Octopus Steamed alla Parmentara
Octopus Steamed alla Parmentara

Octopus Steamed alla Parmentara

I had this dish served to me at the now defunct Empire Grill in Ottawa’s Byward Market some time ago. I am not sure what the Parmentara signifies (and a google search reveals nothing of note), but steamed octopus is not a common restaurant offering and I couldn’t resist giving it a try. It was an interesting dish, in conception at least, but the execution left a little to be desired.


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Yeo Minced Prawns in Spices
Yeo Minced Prawns in Spices

Yeo Minced Prawns in Spices Review

I fell in love with this umami-rich shrimp paste from Singapore after first purchasing at a little Asian grocery store in Fredericton, New Brunswick almost 40 years ago. It is produced by Yeo Hiap Seung Ltd., and is made with Shrimp, Chili, Onions and Peanuts as the main ingredients. The shrimp are clearly fermented slightly during the manufacturing process, and the result is quite similar to a Filipino Bagoóng Alamáng, or even a Sambal Ikan Bilis. It is sold mainly as a cookery ingredient, especially for soups and noodle dishes, but I find that it shines best as a cold condiment.

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Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple
Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple

Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple

A while ago, I reviewed the commercially prepared Jack Hua Brand Sour Shrimp Paste from Thailand. The culinary paste is primarily intended for making the perennial Thai restaurant favorite Tom Yum Soup, but I rarely use it that way and instead find it useful as a base for curries, or stir-fried dishes. Here, I have used the paste along with Pork and Pineapple in order to make a dish that is both sweet, sour, and pungent with the flavorings associated with a Thai Yellow Curry.


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Pork Rendang Thai-Style
Pork Rendang Thai-Style

Pork Rendang Thai-Style

A ‘Rendang’ is an Indonesian dish in which the main ingredient, usually a meat, is cooked slowly in spiced Coconut Milk until the milk has almost disappeared and the meat is supremely tender and infused with the flavors of the braising liquid.

Indonesian cuisine has its own range of preferred spices and my Rendang here departs from the traditional to give the dish a very Thai character. I have actually employed a spice blend that is typically used for the Thai specialty Tom Yum Soup, and, more particularly, I tried out a commercial product, the previously reviewed Jack Hua Brand Sour Shrimp Paste.


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