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Update November - December, 2019

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Khun Ocha's Cookbook

Scrambled Eggs with a bit more

One of the most popular breakfast items is surely scrambled eggs. Unfortunately, there are many breakfast cooks who simply whisk the eggs, drop in the frying pad, toss a couple of times and serve. Such a shame, as the morning scrambled egg does not need much embellishment to make it into an interesting, as well as wholesome, dish.

Cooking Method

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, and ground black pepper together until well blended. Melt butter in frying pan over medium-low heat until hot (or if being very health-conscious, use polyunsaturated margarine); pour in egg mixture. Reduce heat. As mixture begins to set on bottom and sides of skillet, lift and fold over with spatula.

Cook until eggs are almost set; fold in tomato and shallots. Heat scrambled eggs through; serve immediately.

(If you wish to give this recipe even more flavor, add chopped green and red capsicum with the tomato and shallots and one teaspoon of chopped coriander leaf as garnish.)

Mussels in tomato wine

In Pattaya, mussels are cheap and plentiful. They are also not high in calories so you can serve this as a weight watcher item.

Cooking method

Scrub and de-beard the mussels under running water. Prepare a steamer and place the mussels on the top. Steam the mussels for around seven to eight minutes, or until they have opened. Important: discard any that remain closed.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, sauté onion in margarine, stirring over medium heat for two minutes. Stir in the garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for two minutes, then add the wine and salt and pepper to taste.

Now quickly bring the tomatoes to a boil for around five minutes, until the sauce is thick. Stir in parsley and keep the sauce over very low heat.

Break off the empty half of the mussel shells and arrange the mussels on serving plates. Spoon some of the sauce over each mussel and serve immediately.

Lemon and garlic prawns

Prawns are a perennial favorite, and with Pattaya being a seaside tourist venue, prawns are very cheap.  Even the larger shopping centers have fresh prawns where you choose your own.

This recipe is for a very easy stir-fry, but one that is very flavorsome.  Preparation takes 5 minutes, cooking 10 minutes and on the table in 15 minutes from go to whoa.  Serve with Jasmine rice which you have staying hot in your rice cooker.

Cooking Method

Remove heads and tails and the shell from the prawns, and also the vein down the back of the prawn.  Rinse and set to dry on an absorbent towel.

In a large frying pan or wok, heat the butter over gentle heat.  Once melted, add parsley and garlic and stir-fry gently for 30 seconds.

Now add prawns to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until pink.  Add lemon juice, white wine and seasoning.  Stir through for a minute or two to let the flavors combine, then serve, don’t overcook or the prawns go rubbery.

Tenderizing local steak

A discussion at a dinner table the other evening, centered on how do you tenderize cheaper cuts of steak. No professional chefs at the table, but the consensus was that imported Wagyu was just too expensive for the family dinner. The local cheaper meat is often called Thai-French.

Instructions: To properly tenderize a steak, lay the steak out on a plate and cover each side with approximately 1 teaspoon of kosher/sea salt before cooking. Use your fingers to gently work the salt granules into the surface, breaking down the fibers of the meat. (For even more flavor, add crushed garlic to the salt.)

Let the steak sit with this covering of salt for 45 minutes to an hour. Longer for thicker cuts.

After the waiting period, rinse the salt off your steaks under cool running water.

Use some paper towels to pat your steaks until they are good and dry, so you can get the delicious, crispy sear you want. If you don’t pat them dry, you’re basically steaming the meat, and steamed meat is bland and less flavorful.

Season as desired, then grill until desired doneness. Serve and sit back and enjoy the satisfied faces around the dinner table. :-)


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Scrambled Eggs with a bit more

Mussels in tomato wine

Lemon and garlic prawns

Tenderizing local steak