Khun Ocha's Cookbook
Asian BBQ Prawns
Throw another prawn on the Barbie, as the
Aussies would say. Prawns are a favored item for BBQ’s and
this is a quick and easy recipe to produce some lip-smacking
BBQ prawns. The important factor is the preparation of the
prawns. Though thawed prawns can be used, it is better to
use fresh ones. Get good medium to large sized ones and
remove the heads, tails and shell. Gently cut the prawn
down the back and remove the vein.
You can substitute
chilli paste for the cayenne pepper, but make sure you
dissolve it thoroughly in the oil.
In a bowl, add the
salt, turmeric, Five Spice and cayenne pepper to the oil.
Stir until the salt dissolves. Drop the prawns into the oil
and leave for one minute. Remove and thread the prawns on
wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. Place prawn
skewers on the BBQ plate and cook for 3-4 minutes, brushing
with oil if necessary. Serve hot.
You can make an
interesting dipping sauce made from Thai Chicken dipping
sauce, rice wine or sherry and ginger syrup in equal
Avocados are currently in the shops, and
while they are great sliced with lemon juice drizzled over
them and some ground black pepper, there are other ways of
using the avocado. This recipe is simple and all you will
need is a blender. Quantities are not so important, so just
use what you have got.
Put your pasta on to
cook in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Scoop out the
flesh of your avocados, discarding the skins and pips. Pop
it into a blender with your lemon juice, garlic, olive oil,
salt and basil. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Taste at this stage and
add more salt/pepper if needed. When satisfied with the
taste, set it aside until your pasta is ready and drained.
Toss together in a large bowl and sprinkle with freshly
grated parmesan (better than the dried grated cheese you buy
in a shaker).
If you have a couple
left over basil leaves, pop them on top. Serve family style
at the table.
Sweet Vietnamese Pork
Another SE Asian dish, this is very similar
to some local Thai recipes, though there are some essential
differences. Vietnamese fish sauce tends to be more
pungent, so I believe it is more pleasant using Thai fish
sauce, and I prefer the Tiparos brand. It is also a very
quick dish to prepare and make.
Cut the pork into 2 cm
cubes and add to a pre-heated wok with the oil just short of
smoking. Quickly stir-fry the pork until brown on all
sides. Now add the spring onions, salt and pepper and the
sugar, continuing to stir.
After one minute add
boiling water, with just enough to cover the pork cubes.
Stir in the fish sauce and bring to the boil and then simmer
until the liquid thickens. Now add the bean sprouts,
tossing quickly, place in serving dish and sprinkle with the
coriander garnish and serve with steamed rice.
Oyster Five Spice
This is a real local
market dish, with the main ingredients available very
cheaply. At last count it was B. 50 for 100 gm of shelled
oysters. This is also a dish to prepare in European
fashion, removing the heads, tails and shells of the
prawns. Devein by slicing down the back and removing the
central vein before cooking too.
Mix the Five Spice and
salt in a saucer. Take the de-shelled prawns and dip into
the mixture of Five Spice and salt, making sure they are
Heat the oil in the wok
and stir-fry the crushed garlic for 30 seconds. Add the
prawns and quickly stir-fry until they are a pink color,
then remove the prawns with a strainer. Add the chicken
stock to the wok and bring to the boil.
Mix the corn flour with
two tablespoons of cold water and add to the wok. Stir
until the sauce thickens then add the prawns and the oysters
and stir well.
Remove and sprinkle
coriander leaf as garnish on steamed rice and serve with
Pork with Herb
This recipe I have
snipped from a South American chef I met. I have simplified
the vegetable cooking, reducing it to a simple sauté in the
herb mixture (forgive me, Arturo!).
In a small bowl combine
garlic, vinegar, basil, mint, 2 tspns oil, sugar and the
cayenne pepper. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
Heat a dry cast iron
skillet (frying pan) over medium-high heat until very hot.
Rub the pork on both sides with the remaining olive oil and
season with salt and pepper. Now grill the pork on both
sides (about two minutes per side for medium rare, three
minutes per side to cook through).
Remove the pork and add
the vegetables and the combined herbs and sauté quickly in
the herb oil.
Place the pork on
plates, add the vegetables and pour the last of the herb
grill oil over the top.
Everyone loves a BBQ, and satays make an
ideal BBQ food. Speared on a stick or skewer, you can eat
single-handed while holding a drink in the other! To make
these pork satays memorable, marinate the meat in a Ziploc
bag in the fridge overnight and prepare the skewers the next
day. It is messier, but the result is better. By the way,
use the commercially available peanut sauce you can get in
the local supermarkets.
the pork into flat, bite sized pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the garlic,
onion, coriander, brown sugar, lime
juice, fish sauce and vegetable oil.
Now place the pork meat into the bowl
and thoroughly mix each piece in the
marinade. Pour the meat and marinade
into the bag and leave in the
Before cooking, thread the meat on to
skewers that have been soaked in water
for 30 minutes and cook over a hot BBQ
or on the griller. Do not overcook the
pork. Serve the satays with the
commercially available peanut sauce.
Spicy Tuna Salad (Inuit style)
You do not need to be
close to the North Pole to enjoy this salad. This is one
recipe that not only provides your family with a nourishing
salad, but can help with future health. Tuna fish has the
essential Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy heart. After
all, 5,000 years of Eskimo cuisine can’t be wrong! Remember
that the degree of spiciness can be altered by using less
Quickly cook the tuna
meat in the wok, or use tinned tuna after draining for a
while. Mix sugar, lime juice, chili powder and fish sauce.
Then add ground rice, fresh shallots, tuna meat and mix
well. Add coriander, roasted garlic, kaffir lime leaf, and
mix and toss gently. Top the salad with fried lemon grass.
Serve with fresh lettuce leaves and other seasonal
vegetables such as string bean, cucumber and basil leaf.
Creamy Prawn Pasta
Pasta is always a good
dish to prepare when entertaining. A
central large bowl with the special
pasta spoon (you do have one?) can be
used as a main course, or as an entree.
You can substitute the prawns with crab
or even a white meat fish. Do not
overcook the prawns as it makes them
Wash pasta, drain and then cook to al
dente. Drain again, rinse in hot water
and keep warm. Melt butter in large
skillet over medium heat, add onion and
garlic; cook until tender. Add flour,
salt and pepper; cook and stir until
smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk
and Worcestershire sauce. Cook until
mixture boils and thickens, stirring
constantly. Add parsley, Swiss cheese
and mushrooms; cook and stir until
cheese melts. Stir in prawns; cook
until thoroughly heated. Spoon over
cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan