Salmon Coconut Chowder

Chilly temperatures are upon us (at least here in NL). I’ve already started switching my closet as summer jackets will no longer cut it for me. And with that, hearty and comforting dishes will be on our house’s menu more often. This is a bit of an Asian take on chowder. I used coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and chili (this soup is not spicy but you can always add more chili). For some crunch and extra flavor, I topped it with fried onions. I also used beer in this soup. Pieter thought that the combo was a bit weird, until he tasted it. It works, so now it is here on the blog.

This recipe serves 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

2 leeks, finely chopped

3 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger

2 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped (white part only)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 cup of pilsner beer

1 big head of salmon

1.5 litters of vegetable stock (1 cube of vegetable stock mixed with 1.5 litters of boiling water)

4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes (I used the kind for mashing because it will thicken the soup)

400ml of coconut milk

Salt

Kernels of one corn

200grs of skinless salmon filler, sliced into cubes

Extras:

Fried onions (store bought)

Coriander leaves for serving

Lime wedges

Crusty bread

 

In a large pot, place the vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the leeks, ginger, lemongrass, garlic and chili. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Then add the beer and let it simmer till half of it evaporates. Then add the head of salmon and the vegetable stock. Let it simmer for 1/2 hour.

Once the 30 minutes have passed, remove the salmon head. Carefully remove as much salmon meat as you can from the head. Be careful to discard of any bones. Shred the meat with a fork and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Add the coconut milk and potatoes. Give it a good stir and let it simmer for another 30 minutes over medium heat.

Once the soup has reduced, add the shredded salmon (head) meat and the corn kernels. You can now also add the salmon fillet cubes, so that they cook in the soup. This will only take a couple of minutes. For presentation purposes, I cooked the salmon cubes in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil and a sprinkle of celery salt. This will only take a couple of minutes till the salmon is golden on all sides.

Serve the soup with a sprinkle of crispy fried onions and chopped coriander. And some crusty bread & lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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Curry Fried Rice with Mango & Pineapple

Last week, I bought a little container of mango powder at a spice store here in Amsterdam. It’s called De Volkskruidentuin, if you ever want to go there. I’ve been wanting to use it since, but I wasn’t sure on what yet. And then I remembered one of the dishes we ate quite often while we were in Thailand. Both Pieter and I loved the curry fried rice serve in a pineapple boat. So I thought of making my own version. If you can’t find the mango powder, don’t worry. This dish still has plenty of flavor from all the other spices. I made the coconut rice the night before, so keep that in mind if you have the time.

This dish serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients:

For the coconut rice:

1 ½ cup of rice

1 ½ cup of coconut milk

1 ½ cup of boiling water

Pinch of salt

For the fried rice:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger

1 cup of cashew nuts, coarsely chopped

1 large sweet pepper, finely chopped (you can also use a bell pepper instead)

½ a teaspoon of onion powder

½ a teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of hot curry powder

1 teaspoon of mango powder (optional)

1 teaspoon of lemongrass powder

1 teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 tablespoon of Thai shrimp chili paste

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of fresh pineapple, finely chopped (reserved from the pineapple for serving)

1/3 cup of raisins

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

Juice of half a lime

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Extras:

1 whole pineapple

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Thai basil (optional)

Chopped coriander for serving

Lime wedges for serving

 

It is better to make the rice the night before if you can. Place the rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a medium pot over the lowest heat. Give it a good stir and cover it. Let it cook for about 15 minutes. Then let it sit covered for 15 minutes. Then remove the lid and allow the rice to cool down. Once cold, keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

To prepare the pineapple boats, slice the pineapple in half lengthwise. Remove the flesh with a spoon and discard of the core. Save half of the flesh for the stir fry. I ate the remaining pineapple while I was cooking. I just can’t resist it, it’s one of my favorite fruits and this one was so sweet.

Place all of the ingredients for the fried rice in a large pan except for the coconut rice, lime juice and coriander. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, while stirring. Then add the lime juice, cold coconut rice and chopped coriander. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes till everything is mixed together.

Serve the fried rice on the prepared pineapple boats. Add some chopped coriander and Thai basil. Serve with a wedge of lime and enjoy!

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Thai Spiced Nuts

Inspired by our lasted trip to Thailand, I created this spiced nuts recipe. When I travel, I always like to visit the local markets and supermarkets to see and try what they have to offer. I could spend hours browsing through each isle or stand. Pieter actually got tired of waiting for me on our last supermarket trip there while I was examining the information on the packaging of every snack I found interesting.

These nuts are sticky and they have a sort of umami taste. I just used the Thai basil for decoration but you can add it freshly chopped right before serving. And it’s done in 20 minutes with minimal amount of cooking. I was generous with the spice measurements. If you like it spicy, you can always add for chili powder or cayenne.

Ingredients:

150grs of unsalted cashew nuts

125grs of unsalted almonds

80grs of unsalted pumpkin seeds

For the Sauce:

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 ½ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder

1 teaspoon of lemon grass powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 ½ tablespoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk so all the spices get dissolve into the water. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. It’s ready when most of the water has evaporated and it has become a syrup.

Add the nuts and mix well to coat them. Spread them in a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 15 minutes. Stirring half way though the cooking time.

Once they come out of the oven, allow them to cool. Then try to separate the nuts into smaller chunks.

If you want, add freshly chopped Thai basil right before serving. Enjoy!

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Black Rice, Bimi & Pineapple Stir Fry

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I had been eating this stir fry for two days in a row. I made two large batches to eat throughout the day. It is so easy to make and black rice is so healthy. I am trying to make simpler recipes at the moment since we are busy with the renovations of the new apartment and we need to start packing. We need to leave our current rental apartment at the end of the month and now time is ticking. So easy meals like this one, which I can just reheat in the microwave are a life saver.

This recipe serves 2 -3 people

Ingredients:

¾ cup of black rice

4 cups of vegetable stock (hot)

½ of a pineapple, cored and chopped into pieces

2 sticks of lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

2 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1/3 cup of cashew nuts, chopped

200grs of bimi, chopped

4 tablespoons of oyster sauce

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

 

Start by rinsing the black rice under cold water. Then place it in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock and let it cook covered for about 45 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked. Then turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

Place the sesame oil and vegetable oil in a large pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the lemongrass, chili and ginger. Cook for a minute and then add the bimi, pineapple and cashew nuts. Stir-fry for a few minutes until the bimi is cooked. Then add the oyster sauce, fish sauce and black rice. Stir fry it for a couple of minutes. Then adjust the seasoning to your liking. Enjoy!

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