Monkey secret recipes
I do enjoy good food and I especially enjoy cooking for Auntie L.
- 7-8 ounces wheat or egg noodles, fresh or dried “instant” type (SERVES 2)
- 3-4 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
- 1/4 cup raw or dry roasted unsalted peanuts, ground or roughly chopped with a knife
- 8-12 medium or large tiger prawns, OR 1 cup medium-firm tofu, cubed and tossed with 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 egg (omit if vegan)
- 2-3 Tbsp. white wine (or white cooking wine or sherry) OR substitute chicken or vegetable broth
For the paste:
- 1 red or green chili (de-seeded if you prefer less spice)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-size peeled piece of galangal (or ginger), grated
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce – Vegetarians substitute 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 to 1 loosely-packed cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped into small pieces
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- 1 loosely-packed cup fresh corriander, roughly chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
- Boil the noodles until cooked or nearly cooked (they will be fried later), then rinse briefly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.
- If you have a food processor or mini chopper: add the paste ingredients and process well. OR, simply mince the paste ingredients well and stir together in a cup. Set aside.
- Wash, rinse, and chop/slice fresh herbs. Set aside.
- Heat up wok or large frying pan for 1 minute (medium-high heat). Add oil and swirl around.
- If Not Adding Prawns or Tofu, Skip to step 7. Add 1/2 the paste plus the prawns or tofu. Also add 2 Tbsp. white wine or cooking wine (or broth).
- Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until shrimp are pink and plump, or tofu is warmed through and fragrant. (If wok or pan becomes dry, add another Tbsp. or two of wine or broth.) Now clear a space in the center of the wok or pan.
- Break egg into wok or pan and quickly stir with a spatula until egg is cooked (like scrambled eggs).
- Push eggs and other ingredients aside and add 1 more Tbsp. oil to the bottom of the wok or pan. Now add the noodles plus all the [remaining] paste and stir fry one minute, or until noodles are cooked.
- Do a taste test. If not salty enough, add more fish sauce or vegetarian substitute (I usually add at least 1 more Tbsp., but it may already be salty enough for you). If not spicy enough, add more fresh chili, or a little chili sauce and toss well to incorporate.
- Remove wok from heat. Toss with fresh herbs and bean sprouts (if using).
- Sprinkle noodles with ground or chopped peanuts. If desired, place wedges of fresh lime on the side (optional).
- For those who like their noodles extra spicy, accompany this dish with a bottle of Thai chili sauce. ENJOY!
mmmm…. I do enjoy cooking! We monkies don’t just eat peanuts you know!
Here I am dining in a lovely Napali restaurant in Kathmandu…. I love Nepali food…. it is so much more tasty than plain peanuts that Uncle P. always keep buying me from Tesco.Try my recipe for Momos and this dish is a native to the Himalayas regions of Nepal.
Serving Size: 2-3
Preparation Time: about 1 hour for assembly and 15 minutes for steamingIngredients:
Dough for wrappers:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 lb. lean ground lamb or chicken
(Note that beef is not eaten in Nepal, the world’s only Hindu Kingdom)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon timur (Szechwan pepper)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh red chilies, minced
1 cup Nepali cheese (homemade paneer), roughly crushed (optional)
2 tablespoon clarified butter
Salt to taste
In a large bowl combine flour, oil, salt and water. Mix well, knead until the dough becomes homogeneous in texture, about 8-10 min. Cover and let stand for at least 30 min. Knead well again before making wrappers.
In a large bowl combine all filling ingredients. Mix well, adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow all ingredients to impart their unique flavors. This also improves the consistency of the filling.
Give the dough a final knead. Prepare 1-in. dough balls. Take a ball, roll between your palms to spherical shape. Dust working board with dry flour. On the board gently flatten the ball with your palm to about 2-in circle. Make a few semi-flattened circles, cover with a bowl. Use a rolling pin to roll out each flattened circle into a wrapper. For well excecuted MOMOs, it is essential that the middle portion of the wrapper be slightly thicker than the edges to ensure the structural integrity of dumplings during packing and steaming. Hold the edges of the semi-flattened dough with one hand and with the other hand begin rolling the edges of the dough out, swirling a bit at a time. Continue until the wrapper attains 3-in diameter circular shape. Repeat with the remaining semi-flattened dough circles. Cover with bowl to prevent from drying. For packing hold wrapper on one palm, put one tablespoon of filling mixture and with the other hand bring all edges together to the center, making the pleats. Pinch and twist the pleats to ensure the absolute closure of the stuffed dumpling. This holds the key to good tasting, juicy dumplings. Heat up a steamer, oil the steamer rack well. This is critical because it will prevent dumplings from sticking. Arrange uncooked MOMOs in the steamer. Close the lid, and allow steaming until the dumplings are cooked through, about 10-15 min. Take the dumplings off the steamer, and immediately serve. To serve, arrange the cooked MOMOs on a plate dressed with tomato achar mmmmmm…. lovely….