Posts Tagged With: Vietnam War

Thai Fish Cakes (Tod Mun Pla)

Thai Entree

THAI FISH CAKES
(Tod Mun Pla)

INGREDIENTS

10 Chinese long beans or 10 green beans
6 kaffir lime leaves (Fresh is best, then frozen, then dried)
¾ pound boneless fish fillets*
1 egg
2½ tablespoons red curry paste
1 teaspoon sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil

* = First choice is clown knifefish which is popular in Thailand. Should you not live there, your favorite fish will do nicely.

Makes 20 2″-fish cakes. Takes 40 minutes.

PREPARATION

Thinly slice Chinese long beans. Finely slice kaffir lime leaves. Add fish to blender. Blend at medium setting until fish becomes a paste. Add fish paste, egg, red curry paste, and sugar to mixing bowl. Mix by hand until thoroughly blended. Add Chinese long beans and kaffir lime leaves. Mix again by hand until fish mix is completely blended.

Form fish into 1″ balls. Flatten them until they become 2″ pancakes. Add oil to pan. Heat oil with medium heat until a tiny bit of paste will dance in the oil. Carefully add pancakes, perhaps with spatula, to hot oil. Sauté at medium heat for 2 minutes or until the bottoms of the fish pancakes turn golden brown. Flip pancakes over and sauté for another 2 minutes or until the pancakes are golden brown all over. You might need to cook in batches. Goes well with cucumber relish or sweet Thai chili sauce and sliced cucumbers.

TIDBITS

1) Thai fish cakes look a lot like bean bags. This is no accident. The shape of the modern beanbag is based on Thai fish cakes.

2) During the Vietnam War, Todd Pla, a pilot, was based in Thailand. Between bombing raids, he’d relax by watching locals play Toss Fish Cakes Into Holes In The Ground. Unfortunately, tossing perfectly good food away like that meant the Thais wouldn’t eat. The Thais grew ever thinner. What to do? A light bulb went on in Todd “The Man” Pla’s head. Why not put dry beans in a cloth sack and sow it up? The beanbag could be reused game after game. The beans in the bags would never go bad and the fish that would have gone in it could now be eaten. The grateful Thais renamed their fish cakes, Tod Mun Pla, which is close to Todd “The Man” Pla. Todd feels quite honored.

Chef Paul

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Sopa De Mani – Bolivian Peanut And Potato Soup Recipe

This is my 300th blog! Thank you for reading.

Bolivian Entree

SOPA DE MANI
(Peanut and Potato Soup)

INGREDIENTS SopaDeM-

2 chicken breasts
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion
1 cup raw, unsalted peanuts
1 cup water
3 Yukon gold potatoes (to be chopped into pieces)
1 Yukon gold potato (to be cut into strips)
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (1/4 cup more later)
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 teaspoon parsley

SPECIAL APPLIANCE

blender

PREPARATION

Cut chicken breasts into 1/2″ cubes. Mince garlic and onions. Put peanuts and water into blender. Use chop setting until you get a smooth white liquid or paste. Peel potatoes. Cut 3 potatoes into 1/2″ slices. Cut each slice into 2 or 3 pieces. Cut 1 potato into 1/4″ by 1/4″ inch strips.

Put oil, garlic, and onion in frying pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onions soften or start to turn golden brown. Stir frequently. Transfer sautéed garlic and onion to soup pot.

Add chicken cubes, peanut paste, potato pieces (not the potato strips), chicken broth, cumin, oregano, pepper, and salt to soup pot. Simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes or until potato pieces are soft. Stir occasionally. (It is also a good idea to stir occasionally when watching tv or you may be thrown out with that old sofa you’re sitting on.)

While soup is cooking, add 1/4 cup vegetable oil and strips from one potato to frying pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until potato strips turn golden brown. Stir frequently enough to keep strips or fries from burning. (Note, hot oil splatters. Tip the frying pan away from you or hold a lid between you and the frying pan when stirring the fries.)

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish equal bowl with an equal amount of cilantro, parsley, and fried potato strips .If desired, add as much LLAJUA, (spicy sauce) to each bowl.

TIDBITS

1) Bolivians love potatoes.

2) They did not love McDonald’s enough. McDonald’s left Bolivia  on December 1, 2001 after seven years of trying. Bolivians simply preferred their own style of cooking or were too poor to eat out .

3) Iceland does not have McDonald’s either. It costs too much to get potatoes from Germany.

4) Many of the poor countries between the Mediterranean Sea and South Africa are without McDonald’s. The same holds true for ex-Soviet republic in Central Asia.sauté

5) American forces fought in the Vietnam War in: Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These countries do not have McDonald’s.

6) North Korea and Iran have nuclear-weapons programs. They are unfriendly to us and have no McDonald’s.

7) Indeed, most countries do not have McDonald’s restaurants in them are poor, have fought America, or have become hostile nuclear powers.

8) Think about that when you’re tempted to pass by an empty McDonald’s in some foreign land.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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