breakfast sticky rice

I found this recipe in the epicurious app I had downloaded to my iPad. So this morning, Andy went out into the soi and bought the sticky rice from the moo ping vendor. We are her best customers for her grilled pork on a stick. She couldn’t believe Andy didn’t want any moo ping today! I had other plans for the sticky rice.

Sticky rice or glutinous rice is eaten throughout Asia as part of a meal.  In Thailand,  for example, sticky rice (khao neio) is served with grilled pork (khao neio moo ping) or after a meal, for example, with mango (khao neio mamuang). It tends to be sticky as its name implies, so it can be molded into a little ball for dipping into sauces and gravies.

The Japanese restaurant chain Mosburger compresses glutinous rice (also called sushi rice) into a bun then serves it with a pork patty. However, epicurious titled their version of sticky rice with meat the Breakfast Stack. The name wasn’t very descriptive for something that was a rice patty topped with ham and a fried egg sunny-side up so I came up with breakfast sticky rice for my adaptation. Perhaps someone can come up with a another more descriptive name?

Ingredients

1 cup glutinous rice (aka sushi rice)
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-3 scallions
4 thick slices ham steak or Canadian bacon (I used frozen leftover ham)
4 large eggs
Sriracha sauce, optional
Cooking spray or butter

Make the sticky rice. (From epicurious) Rinse rice in a large fine-mesh sieve under cold running water, then drain well. Combine rice, water and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes.

Prepare the scallion. While rice is standing, trim and cut scallion into very thin slices on the diagonal.

Make the rice patty. Stir the rice. Since I bought the cooked sticky rice, I molded it with my hands into a thick patty and sprayed the top and bottom with cooking spray. Alternatively, you can lightly butter a one-cup ramekin and fill it halfway with the glutinous rice. Pack firmly with a spoon. If the spoon becomes sticky, dip it in water. Invert ramekin onto a buttered plate. Repeat the process three more times. Fry the patties until light golden brown on the top and bottom, about 2-4 minutes per side. Since I used a large skillet I added the ham slices to the skillet to brown too.

Fry the egg. I fried the eggs one at a time in a small skillet sprayed with cooking spray.

Assemble the stack and serve. On a large plate first place the browned rice patty, layer the ham or Canadian bacon, then top it off with the fried egg. Sprinkle the scallion all over. If desired, squirt some Sriracha sauce on the plate.

lopetban: Hakka Chinese Jamaican steamed buns

Labor intensive and a labor of love, making lopetban is a challenge without exact measurements. I’m still working on that recipe. In the meantime, here’s a slideshow featuring my sister-in-law Lorraine making these savory buns. They are great for a snack or a light breakfast.

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Gigi’s cookies

I’m Gigi, Foodie Joanie’s dog. (Hello. That’s me looking at the cookie.)

Foodie Joanie cooks and bakes a lot for her human family so it’s about time that she bakes something can eat too. Because she’s on this low-fat, low sugar, low-salt thing she thinks these cookies are the cat’s meow, an unfortunate expression considering that I don’t like cats. Squirrels, rats, birds, and lizards are on my list of nuisances too.  On the other hand, the Wall’s ice cream man just doesn’t come around often enough. Sigh. I miss my sing-alongs to the Wall’s jingle. Gotta go. Foodie Joanie is up and will be wanting to check mail.

P.S. I like these cookies. I’ll even dance for them. I bet your puppy will too!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 1 cup boiling water (See Baker’s Notes)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules (See Baker’s Notes)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for kneading
  • enough all-purpose flour for rolling dough

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, margarine, and boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Grease cookie sheets with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Thoroughly stir in cornmeal, sugar, bouillon, milk, Cheddar cheese, and egg. Mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a stiff dough has formed.
  3. Knead dough in the bowl, mixing in additional flour as necessary until dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Alternatively, you can knead the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding more flour until no longer sticky.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat out dough to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with cookie cutter (bone-shaped is cute but round is fine. Gigi doesn’t really care!), and smooth the edges of the cookie so there won’t be any rough sharp edges after baking. Place 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool thoroughly. Store in an airtight covered container or refrigerate. (See Baker’s Notes)

Baker’s Notes:

  • Dissolve 2 chicken or beef bouillon cubes in 1 cup boiling water and omit beef bouillon granules.
  • Bake 25-35 minutes in a convection oven.
  • I doubled the recipe and used a packet of powdered chicken gravy mix because I ran out of bouillon. There was a negligible trace of onion in it.

