Tag Archives: Cooking at sea

Som Tam

Som Tam is a Thai style Green Papaya Salad. A popular street food, Som Tam can be found in road side stalls, markets and many restaurants in Thailand. There are many styles of Som Tam and it is believed to have originated in Laos. Isaan Som Tam is made by crushing small crabs  (Som Tam Pu) and is always very very hot! My Som Tam is more like Som Tam Thai which contains peanuts.

My Papaya was green on the outside but getting quite pinky orange on the inside. It was still firm enough to grate however, and very yummy.

Cooking Thai food is always about the taste. I don’t follow recipes I just do it to taste. What follows is what I did the last time I made Papaya salad but when making the dressing remember to mix it, then taste it and add the salt, sour and sweet flavours to taste as needed.

Papaya-salad

Ingredients

Dressing
2 Tbs fish sauce
3 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs palm sugar (or brown sugar)
3 cloves of garlic
2 small hot chillies

Salad
1 small papaya, peeled and grated
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 large red chilli, deseeded and finely julienne
6 beans, very finely sliced
1 tomato, chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
a handful of bean sprouts
5 Tbs tiny dried shrimp (crushed a little in the mortar)
Roasted peanuts (or crushed nuts*)

Green-Papaya-Salad

Method

For the dressing
In a jar I mixed the first three ingredients of the dressing. I gave the jar a really good shake and then tasted the dressing. You should be able to taste the salt of the fish sauce, sourness of the lime and sweetness of the sugar. Adjust your dressing until you are happy with it by adding more of what is needed i.e. sour, sweet or salty.

With a mortar and pestle I crushed the garlic and red chillies and added them to the jar with the dressing. I gave it a really good shake and set it aside in the refrigerator until needed.

For the salad
In a bowl I mixed the papaya, carrot, chilli, beans, tomato, spring onion and shrimp. Then I added a couple of tablespoons of crushed nuts because I didn’t have any roasted peanuts. The peanuts in this salad are usually chunky.

I added the dressing and mixed the salad well before serving with a sprinkling of crushed nuts.

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PIN_SomTam

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Crispy Duck Breast Salad

I cooked this crispy duck breast salad for our 12th anniversary dinner. Our anniversary dinner was a day late because we both forgot our anniversary, until the end of the day when I remembered. I, of course, played the “I was just waiting to see if you’d remember” card… but Dwayne saw through it!

Crispy Duck Salad
Crispy Duck Salad
Crispy Skin Duck Salad - this one I made for Hellen and Phil for their anniversary.
Crispy Skin Duck Salad – this one I made for Hellen and Phil for their anniversary.

What I had aboard… duck breast, cabbage, carrot, chilli, star anise, cinnamon sticks, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, peppercorns and soy.

What I did…

I made a master stock of :

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dark soy
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cm ginger, sliced
  • 2 garlic, crushed
  • 6 peppercorns

I mixed all the stock ingredients together and marinated the two duck breasts for 12 hours.  Then I removed the duck and put the marinade into a pot and brought it to the boil. I simmered this stock for 10 minutes before adding the duck breast. I then added the duck and simmered for a further 5 minutes. I removed the duck breasts (reserve the stock) and dried them on a paper towel and sat them before a fan to dry.

Crispy Duck Salad

In the mean time I made a salad of shredded cabbage, carrots and julienne chillies.

To serve I placed the salad on plates and set them aside. I heated oil in a fry pan and fried the duck for a few minutes on the underside before turning it over and frying the duck breast, skin side down, until crispy. Once crispy, I sat the duck aside for a few minutes while I heated the reserved stock, reducing it. I sliced the duck and placed it on the salad and ladled  some of the reduced master stock over the salad.

Crispy Duck Breast
Crispy Duck Breast
The salad to go with this duck was made with apple and carrot.
The salad to go with this duck was made with apple and carrot.

Bon appetite!

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Crispy Duck Breast Salad

Pork Stuff Squid Tubes

This is easily one of our favourite squid dishes. I have cooked them a couple of times during our sailing through SE Asia. The first time was in Indonesia when we bought some fresh squid from a local fisherman. The second time was recently in Thailand at a BBQ we put on at PSS Shipyard in Satun.

