Shan (Tai) Cooking

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tofu Salad by Feraya Nangmone

Tofu Salad

1 block yellow tofu(4 x 4 x 3 in.)
12 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds
6 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoons or less chilli powder
1 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespnoos vinegar
11/2 tablespoons roasted gram flour
Salt to taste

1. Slice half the tofu into strips 3 x 1/2 x 1inch thick. Cut rest 2-in. squares, 1/2 inch thick.

2. Peel and chop garlic. Chop coriander finely. Pound roasted sesame seeds till powdered.

3.Heat oil hot; fry the squares of tofu till outsides are browned. Remove tofu from pan and drain. Pour away oil except for 11/2 tablesp. Fry chili powder in this and set aside.

4. Cut fried tofu squares into thin strips with scissors. Mix together the two tofus, sesame seeds, coriander, soy sauce, vinegar, chilli and oil, roasted gram flour and fried garlic. Mix well, and correct for salt.

Sayka Bitter Soup or Inle Eel Soup by Feraya Nangmone

Bitter Soup or Inle Eel Soup (Sayka)
1 small catfish or eel, and extra fish heads, if possible
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried pe-ton or navy beans
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon rice flour
Large handful fresh mint leaves
Tiniest pinch sayka

1. If catfish is used, grill it and flake the meat off. Cut eel in pieces. Boil eel and fish heads, if included, in 4 cups water with turmeric and salt.
2. Wash beans and boil in fish broth till tender.
3. Heat oil and fry sliced onion. Before it browns, put in rice flour mixed with 1 tablespoon water and fry, stirring well.
4. Combine with broth. If grilled fish is used, put in flaked meat now, add water and boil well.
5. Add mint leaves, correct for salt, and just before taking off the cooker to serve, add a tiny pinch of sayka. If the soup is left on the cooker, the sayka will make it too bitter. The soup should be just pleasantly bitter.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Khao Soy Tai or Shan Kao Soi by Sao Tern Moeng

The Recipe of Khao Soi Tai or Shan Khao Soi.

It is actually a noodle dish of the people of Tai Neu or theNorthern Tai near China border and also of the Tais in Sipsongpanna area,where they just call it 'Khao Soi'. They even add diced pork blood in this dish. One thing good about it is, you don't have to use 'hto nao', so youwon't have to worry about searching for hto nao. I will give you the recipe in this mail. It takes only two pages. The ingredients take up most of the space but it is really easy to make. The recipe is for about 10 servings.

Main Ingredients for Noodles:
2 packet rice noodles (flat, medium size)
4 cups ground pork or chicken (or 2 cups of each)
3 medium-size ripe tomatoes (finely cut or chopped)
1 medium-size onion (finely cut or chopped)
5 tablespoon cooking oil 1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoon thin soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon MSG (if desired) or sugar (if preferred)
1/2 cup water

Ingredients for Broth:
10 - 12 pieces pork bones or chicken bones
10 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon MSG (if desired) or sugar (if preferred)

Ingredients for Relish and Garnishing:
1 cup pickled mustard leaves (finely cut)(hpak kaat som)
1 cup cabbage (finely cut)
1/4 sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
3 blocks pickled tofu (to foo yaen)
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Chinese
5 spice (pakaw saakaaw)
1 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon hot chili powder
1 cup roasted peanuts (ground into small particles)
1/2 cup finely cut spring onion (hpak mi) or coriander (hpak gi)
1 packet friend pork rind (nang pong)

First make broth by boiling the bones in water with salt and MSG (if desired), as given in recipe for broth. Let boil for 1 hour at least (the longer it is boiled it is better because the sweet juice will be extracted more from the bones). When noodles are to be serve this broth should be boiling hot.

Put noodles in a large pot, pour cold water till it covers the noodles and soak for about 1 hour. Drain noodles and set aside.

Heat pot and put in oil. When oil is hot, put in onion and stir till well cooked. Add tomato, stir and let it cook till it becomes soft and pulpy. Put in ground meat, paprika, soy sauce, salt, MSG (if desired) and stir and mix well. Cover pot and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add water and stir. Cover pot and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until there is only oil and a little water is left in the meat sauce. Shut off stove.

