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Southeast Asian Food Blog

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Vietnamese Grilled Fish

Monday December 29, 2008

Looking for an easy recipe to grill or barbecue fish? Then try this scrumptious Vietnamese Grilled Fish. It is easy to make, very tasty and uses an interesting mix of herbs.

I cooked this Grilled Fish for my daughter’s birthday dinner a couple of months ago. It was a last minute addition to the menu and came about because my brother had brought a huge 5.5 lb fish to my home the night before. One of his work buddies had given it to him and he thought that it would make a nice centrepiece for the meal.

Eat the Vietnam Grilled Fish with the Vietnamese Tamarind Dipping Sauce and the Vietnamese Side Salad which is not only healthy but also delicious and refreshing!

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Vietnamese Tamarind Dipping Sauce - Nuoc Cham Me

Tuesday December 23, 2008

This is another of Vietnam’s delicious sauces. It is sweet, tangy and slightly spicy and goes well with grilled seafood, particularly grilled fish.

Eat this dish with rice and the popular Vietnamese Side Salad.

If you would like to try some other Vietnamese dipping sauces, there is also the famous Nuoc Mam Cham , dipping sauce which is lighter in texture and which also uses fish sauce for its base.

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Classic Asian Noodles –a Book Review

Sunday December 21, 2008

If you’re looking for traditional Southeast Asian noodle recipes, Lee Geok Boi is the person you should ask. In her book, Classic Asian Noodles, she cooks delicious noodle dishes from different parts of Asia.

From a very young age, Lee has preferred noodles over the other Asian staple, rice. Her love for noodles quickly gained her the nickname of “Noodle Queen”. And her love of noodles turned out to be her life long passion.

Lee’s Classic Asian Noodles cook book is comprehensive and includes recipes for making noodles.

The recipes are well-written and the photos are clear and colorful.

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Malaysian Belacan Fried Rice with Dried Shrimps

Saturday December 13, 2008

Fried rice is one of Southeast Asia’s simplest one-dish wonders. It is easy to prepare and you can vary the amount and types of ingredients used, to suit your taste. Chicken, pork, eggs, all kinds of veggies, fish balls and crab meat are just some of the ingredients that can be added to fried rice.

There are loads of different recipes for fried rice, catering to a great variety of different tastes. Just google ‘fried rice’ and you’ll see what I mean. This recipe is an extremely painless one to cook. It requires few ingredients and has always been a big hit with both my kids.

Turn the spice meter up by serving it with some spicy sambal belacan or diced bird’s eye chilies for the adults

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Cambodian Spicy Beef and Aubergine Stew – Samlaw Machou Kroeung

Friday December 5, 2008

The Cambodian Spicy Beef and Aubergine Stew, or known as Samlaw Machou Kroeung , is a fantastic one dish wonder with its multitude tastes of tanginess, salty and spicy. The beef and the egg plants make a wonderful combination when cooked with the traditional Kroeung – the iconic Cambodian marinade paste and the Tuk Trey dipping sauce.

This dish involves a multi-step process, but when it all comes together, the flavors will pleasantly surprise you. Cook a big portion, as it keeps well in the freezer for up to a month.

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Cambodian Marinade Paste - Kroeung

Sunday November 30, 2008

How do you get to the heart of Cambodian food? A simple way is through the Kroeung, a marinade paste that is used in many Cambodian recipes. When you combine the flavors and textures of the different herbs used to produce the Kroeung, it is not difficult to understand the complexities of Cambodian food and its history.

Food aficionados fear that Cambodian cooking is becoming too heavily influenced by the flavors of Thailand and also Vietnam. In the past, when the country was taken over by a new government complete with its new ideology, there was great change not just in the systems and administrations of the nation but also in its food. Complex and traditional recipes could possibly have been lost during long periods of poverty and an enforced simplicity of life.

Try this beautiful marinade paste from Cambodia - one of the links to authentic Cambodian cooking - and enter the culinary world of the Mekong.

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Coconut Rice with Accompaniments - Nasi Lemak

Sunday November 23, 2008

Of all the many scrumptious culinary offerings in Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is arguably the country's most iconic and representative dish. It can be eaten at any time of the day or night. In the mornings, it is not uncommon to find people selling their home cooked Nasi Lemak, wrapped in banana leaves at virtually every street corner of every Malaysian town and city.

In the ubiquitous "Mamak" restaurants – Indian Muslim restaurants which often stay open 24/7 – nasi lemak is often served throughout the day together with the mandatory sambal and other curry dishes.

I have attended elaborate dinner parties at the homes of friends where Nasi Lemak, served with the delicious sambal ikan bilis, peanuts, eggs and cucumbers, took centre stage. Of course, there are usually several other delectable spicy dishes like chicken curry and beef rending as well.

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

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Steamed Coconut Rice

Friday November 21, 2008

Have you ever tried the fragrant and delicious Malaysian steamed coconut rice? It is the basis of the Nasi Lemak, which is a complete meal by itself when served with sambal sauce, egg, fried peanuts, crisp fried anchovies and cucumber. The rice can be cooked in a steamer or in a rice cooker.

Nasi Lemak is one of Malaysia's iconic, national dishes. Locals scour street stalls and coffeeshops to find the best Nasi Lemak on offer. It is consumed at all times of the day and night, and enjoyed as breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper or even as a snack in between any two of the aforementioned meals!

Try eating the steamed coconut rice with other meat dishes like the Sambal Fish or even a fried vegetables. Some people also like to just eat it on its own!

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Opening a Young Coconut For its Juice and Flesh

Friday November 14, 2008

Curious about how to open up a young, green coconut? It’s not that difficult, and worth whatever trouble you need to go through. When you savor the sweet and refreshing juice and the tender, melt-in-the-mouth coconut flesh, you will know just what I mean. Chill the coconut in the fridge for a few hours before opening it, if you like it cold. This is one of nature’s perfect foods.

Get a straw and a long metal spoon, and you’re ready for the drink of your life!

Do remember that you need a green and young coconut for this drinking adventure, as the juice of the mature and brown ones are not suitable for drinking.

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

Coconut and its Products

Saturday November 8, 2008

Most coconut products are derived from the grated coconut flesh of mature coconuts. Coconut products are used for cooking and baking; in starters, main courses and desserts. They add immeasurable amounts of flavor to all kinds of cuisine.

Coconuts have had very bad press in recent years - mainly about how they are not good for health, but recently, they have had a change of fortune. Superstars like Jennifer Aniston and top athletes like the English rugby team are beginning to see the benefits of coconut oil.

Coconut juice from the young coconuts is also touted to have healthy benefits with its detoxifying properties. It has also been suggested that if you are stranded on a remote tropical island, all of your dietary needs may be fulfilled by coconuts alone! Ever watched the TV series "Lost"?

Photograph © Dennis K H Sim, licensed to About.com

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