Banana Chocolate Spring Rolls

Decadent Dessert Spring Rolls
With an American Twist

Cocoa

Cocoa Powder

In the Philippines, dessert Spring Rolls might contain bits of Banana or Jackfruit.  This version, which uses Chocolate and Cocoa, is Continue reading

Chicken Milk Curry

Milk Meets Lemon Juice Meets Almonds
A Delicate Curry with a Southern FlHow to make Indian Chicken Milk Curryavor

If you put Lemon Juice in Milk,  it will curdle and make a mess, right?  Yet, if you follow the directions for this Indian Curry Chicken dish, that does not happen. Like many classic Indian dishes, there are rather many ingredients and a precise order of combining them.

In practice, this dish is not too difficult to put together.   The result is mildly spicy and with  a delicate, subtle Continue reading

Laotian Cuisine

Galangal, Lemongrass and Fish Sauce
Duck and Sticky Rice

Cooking with lemongrass

Lemongrass

Land of a Million Elephants: Laos has been called the Land of a Million Elephants. Elephants are still there, but modern Laos may now be the the .Land of a Million Motorbikes.

Laos is the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia and is home to a Continue reading

Indonesian Peanut Fritters

Addictive Snack with Drinks
Rice Flour, Baking Powder are Key

Using Baking Powder in Vietnamese cuisine

Baking Powder

These Indonesian Peanut Fritters, or Rempejek, are addictive, especially with drinks, and are easy to make

They are one example of the small fritters served as snacks or appetizers in Indonesian cuisine.

The addition of a little Baking Powder to the Rice Flour used to make this recipe is the key to the delicate texture and is probably a Fusion touch, reflecting the Dutch colonial heritage. This recipe makes about 20 fritters.

Continue reading

Indonesian Cuisine

A Nation of Islands
Rijsttafel, Sate, and Sambals

“Indonesia isn’t a country, it’s a happening.” — Christopher Lucas [1]

Garjda, Indonesia 14th cent.

Garuda, Indonesia, 14th cent.

Indonesia stretches from the Asian mainland towards Australia, like a jade necklace across the southern ocean.  The nation contains more than 17,000 islands, and its people represent several hundred ethnic groups, speaking many different languages.

Indonesia is an ancient country and its Continue reading

Burmese (Myanmar) Cuisine

Where China Meets India
Crossroads of Asia

“The staple food is plain boiled rice, piled up in a heap on a large platter.” — Shway Yoe [1]

Classical Burma/Myanmar sculpture

Kneeling Buddha, Burma/Myanmar,
19th century

Burma, or Myanmar, lies in a critical space between China and India.  This ancient land, home of many nationalities, seems destined to play a pivotal role in trade and investment between her two big neighbors,.

Burmese author, Thant Myint-U, grandson of diplomat U Thant, predicts that with current governmental changes now occurring, the country can emerge as the new crossroads of Asia. [2]

Burmese cuisine is rich and varied, shows influences from Continue reading

Cambodian Cuisine

Rice, Fish and Edible Flowers
An Ancient Civilization, a Noble Cuisine

Angkor Wat

“The Cambodians have some two hundred different ways of describing rice of various kinds.” — Christopher Pym [1]

Cambodian cuisine, descended from the ancient Khmer society, is one of the world’s oldest cuisines. [2]

It is now in a period of revival and Continue reading

Vietnamese Cuisine

Fish Sauce, Nuoc Mam and Sea Ghost  Fingers
The National Dish Is a Soup — Even at Breakfast

“Only the French imposed their own cuisine upon their Asiatic possessions.” — David Dodge [1]

“He was not yet Ho Chi Minh. It was 1917 and he was Nguyen Ai Quoc and he was a pastry cook under the great Escoffier.” — Robert Olen Butler [2]

Cooking with Vietnamese Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce

Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce

Vietnamese cooking is light and delicate, healthy, and remarkably varied. Its famous dishes can be very unusual and even have poetic names, like one for Crab Claws called Sea Ghost Fingers. Continue reading

Edward Schafer and Spice Route Travelers – II

The Southern Sea Routes
Before Marco Polo

Jackfruit

Jackfruit

“The Po-Lo-Mi (jackfruit) is the size of a pumpkin, its outer skin covered with nodules like the hair on a Buddha’s head.  Its color is green while growing, and turns yellow when ripe.  The pulp is of extreme sweetness.” — Zhao Rugua“Even in Dunhuang, further out on the camel road, grape wine was an expensive addition to an important celebration, like champagne for our festivals.” — Edward Schafer

 

Edward Schafer researched the movement of men, goods and ideas along the Silk Continue reading