1. In a bowl, mix pickled mustard leaves, cabbage, sugar and vinegar, as in making salad. Transfer the mixture on to a serving bowl.
2. Mash pickled tofu and mix and stir well in the water. Pour and keep in a container for serving. 3. Heat oil, and when hot pour half each into two small heat-proof serving containers. Put Chinese spice in one container and stir, and put hot chili powder in one container and stir.
4. Put chopped peanuts in a serving container.
5. Put soy sauce in a serving container.
6. Put chopped spring onion or corriander in a serving container.
Place these serving containers, may be each with small spoons to serve, in the middle of the dining table.

Put noodles in a bowl till about 2/3 full. With a big soup ladle pour boiling broth to cover the noodles and stir and swirl well with chopsticks or a fork till the noodles are fully hot and have a soft texture. Pour back the broth into the pot by draining well. (This is what is done in the Shan State. But if preferred, boil the noodles till cooked, but not overcooked, because rice noodles cook very fast and can get very soft and break or become too soggy. Drain and keep aside until ready to use.) Spoon about 2 tablespoon of meat sauce and put in the noodle bowl. Put in as much broth as desired, a lot if you want it more watery. Put in a little of each ingredient of the relish from #2 to #6 to the noodles and mix. Taste it, and add more of whatever you want to add. Enjoy the noodles and have a bit of pork rind (nang pong) with each mouthful of noodles!
End ofrecipe.

Dear Friends,
I hope you will find the recipe not too complicating. The recipe given with hto nao is 'khao sen tai' (as per Sai Pan Hseng's mail).For khao sen you have to use very small noodles.
If you find this recipe satisfactory, please let me know. I tried to give you with easy measures, so that you won't have to look for a weighing machine. It is more or less approximate, so you can adjust the amount as you want.
Hope I have been helpful. Good Appetite! Kin waan waan kha!
hyy; gu; kor. gu; gon: kiun; yyy, myy, sungsae gam: kaa;
Sao Tern Moeng
(Letter #789, Dec 2000, from Sai Wansai's Overseas Shan Group. Below is Letter #790)

Just a little postscript to the recipe that I had given yesterday.
> > The pickle mustard and cabbage salad is to be eaten as a side dish with the noodles, so as to have something sour. If real 'pak: gaat, som;' (mon njin chin) like in the Shan State is available, it is even better (this is available in a city outside San Fransisco, made by some Shan-Chinese ladies. I don't know if they deliver their wares.) Pickled mustards are a little too salty and not to sour. All the ingredients are available in the US in Asian stores. Pickled mustard leaves comes in packets (soaked in liquid), or you can get them loosely in buckets which are sold by the pounds. Pickled tofu comes in bottles - small or large. Rice noodles, Chinese spice, are also available in Asian stores, like Thai, Cambodain, and Vietnam. Don't go to Japanese or Korean. They don't have such things, and sometimes Chinese groceries carry these items. Pork rind(nang bong:) is also available in American and Spanish groceries or snack shops.
> > With best regards,> > Sao Tern Moeng> > >

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Khao Soy Dai Kengtung (East Dai) by Nang Kham Kaw

Khao soy Dai Kengtung (East Dai)

1. 1 cup To nao (powder)
2. Sliced or ground/minced any kind of meat.
3. 1 lb tomatoes
4. 1 cup chopped shallots/onions
5. chopped ginger & garlic
6. Yellow curry/red curry powder (pong mint/ pit pong)
7. Sliced Pak mee and Pak Khee (long-stemmed onion and cilantro)
8. Kept Mu ( fried pork skin)
9. Sliced lemon/juice
10. Ground roasted pepper for the one who love spices.
11. For the best result boil neck bone or chicken parts or chicken bone for soup(large pot for E-group)

Heat a large skillet (large enough for E-group) add oil, pong mint first(yellow powder). Then fry the chopped ginger, garlic and onion until brown. Add red powder (pit pong) stir fast add tomatoes right away. Keep stirring tomatoes until cooked. It is important to make sure tomatoes are well cooked or the whole pot will smell of raw tomatoes.