IMG_2655
Pork stuffed squid served with rice cakes and a simple salad.

Ingredients

25g Rice vermicelli noodles
3 spring onions
3 tablespoon of peanut oil
2 garlic, finely chopped
3cm ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup cabbage, finely shredded
325g pork mince
¼ teaspoon ground star anise
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
Several medium squid or 16 baby squid, cleaned and tentacles reserved

Dipping sauce

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small chilli, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
Freshly squeezed juice from ½ a lime

Method

To make dipping sauce, mix all ingredients well until sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more lime if needed. Transfer to a dipping bowl.

For the stuffing, pour boiling water over the noodles and allow to stand for 5 minutes until soft. Drain well, chop them into smaller pieces and place in a large bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a fry pan and gently cook the garlic, ginger and spring onion until soft. Remove from heat and add to the bowl. Chop the squid tentacles and add to the bowl along with the pork, cabbage, star anise and fish sauce. Mix well.

Cooking Spicy Stuffed Squid
Cooking the stuffed squid

Stuff the squid tubes with the stuffing. Make sure to leave a little room at the top and close the top of the tube with a toothpick.

Heat the remaining oil in a fry pan and cook the tube for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.

Pork Stuffed Squid
Slice the squid into rings with a sharp knife.

Slice the squid and serve with the dipping sauce.

Pork Stuffed Squid
Pork Stuffed Squid

At the PSS Shipyard, while painting and varnishing our boat for six weeks, we cooked a goat BBQ. For entree I served my stuffed squid. Dwayne built a four layer BBQ to cook all the food for the 23 people that were to join in on the feast. I used two different types of squid, which I bought from the local fish market down the road. In my opinion the squid are not as yummy when grilled on the BBQ, but everyone still enjoyed them. If you were to cook them on a BBQ use a hot plate instead of a grill.

IMG_2208
Dwayne’s four layer cooking contraption – squid cooked over the coals and there are potatoes cooking under the coals.

Pantry Pancakes

While cruising though Asia, there have been mornings when Dwayne has asked “what’s for breakfast?” and, like the Mother Hubbard rhyme, ‘the cupboards were bare’. Well… not quite bare. I almost always have flour, powdered egg and powdered milk in the pantry. So I get to work preparing an easy, filling breakfast that Dwayne enjoys with maple syrup. I whip up some pancakes.

Pantry Pancakes
Pancakes and maple syrup… cooked on the BBQ

Simple really, this is what I do …

Gather my ingredients…
1 cup of plain flour
1 tablespoon powdered egg
2 tablespoon powdered milk
and water to add as needed.

Then I…
…sift the first three ingredient into a bowl and gradually add water, stirring continuously until I get my desired thickness. If I’m lucky I then get Dwayne to cook them on the BBQ.

Pancakes

Note: The powdered eggs I bought in Coles in Australia. ‘Farm Pride’ Powdered whole eggs.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce

As we sailed amongst the islands off the west coast of Borneo, we were able to purchase fish and squid from the fisherman that visit us, when we drop anchor for the night. The squid, used for this recipe, we bought off a fisherman at Pulau Bawal and the fish I use to stuff the squid was a mackerel we traded a mobile phone and a pair of sunnies for, when anchored off Pulau Genting.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Squid in Rich Tomato Sauce

It had been two weeks since we had been able to get fresh fruit and veg and  I used my last fresh tomato for this recipe. At the time we had been eating rice with almost every meal. Every time I cook rice I will cook a cup of rice and I then use the left over to make rice cakes or I heat it up with curry sauce etc. This time I used it to stuff my squid.

OK so this is what I did…

I made a stuffing for the squid with:

  • about 1/2 cup of left over cooked rice
  • a small fillet of mackerel (finely chopped) about 100g
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped,
  • 5 small asian shallots, finely chopped
  • about 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix it altogether and stuff it into the squid tubes. Close each tube with a toothpick. Cook the squid tubes for 5 mins to brown them slightly and then removed them from the pan

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
The prepared stuffed squid tubes

For the sauce…

I heated oil in the fry pan and fried:

  • 1/2 head of garlic (about 6 cloves), chopped
  • 3 small hot chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 8 small asian shallots, chopped
  • about 80g anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, chopped
Shallots, garlic, chilli and lots of anchovy!
Shallots, garlic, chilli and lots of anchovy!

