Red Snapper with Coconut Almond Dipping Sauce

Tropical Approach to a Popular Fish
Almonds and Coconuts are the Key

Creating delicious Japanese dishes with Wocestershire sauce

Worcestershire Sauce

This Southeast Asian Fusion dish combines some unusual ingredients, including Worcester Sauce, Mace and Black Pepper.  The key elements are a sauce combining Continue reading

Curry Paste

Thai Cooks’ Stand-By
Home-Made or Store-Bought

Galangal, an important Southeast Asian spice

Galangal – Essential Ingredient in Penang Curry Paste

Curry pastes are aromatic mixtures of spices Thai cooks use to flavor stews, soups and other dishes. They can be made in the kitchen fresh before use, or can be bought canned, which is commonly done by households and many Thai restaurants.

Typically, these pastes come in small jars or tin cans whose labels bear the photographs of someone’s mother. There are several main varieties:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Penang
  • Musuman

Penang paste reflects the culinary style of the Penang area of the Malaysian Peninsula.

Musaman, that is Moslem style, reflects the cuisine of Southern Thailand, which has many Muslim people.

The red variety is commonly thought to be the most versatile and also the hottest.  Actually, it depends on the amount of Chili Peppers used by the individual cook. Thus, a Red Curry Paste can be made to taste quite mild, while a green one might be intensely hot.

Cooking with lemongrass


The main ingredients in these pasts are Garlic, Lemongrass, Shallots, Chili Peppers and other spices.

The Penang Curry Paste emphasizes            flavors of Fennel and Mace and goes well with Beef, as in Penang Beef, and also also good with Chicken, Pork, and Fish.  Here is a formula for making a Penang Curry Paste:

Penang Curry Paste



Using garlic to make Vietnamese soup with pork cabbage rolls

Garlic – a Key Ingredient

5 – 7 large dried Red Chili Peppers
½ teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1½ teaspoon Coriander Seeds
½ teaspoon Mace
2 teaspoons Black Pepper corns
1 stalk fresh Lemongrass
1 teaspoon chopped Lime Zest
1 teaspoon powdered Galangal
3 medium Shallows
4 cloves of Garlic


First, chop the Chilies coarsely and soak in cold Water to soften – for about a quarter hour.

While the Chilies are soaking, chop the Lemongrass finely, and also chop the Shallots and Garlic.

After the Chili Peppers are softened, remove the seeds and discard them.

Place the Chilies in a food process or blender.

Head a large, heavy dry iron skillet over very low flame and toast the Fennel Seeds,Coriander, Mace and Black Pepper corns for 5 minutes, shaking hte pan occasionally to keep the spices from burning.  Remove the s;ices and crush them finely ina  mortar and pestle or spice grinder and add to the Chilies.

Add in the Lime Zest, Shallots and Garlic and process for a few minutes at medium speed, adding a little cold Water, a few drops at a time, while processing until a thick, dark reddish-brown paste results.  This is the Penang Curry Paste.

This recipe makes about half a cup of Curry Paste.  It will keep for up to several months inthe refrigerator.

Thailand - Haadyai Platform


Indian Cuisine

India - Sculpture head, Buddha meditating, India 12th century

Buddha Meditating, India 12th c.

Fish Curry From Bananas
Halva From Meat

“It is possible to eat what you believe to be a fish curry only to learn it was made from unripe bananas, or to taste a sweet halva and find it was made not of fruit or vegetables but meat.” — Attia Hosain and Sita Pasricha

An Ancient People and Cuisine: The Indian civilization is one of the oldest and most important in 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