Christmas in Southeast Asia

Jessie made: Thai Iced Tea

Serves 1/2 to 1 gallon


6 star anise pods, ground

1 teaspoon orange blossom water

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Pinch ground cloves

Pinch ground cinnamon

1/2 cup loose Chinese black tea leaves

1 cup white sugar

4 drops red food coloring

Sweetened condensed milk


1. Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil. Add the crushed star anise pods, orange blossom water, vanilla, ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and tea leaves.

2. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup sugar and red food coloring. Cover and steep until tepid.

3. Strain the tea into a pitcher. Add enough additional cold water to make 3/4 to 1 gallon, if desired. In each glass, pour tea over lots of ice and add a generous amount of sweetened condensed milk. Stir vigorously.

Adapted from

Thai Sticky Rice with Mango

Serves 10


1 1/2 cups Thai sweet rice

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon tapioca starch

2 mangoes, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


1. Soak the rice overnight.

2. Combine the rice and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. While the rice cooks, mix together 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil; remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture; cover. Allow to cool for 1 hour.

4. Make a sauce by mixing together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon tapioca starch (I have reduced this amount from 1 tablespoon, which turned my sauce into silly putty) in a saucepan; bring to a boil.

5. Place the sticky rice on individual serving dishes. Arrange the mango slices on top. Pour the sauce over top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Adapted from

Kate made: Baked Crab Rangoon

This is a combination of the many recipes found online. For best results, as usual, mix ingredients a day ahead to allow flavors to mingle.

1 package of imitation crab
2 packages of cream cheese
2 green onions
Worcestershire sauce
soy sauce
salt and pepper

wonton wrappers
grated Parmesan cheese
green onion

Place wonton wrappers in a muffin tray and add a spoonful of filling, sprinkle with grated Parm and bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Once shells and filling are golden brown, remove from oven and sprinkle remaining green onion. Serve with Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce.

Kelli made: Korean BBQ tacos with seitan

  • 2 packages seitan, cut into smaller strips
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons garlic/chili sauce

Mix last 5 ingredients together and marinate seitan for at least an hour.  Pan fry the seitan with the marinade until it has browned just a little.

serve with:
small flour tortillas
green onion

Dave Made: Dave’s Transformative Thai Curry

2 cloves garlic, crushed with knife
1 2 inch piece of galangal, skin scraped off with a spoon, chopped
1 stalk of lemongrass, outer layers and woody top and root removed, chopped
1T fish sauce
2 t sugar (adjust to taste)
2 kefir lime leaves, removed from central stem
1 can maesri curry paste
2 T peanut oil
1 can high fat coconut milk
1 onion, diced
(you can add other vegetables, meat, tofu, etc. if you’re using
potatoes, i would recommend pre-boiling.)
1 lime
birds eye chilies, sliced into thin cross-sections to taste
fresh cilantro and thai basil leaves to taste (in my opinion, the more
the merrier)

1. in a food processor (or mortar) grind garlic, galangal, lemongrass
into fine paste.
2. heat oil in wok or large skillet until very hot. add onions and
stirfry until they start getting translucent. then, add
garlic-galangal-lemongrass paste and can of curry paste, stirring
vigorously (this will most likely make some smoke, but it’s worth it).
reduce heat slightly and add other meats and veggies as you would a
3. add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves. bring to a
boil, and reduce to a simmer.
4. just before serving throw in basil and cilantro leaves, give a good
stir. squeeze lime juice over top. adjust seasoning (salt, sugar and
5. enjoy with rice.

note: to make this a bit more traditional, you can add the top layer
of coconut cream to the hot hot pan as you fry the pastes. stir until
the coconut oil begins to separate from the milk.

Zach made: Chai Eggnog

15 whole cloves
4 quarter-sized pieces of fresh ginger (1/2″ thick)
2 cinnamon sticks, broken up
1/2 vanilla bean, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 cup water
4 Darjeeling tea bags
4 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
Brandy, rum or whiskey, optional
Freshly grated or ground nutmeg

With a mortar and pestle crush fresh ginger, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean, cardamom seeds, whole coriander seeds, whole black peppercorns and whole fennel seeds until coarsely ground.  If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, put the ginger and spices in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a meat mallet.

In a small saucepan bring spice mixture and water to a simmer.  Remove from heat and add Darjeeling tea bags and steep for five minutes.

Whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt together in a saucepan while the tea is steeping.  Gradually heavy cream and whole milk, whisking until smooth.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is as thick as heavy cream.  If you boil this the eggnog will curdle and you will have scrambled eggs in your nog.  Off heat, strain the tea into eggnog.

Serve in your favorite cup warm or chill until cold.  Sprinkle ground or fresh nutmeg on top for garnish.

For those wanting to add liquor, a shot of brandy, rum or whiskey per glass will usually be sufficient.  If you are serving this warm, add liquor after straining the tea.  If you are serving it cold, chill the eggnog and stir in the liquor just before serving.

Amber made: Larb

THE SAUCE (whisk the following together in a bowl and set aside)

  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 generous tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste)

THE BODY (instructions follow)

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1.5 pounds lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 bunch of green onions, thinly sliced (about 1.5 cups)
  • 4 shallots, peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-rings
  • 3 tablespoons very finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons fresh serrano chilis, sliced into paper-thin rings
  • 1/2 cup each of roughly chopped fresh cilantro and mint
  • 3 tablespoons of toasted white rice, roughly ground

In a heavy skillet or wok, bring broth to a simmer, then crumble ground turkey into the pan. When the turkey is cooked and well crumbled, add toasted rice, green onions, shallots, lemongrass, and serrano chilis. Cook until veggies are just tender, then remove from heat and let rest about 10 minutes, then add sauce, cilantro and mint. Taste when herbs have wilted, and adjust chili sauce to your preference.

Larb can be eaten with a spoon right out of the pan, served on a bed of fresh greens, or wrapped in lettuce leaves, but my favorite way to have it is wrapped in green cabbage and radicchio leaves. Vegetarians should substitute tofu for the turkey, and a good vegetable stock for the chicken stock, and I think it will be just as nice.


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