the same day.  Can’t get any fresher than that. I removed the head and the shell, then marinated it in a pinch of salt and turmeric. You could always get de-shelled shrimp for this to make prep time even shorter.

Moms, this is the easiest recipe ever! :-)

I cut up a couple of onions, garlic as well as ginger into rings.

Place a frying pan on medium heat and add oil. (1 Tablespoon)  Don’t let the oil burn.  Drop in the sliced garlic and ginger to brown.

Add the onion rings.  About the onions– there are two options here for the onions.  You can add them with garlic and ginger or you can add them after the shrimp is almost cooked.  If you add after, the onions will not melt or be as soft as much. Or you can add before and after.  For mine, I added before the shrimp.

Cook until the shrimp turns pinkish.  Add a sprinkle of salt or fish sauce to taste.

Then sprinkle masala towards the end before you take it off the stove. Masala (which is a spice used in Burmese cooking) and NO, you cannot find it just anywhere.  If you don’t have this, it’s OK.  You can still make the dish without it and will still taste delicious.

Here’s how it turned out!

©  2013  Chili~Lime~Garlic™.Com

Along with this dish, something like dikon soup with tamarind or roselle soup would go very well.  We had the roselle leaves soup with bamboo. Or slices of green tangy mango on the side brings additional crunchy texture and tangy flavor to this simple meal. For me, of course, I’ll have something spicy to accompany my meal. The shrimp was tender and sweet adding deliciousness to the sour and savory roselle soup along with stir fried veggies and my shripmpaste-chili sidekick. Just another perfect Burmese meal.

Hope you enjoy making it.

Until the next dish,  experiment!

 

 

Cafe Escape Number Four: The Ice Cream Festival

Although we’ve had rain here in Chiang Mai, the humidity still makes the city seems like an outdoor, oh-naturrel-sauna. Today was no exception.  It was humid.

After we picked up M, my daughter, from school we decided to surprise her and took her to the mall close to our house.  We took her to Airport Plaza which is basically a mall. Originally, we were going to pay rent at our landlord’s bank, get a snack for M, go to the fourth floor to look at a phone for me,  and walk around to cool off.

For snack we got some bread here.

We bought a new pair of shoes for M, since her shoes are almost one year of age and well, she’s rough on her shoes so they are falling apart. She’s also grown.  Yes, she can be expensive! :-)

We kept walking around as we normally would at Airport Plaza towards the large cafeteria type area full of vendors serving a plethora of Thai food.  And what did we find by surprise?  An Ice Cream Festival!

YUP!  Awesome, we thought to ourselves. Then we decided to get a quick bite for dinner and walked around some more so we can make room for the ice cream.  :-)

We walked around and looked at a couple of phones and visited an Apple store so that M can play around with their computers. (Obviously, ours at home are not THAT big!)

Then it was time for us to make our way back to the ice cream.  M as super excited.  And here’s what we found!

Rainbow of Moichi Ice Cream Flavors

Mmm.. Look at all that sweet, colorful yumminess!

So many flavors. This display reminds me or Gelato in Italy from our trip in 2006. This however, is much cheaper here in Thailand.

Cinnamon butter honey glazed toast: get a scoop of your favorite ice cream, and you're set!

Ultimate ice cream stand where they make the ice cream right in front of you. Can you tell it is Oreo and Apple!

Artsy way of making ice cream eh?

They were the busiest one there

Fresh Cones? No problem! They are made right in front of you!

Cakes. Cakes. Cakes.

Cupcakes

 

We spent the entire evening in the mall walking, talking, looking, enjoying each other’s company and eating.  We found there were many other families, couples, individuals, students of all ages enjoying the mall also.

Children simply just stare at this giant fish tank, while parents sit and enjoy some ice cream

People watching

Sitting area in front of the stage and the giant fish tank

At some point while we were enjoying our smoothie and a moichi ice cream, out of the blue M said to us “That giant fish in the tank looks like this”

What do you think?

For those of you in Chiang Mai, go enjoy the Ice Cream Festival.  It’s there for the next few days.  It started on the 1st and will be there until 8th of May.

Until the next cool-off zone, stay cool.

Cheers from Chiang Mai!

 

Cafe Escape Number Three: The Crepe Cake

This particular cafe, we go to often not just because they have air con, but because I love their crepe cakes. So one day last week when we were trying to figure out where to go, we decided to take refuge at Cafe de Thaan Aoan.  The cafe also has wifi and that was a plus, of course. It’s inside the old city and we’ve gone there many times – hee hee- for what else? the crepe cakes!

