03 July 2013

Burma: Rivers of Flavor

I think I have nearly exhausted the possibilities of this book; there are just a few more recipes I want to try, at least for dinner.

I have liked nearly everything very much.  There are only a few I haven't made again, and the starred ones are my very favorites

 I love this book.

Fried shallots 24
Red chile oil 25
Dried shrimp powder 30
Toasted chickpea flour 32
Chopped roasted peanuts 35
Chile-garlic sauce 36
Fermented soybean paste 39
Soybean disks 40
Spinach and tomato salad 44
Succulent grapefruit salad 45
Tender greens salad with shallots 49
*Long bean salad with peanuts 50
Roasted eggplant salad 56
*Carrot salad 62
*Green mango salad 63
*Fish cake salad with cabbage 70
Chicken salad rof 72
Silky Shan soup 94
Chickpea soup with lemongrass and ginger 97
Okra shallot stir-fry 102
Tamarind pumpkin curry 103
Broccoli rabe with a hint of pork 108
Simmered cabbage, Shan style 116
Eggplant delight 120
Easy coriander tomato omelet 121
Golden egg curry 122
Paneer in tomato sauce 124
Pale yellow Shan tofu 126
*Deep-fried Shan tofu 128
Fish cakes and fish balls 133
Fluffy lemongrass fish 138
Kachin carp curry 142
Fish stew with aromatics 145
*Chile-oil fish 152
Chicken in tart garlic sauce 162
Tamarind sauce 205
Standout tomato chutney 206
*Everyday cabbage-shallot refresher 220
Inle Lake rice with garlic oil 233
Peanut and rice porridge 234
Perfumed coconut rice 237
*Egg noodles with pork in coconut sauce 248
Coconut sauce noodles 251
*West coast mohinga 256
Rangoon mohinga 260
Shan village khaut swe 266
Mandalay noodles with chicken curry 270
Deep forest monklets' sticky rice cake 279

Quick Coconut Sticky Rice

This post is not for you if you don't like major shortcuts or think microwaves and plastic wrap are going to kill us all.

This is the post for you if you like sweet coconut rice with mangoes and don't know how to make it yourself, or if you want it now, but didn't get your rice soaking yesterday. This makes a nice amount for our family of five which is good because usually if you're steaming the rice, you want to make a lot to make up for the hassle, then you have lots and lots of food.

About a cup or so of sticky rice
About a cup of coconut milk
About 1/3 cup of brown sugar
A pinch or two of salt

Rinse your rice and put it in a microwaveable container that holds at least four cups.  I use a Pyrex quart measuring cup. Cover the rice by about 3/4 inch of water (or a little less- you can add more later if you need to, but you can't take it away).  Let it sit there for at least 10 minutes, or much longer if you want.  But no more than 12 hours.

Then cover the container tightly with plastic wrap and stick it in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Pull it out and stir.  Depending on how much rice you have, your container, and the microwave, you'll keep putting it in the microwave for a couple of minutes till it's done.  That only took me five  minutes total last night, but I've had it take 10 in some microwaves.  Just taste it to see if it's the texture you like.

While the rice is cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small pot and just bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. I use a loosely packed 1/3 cup sugar for this to make a not-too-sweet version; add more if you like, or more salt.

When the rice is done, pour the coconut milk over it and stir.  Serve with mangoes or nectarines, or just eat it plain.

02 July 2013

Snowden

Forgot to put this in the last post.

So, Edward Snowden.  His actions are hopefully going to get an important conversation started about how far we want the US government to go to keep us safe.  That conversation is really overdue.

But.  Too many of the people who are useful in having that conversation aren't supposed to talk about it, or at least have big holes in what they're able to say. That's hardly helpful.  And, as we can see, talking about it gets you in lots of trouble. I'm not sold that Snowden's actions are going to change anything.

I'm not a big of fan what Snowden has been up to recently though. Asking for asylum from Russia?  When you're concerned about your government spying on its citizens?  I suppose Russia is different at least, because everyone there knows the government is spying on you.  And what about the fair trial he's worried about in the US?  Russia doesn't have a stellar record there either.

Of course, at this point I'd be willing to do almost anything to get out of that airport.  I don't like that airport.

I'm also not comfortable with the idea that he took the job at the NSA to collect evidence, especially since he took all the evidence to journalists and only to journalists, apparently.  How are they going to fix anything?  They can talk all they want, but that's unlikely to change policy.

And going to China and Russia with laptops full of confidential data?  When everyone knows you have them?  Maybe it's only the stuff he's been telling journalists, but whatever it is, it isn't a secret anymore.

01 July 2013

Odds and Ends

There are typos in this post, but it's way more hassle than it's worth to fix them on the iPad.

If you're famous and flying off for many, many hours to a country you've never heard of, like Turkmenistan, maybe you should google it first.  Then you'd know that people wouldn't think it was a great idea to sing happy birthday to the president.  Honestly, even if you don't know, someone who works for you ought to be at least slightly interested in learning something about the place you're going.  Even the most basic google search is going to pull up plenty of red flags about Turkmenistan.

Banh mi.  100 yards from my house. But it still tastes good if I make it at home.

I know it's hot in the western US, and I'm sorry if you're there, and I know a lot of people here who are tired of the rain, but I've been so glad that it hasn't been horribly hot here yet.  It's so nice to get to July and not be totally sick of summer.  Go rain!

It turns out that minivans are totally doable in Guadalajara.  It seemed like they should be.

Goodbye Google Reader.  We've been friends for a long time, but it seems like Feedly is a great replacement since I don't need anything special. Just don't get rid of Blogger.

And for all the people who think it isn't possible, clothes will dry just fine when the humidity outside is 90%.  They also dry in the rain un Seattle.  What I've never been able to figure out are the people who insist that a dryer is necessary in certain climates. What do they think people did before dryers?

I wish there were something amazing to do for the Fourth of July in DC that didn't involves thousands of other people thinking it was great too.