Thai Recipes: Shrimp Fried Rice with Pineapple

Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

In keeping with our unintentional theme of one dish meals the last two nights, we opted to make a rice dish last night. We already had chicken and pork so we were on to beef or shrimp.  I love coconut rice and pineapple so we did a shrimp fried rice with pineapple.  It was super simple and filled with lots of flavor!  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice (cooled)
  • 1 tbsp oil (I prefer to cook with olive)
  • 1 clove minced garlic (we actually used 4)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • Cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (we used large shrimp w/tails – 6 each)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 oz (or about 5 rings) of canned pineapple, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped

close up

Directions:

Have the Jasmine rice already prepared so it can cool and is easier to break apart.  I made coconut Jasmine rice for this (basically substituted coconut milk for part of the water when cooking it). 

Using a wok, heat the oil and add the minced garlic and chopped white onion. Cook until the onion has a shiny appearance – about 1-2 minutes. 

Add the cooked shrimp, rice, sugar, fish sauce and stir well.  After about 30 seconds, add the pineapple and green onion and continue stirring often for 2-3 minutes.  You want to make sure the rice is tender and the shrimp is thoroughly heated. 

Remove from heat and serve on big plates while still hot. 

Serves 2

 Dinner with wine

Wine Pairing:   2

2003 Spätlese

Spätlese is basically a light late harvest wine so it is pretty sweet, but was a good match for this dish.

Thai Recipes: Stir-Fried Pork and Corn

One thing that is plentiful here in Taiwan is corn! Everything pretty much seems to have corn in it and it’s one of the few canned vegetables we can get here, unless we go to a more American/Western grocery store.  Since we had a number of cans of corn on hand in anticipation of the recent typhoon, we opted to make a stir fry Thai dish we had seen in a couple cookbooks. 
Stir-Fried Pork and Corn

Stir-Fried Pork and Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb lean boneless pork, cut into strips
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup green beans, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced  (we like heavy garlic so we used about 3 med sized ones)
  • Pinch Thai pepper flakes (depends on how spicy you like your food)
  • 2 green onions, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • Cooked Egg noodles or rice

Directions:

Using a wok, (I highly recommend getting one if you don’t already have one as it really helps keep the hot oil from splattering on you and all over your kitchen), heat the oil and stir-fry the pork until lightly browned. 

Add the corn, garlic, green beans, green onions, and chili flakes, and stir fry another 2-4 minutes.  You can use fresh chopped chilis but I really like using the Thai pepper flakes since they are dried and we always have them on hand. Chilis (along with most vegetables) seem to have a short shelf life here with the heat and humidity so I don’t always have fresh chilis on hand.  The Thai flakes are pretty hot, so be careful if you don’t like spicy food.

Add the soy sauce, sugar, and stir for another minute. 

Remove from the heat and immediately serve over cooked egg noodles or jasmine rice.  We used the remainder of the noodles from the kao soi the night before. 

Serves 2

Close up of stir-fry pork and corn

Close up of stir-fry pork and corn

Additional Recommendations:
We have a vacuum packer and keep a lot of meats and fish on hand.  We buy bulk, season them a few different ways, seal them, and off they go in the freezer.  The pork we used for this was 4 small pieces of pork loin that had a dry rub of salt, pepper, and rosemary.  The pepper flavor really comes through when you freeze the pork already seasoned. 

Also, when we make this again, we are going to try something else with the corn.  By adding the sugar, the corn carmelizes a bit.  It reminded us a bit of an amazing corn side dish at a Sichuan restaurant here that is charred and has a sweet carmelization.  Next time we are going to char an ear of corn on the indoor grill, let cool, and cut the kernals off.  Cook them with a little sugar and soy sauce, and then add them at the end to the dish.  I think the charred sweetness of the corn would be a nice addition to this, especially when you serve a sweeter wine.

Stir-fry with 2008 Beaujolais

Wine Pairing:  2008 Beaujolais

We are primarily red wine drinkers, but Thai food tends to lend itself to being better paired with white wines due to the spicy and complex flavors.  Some Beaujolais are known as the “only red wine that is white” and we opted to try one from our local wine store here.  It ended up working ok but I think more of a rose that is a little sweeter would’ve been a better match.

Thai Recipes: Chiang Mai Noodles (kao sai)

Chiang Mai Noodles

Chiang Mai Noodles

I’ve always loved Thai food and after a recent visit to Bangkok, I am even more hooked!  In keeping with our weekly themes, I decided to do Thai for this week…or perhaps for 2 weeks!

Kao soi is known as a meal for one and is popular in northern Thailand.  There is speculation that it may have some roots outside of Thailand. It’s basically a noodle dish topped with meat in a curry sauce.  It would probably be great with pork or shrimp, but we used chicken since I finally found some decent skinless breasts at the local grocery store.  Most stores here seem to sell whole chickens and lots of interesting chicken parts, but not a lot of decent breast pieces.

I had looked at a few different recipes for kao sai and opted to create a combination of a few of them to come up with our own version. 

The whole dish is pretty simple to make and will probably become a regular staple in our cooking rotation. 

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon diced red chili (optional)
2 skinless chicken breasts, chopped in bite size pieces
1/2 chicken bouillon cube
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp tumeric
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar or regular sugar
Noodles (quantity and type really depend on personal preference) **

Garnishes:
Fresh cilantro (or coriander as it is often called here in Taiwan)
Chopped shallots
Chopped green onions

Directions:
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and toss in the minced garlic. We like garlic a lot so we used about 4 smaller cloves, so this is obviously up to personal taste.  Add the red curry paste and chopped chicken, stirring to mix all the ingredients.  Let the chicken brown for approximately 2-3 minutes before adding the remainder of the ingredients. 

Add the coconut milk, bouillon cube, water, soy sauce, tumeric, sugar, and fish sauce.  Fish sauce is optional as some people have trouble locating it in their markets.  Some people cannot get over the strong odor, but the taste really enhances Thai dishes.  Don’t worry, the overpowering smell of the fish sauce does not come across in the dish.

Continue to stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed while bringing the pot to a gentle boil.  Let simmer for about 10-12 minutes, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.    Once cooked, cover and set aside to keep the curry warm.

If you are using fresh noodles, they should only take a couple minutes to cook. My fiance does not like anything with egg and since we were at the store together and watching me, I opted against the true egg noodles.  I used another type of fresh Asian noodles we see all over Taiwan.  If you opt to use dry noodles, you will need to soak them for about 20 minutes up front or start cooking them before the meat.  I say quantity is up to personal preference because some people like more of less noodles.  We used 1/2 of a package because we are trying to watch carbohydrates and prefer more of a soupy curry.   Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.

Lastly, typical Chiang Mai noodles have bits of crispy noodles on top.  We took a few strands of the leftover noodles and deep fried them in a little olive oil, until crispy.  Place them on a plate and let cool.  

Divide the noodles amongst the 2 bowls and top with the curry mixture.  Garnish with the shallots, cilantro, green onion, and squeeze some fresh lime on top.  Now, too much cookbook reading and Food Network watching has got me wanting to learn the art of plating.   Although my attempt is no where as beautiful as some I’ve seen, we topped our bowls with the crispy noodle creation for a little flair.

IMG_7689

Wine Pairing:
2006 Thierry Martin Gewurtzraminer

Since the dish was fairly spicy, a little sweet from the sugar, and had the citrus of the lime, we went with an Alsatian Gewurtzraminer.  I think I would’ve preferred a wine that was a little less sweet, it certainly cut the spicy aspect of the curry sauce.

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