Add To Nao Pon and stir for 1 min. Add sliced /ground meat and stir again (if you need help let us know) until it boils. Leave at Med Heat for 15/30 min. until the meat is well-cooked, all the water is dry, and only oil remains.

Add into the soup(No.11). After 15 min. it is ready to serve. Place the noodles in a bowl, add hot soup. Serve with Pak mee, Pakkhee, lemon juice, Pit pong as you desire and dip with Kept Mu (fried pork skin) Amm............Delicious!

[Addendum: also sprinkle crushed roasted sesame seed on the noodles]

Monday, March 20, 2006

Merng Tai Market Day by Sao Noan Oo

Market Day in Merng Tai!

Bean Curds.....

Sticky Rice.....

Tea Bags...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Simplest Shan Soup by Nang Feraya

6 cups beef or pork stock

4 medium tomatoes

2 green chillies

4 cups tender sprigs mustard leaves (chayote OR pumpkin OR gourd)

1 soybean wafer OR 1 teaspn. canned bean paste

1 bunch garlic tops or spring onions

1 ½ teaspoons.oil

1. Bring stock to boil. Slice tomatoes and add with whole chillies and salt to stock. Boil till aroma and taste of chillies and tomatoes are obtained.

2. Prepare mustard leaves by snapping off tender parts in 1 to 2 inch pieces. Add to boiling stock.

3. Prepare soybean wafer by toasting it, then cooling it and pounding as soon as cool. When mustard leaves are tender, add soybean powder. Correct for salt.

Cut garlic greens in 1 ½ inch lengths. Heat oil and fry till greens are brown and oil is aromatic. Combine quickly with ladlefuls of hot soup, pouring back into soup pot and repeating till sizzling stops.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hto Nau, Khae Tai Ner, Hto Nao Out, or Hto Nao Mong by Nang Sri Pha

January 25, 2006 (from Overseas Shan Net)

How to make Hto- Nau, Khae Tai Ner or Hto Nau Out or Hto Nau Mong
-- a translation from Lashio Lao Hsai Ying's Tai Book

(A) How to make Hto-Nau, Khae Tai Ner or Hto Nao Out

1. Hto Nau seed (Sarn Hto Nao) 1 Pae>>
2. Chili powder 2 Khan>>
3. salt balance
4. Ajino-moto balance

First, rinse Hto Nau seed, and keep it in the water a half day or a night. Then boil it until good enough cook (Suk Lee Lee). (In our village we use firewood and burn the fire in good position , not low or not high).

Use Jarn Go Aik bag or Thoung Go Eik(Go Aik bag means in our village we put paddy or rice in it). Cover inside baskets and put the boiled Hto Nau in it and keep about 3 days and 3 nights. It will become Nao and good smell.

If you can not get the bag I mentioned, you can use leaves Dong Jing, Dong Daing (Mai Durng) or Dong Mai Lae Bong. Put it in the basket. Our language say Barn Sai Nai Baet, Barn Sai Nai Hsaung, Nai Goey. Keep 3 days 3 nights like above mentioned. But in cold countries, it can be kept for a week.

After 3 days and 3 nights, you can take it and put it into basin or good enough pot. Then put chili powder, Ajino-moto, salt together and mash it. And make round like an egg and steam it until very hot. After that you can put it into a Khouk and Dam until sticky ( Dam> Laeo Laeo). Keep until it cool. Make round and length about 6 inches like a banana. Wrap with Dongjing or perhaps banana leaves if you cannot get Dongjing. And tighten with rope (Dok) and hang some where for some time. And you can eat it whenever you are hungry or cook with our food. It will be so delicious with Khao Naeo.

