Crunchy, Red, Healthy Sidekick Salad – Burmese Style

Remember the other sidekick salad I wrote about?  That was more cabbage based.   Here’s another one with tomato base.

It’s sooo easy to make and you can probably make it in 15 minutes to add a kick to your meal with the citrus flavors from the lime and the tomatoes.  And of course the crunchiness from the onions.  Here’s how you make it.

You’ll need: (and there’s no right or wrong way to slice them and the portions are up to you!)

  • Thinly sliced onions. (1/2 small onion)
  • Diced tomatoes (Several cherry tomatoes)
  • Diced cilantro (a few strands)
  • Diced fresh garlic (optional)
  • Diced chili peppers (optional for you, but not for us!)
  • Fresh lime juice (up to your taste)
  • Dash of salt

I had more tomatoes in proportion because I was making a tomato salad.  Mix them all together in the lime juice and salt.


Hint: When using fresh sliced onions in your salad or to add to a dish, be sure to let the onions soak in water for a few minutes.  Remove them when you’re ready to use.  Rise out the water as much as possible.

Cabot Vermont Hot Habanero Cheese

Since returning from Thailand, after living there for nine months, I’ve been craving for a lot of things.  A lot of food related things. I’m sure watching Food Network more than ever before probably does not help. (We only had two English channels in Thailand so we hardly watched TV the entire nine months we were there).

Naturally, when we returned to Central Market, for the first time since returning to Texas, uhhhh,  I went a little crazy.  I will write about our 2 hour stroll to Central Market later in a different post, but this one deserves its very own post.

I love flavored cheese.  As I was strolling down the cheese aisle (which seemed like an eternity) I found the above.  It really doesn’t use Habanero peppers, it’s all Jalapeno peppers, (shame on you Cabot), I still loved the taste of it. Bought a tiny block of it for $4 = 120b.

I promise I will not complain about cheese again when I’m in Thailand.  This tiny tasty block however was worth every penny!

I also like plain cheese.  I found a jar of Habanero Jam in my parent’s pantry just the other day.  I think they need my help eating that jam!  Otherwise, it’ll still be sitting here when I come back next summer in 2012..  I’m going to smother it on some cheese (maybe some creamy brie).  In fact, I’m going to drown myself in cheese this summer before returning to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

What kind of cheese do you like?

How to Make Fried Rice with Whatever You Have in Your Pantry or Fridge

I’m sure you’ve seen more than enough fried rice recipes in your lifetime.  So I’m here to add  one or two more to your collection.  It’s my duty.  How can I have an ‘Asian Food with a twist of Burmese food blog’ without fried rice.

Here’s the thing–  Making fried rice is as easy as making fried eggs.  I’ll start with the simplest version.  And by the way, I eat fried rice for breakfast,  with my Chili ~ Lime ~ Garlic sauce of course.

REMEMBER:  I Do NOT use exact measurements in my cooking EVER!  Seriously, I let my taste buds, experience and instincts guide me.

I usually make fried rice because I have left over rice that I don’t want wasted.  And its the fastest meal ever!  So for fried rice, you’ll definitely need — RICE~  :-)  If you have about 2 cups of cooked rice, we’re in business.

I usually, if not always, start my cooked meals with onions, garlic and oil. And for this fried rice, you’ll also need some eggs.  How about two eggs.  Any size will do.

Dice up a small onion and a few cloves of garlic.  Saute that in a frying pan with about 2 -3 TB spoons of oil.  I used olive. I prefer grape seeds oil, but don’t have any this time.  Pick a pan that’s large and deep enough to cook your fried rice.  Use medium heat, but don’t burn the oil.

If you have turmeric powder, a couple of dashes will be great while you saute the onions and garlic.  If not. you can still make delicious fried rice.  No biggie.  Once the onions and garlic slightly browned on the edges, add the two eggs.  Scramble it good and cook it well.  You can either take the eggs out put it to the side (then add them back after the rice is added, towards the end) or add the veggies.  Let it cook a few minutes.