Last year, after we have brunch at a little place near Chiang Mai gate for Kaw Ku Kapeat or the Taiwanese vegetarian place, we usually go to this cafe for the crepe cake.   It was a routine we created for ourselves once or twice a month.

I’ve never had a crepe cake until I came to Thailand. And from the look of it, it is not easy to make.  It looks very time consuming.  But sure is tasty.

Cafe de Thaan Aoan serves many Thai and Western dishes and desserts as well.  We’ve only had egg rolls, juices, smoothies and desserts so we’re not familiar with the other dishes.  But trust me the crepe cake is really rich and sinfully delicious!  :-)

See?

Look at all the layers of goodness laced with strawberry syrup.  Okay, I do realize this is not the most healthy item to consume.  However, every once in a while is okay!  Right?

I think you should try this irresistible looking goodness also sometimes when you’re in Chiang Mai.

I suppose I should also tell you about the chocolate version.  Stay tuned!

Until next time.  Stay cool!  Cheers!

No Escape Needed

In the last two posts, I wrote about how we’ve been escaping the heat by going to different cafes here in Chiang Mai.  Lucky for us we’ve had rain in the recent days and the weather has been quite tolerable.

So today, instead of going to a cafe, after a market visit to Maung Mai (one of my favorite markets), we came home, made our own smoothies and shared a London cheesecake from De Cheeso right here in the comfort of our living room.

As for the homemade smoothies, we found organic strawberries so we included those, yogurt, bananas, mangoes, a splash of sugarcane juice and water. YUM!

Cafe Escape Number Two: A Massage and a Cheesecake

Remember yesterday I said I won’t cook dinner until it rained.  And today, yes, it’s raining at 5pm.  Oh sure, no problem!  You’re welcome, the good people of Chiang Mai. I say I’m not cooking until it rains once in the morning and once at night.   Maybe it will start tomorrow.

Until it rained, it was up to 37C/100F today.  We left the house and went for a Thai Massage with Herbal Hot Compress today.  It costs a bit more than going to a cafe, but hey, my Mum is leaving to return to Burma and she wanted to have another massage before she leaves. It was a nice treat.  Relaxing and in an air-conditioned building.  We finished around 2:30 in the afternoon and oy, it was HOT.

We picked-up my daughter from school and headed straight to the Hideaway Cafe also known as DeCheeso to cool off.  We shop at Decheeso often to get our milk, yogurt,  bread and sometimes, cheese.  We’ve had dinner there once. It is walking distance from our house. For today, it was a good choice.  They have wifi, nice surroundings, and most importantly, air con.  Air con it was!  I was cold after being there 20 minutes, I had to get my jacket out of the car.

They have a full western menu from breakfast to appetizers to desserts (or pudding as our British friends might say) to full course lunch and dinner menu. For us at 2:30 in the afternoon, we were looking for snacks.  My 9 yo was happy about that.  After all, when she’s nearby any restaurants or eatery facilities, she’s sure to be hungry.

We devoured a cherry cheesecake crumble (70b),  a scone (23b), bagel with cream cheese (40b) and a bottle of milk (45b).  My daughter had a glass of milk and brought the rest of the bottle home as we needed more at home anyway.  Our bill for the escape? 178b $5.93.

NOTE: If you buy the bagels to go (as in not eat there with cream cheese) they are only 18b and the scones are the same price also.

M, my daughter, did her homework while I read my articles on the kindle and J, my husband, worked on a job application.  Yes, he’s looking for work as a distance learning psychology professor if anyone knows of such a job out there. And I teach conversational Burmese on-line if anyone out there feels the need to take on such challenge.  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> SEE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> to the side and UP!   :-)

When we left the Hideaway, we started to feel rain drops on our heads.  As I write this post, Chiang Mai has been enjoying rain for the past 25 minutes with gusts of wind making my wind chime go off with craziness.  I’m smiling because it’s finally doing its job.  I’ve not heard that wind chime work that hard since I brought it back from Burma in February. Oh and thank goodness we have rain.

The Hideaway is located in a sort of a hidden location off of Hang Dong near the Airport Plaza.  They are opened for both lunch and dinner. I don’t remember the hours but the next time I am there, I’ll be sure to check and update it here. Can always call the number on their site as inquire as well. :-)

The Hideaway’s owner also owns The Art Cafe at Thapae Gate.   We’ve only gone to the Art Cafe once at Thanksgiving during 2010.  It was quite nice and always seems to be occupied with customers as most eateries are at Thapae Gate where there are plenty of tourists.  Both locations are pricey compared to other eateries.

So those were our locations of escape for today.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.  Tomorrow is Friday and M has been invited to a birthday party.  And there’s a pool and a bunch of 9yo kids.  Hmmm.