I fried this until it was cooked and the garlic and shallots had softened. I then added:

  • 1 can of tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • dried italian herbs and black pepper to taste.

I brought it to the boil and then simmered the sauce for about 15 minutes, after which I added the stuffed squid tubes. I then simmered it until the flavours had developed into a rich, spicy, flavoursome sauce and the squid were cooked through (adding water as necessary). I served the squid with rice.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce

The left overs

I used the left over sauce the next day with some mackerel fillets. I cooked the mackerel then added the sauce to the pan with the fish and simmered until heated through. I served it with pasta. Yum!

Nasi Campur

Nasi Campur refers to a dish with a scoop of nasi putih (white rice) accompanied by small portions of a number of other dishes, which includes meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs etc. Nasi campur is a ubiquitous dish around Indonesia and as diverse as the archipelago itself. There is no exact rule, recipe or definition of what makes a nasi campur, since Indonesians and Southeast Asians commonly consume steamed rice surrounded with side dishes consisting of vegetables and meat. [Wikipedia]

Nasi Campur - rice, tempe, octopus skewer, tomato, cucumber and sambal
Nasi Campur – rice, tempe, octopus skewer, tomato, cucumber and sambal
Nasi Campur - rice, crispy pork, tempe, kangkung (water spinach) and chilli sambal
Nasi Campur – rice, crispy pork, tempe, kangkung (water spinach) and chilli sambal

When in Indonesia we eat like the Indonesians! This has as much to do with the food/ingredients that are available to us as with our love of Indonesian food. We eat rice most days and I usually make a sambal to go with it. Chilli, garlic, shallots keep well on the boat so they feature in most of our meals during our cruising.

This is what I did for the octopus skewer, tempe, kangkung and sambal…..

Skewered Octopus with Lime and Basil

Marinated octopus in olive oil, lime juice, garlic and chopped basil leaves. Refrigerated for about an hour then skewered the octopus on small skewers. Dwayne grilled them on the BBQ and I served them with Nasi Campur.

Octopus Skewers
Octopus Skewer with Lime and Basil

Tempe Goreng

Tempe – fermented soybeans. I sliced some prepared tempe into bite size pieces and fried them in hot oil until brown and crispy. I removed them from the oil and mix in a little kecap manis.

Tempe from the supermarket
Tempe from the supermarket
Tempe with kecap manis (sweet soy)
Tempe with kecap manis (sweet soy)

Kangkung

I probably do the kangkung differently every time I cook it, but generally speaking I fry up quite a bit of garlic (usually garlic slices ), shallot, a bit of chilli in a little oil, and season with salt and pepper. I then add the washed, roughly chopped kangkung and sauté for a minute.

kangkung.
I added a chopped fresh tomato to this kangkung.

Sambal

I usually make a raw sambal by smashing up chillies with garlic and a small shallot, in my mortar with pestle. However, my favourite is sambal matah, and if I have lemongrass on board I’ll make it. Sambal matah is a lemongrass and shallot sambal. It will often have shrimp paste in it but I usually make mine without the paste… I just love the taste of fresh lemongrass.

In the mortar I smash up lemongrass, shallot, a little chilli, some thin slices of kaffir lime leaves, salt and oil. It is delicious.

Sambal Indonesia, chilli, shallot, lemongrass
Sambal Matah

Bon appétit

Sambal ingredients

Caipiroska

I have been searching everywhere in Batam for limes. I finally found some today. I can’t wait to have a nice fresh caipiroska! In Bali and on other islands while cruising Indonesia I have, usually, had no trouble finding fresh limes and our favourite lime flavoured treat is undoubtedly the CAIPIROSKA!

Lime, vodka ice
Capiroska

All I do is…

Wash and quarter two limes, place them in a cocktail glass with two teaspoons of brown sugar and, using a muddler, I squash the be-jesus out of them. I add two shots of vodka (naughty) and some ice. Voila! Ready to drink.

Refreshing, full of Vitamin C and a good use of local ingredients!