Now you can add the rice in the frying pan.  NOTE:  If the left over rice is a bit hard due to being in the fridge over night, no worries, put it in the microwave (covered) for about  a minute or two to soften it.

Add salt (fish sauce) if you have it.  A couple of dashes- taste to your liking.  You could also add a couple of dashes of soy sauce for browning the rice a little.  If you don’t like your rice brown, no sweat, leave out the soy sauce.

Here’s how you can vary your fried rice and how I make fried rice with whatever I have in my fridge or pantry.  SERIOUSLY!  You can do it too!

Cabbage, Carrots, Green Onions, Celery, Cauliflower, broccoli, Firmed Tofu- diced.

Peas, Corn, Mixed Veggies: Frozen is better.  Avoid using canned veggies.

Canned Tuna, Salmon, Roasted Chicken, Pork, Shrimp, or left over meat.

Any of these combination would work in your fried rice.

You can even make fried rice with onions and garlic sautéed in butter.  This is delicious as well.

In the picture below, I made Canned Salmon and Peas fried rice.

Now it’s your turn to make fried rice.   See if you can make fried rice without having to run to the grocery store with a list of ingredients.  Make fried rice with what you have in your pantry.

Hint: You should always have onions and garlic if you want to cook Burmese food often.


Fried Egg Salad ~ Kyet Oo Kyaw Athote ~ Yum Khai Dow

In a post from a couple of days ago, I mentioned that I’ll be making this dish.  And I did.

Yum Khai Dow is the Thai name for this Thai dish. I have this dish at least once a week in Thailand.

Here’s a little Burmese lesson before we begin.

Kyet Oo = Eggs       Kyaw = Fried        Athote = Salad

Today, I used 4 eggs. A few stems of Chinese celery. Half of a medium onion.  A few cloves of garlic. Several cherry tomatoes. 3 key limes or 1 large lime. Fish sauce. A dash of sugar.  Some water as needed. You can vary this anyway you wish.  That’s the fun part about cooking with my recipes.

First fry the eggs.  You’ll want the sides of the eggs to be crunchy/crispy a bit which means be liberal with the oil.  I used vegetable oil.  Start with one and half tablespoon.  The oil from the fried egg will help coat and flavor the salad as well. You may need to add more after frying each egg to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Be sure to fry the eggs so that the yolk is cooked as well.  Otherwise, the runny yolk will leak out into the salad.  If you like that it’s fine.  I don’t, so I usually make sure the yolk is cooked well.

While frying eggs, slice the onions, celery, garlic and tomatoes into thin slices.  Now put them aside.

In a small bowl, squeeze limes, add some splashes of fish sauce, a dash of sugar and some water.  Mix it up together and let it sit.  Taste it to make sure it’s not too salty.  My preference is less salty and more sour.  Make it the way you like it.  However, this dish is typically made with ample lime juice.

Slice the fried eggs into bite sizes (hopefully they’ve been cooling while you were making the sauce/dressing).

In a large bowl, combine the fried eggs, onions, celery, tomatoes and the dressing.  Mix lightly without crushing the eggs.  You’ll likely need to add more lime.  As I mentioned before, this dish tastes best when made with ample limes.  Don’t forget the fresh chili peppers or crushed peppers.  Your choice.

Mmm, just look at it.  Looking mouth-watering good eh?

Well have fun making this dish.  I’m going to have another bite of it after looking at this picture.

Come back and tell me what you think! Enjoy!

Cherry Tomato Salad

Today, I ventured out to the most frequented store by us while we were ‘living it up’ here in the States: Costco (more about this trip in another post).  One of the items we always bought on our trips to Costco was cherry tomatoes.  M loves them – she eats them like fruits.

According to the label, they are pesticides free and product of Mexico.  For a 2 lb , 32 oz (almost a Kilo) costs about $5.99 per box.  As usual I used almost a pound of them to make the salad.  It’s the simplest thing to do.

