Deep fried bananas are a popular dessert and snack food in Thailand and throughout Southeast-Asia. The dish is more often known as ‘Goreng Pisang’ in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and surrounding countries. It’s difficult to make fried bananas as good as those sold by street food vendors in Thailand and elsewhere. But if you follow this recipe, you’ll sure be amazed how easy you can make your own deep fried banana at home.
Serving 4-5 as a Dessert
- 2-4 regular bananas (old ones work well), OR 6-8 mini sweet bananas
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rice flour (available in the baking aisle)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. dry shredded unsweetened coconut (baking type)
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 1/3 tsp. baking soda
- 1 egg
- few drops vanilla flavoring
- 3/4 cup sunflower oil, canola, or other oil for frying
- 1/3 cup rice flour for coating
- Place oil into a small frying pan or wok and set ready to go on your stove. Oil should be 3/4 to 1 inch deep.
- To prepare bananas, peel and slice in half. Then slice each section in half again, but lengthwise this time. (If using mini bananas, simply slice once lengthwise.)
- Place all-purpose flour, rice flour (1/4 cup), cornstarch, salt, and 2 Tbsp. of the shredded coconut together in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Mix baking soda with water and pour into bowl with flour mixture. Also crack in the egg and add the vanilla. Stir well to create a more or less smooth batter.
- Place 1/3 cup rice flour in a dry, separate bowl and add 1 Tbsp. shredded coconut. Set next to the batter.
- Dip banana pieces first in the batter, then gently turn them in the rice flour-coconut mixture. This last step helps firm up the batter and is the secret for creating a crisp (rather than soggy) coating. Your bananas are now ready for frying.
- Heat up the oil over high heat. When a breadcrumb sizzles and cooks within a few seconds, oil is hot enough to fry. Carefully set coated bananas in the hot oil. Fry approximately 1 minute per side, or until batter puffs up slightly and turns light to medium golden-brown. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.
- Serve your fried bananas as soon as possible, adding coconut ice cream or vanilla on the side, or just eat them plain – they’re fantastic either way! If serving at a party, place them on a serving platter and sprinkle over a little icing sugar. Makes a terrific finger food, and people love them. Enjoy!
April is a special time for Thais. Not only is it the hottest month of the year, but it also holds a special celebrating occasion– Thai New Year also known as Songkran Festival. In some respects Songkran is similar to Christmas for the Thais – it’s the longest and most awaited public holiday in Thailand and is a time of celebration, getting together with family and friends and over-indulgence in food and alcohol. Though there are two major factors differentiating Songkran from Christmas: water and heat. Songkran is held at the hottest time of year in Thailand, which comes in handy with the ritualistic water sprinkling, pouring and drenching.
Songkran Festival celebrates the traditional Thai New Year, typically from April 13th to 15th, though some provinces celebrate the week before or after. It marks the beginning of the new solar year and the summer season in Thailand. The tradition was introduced to Thailand by ancient Brahmins from India who believed that the sun re-entered Aries and finished its orbit around the earth on April 13th. The event is closely related to the Vernal Equinox, a time when New Year was typically celebrated in the past. The Songkran festival is similar to the Holi festival in India, Cheng Meng ancestor ceremonies in Chinese communities and Easter in Christian countries. It is believed that April Fools Day came about to mock people who didn’t accept the switch of New Year from April to January in France in the 16th century. The Southeast Asian water festival is also celebrated in Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Yunnan, China.
Songkran appears like one huge water carnival with travellers lining the streets armed with water pistols and vats of iced water soaking one another in merriment whilst simultaneously drinking, eating and dancing. However, besides the evolution of a nationwide water fight, there is a more ceremonious history to Songkran and many traditional customs are still carried out throughout the region.
The water aspect of Songkran originates from the symbolic cleansing element of the liquid. The wet festivities are similar to a spring-cleaning day, both physically and spiritually. People traditionally sprinkle water on one another showing positive blessings and good wishes, as well as gently pouring scented water over the hands of elders as a gesture of reverence. Thais still perform these rituals at Songkran in their homes and at public events. They also pour water over statues of the Buddha three times. At this time of year Thais clear out old useless possessions lest they bring bad luck, and make new year resolutions.
During this period there are a number of parades and cultural shows to see in city centres as well as the giving of offerings to monks and temples. The parades are colorful and vibrant and show Thai festivities at their best with many Thai dancers and musicians in tow. Local temples decorate floats with beautiful flowers around a central Buddha statue which locals pour water over as they pass by for good fortune.
Chiang Mai is one of the wildest and most fun places to celebrate Songkran. The whole of the central moat area is packed with people ‘playing water’ or ‘len nam’ in Thai. The traffic comes to a near stand still as pick-ups loaded with people, barrels of water and various throwing, squirting and spraying paraphernalia cruise around soaking all those in sight. Even driving through the quieter village areas of Chiang Mai, you will see shops or homes with small parties set up, again with copious amounts of water on standby to douse their next victim.
