Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Moist heat on Thai cuisine - cabbage wraps

Minced chicken with beancurd wrapped in cabbage leaves.
Notice Chef's beautifully turned carrots vs mine!

Feels like I could open a little Thai restaurant now! I've learned about 10 dishes or more in Thai cuisine and next week, we will also learn to do Phad Thai in the Main Kitchen. 

Tourned (or turned) carrots is another basic cut every culinary student needs to learn, besides julienne, batonnet and brunoise. I have always wanted to learn this but horrific images of severed thumbs come to mind when I come near this. Today, with Chef by my side, I ventured to attempt it. My heart was thumping away expecting to slice off my fingers anytime. I survived but the carrot looked terrible, plus you should see the amount of wastage I had. You could make carrot soup out of them!

A traditional tourned carrot has 7 sides. 

Here's a video on how to tourne a potato, typical in French cuisine. You'll see what I mean about severed thumbs! Need about 2 years of practice to perfect it, but I have only 2 thumbs.

We learned to wrap the fillings using blanched cabbage leaves tied with stem of Chinese celery

Simmered in rich, flavorful chicken stock. Loved it! Again, what Chef calls "food tasting" is difficult for this class.
We gobbled everything up!
The second dish we learned is this Thai dessert called Khanom Fug Thong (Steamed Pumpkin Pudding). Popular with the whole class!

The Thai village girl in me was reincarnated again!

Easy recovery if you get a hole in the middle. Just cut another small piece of pandan leaf and lay it on top. 
Making it smaller will ensure it's all covered. We also tried with banana leaves. You need to blanch the leaves
so they are not brittle. 
Old World vs New World. Those wrapped in leaves definitely tasted much better.
They expand when steamed so you should fill up to only two-thirds or you get spillage like I did here.
250g steamed pumpkin, half cup rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 2 cups coconut milk, 200g white sugar, 2 Tbsp grated coconut, half tsp salt. Blend them together in a blender, then spoon into individual portions.
Sprinkle some grated coconut on top before steaming. Very yum.
We also steamed seabass with crispy ginger. Similar to Chinese style. 
The fun part about this dish is heating one Tbs of vegetable oil at the end to a high smoking point and drizzling it directly over the vegetables and fish at the serving table. If it sizzles, you got it right. 

1 comment:

  1. Luan, I think u said the chestnut kueh u mentioned is just like the thai pumkin desert. Where u need to make the case is it? There is many interesting things to learn from u. U want to inpart?


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