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Bite of Shanghai

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce (served chez Thiebes 12 jun 2010)

Cooking Light strikes gold again! I like to serve this over spinach and soba noodles: saute a few large handfuls of fresh baby spinach in olive oil, add cooked soba noodles (and some Parmesan cheese, if desired), and toss to coat. Alternatively, the shrimp is very good over rice, of course.

1 & 1/2 lb peeled, deveined shrimp

1 tblsp cornstarch

1/2 c. fresh orange juice

4 tblsp soy sauce

4 tblsp honey

2 tblsp rice wine vinegar

2 tblsp chile paste with garlic

2 tblsp canola oil

1 tblsp minced peeled fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 c. chopped green onions

Place shrimp in medium bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch, toss well to coat, and set aside.

Combine OJ, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and chile paste; whisk together and set aside.

Heat canola oil over med-high heat. Add ginger and garlic, stir-frying until just fragrant. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done.


Thai Style Chicken Stir Fry (served chez Thiebes 20 may 2010)

Another phenomenal recipe adapted from Cooking Light. You can use any veggie you like–we’ve tried cabbage, eggplant, summer squash in various combos.

3 tblsp fish sauce

2 tblsp soy sauce

2 tblsp fresh ginger, minced

3 tblsp lime juice plus 1 1/2 tblsp

1 lb chicken breast, cut into strips

1 tblsp canola oil

2 c. sliced zucchini

1 c. sliced onion

1 c. sliced red bell pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalepeno peppers, minced

1/4 c. sliced basil

1/4 c. minced coriander (cilantro)

1/4 c. green onions

Combine first 4 ingredients (with 3 tblsp lime juice) in plastic bag; add chicken and marinate 25 minutes.

Stir-fry chicken, reserving marinade, in canola oil over medium high heat; add zucchini through jalepenos, cook five minutes.

Add marinade, cook 1 minute.

Remove from heat; add remaining lime juice, basil, coriander and green onions. Serve over rice or rice noodles.


FYI: Everything below this line is from the previously entitled page Bite of Hong Kong–but I just thought I’d leave the recipes here. Happy cooking.


Cumin Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw (served chez Thiebes 12 july 09)

An easy, tasty dinner.  We added black beans and thought it was fab!

2 cups cabbage, chopped

1 tblsp lime juice

¼ tsp salt

3 tblsp coriander leaves, chopped

1 lb white fish (we used catfish)

1 cup onion, diced

2 tblsp butter

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

¼ tsp oregano

1/8 tsp EACH garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne

1 tsp lime zest

In large bowl, combine cabbage, lime juice, ¼ tsp salt and coriander.  Toss to combine.

In large frying pan, cook onion in butter until tender.  Add salt, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne and stir through.  Add fish and cook until done, about 3 minutes per side.  Flake fish into chunks and stir in lime zest.

Serve in warmed tortillas with salsa and sour cream.


Fresh Asparagus Soup (served chez Thiebes 22 may 09)

Tastes much richer and creamier than it should based on the ingredients! A lovely use for a lovely vegetable.

1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 in. pieces

½ c. chopped onion

½ c. chopped celery

½ c. Yukon gold potato, peeled and chopped

1 can chicken broth

2 tblsp. butter

2 tblsp. flour

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground pepper

1 c. whole or 2% milk

¼ c. sour cream or plain yogurt

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

fresh grated nutmeg (optional)

In large saucepan, cook onion and celery in butter over medium heat under tender.  Add flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute.   Whisk in chicken broth, bring to a boil, add asparagus, potato, salt and pepper, and simmer until tender.

Puree soup in blender until smooth.  Return to saucepan, add milk, and heat until warm.

In small bowl, add a small amount of warm soup to the sour cream and whisk until smooth.  Stir into soup, heat until warm, and serve topped with fresh nutmeg, if desired.


Morning Glory Muffins (served chez Thiebes 1 apr 09 )

Really yummy recipe.  Freezes well.  Next time I’m going to try using half whole-wheat flour or subbing some oats for the all-purpose flour.

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cups white sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups grated/blended carrots

1 1/2 cups grated/blended apple

1/2 cup raisins and/or craisins

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup veg oil (or ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup applesauce)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly oil 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a second bowl, combine carrots, apples, raisins and pecans. Stir in eggs, oil and vanilla. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients; stir until smooth.

Spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


Chiang Mai Noodles and Pomelo Salad ( served chez Thiebes 8 dec 08 )

Two amazing recipes for the price of one!  The noodles are a dish from Northern Thailand, introduced to us by our friends Kate and Malcolm, who used to live in Bangkok (that was after the Philippines but before Turkey or Hong Kong).  It’s very rich and very divine.

The noodle dish pairs nicely with the pomelo salad, but I can come up with lots of other excuses to serve this fresh, delicious combination of grapefruit-like fruit and Thai-inspired dressing.  In fact, it would be awesome with ruby red grapefruit, which just happens to be in season…

It might seem like a pain to deep fry the noodles, but check out the handy tip for saving the frying oil for future use.  Besides, the frying is the only labor-intensive part of the recipe, and having the crispy topping takes the dish to a whole other level.

Chiang Mai Noodles (4 servings)

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

16 oz thin egg noodles (you could also use vermicelli or thin rice sticks)

1 large brown onion, thinly sliced

2 green onions, sliced

¼ cup cilantro (coriander)

¼ cup Thai red curry paste

2 cloves garlic

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

2 cups water

1 can (400 ml/14 oz) coconut milk

1 lb. chicken breast, thinly sliced

¼ cup fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey or grated palm sugar

2 teaspoons lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander)

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Heat oil in wok; deep fry about ¼ of the noodles, in small batches, until crisp.  Drain on absorbent paper.

