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Monday, January 10, 2011

Samlaw Machou Kroeung ~ Spicy Beef & Aubergine Soup

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imma confess something to you: i'm a terrible asian cook. what i mean by that is that i don't mess around with most asian ingredients like galangal, whatever animal blood, the various million varieties of curry pastes, fermented random stuff etc. yeah i enjoy me some asian foods but my pantry is well stocked with western ingredients. i stand in Hmart's condiment aisle and i have mini anxiety attacks. don't judge me.

and so i have made a goal this year to try my hand at a few asian techniques and ingredients. you guys get to watch me make an ass of myself. aren't you lucky?

first up, tamarind paste. i'm familiar with the taste but i never ever ever touched the stuff. until this weekend. refer to leela's method of preparing tamarind pulp.

this particular khmer soup has a spicy sour taste to it that is so pleasant. i have a huge pot of it on my stove & this is what i'll be tucking into for the week. nuria doesn't like leftovers. more for me.

Samlaw Machou Kroeung ~ Spicy Beef & Aubergine Soup
adapted from the complete vietnamese cookbook by Ghillie Basan
the cookbook does list measurements but i didn't really follow it, and as it turns out, i didn't follow the ingredient list very well either.

veggie oil
5 TBL kroeung, or in my case, Kaeng Kua Curry paste (it started with a K & well, i was overwhelmed!)
thai chillies
5 TBL tamarind extract
1-2 TBL fish sauce
2 TBL palm sugar
12 thai aubergines/eggplants, halved
1 bunch of watercress, trimmed & chopped
1 handful fresh curry leaves
salt/pepper to taste

Stock:
1 kg beef shank or brisket (i used brisket)
2 large onions, quartered
2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
3.5 oz fresh gingger root, sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
1 tsp peppercorns
2 TBL soy sauce
3-4 TBL fish sauce
3 Litres water

make stock with all the ingredients except for the soy and fish sauces. cover, bring to boil. reduce heat & simmer, covered, for about 2-3 hours. (this was done the night before)

take lid off and stir in remaining two ingredients, simmer, uncovered for an hour, until stock has reduced to about 2litres. skim off fat, strain stock & put aside. lift meat onto plate, tear into thin strips & put aside.

geat oil in a wok. stir in the paste along with the chillies. stir as it sizzles, until it begins to darken. add the tamarind extract, fish sauce, sugar and reserved stock. stir to mix well & bring to a boil.

reduce heat and add the reserved beef, aubergines and watercress. continue to cook for about 20 minutes, until the eggplants are tender.

meanwhile, in a frying pan, dry fry the curry leaves until they begin to crackle. set aside.

season soup to taste (i found i didn't need to). stir in half the curry leaves and ladle the soup into individual bowls. garnish the remaining leaves on top & serve.

17 comments:

  1. Lan, I'll take Nuria's leftovers. Please and thank you.

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  2. Gorgeous photos! And don't worry, I freak out at H-Mart, too. Especially in the noodle aisle. I've never used tamarind before, but it's a main ingredient in sinigang, a sour Filipino stew that is perfect for soothing a sore throat. I think my mom uses a powder form of tamarind that you can buy in a pouch. I'll probably try it out this year, too, as one of my goals is to start cooking more Filipino foods and posting Filipino recipes on the blog. Go Asians! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. That looks killer! Beef + eggplant in a beefy, spiced broth... yes, please. It's somewhat similar to the broth we make for brisket pho.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous photos as usual! Looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yum, gonna have to try this one. I totally agree w you on asian foods. Only because of the blog am I now exploring asian cooking (and mostly stuff my family members have taught me). And that goes with most asian people I know-- I'm a hot mess at 99 ranch.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the photos! Great composition!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Simply stunning photography, the dishes are exquisite. This recipe is full of savoury flavours, well done!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I felt the same thing about baking. A year ago, I could barely make a brownie, now I make all the bread we eat.

    Keep trying new things and by the end of the year, you will be a pro.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The plating on this is fantastic. You can find fresh curry leaves, but not fresh kaffir lime leaves?

    I love grocery shopping. I love wandering every single aisle and trying out new products to see which I prefer.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @wendi, haha. i love leftovers but it does make my eye roll when she turns her nose up at having to eat something repeatedly.

    @jacqui, thank you for the tip, i will have to look for the tamarind powder. i bet it's in the condiment aisle tho...

    @squirrelbread, it's exactly the perfect thing to dig into during this cold winter! and brisket pho? yum!

    @Jen, Quay Po & medifast coupon, thanks!

    @karen, pls do let me know if you try this recipe & how it turns out for you. i'm really excited about trying new asian recipes and ingredients, it's like Lanifest Destiny in the Kitchen! or something like that...

    @dp, that's the goal! :) it's exciting to try new things.

    @chi wc, thank you! and yes, i am having the hardest time finding kaffir lime leaves. it's frustrating. and i also love grocery shopping, when the store isn't packed...

    ReplyDelete
  11. @wendi, haha. i love leftovers but it does make my eye roll when she turns her nose up at having to eat something repeatedly.

    @jacqui, thank you for the tip, i will have to look for the tamarind powder. i bet it's in the condiment aisle tho...

    @squirrelbread, it's exactly the perfect thing to dig into during this cold winter! and brisket pho? yum!

    @Jen, Quay Po & medifast coupon, thanks!

    @karen, pls do let me know if you try this recipe & how it turns out for you. i'm really excited about trying new asian recipes and ingredients, it's like Lanifest Destiny in the Kitchen! or something like that...

    @dp, that's the goal! :) it's exciting to try new things.

    @chi wc, thank you! and yes, i am having the hardest time finding kaffir lime leaves. it's frustrating. and i also love grocery shopping, when the store isn't packed...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Simply stunning photography, the dishes are exquisite. This recipe is full of savoury flavours, well done!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the photos! Great composition!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yum, gonna have to try this one. I totally agree w you on asian foods. Only because of the blog am I now exploring asian cooking (and mostly stuff my family members have taught me). And that goes with most asian people I know-- I'm a hot mess at 99 ranch.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That looks killer! Beef + eggplant in a beefy, spiced broth... yes, please. It's somewhat similar to the broth we make for brisket pho.

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

    ReplyDelete
  16. Gorgeous photos! And don't worry, I freak out at H-Mart, too. Especially in the noodle aisle. I've never used tamarind before, but it's a main ingredient in sinigang, a sour Filipino stew that is perfect for soothing a sore throat. I think my mom uses a powder form of tamarind that you can buy in a pouch. I'll probably try it out this year, too, as one of my goals is to start cooking more Filipino foods and posting Filipino recipes on the blog. Go Asians! :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Lan, I'll take Nuria's leftovers. Please and thank you.

    ReplyDelete