Until tomorrow, stay cool!

 

 

 

Cafe Escape Number One: Macadamia Nut Brownie

It’s been so HOT here in Chiang Mai. Last year around this time, we left CM and went back to the US to spend time with family.

At this very moment, as I write this post, it is 38C/101F.here. We only have air conditioner in the bedrooms.  Which means the living room is super hot.  So lately, we’ve been leaving the house to get shelter and refuge in malls and cafe’s.  Yes.  It’s true.  You read correctly!

And I’ve decided NOT to cook dinner until it rains here in Chiang Mai. Cooking for me is so much easier in the morning when the kitchen is much cooler. I’m miserable when I go in the kitchen during dinner time.  So that’s it. No more cooking until we have RAIN here.

I’ve also decided to write about the places we’ve been seeking refuge on a daily basis.  I actually got this idea while I was talking to James of Nomadic Notes today at a Burmese restaurant on Nimmenhamen when we ran into him (I’ll write about this restaurant another time).

Today we are seeking refuge at Yellow Bear.  It’s on Srimanklajarn (closer to Huay Kaew). We used to live a short walking distance from here when it was a chilimango fancy restaurant with no customers and a yellow bear in the front.  At least I never saw any customers here.  Only waiters.  It was a sad sight.  It’s a nice little hangout with comfortable seating, air con, relaxing music and wifi.   Yaaay.  They have a reasonable menu for drinks and sweets.

 

We’ve been here since after lunch cooling off and using their wifi to write this post.   We also had a cold peach tea (60b) and macadamia nut brownie (65b). NOT BAD! They are opened daily from 7am to 9pm.

We’ll be back soon!

Oh, by the way, all pictures were taken on the Nokia N8 my geeky husband’s phone camera.  You may find more geekieness at www.mygeekgarage.com. The pictures turned out pretty good I must say!

Until the update from the next cafe, stay cool!

Happy Birthday, MOM!

I’m sorry it’s been a long while since I’ve written on this blog. Today is a special day since my Mother is here and is celebrating her birthday with us.

We took my Mom to Pun Pun, one of her favorite (and ours) vegetarian restaurants here in Chiang Mai.  We first discovered Pun Pun in 2009 when we met up with a friend during our summer holiday.  We’ve enjoyed returning there ever since. We often go to Wat Suan Dok while living in Chiang Mai so it’s easy for us to stop in and have a bite there.  I love that they use organic ingredients whenever possible and from all the places we’ve eaten here in Chiang Mai, I believe it is one of the healthier choices for us as a family.  There are many vegetarian restaurants here and if you are a vegetarian, it’s easy to continue to be one here!  Promise. :-)

Though my daughter, M, only wanted to order brown rice and a fried egg, both my mom and I suggested that she order something we cannot whip up in 5 minutes at home.  So she decided to have the veggie spaghetti and she did really enjoy it.  Here’s a picture of M with her dish and iced Roselle tea (this tea is quite sour by the way, in case you are wondering what it tastes like.  You do get some light syrup that you can add to your drink so it helps dilute the sour taste!)

My mom just wanted something simple and fast to prepare as she needed to eat before noon.  She ordered morning-glory, mushrooms and tofu stir fry dish and a tom yum soup.  While the stir fried dish had simple crunchy tastes of a good stir fry, the tom yum kong (no picture!) had all the mouth-watering explosive flavors from the limes, lemongrass and Keifer lime leaves.  Yummy!  And yes, I added my own additional kick to it!  It needed it! :-)

For my husband J, he decided to order a salad because he usually orders curry there and he wanted something different and light.   It’s a good-looking salad, isn’t it? It tasted as good as it looked. That’s the long-bean, tofu and sesame seeds salad with light and creamy pumpkin dressing.

For me, I decided to have the Indian curry which was accompanied by two roti’s.  It was sooo yummy that I had to order a brown rice (in addition to the roti’s) to finish all the curry.  It was creamy in texture mixed in lots of crunchy small bite-sized pieces of veggies with a kick, though I added my own additional kicks to the dish!  Of course, I did. My mom thought it was super tasty as well. Don’t let this picture fool you.  It was one of my favorite dishes I’ve had there so far at Pun Pun.

We usually order herbal iced tea while we are there and I normally go for the ginger tea. Lightly spiced refreshing tea usually does not let me down with my flavorful dishes there.

For everything we ate and drank there today, a party of four, we spent a total of 300b or $10.   Yep that is all! It’s my Mom’s birthday after all! :-)

It was a peaceful morning feeling the nice breezes on our faces within the walls of Wat Suan Dok just a short distance away from the monks who were chanting after eating their lunch right before noon.