Using same oil, deep fry brown onion until lightly browned and crispy.  Drain on absorbent paper.  Combine fried noodles, fried onion, green onion and cilantro in small bowl; set aside.  Strain cooled frying oil and keep in sealed glass container in the refrigerator for later use.

Cook curry paste, garlic and turmeric in wok; add water and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add chicken and cook 5 minutes until cooked through.

Add sauces, sugar or honey, and lime juice, stirring until dissolved; add chopped cilantro.

Divide cooked noodles between serving bowls; spoon chicken mixture over noodles, and top with fried noodle mixture.  Garnish with red chili slices, chopped shallots, and pickles if desired.

Pomelo Salad

1 large pomelo or sweet grapefruit, peeled, with pith and membranes removed

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

Juice from one lime

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1 garlic clove, minced

1 red chili, minced

¼ cup cilantro (coriander), chopped

¼ cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

2 green onion, sliced

1 shallot, chopped and fried (optional)

Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, honey, garlic and red chili.

Pour dressing over pomelo and red onion; toss gently.  Top with cilantro, peanuts, green onion and shallots.


Rice and Beans Mojo-Style (served chez Thiebes 27 oct 08 )

Based on a Becky Thiebes street vendor favorite.  I decided to make my own version, and holy cow was it worth it!  Amazingly flavorful, healthy, and filling.  The tangy mojo cubano is divine—this sauce will become a staple in our fridge for use in wraps, marinades, and the following recipe.  Don’t be intimidated by the number of separate preparations, as it all comes together while the rice is cooking.

Brown Rice

Mix 2 cups brown rice with 4 cups water and a dash of salt and bring to a boil.  Stir, cover, and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until tender.

Mojo Cubano (garlic sauce)

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp salt

½ onion, sliced

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon (or lime) juice

2 tblsp. orange juice

½ tsp. cumin (optional)

Combine garlic and salt in small bowl and mash together to form a paste.

Add garlic paste to other ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Simmer sauce for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, taking care not to burn.

Tasty Black Beans

2 cans black beans

1 onion, chopped

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

½ cup cilantro, chopped

½ lime, juiced

Drain most of the liquid from the beans and combine with the onion and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan.

Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add lime juice and cilantro, stir, remove from heat.


Grated cheddar cheese

Fresh salsa (we used the homemade one from this very page!)

Sour cream (optional)


In a large bowl, layer 1 cup rice, 2-3 tblsp. mojo cubano, ½ cup black beans, a generous sprinkling of cheese, heaps of salsa and a dollop of sour cream if desired.


Smoked Turkey, Potato and Green Bean Salad (served chez Thiebes regularly)

A great Cooking Light recipe with a few modifications—so it’s not quite as light, but still pretty healthy and definitely delicious.

1 pound small red potatoes, quartered

½ pound green beans, sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces

½ pound julienne-sliced smoked turkey or chicken*

1 cup sliced red bell pepper

½ cup sliced celery

½ cup diced red onion

1 can small whole mushrooms–or homemade marinated mushrooms, if you have time!


¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 tblsp olive oil

1 tblsp lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 garlic clove, finely minced

*Hint: you can ask your deli person to slice the meat ¼ to ½ an inch thick, and then just cut it into thin strips when you’re home.

Combine all dressing ingredients (sometimes I use about ½ cup premade dressing) in a bowl and add canned mushrooms, drained.  Allow to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until almost done; add green beans and cook a couple minutes, until tender but still crisp.  Drain and set aside to cool slightly.

Combine turkey, bell pepper, celery and onion in large bowl; add mushrooms and dressing; toss to coat.

Add potatoes and green beans to rest of ingredients.  Toss and serve.


Salsa (served chez Thiebes regularly)

Created out of necessity, since they don’t sell fresh salsa in our supermarkets.  So easy but so good!  Of course you can use any type of tomato.  The cherry ones here are just the most reliable.

1 package cherry tomatoes, seeded and chopped

¼ red onion, finely minced

¼ yellow pepper, finely minced

1 clove garlic, finely minced

¼ c. cilantro

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ lime, juiced

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients.

Chill for several hours.


Homemade Falafel with Tzatziki Sauce (served chez Thiebes 21 aug 08)

Here’s a yummy vegetarian dinner that should satisfy even the most ardent meat-eaters!  Serve in warmed pita bread with diced tomato and shredded lettuce.  Oh, and some feta never hurts, either.


1 can chickpeas, drained
½ large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro [I used all cilantro, no parsley]
1 teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour [and/or fresh breadcrumbs]
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying

1. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

2. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball. (I actually ended up adding some fresh breadcrumbs, although I fear it’s not a very ‘authentic’ ingredient.) Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

3. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts and flatten slightly.

4. Heat 1 inch of oil over med-high heat in a deep pot and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

5. Healthy cooking option: brown the balls in a frying pan with a little olive oil, then bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping once.


1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (or 1 cup regular plain yogurt, drained over cheesecloth or coffee filters for 3-4 hours)

1 clove crushed garlic

1 tblsp lemon juice

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 tblsp fresh mint, chopped

½ large cucumber, peeled and chopped

1. Blend garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, mint and cucumber in food processor until mixture is combined but still has some texture.  Stir into yogurt and chill at least 2 hours.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy Thiebes permalink
    August 28, 2008 5:19 am

    Hi Laura,
    I am enjoying all the news and photos. Great job on reporting – love your style of writing.
    See you soon!

  2. Natalie permalink
    September 2, 2008 10:50 pm

    Ahh…the elusive fish sauce at Taste Supermarket strikes again! When it is in stock (they only stock one variety and supply is sporadic at best) you will find it in the Thai condiment section which is next to the Chinese condiment section (but not next to the oyster sauce) 🙂


  1. Sans Serif « The Expat Life

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