(B) How to make Hto Nao Mong
1. Sarn Hto Nao 1 Pae>>
2. liquor 1 bottle>>
3. Ginger 1 Zid>>
4. chili powder 2 Khan>>
5. Fan Fag Gyi Maw(seed) 1/2 milk cup>>
6. Bar Gaw ( small dried fish) 5 Gaeb( may be100gram)>>
7. salt balance>>
8. Ajino-motor balance>>>

First rinse Hto Nau seed, keep it in the water a half day or a night. Then boil it until good enough cook (Suk Lee Lee). (In our village we use firewood and burn the fire in good position , not low or not high).

Use Jarn Go Aik bag or Thoung Go Eik(Go Aik bag means in our village we put paddy or rice in it). Cover inside baskets and put the boiled Hto Nau in it and keep it about 3 days and 3 nights. It will become Nao and good smell. If you can not get the bag I mentioned, you can use leaves Dong Jing, Dong Daing (Mai Durng) or Dong Mai Lae Bong.

Put it in the basket. Our language say Barn Sai Nai Baet, Barn Sai Nai Hsaung, Barn Sai Nai Goey. Keep 3 days 3 nights Like above mentioned. But in cold countries, it can be kept for a week.

1. peel the ginger, rinse it and slice it. Keep it in the sunlight or keep it where it can be dried.
2. fry Fan Fag Gyi Maw and make it to become powder.
3. Then put Hto Nao Mong into a basin or a pot with all items mentioned above together and mix them together. Then change or keep it a big glass bottle or big pot for about one month and half with cover it tightly, not to get wind in. Within two months, you can enjoy it with your family and friends.

Note: Translated from Lao Hsai Ying's Tai book.
If our friends can read Tai, there are many methods to make Delicious Tai Cuisines written by Lao Hsai Ying, Lashio.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Moon Sao Tai and Various People who attended

Sai Hseng in the blue sweater, Sai Seang Tai with Sai Hseng's son, U Mileinda, Moon Sao Tai

3 more recipes needed

Any recipes for these two items?

Looks like fried fish and dried beef (or venison)?

Would anyone like to identify and provide their recipe for this dish?

Those who attended the Celebration despite Storm

The Blizzard of 11-12 Feb 06 the NE region of USA

All the people who attended the Wann Tzeng Tai Celebrations
at the Lao Temple attended anyway, even though there was
a snow storm predicted to hit the entire Northeast region later that day.

This is my 1993 Geo Metro parked in front of my home

Newark, New Jersey.

Mai Soong Tzeng Tai,
Sai Moon Tai

A Prize for a recipe for this dish

There were so many dishes in the Hsoon Kat and so many
people attending that it was not possible to find most of the people who cooked
the dishes.
Does anyone know what this delicacy is, and can they provide the recipe?

Moon Sao U Mileinda at Lao Temple, CT

From L to R, Sai Hseng, Sai Seang Tai, and U Mileinda

Hsoon Kat for Moon Sao at CT Lao Temple

Wan Tzeng Tai
---was celebrated in CT (Connecticut) USA by Tai Americans in the New England area on 11 February 2006, the day of the Great Blizzard of 2006. About 60 brave Tais reached the temple despite the threat of the Storm and successfully participated in the Celebration which was very festive and crowded.
Above is the pre-noon Hsoon for Moon Sao at the Lao Lanxiang Temple in CT.

Deer Meat Curry by Sai Seang Tai

Deer Meat Curry by Sai Seang Tai
Photo # 45

(recipe pending)

Fruit Cream Dessert by Nang Kham

Fruit Cream Dessert by Nang Kham
Photo #

Buy a variety of fresh fruit or canned fruit, dice and mix them

Make some agar jelly and slice them with a serrated cutter.

In a blender, mix together condensed milk, sour cream, and cream cheese

Serve the fruit in a bowl and spread a ladle of the above milk and cream mix, and
spread some agar jelly strips over them.

Mak Lang Tam(Pounded Jack Fruit) by Nang Seang

Mak Lang Tam(Pounded Jack Fruit)
by Nang Seang, Photo #54

Buy a can of jack fruit and pound it.

Put some sliced onion, garlic, and chili pepper in a pan and fry until brown and set aside.