Just a reminder I don’t use specific measurements when I create dishes or cook.  Seriously I don’t!  Sorry!  I do my best to give you estimated measurements here.

Here’s how you make it:

  • cut the tomatoes into halves
  • dice garlic into tiny pieces (how many – it’s up to you!)
  • ~2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • ~3 tablespoon of olive oil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of oregano
  • sprinkles of fresh rosemary (if not, dried flakes will do). I used fresh and organic because we have it the garden here in Texas.  Lucky me!
  • chili pepper flakes if you want to add some kick to this

My opinion?  Kick it! :-) Add the chili pepper flakes!  I didn’t add it here so M could eat it.  And there you have it.  You can use the sauce in the salad as a dip with your bread.  Great way to start a meal, eh?

Enjoy my dish # 2 in Texas, status-post Chiang Mai, Thailand!   It’s really like dish #4 or #5, but I’m not counting fried rice!

Back in the USA: My First Dish (Salad) Made in Texas

As you may know, after 9 months of being in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we returned to the US.  Yesterday, I wrote about my initial sticker shock story in an Asian market here in Arlington, Texas.  It’s reality.  I knew it would happen and to be absolutely honest, I’m not complaining. My life is still great despite my enduring the great leap of produce prices in Texas.

I promised yesterday that I’ll share what I made as my first dish after returning to the US.  Truth is I love salads.  And naturally, after we found 4 egg rolls for a dollar with the left over rotisserie chicken, I made SALAD!

I once said to a friend, you can make salads with just about anything- just make sure you have basic ingredients in your fridge at all times!  I suppose my Mother taught me well in the kitchen.

So here’s a quick and simple recipe:

  • Cut the egg rolls in to small pieces
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces
  • Slice onions, Chinese celery, tomatoes, and garlic (thin/small)
  • In a small bowl add squeezed lime juice, fish sauce, water and dashes of sugar (make this sauce/dressing according to your taste.  I usually like it with more lime for that tangy, limey, refreshing taste in my salads!)
  • Now, mix everything in a large bowl
  • Add whatever you need to make the salad taste to your liking.. you may need to do that even after you added the sauce or dressing

Ta.. da….!

BTW:  You can add either crushed chili peppers or fresh chili peppers to liven-up the taste.  I didn’t because I wanted my family to be able to eat it too~!  Training little MGotPassport to be a chili pepper liker~~

Burmese salads are my favorite;  well salads in general, actually.  I must have a salad in just about every meal– probably because I grew up eating it with just about every meal!



Homemade Yogurt from My Semi-Kitchen in Chiang Mai, Thailand

One of the things I love about living in Thailand is having access to so many seasonal fruits.  Right now we can still enjoy mangos and passion fruit.  Yee haa!  While the mangos are quite pricey, they are the big juicy yellow ones that sweetly melt in your mouth.   With these tasty mangos I love to make  a mean Mango Lassi.  What’s even better than that?  A Mango Passion Fruit Lassi!

Here’s how you make yogurt at home so you can have your own Mango Lassi as well  Might be a bit difficult for you to find passion fruit.  Maybe Passion Fruit syrup??   :-)

Get some milk.  No matter what brand, as long as it is cow milk.  Pour 1/2 gallon or more (or less which ever you prefer) into a sauce pan and boil on medium heat.  You’ll only need to cook it a few minutes to boil.   Let the milk cool.

Once the cooked milk is at room temperature, add the individual size tub of plain yogurt into your milk.  I usually add half the tub so I can finish the rest of the tub :-)  You can add a few spoon-full or half a tub or the whole tub.  It should work.  The more you have the quicker and thicker your yogurt will turn out for you.   Stir it a bit and let it sit in room temperature for at least eight (8) hours.

I love it.  Ta da!  8 -12 hours later,  you have YOGURT!

Add fresh fruits to your yogurt for more lively flavors!

I’m going to make some Mango and Passion Fruit Lassi and will share my recipe in one of my upcoming foodie posts!

Come back and tell me how your yogurt turned out!  YUM!