Posted in Recipes

Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple

Thai-Style Pork and Pineapple 1

In my recent ‘Foodstuffs’ post featuring Jack Hua Brand Sour Soup Paste, I promised that I would use the versatile paste in a pork dish rather than the typical Tom Yum soup for which it was designed. I had been meaning to do a stir-fry using pork tenderloin but, since I also planned to use fresh pineapple (as opposed to canned) along with the pork, I had to put the experiment on hold until the fresh article turned up on our store shelves again. I thought of substituting something else instead of the pineapple but I was pretty sure that the Tom Yum Soup paste would go nicely with the rich sweetness of the fruit… Continue reading “Thai-Style Pork with Pineapple”

Posted in Product Reviews

Foodstuff: Tom Yum Soup Paste (Jack Hua Brand)

Tom Yum Paste 1

After sampling the Tom Yum soup at Bangkok Thai Garden in Ottawa back in December, I remembered a commercially made soup paste that I used to purchase quite frequently and, on an excursion to Chinatown, I managed to find it again. I couldn’t recall the brand name but I recognized the jar immediately and was surprised to see that the manufacturer is the same as for the Thai Crab Paste I featured in another ‘Foodstuff’s’ post last year. Anyway, while I enjoy Tom Yum soup well enough, I don’t make it that often but I discovered, in past culinary adventures, that this paste is extremely versatile and can be used in all sorts of preparations beyond the basic soup… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Tom Yum Soup Paste (Jack Hua Brand)”

Posted in Restaurant Adventures

Review: Bangkok Thai Garden

370 Dalhousie St., Ottawa – (613) 789-1888

Bangkok Thai 1

Date of Visit: December 4, 2012

I have passed this restaurant and perused their menu many times and  I decided it was high time I actually gave it a try. I spent a leisurely and pleasant couple of hours there on my most recent trip to Ottawa and, though I don’t really think I can claim it to be the best Thai restaurant I have ever eaten at, it was nonetheless a worthwhile visit… Continue reading “Review: Bangkok Thai Garden”

Posted in Ingredients

Foodstuff: Giant Water Bug Essence

Apologies, first of all for the poor quality picture, but it was not possible to get a full shot of such a tiny label…

Anyway, on a recent culinary excursion, I was unable to resist buying a product with the words ‘Water Giant Bug’ on the bottle, even though I didn’t have even the remotest idea what it might be. The name, I thought, sounded as though it may be one of those ‘poetic’ ones, and not reflective of any actual ingredient, but it definitely made me curious… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Giant Water Bug Essence”

Posted in Ingredients

Pickled Mustard Greens (Lotus Brand)

Pickled Mustard Greens are a fairly common Asian cuisine and are especially popular in China where they are often simply called ‘suan cai’ (酸菜), or ‘sour vegetable’. Homemade versions are often pickled in brine only, and thus tend to be very sour from the lactic acid alone, but commercial varieties often include vinegar and sugar and can thus be quite sweet. The brand you see pictured above is a product of Thailand rather than China and is one I have bought many times. It does list sugar as an ingredient but it is still really quite sour (and also pretty salty), at the same time… Continue reading “Pickled Mustard Greens (Lotus Brand)”

Posted in Herbs and Spices

Spice Blend: Sambal Terasi

Not long ago, I published a foodstuffs post about a Dried Shrimp Paste widely used in the cuisines of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. In Indonesia, the dried paste is known as ‘Terasi’ and it is commonly included in a variety of chili based culinary blends known as Sambals. These preparations are widely used as condiments but are also incorporated into curries and other dishes.

The very basic Sambal Terasi is just a raw paste consisting of fresh red chilies ground to a paste with salt and dried shrimp paste. However, there are many variations on the basic theme and some preparations are cooked. Additional ingredients can include garlic, shallots, onions, sugar, tomatoes and a variety of nuts such as Candlenuts or Macadamias and, in cooked versions, the ingredients can be fried after being ground to a paste, or else cooked individually beforehand and then ground together. For this experiment I am going to cleave fairly close to the original in terms of ingredients and leave it raw… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Sambal Terasi”

Posted in Product Reviews

Foodstuff: Thai Crab Paste – Jack Hua Brand

I bought this at Kowloon Market on my last culinary excursion to Ottawa. I have had various sorts of crab paste at one time or another and I have actually purchased this same brand before. The last time, however was well over 5 years ago and, when I saw it, I couldn’t for the life of me if it was a good one or not. I decided to give it another try… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Thai Crab Paste – Jack Hua Brand”