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Thai Chili Fish

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We have been going through a Thai Curry tour by Patrick, introducing Thai  Red Curry, Green Curry, Yellow Curry, Panang Curry and Massaman Curry. Yes all curry dishes especially for you. We  hope you enjoy the curry as much as we do. I decided to have a change from the curry, but Thai food couldn’t live without spicy food. Presenting the infamous and delicious Thai Chili Fish.

For this dish, I recommend using catfish, seabass or salmon. Preferably to clean the fish and leave the head on, or you can also use the fish fillets. This is actually a very simple dish to make because I have skipped the deep frying part by having the fishman to clean and deep fry it in the Asian market. Many Asian markets in LA offer the fish cleaning and deep frying service.  The fish was perfectly cooked and hassle free, because deep frying in our small stuffy apartment will make the whole apartment smell like fish.

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Claypot Garlic Shrimp with Vermicelli

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Previously Patrick cooked the Steamed Shrimp with Minced Garlic, this dish is always a hot favorite among our friends. Especially when it is cooked with garlic and wine, made it extremely fragrant. One of our friends, Sit Yee suggested that we can even put some vermicelli or Tang Hoon (冬粉) underneath the garlic shrimp, the vermicelli will soak up the sweet broth from the fresh shrimp. That sounds like a delicious dish, thus I’ve decided to give it a try.

I suggest to use whole shrimp / prawn with shell and head on. This will give the broth a much sweeter taste. However this time I only used shelled shrimps without the heads, because I have bought the shrimps before I thought of making this dish. The broth was awesome with the fragrant Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine (紹興酒) and absorbing the sweetness from the fresh shrimp. Plus the aromatic fried garlic gave it a distinct taste too.

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Steamed Mussel with Fried Garlic

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I wanted some seafood but I was concerning about the recent seafood quality due to the Gulf oil spill. The BP oil spill incident  has been more than a month without great solution to stop it. It is now becoming the largest oil spill in the history.  I am not sure how much it has affects on the consumer’s seafood choices, but with up to 5 thousand gallons of oil spill a day this is seriously contaminating the ocean and killing the sea life.

During this time, I would highly recommend consumers to do some research and study before consuming seafood. The  high levels of mercury and PCB in mussels from the Gulf of Maine are a concern. So for safe I bought the easy frozen farm raised mussels over the fresh ones. Selecting the farm raised mussels is also an environmentally friendly seafood choice. Remember to eat healthy!

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Sambal Belacan Asparagus with Shrimp

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I went to the market to get breakfast and saw the asparagus was on sale, immediately I picked up a bunch home.  On Sunday I was thinking to make the asparagus and shrimp combination with Sambal Belacan. Previously I’ve made the Stir Fry Asparagus with Clam in white sauce. If you want something more exotic, you definitely have to try this. But my roommate had reminded me I cannot eat spicy food because I just had my upper wisdom teeth removed last Friday. No spicy food, no solid food, no drinking from straw, no alcohol …. and so forth of restrictions from my dentist. I guess there is nothing but liquids, porridge and soup for me this week.

Anyway, I still ended up cooking the Malaysian style Sambal Belacan Asparagus with Shrimp as this looks far more tempting, so all of these go to Eric as he loves spicy food. I used a super easy and lazy way of making the Sambal Belacan and it came out just great. I used the pre-made Sambal Oelek bought from the Asian market, it is grounded red chili and garlic, stored in a clear round plastic bottle with a green lid, and a chicken symbol in the front. Don’t confuse with Siriracha which is a chili paste. This Sambal Oelek you can still see the chili seeds, sometimes I use it for dipping sauce too.

To make Sambal from scratch check on the Sambal Okra for the preparation of  it.

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Steamed Shrimp with Minced Garlic

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It is an exhausted week. We are packing and going to move into the new apartment this coming weekend (as Bel mentioned before in her post). I am totally not enjoying the moving process though. I don’t really have much time for cooking. Therefore I just wanted to cook something easy and delicious for dinner. Flipping over an old cookbook from Malaysia and I found this scrumptious recipe – steamed shrimp with minced garlic.

I couldn’t remember whether I had this dish in Malaysia before or not, but definitely this was the first time I cooked it. It turned out so good especially the garlic gravy from this delicate dish was so appetizing enough to make me had 2 bowls of steamed white rice. It is recommended to use fresh shrimps with heads for better taste and presentation or else you can be as lazy as me.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more