And of course the capital, Bangkok, sees some of the country’s biggest and brashest Songkran festivities, with huge water fights taking place in the Silom and Khao San areas, as well as in expat enclaves along Sukhumvit Road.
If you want to be part of one of the biggest most outlandish festivals in the world, Songkran in Thailand is the place to do it. It is advised to book ahead as transport and accommodation are in high demand in this season. For those who prefer to stay dry it is possible to avoid the danger zones and slip away to quieter more remote locations, though complete waterlessness isn’t guaranteed and even a quick trip out to the supermarket can result in a soaking!
Now that Spring has sprung, here are a few simple health tips to help you feel better and be healthier!
Getting out into your backyard – whether it’s mowing the lawn, weeding the beds, planting vegetable starts, sowing seed, or whatever – is a great way to get some free and fun exercise. You can burn between 250 – 350 calories per hour – an hour a day can help you lose around a pound per week, if you want to lose weight. Plus, it’s relaxing and helps lower blood pressure and cortisol. And it’s fun!
Just like milk and eggs, make-up has an expiration date. Usually make-up can last around six months to a year, after which you should discard the remainder. Bacteria and debris can build up in make-up, which can lead to eye infections and skin breakouts.
Get Your Hands Dirty
In this clean obsessed world, the idea of getting dirty seems, well, dirty. But getting dirty is actually good for you, as it exposes you to certain common bacteria which help produce vitamins and proteins in our bodies, and helps our immune system and digestion. Go make some mud pies!
Find a Farmer’s Market or Co-op
Farmers’ Market or CSA, is a great way to get in-season fruits, vegetables, herbs, dairy, eggs, flowers and more. There are weekly delivery services that bring farm-fresh produce right to your door, so you know you’re always getting what’s fresh, local, and delicious!
Get a Massage
And of course, what top five list would leave out regular bodywork and massage? Massage helps reduce stress, eliminate pain, improve mobility and flexibility, and it feels terrific. When you have a standing massage appointment, you have something wonderful to look forward to in your week or month. And it totally feels great!!
This recipe is for a very aromatic dipping sauce that is not typically something the American nose will appreciate, but drives the Thai person wild with memories of home. Thai Shrimp Paste Sauce or Namprik Kapi has a pungent fishy smell and lingers on your breath for hours, but it’s truly “authentic” and if you know someone who boasts of being adventurous with food, see if (s)he can tolerate a dish of this.
- 2 tablespoons shrimp paste
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5-6 dried shrimp
- 5-7 fresh Thai chili peppers
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-3 tablespoons palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon tiny Thai eggplant
- In a mortar and pestle, pound dried shrimp into a coarse powder, remove from mortar and set aside.
- Place shrimp paste and garlic in mortar, mash and grind together then add the dried shrimp back into the mortar.
- Add Thai chili peppers and eggplant (leaving a few eggplant aside for later).
- Pound the mixture together, adding palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to suit your taste.
- Spoon it into a dish and add a few eggplants for visual appeal, it should look like this.
This can be served in a wide variety of ways. Spoon over fresh steamed jasmine rice, or use as a dipping sauce for fresh or boiled vegetables such as cucumber, string bean, cabbage or bamboo shoot. It’s also a wonderful accompaniment to Lao style vegetable curry. In Thailand this is very popular to eat with deep fried mackerel fish (pla tu).
Christmas/winter holidays are well behind us and deep-freeze temperatures is upon us. Some are fortunate enough to escape for a week or two to warmer climates that have palm trees swaying and little umbrellas in refreshing cocktails. But most of us must endure and feel sorry for ourselves until we see green leaves again.
This time of the year can be quite depressing for some of us. We find it difficult to find our joy inside. We tend to concentrate more on the stressful driving conditions or latest news tragedies and we hibernate under blankets in front of our televisions night after night, just waiting out the winter months.
Now is the time to make joy the default setting in our lives.
Create a career journal
A career journal is a great way to reignite passion for what you do. It’s a place to record all significant highs and lows of your week, in addition to plans for the future. Instead of writing your daily to-do list, log all your daily accomplishments. Focus on what you have done rather than what you still need to do. On the accompanying page, doodle and brainstorm ideas, and map out your next day. You’ll get a clear picture of what you want to do, what you need to do, and what you dread doing. This will help you prepare for the day and start it with a purpose.
Send a note of thanks
One of the best ways to feel inspired is to remember how we’ve been inspired by others in the past. Take some time to write to someone who inspired you, sharing how his or her actions have affected you and inspired you to become the person you are today.