And believe it or not, every time we are there, we run into someone we’ve not seen in a long while (an expat) and we did today as well. Small town and many expats (and locals) love to eat at Pun Pun.

Here’s a picture of us being silly after lunch on my Mom’s birthday.  In two days I’ll be celebrating my birthday.  What a lovely picture of the three generation of ladies in my family– a nine year-old, a forty-five year-old and a sixty-nine year-old.

We ended our early afternoon with a visit to Wat Lok Marlee and came home.

Thanks so much to my Mother for being here in Chiang Mai, for helping us around the house, and being supportive to us while I’ve been ill. It’s been a rough couple of months, but I’m glad I’m getting better everyday!

Happy Birthday,  Mom!  Here’s to another healthy year!!

Tomato Rice or Potato, Pumpkin, Tomato Rice

I made this last night  because M loves this dish and it is super easy to make. If you’re a vegetarian you’ll love this dish as well.

Here’s how I made it for 3 people. Again, I don’t use exact measurements so what I am giving you is a guesstimate.  This recipe like many of my recipes are– tweakable to your liking  or preference. You can add more tomatoes, more garlic, onions etc. to your liking.

6 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 pearl onions or one medium onion, chopped

3 large cloves of garlic

2 cups of cooked rice

chopped cilantro (a few strands)

fish sauce or salt

sprinkles of turmeric and paprika

fish or dried shrimp (optional)

a bit of oil (I used veggie oil)

On medium heat, in a pan, after drizzling a bit of oil, add the onions and garlic to brown slightly. Sprinkle the turmeric and paprika and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes to the mix.  Stir often so the mix does not burn.  Once the tomatoes are wilted and softened, add some water (about 1/3 c). Let the mixture cook well like a spaghetti sauce with some tiny chunks. Add some fish sauce or salt whichever you prefer.  Cook it long enough so that there’s very little water left.  I had to cook a bit a longer after I took this picture below.

Now add the fresh cooked rice gently into the tomato sauce.  Normally, the mixture will be mixed into the rice and we use our hands to do the mixing.  I didn’t do that.  I just mixed the rice and the tomato sauce together in the pot on the stove.

NOTE: in Burma, sometimes soft boiled potatoes are added to for the starchy consistency and flavor.  If you wish to do this, please feel free.  It does take a bit longer as the potatoes need to be boiled separately.  Again, in Burma, we also add flavored, seasoned boiled fish to this mix.  This is super yummy as well with fresh fish. I’ve also seen it served with peanuts.

I had no fresh fish yesterday, so instead I added some fried fish flakes I brought back from Burma.  I added the fish to the tomato mix and topped before serving. If you have dried shrimp, it would work also. I also topped it with fried onions and garlic before serving.  If you have cilantro chopped in small pieces, it will add a nice flavor to the dish as well.

Personally, I would take it a step further and make a salad out of this.  I would add sliced onions, cucumbers, tamarind sauce or lime, sometimes both, chili peppers, fresh garlic, thinly sliced lime leaves, and fried onions.  I’m drooling already writing about this.  I’m making more this weekend!  Yum.

Update:  May 2012

This time I added one medium potato and some pumpkin with brown rice.

Cube the potato and pumpkin and drop them into the boiling water.  Let it cook until it is soft.  Add them to the tomato mixture and mix everything into a thick paste.

Add the cooked brown rice to the thick paste.  I just guesstimated how much rice to add.  I made enough for the three of us plus school lunch for my daughter.

I also added grounded fried fish and fried onions to the mix.  Then I sprinkled some on top of the rice also.

Really enjoyed it.  It was tasty!

 

Hope you’ll have a chance to try this very easy recipe at home. Let me know if you have any problems making it or if you have any questions.  Tell me how it turned out.

Enjoy!

 

 

Burmese Palm Sugar Yogurt aka Dain Chin

I just returned yesterday from my beloved home, Burma .  I reunited with many of my extended family members during the  28-days I was there.  Reuniting does not go well unless there’s plenty of food around, and food we did have.

I, of course, wanted to eat everything.  As I sat in front of my cousin’s storefront which I did several days in a row in the New Bogyote Zay, I ate everything my stomach could stomach.

Today, I want to share a childhood drink that I’ve forgotten about until I went back to Burma.  I’ve had this drink several times there during my stay but I really wanted to get another glass before I left yesterday.  Time was not on my side before I had to be at the airport to return to Chiang Mai. So out of desperation, I made some of my own here in Chiang Mai.

