Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hankering for Thai food in a Thai-less city

A beautiful spot on Calle Larga, across from the Kookaburra Cafe

As I've mentioned, I have not been able to locate a Thai restaurant in Cuenca. Aiieeeuuuh!Is there one in
Quito?  Yes but it is a LONG way off. Is there one in Guayaquil?  I'm not sure about that but very possibly - still its a 4 hour bus ride.

It is hard to locate any Asian sauces and food needs in Cuenca to make our own version of Thai and Chinese dishes we love.  There are rice noodles, even at SuperMaxi, but no plum sauce, sweet chili sauce, tamari, and so forth.  I'm going to try making my own sweet chili sauce, Ecuadoriana style using the chilies I can find here.

Yesterday, I made a meal of sea bass turned into Thai fish balls.  Usually an appetizer, this was a delicious meal with stir fried vegetables.  Only bad thing is it is fried in oil.  Do any readers out there think this dish could be baked instead of fried?  It is like the coconut shrimp I made a few weeks ago.  Delicious but also deep fried - our Oregon heart doc is crying!
                                                        My main man Lenny
Len and I are kind of wimps when it comes to chili peppers and hot sauces. I like a little but not too much spice. Lenny usually has no hot sauce. But for this dinner, we made the dish as the recipe stated, only using about 1/3 the amount of fresh ahi chili.  The sauce was absolutely wonderful and not too hot for us wimpy former Oregonians.

The fish balls were not hard to make.  Here is the recipe, SO easily adapted for gluten free needs.
  • 600 g white fish fillets, roughly chopped(I used a delicate sea bass)
  • 2 red chilies, finely minced - This is where I cut it to about 1/3 of what is called for.
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger 
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander/cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped 
  • the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime rind
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • plain flour, for rolling - Use rice flour if gluten free is needed.
  • oil, for shallow frying
  • lime wedge, to serve 
    1. To make Chili and Lime Mayonnaise: ~ Combine the mayonnaise, cilantro, chili sauce, rind and juice until smooth and chill for serving later. I add an extra lime for the juice. Chill until time to serve.
    2. Put the fish, chilies, garlic, peanuts, grated ginger, cilantro and fish sauce in a food processor and process until smooth. Place into a bowl and stir in the chopped red onion then cover and chill for about 10 minutes.
    3. When chilled well shape the fish mixture, (this is MUCH easier using wet hands), into 30 × 2 cm balls and roll lightly in flour.
    4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
    5. Cook the balls, in 2 batches, for 5-7 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
    6. Serve with the Chili and Lime Mayonnaise.
                                      Tending my little bitty garden.
      Tomorrow, we are having lentil soup  - a rebound from the delicious fried fish.
      Have a great rest of the week end!


1 comment:

  1. Those sound really yummy! you've been doing some seriously yummy cooking over there!
    and the photo of you with your little garden made me happy :o)