Lasagna Fet Mot

I love lasagna.  But baking one in Bangkok poses quite a challenge. Ricotta cheese, a main ingredient, is quite expensive. I wondered, Is there a lasagna recipe that doesn’t need ricotta cheese? Well, I found one on food.com! It called for a pound and a half of fet mot (Thai for fresh mozzarella) cheese and NO ricotta.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage or 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef or 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 (12 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 1 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano or 1 1/2 teaspoons other Italian spices
  • 1/2 lb cooked and drained lasagna noodles (I substituted no-cook lasagna noodles)
  • 1 1/2 lbs sliced mozzarella cheese (I used grated)

 Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven 350˚F.
  2. I used chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes and processed in 6  one- second pulses in a food processor. Do this in three batches.
  3. Fry garlic and onion in hot oil until soft.
  4. Add meat and cook until crumbly. Drain oil. I had no oil to drain because I used chicken.
  5. Mix in salt, pepper, spices, tomato sauce, tomato paste and water.
  6. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Simmer 30 minutes for ground chicken.
  7. In a shallow 9×13 inch pyrex dish, put a thin layer of sauce.
  8. I used no-cook lasagna noodles. Layer half the noodles, then sauce, and top with half the cheese.
  9. Repeat layers ending with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.

Baked Spring Rolls with Spicy Dipping Sauce

I bought the Low Fat No Fat Thai cookbook (Lorenz Books, 2006) from Asia Books here in Bangkok last week. I tried two recipes so far,  and this is one of them. Unfortunately, these recipes are not kitchen-tested and I’m not quite sure the nutrition facts are trustworthy either. If I followed this recipe exactly, these baked spring rolls are supposed to be 46 calories each. But since I fooled around with the ingredients, that figure is not valid anyway. What I liked about this version of spring rolls is that it is baked, not fried. Though the result was chewy rather than crisp,  AJ asked for more. They weren’t bad. They even  look authentic.

When I make spring rolls, I use whatever ingredients are on hand. Some ingredients I’ve found that are just delicious are Chinese cabbage (Napa is recommended though regular cabbage, shredded in a food processor, will do nicely), scallions, tofu (firm, sliced into thin strips), bean sprouts, and shiitake mushrooms. If you like meat inside them, add a cup or cooked ground beef, chicken or pork, and a cup of cooked shredded crabmeat or cooked chopped shrimp. Notice I emphasize the word cooked. This cookbook neglected to mention that step in the Cha Gio or Vietnamese spring roll recipe but added that step in the Thai Spring Roll recipe. Having made spring rolls before, I knew that the meats have to be cooked before assembling the rolls or you run into the dangers of undercooked food.

Now, what, you may ask, is the difference between Chinese and Thai spring rolls? Well, very little, I should say, since the Thai borrowed the recipe from the Chinese and made it their own. The only technical difference is that the Thai roll their spring rolls in a cigar shape and of course,  like to serve them with sweet and spicy dipping sauces, whereas the Chinese prefer sweet and sour with mustard on the side.

1 cup or 1 bundle vermicelli (also called bean threads; fresh is preferred)
1 cup cloud ear mushrooms (fresh is preferred), chopped
1 cup ground pork, cooked, drained, and cooled slightly
1/2 cup grated carrot
salt and pepper to taste
sweet chili dipping sauce, optional (available from Asian supermarkets)

Egg wash
1 egg white
1 teaspoon rice bran oil (substitute sunflower or canola)
1 teaspoon water

1 package Chinese spring rolls (available from Asian supermarkets) 20-24 per package. The recipe above will make about 20 rolls.

Prepare the ingredients. If using dried vermicelli and dried cloud ear mushrooms, soak them separately in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain the bean threads and snip with kitchen scissors to 2 inch lengths. Drain the cloud ear mushrooms and chop.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment or silicone mat.


Fill the wrappers. In a large bowl, combine vermicelli, mushrooms, pork, and carrot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Fill a small bowl with water. To make a spring roll, separate two wrappers at a time from the package. One will tear but two will  not. Then separate the two. Spread one wrapper on the work surface and add two spoonfuls of filling. Spread it out, lengthwise. Fold up the bottom and then the sides. Roll up the wrapper. Dip your finger in the water, moisten the remaining edge, and seal. Place seam side down on a plate and continue peeling, filling, folding, and rolling.

Cook’s Tip: Dip your finger in the water and moisten the sides of the wrapper too. Fold up the bottom and then the two sides. The sides will stick together and will make it easier to roll up the wrapper.

Bake. Combine ingredients for the egg wash in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the cylinders and ends of each spring roll with the egg wash. Turn to be sure each roll is thoroughly coated. Transfer to prepared baking tray. Bake 25 minutes, turning once halfway through baking.

Serve. Spring rolls should be served immediately with dipping sauces. Usually one is sweet and spicy and the other is spicy and sour. The chilies for the dipping sauce are traditionally pounded in a mortar and pestle.  A food processor will not achieve the same consistency but here’s a trick. Instead, I froze the chilies and rinsed them in cold water to defrost them. Then I chopped up the chilies and smashed them with the flat of a large knife, dragging the blade across them. I did this a few more times until the texture of the chilies was coarse.

View the Smilebox collage below for wrapping and rolling the spring rolls and making the nam jihm  dipping sauce.

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