This yogurt drink is called DainChin in Burmese. I love it so much mainly because it’s made with palm sugar and there is a distinct taste and flavor one cannot get in a yogurt drink made with table sugar. .  Yum, right?

The yogurt we normally find in Burma is not made from cow milk.  Though the yogurt I am using here in CM is not clumpy and sour like I would normally like, I settled for a glass of what I had in my fridge  this morning. Remember, you can make your own yogurt as well and I have a post that tells you how to do that.

We purchase our thick yogurt from Decheeso which is in walking distance from our place. And I like this yogurt a lot.

On our return to Chiang Mai, I brought back different types of palm sugar rocks (zee palm sugar made with plum powder; coconut palm sugar; and milk palm sugar) All very yummy!

I took a few of the palm sugar rocks and added water to it in a pot and cooked it until all melted.  Then I added the melted palm sugar to my yogurt. Simple right?

The palm sugar can be purchased at the Friday morning market I love to go to weekly. I was just here this morning.

If you’re in Chiang Mai and want to make this, can’t find the palm sugar rocks, give me a shout.  If I am here and available you can usually find me at the market every Friday morning.

Burmese Daikon Soup with Tamarind

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve shared any recipes and tips here on this blog.  In the past few months, we’ve been searching for a new place to live, then we moved, now we are trying to set-up our place to have students for tutoring English and host family visits. You can read more about the happenings over at www.GotPassport.org.

The great thing is I have a kitchen. .Well, Okay, let’s just say more space to cook.  We supplied our own fridge, gas cooktop, gas tank, storage space etc to make it more functioning like a kitchen.

So, for our first meal, one of the dishes I cooked was a sour daikon soup with tamarind.  Ummm and it was cooked a while back, but I just haven’t had the time to post it here. Anyhow, my daughter loves these kinds of soups and she eats well when I cook them.

I bought a couple of daikons from the Haw Market or as we affectionately call it “the Friday Morning Market” for less than 50cents.

Before we move on to the ingredients, may I remind you that I do not use exact ingredients. I cook by intuition and so a lot of the measurements of the  ingredients you see here are estimated.

Ingredients:

  • Daikons 2 medium-sized
  • One medium-sized onion, diced
  • A few cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 TSP of oil
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • 2-3 medium-sized tomatoes, or 1 large one, or several cherry tomatoes (sliced) (you can be generous with the amount of tomatoes you use.  It’s a personal preference).
  • Tamarind puree or paste to taste
  • 3 Japanese green onions
  • Fish sauce to taste (leave this out and you have a veggie dish)
  • Salt to taste

  • Wash and peel the daikon like you would peel carrots.
  • Slice them like so in the picture below.  How thin you slice them will determine how long you need to cook the soup.
  • In a pot, add the daikon, onion, garlic, oil, salt, turmeric, and wedged tomatoes. It might look something like this.
  • Mix the ingredients together before heating the pot.
  • Place on low heat to start cooking and stir gently to prevent burning.
  • Add either water, veggie broth or chicken broth to the pot

  • Let it cooked for about 20 minutes with the pot covered.
  • Check the tenderness of the daikon to see if it is ready.
  • Add tamarind puree to the soup.
  • Depending on your preference, add more salt or fish sauce or tamarind to taste.
  • To help reduce the tartness in the tamarind, you can add a tiny bit of cane sugar or palm sugar though this is not the practice in Burmese cooking.
  • Now add sliced Japanese leeks to the top for added flavor and you’re ready to serve

Here’s a package of Japanese Leeks I bought in Chiang Mai for 20b = 67cents.

There you have it.  This dish is super easy to make.  And the beauty of it all is that you can replace any veggie you have like cabbage, spinach, squash to make a sour soup with choice of your veggies. We usually have a soup like this in every meal with either a meat or tofu dish and a stir fried veggie dish plus ngapeat yay (fish paste sauce with dry chili peppers) and green veggies like cucumber, small eggplants, cilantro, garlic, chili peppers, etc.

Many people in the rural areas, usually very poor, will eat a meal similar to what I described above but often without the meat unless they have their own small animal farm.The ngapeat yay is the substitute to the meat.  Just a few weeks ago, we made an offering to Burmese student monks at Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai, and they told us they can make a meal out of Ngapeat yay and fresh veggies.

I hope to post more Burmese recipes here soon as I have cooked different dishes in my little kitchen in Chiang Mai.

Enjoy  it. Let me know if you have any questions or dishes you are curious about making. Come join me on my Chili~Lime~Garlic Facebook page if you have not already.

Happy New Year everyone. Here’s to eating well and healthy in 2012.