Next, put some fermented fish paste and fry it in oil, and then combine it with the jack fruit.

Add tomato and pork chops.

Cook over medium heat for a prolonged time.

Noo Loom (Meat Balls) by Nang Seang

Noo Loom (Meat Balls)
by Nang Seang, Photo#55

Blend together some ginger, chili powder, salt, tomatoes, garlic, and lemon grass.

Mix this well with ground pork and sprinkle some tumeric powder.

Form the mix into balls and simmer in an open pan with some oil and water.

Fried Chimbaung Leaves by Nang Nu Nu Win

Fried Chimbaung Leaves
by Nang Nu Nu Win, mother of Nang Yord Ying

Slice some onions, garlic, and ginger.

Sautee in oil until it smells really good.

Add some sliced bamboo shoots and green chili.

Put in some fermented bean paste and mix well.

Finally use plenty of oil with chimbaung leaves and
cook until the leaves start to wilt.

Keng Pit Kai (Hot Soup Chicken)

Keng Pit Kai (Hot Soup Chicken)
By a Lao Couple from Udorn, Photo # 24

Keng is soup, pit is hot, and kai is chicken. (noun is first followed by adjective, as in French)
Slice an eggplant and bamboo shoots. Cut the long green beans into short sections.
Dice some chicken.
Fry some chili pepper, adding coconut milk gradually.
Then put in the chicken, add a little water, and let it simmer.
When the meat is cooked, add the eggplant, beans, and bamboo.
Add salt or soy sauce to taste.

Shan Noodles with Ground Meat

Shan Noodles with Ground Meat
Photo# 59

Boil the noodles and set aside.

Get some ground pork or chicken and season with salt and spices and set aside.

Dice some tomatoes and onions and sautee together until "dry"

Put in the ground meat and cook together until nicely browned.

Place some hto nauk, fermented bean paste and combine with the meat
(You can substitute with Japanese ferment bean paste)

Mix the noodles with the meat and serve.

Catfish by Sai Hseng and Nang Yord Ying

Catfish by Sai Hseng and Nang Yord Ying
Photo #24

First, gut the fish to remove the entrails, then rub in salt and vinegar.

Put some garlic, ginger, green onion, salt, MSG together and
pound them to pulp, or use a blender.

The pulp is stuffed inside the fish which is then folded in half,
the head touching the tail, and tied together with string.

Place the fish inside a pot immersed in oil and cook over medium heat.


How and Why this Website was created.

Tai (Shan) people overseas need a way to get together and stay in touch with each other.
One of the many ways they can do this is by exchanging food recipes as a symbolic way of
sitting down together to eat at the same table although they are thousands of miles apart.
Some friends have remarked, "Why are you taking all this trouble? If you want recipes, why don't you just buy a cook book?" Well, I have some replies.

One, there is NO Shan Cooking book available. Not in English, anyway.

Two, I am not just interested in recipes but also reaching out to other Tais across the world.
This website is a wonderful way for individual people to share their own personal culinary creations and get to know each other better.

Three, the international public knows Thai Cooking very well, but they don't know Tai Cooking.
If they like Thai (Siam), they will surely like Tai (Shan) Cooking also. If they are interested in Prathep THai, then they might also take interest in Tai Issues, too. And you know we have many, many difficult issues which are best addressed in other Tai sites such as and many others. This website is just for cooking, but it is a springboard to bigger and better things. Food is what will make us grow strong and achieve our Goals.

Four, overseas Tai youth need Tai Culture to help bring them together. A dating service such as a website would probably be more popular, but that is not my specialty. My interest is in cooking and that is what I offer. Those who know how to host a site, more power to you, and go right ahead.

Five, there are different ways of forging unity, and food is one of them. People back in Tzeng Tai need our help and support; if this website helps unite Overseas Tai people together for this mission, then the ultimate goal of this website has been achieved.

Mai Soong Tzeng Tai,

Sai Moon Tai, USA, 4 March 2006

Welcome to Shan (Tai) Cooking!