Unleash the real you
Often, breaking from the formality, rules, and the “right way” to do things at work can be invigorating. Which rules need challenging? Share your passion with others in a quick lunch-and-learn. Don’t live like a zombie: find ways to add your personality to your work and your office life. When you show up ready to share yourself, others are inspired to do the same.
Create a vision board
Seeing your vision board each day will remind you of the exciting path ahead. All you need is a poster or bulletin board, some magazines, markers, glue, and some great tunes for background. Start a vision board by picturing how life will look in three, six or 12 months. What do you intend will be different? Now, create a picture of this positive future using magazine cut outs, words, doodles, etc. This is a great activity to enjoy with close friends and an excellent way to share your goals and dreams.
And of course, a session of warm relaxing massage can definitely help beating all these winter blues. Visit us and check out our treatments to find one that works for you!
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it is time to start thinking about which natural fragrance you may want to use to for a Valentines Massage this year! There are several essential oils that have relaxing and aphrodisiac properties perfect for the romantic touch. Here is a list of our favorite essential oils for this special season.
1. Jasmine (Jasminum officinale): This essential oil is native to China, India and the Middle East. The flowers are small and white and bloom after dusk. The essential oil comes from these flowers, that also must be harvested after dusk. Jasmine has richly floral scent that is both exotic and musky. It is warming and helps relieve depression and reduces stress. It is also a great oil for the skin as it works well on sensitive skins and can also help heal scar tissue. It is highly sought after by perfumeries, which also explains why it can be a pricey oil. It is sometimes not recommended for use during pregnancy, other than that, it is fine to use on everyone as long as it is diluted before it is applied to the skin.
2. Neroli oil (Citrus aurantium): This essential oil is also native to Asia but is now cultivated heavily in the Mediterranean region(Italy, Morocco, Egypt and France). The small white flowers are picked from the orange bitter tree and once distilled they create a pale yellow liquid. This oil is very uplifting and healing to the skin. It also helps to heal scars and stretch marks. It is an anti-depressant which also relieves stress. It requires a large number of the orange blossom flowers to create an ounce of oil, so is also in the higher price range. It’s a perfectly safe oil for all as long as it is diluted before applying it to the skin.
3. Rose oil (rosa damascena)Roses and their essential oil is thought to be native to Persia, but it is now mainly produced in Bulgaria and Turkey. Rose essential oils is one of the most pure and gentle oils. It suits most skin types, but is particular good at healing dry skin, eczema, mature skin and sensitive skin. It is also a good oil for treating depression, shock, grief, heartbreak and it soothes anger.
4. Ylang Ylang oil (Cananga odorate): The yellow flowers that produces the essential oil of Ylang Ylang is originally native to Asia but is now produced in more tropical locations such as: Madagascar, Reunion and Comoro’s Islands. This oil is soothing to inflammations and good for both acne, dry or chapped skin. This oil helps to sooth fear, anxiety, depression and create calmness. The oil comes in different grades which affects the cost of the oil. Ylang Ylang one, two and three, as well as Ylang Ylang extra. Ylang ylang extra is the most expensive and superior blend. Still, it tends to be less expensive than many of the previous floral oils, and is a highly prized aphrodisiac. A perfectly safe oil for all with no contraindications, but should be diluted before being applied to the skin.
5. Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): The oil comes from the pink, white and purple flowers of the shrubby herb. The flower tops of the herb are distilled to make a pale yellow liquid that has a sweet, nutty floral scent. It is known to help lower blood pressure, help with depression, nervous tension as well as muscular aches and pains. It can also be sedative and euphoric, which is why it is sometimes cautioned not to use before operating heavy equipment or driving. It is also not recommended for use during pregnancy. Otherwise it is fine for use as long as it is diluted before putting on the skin. It is currently produced in the Mediterranean(mainly France) and is available in the medium price range.
6. Rosemary (Rosemarinus officionalis):Rosemary is native from to the Mediterranean and is mainly produced in: Morocco, France and Spain. The green spikey shrub produces blue flowers that look like tiny irises. The flowers are distilled to create the essential oil which is a pale yellow which is intense, refreshing, warm and invigorating. Rosemary essential oil promotes healthy skin and hair. It also helps relieve aches, pains, mental fatigue, depression, nervous exhaustion, stress and headaches. It is widely available at a medium price, but does have a few cautions. It should be avoided for use during pregnancy and can trigger an epileptic attack if one is prone to them. It needs to be diluted before it is used on the skin.
7. Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin): Patchouli is native to Malaysia, but is also produced in India, China and South America. It comes from a herbal plant with furry egg shaped leaves that give off the unique patchouli fragrance when rubbed. The oil comes from the distillation of the dried fermented leaves. The essential oil is a dark brown amber colour with a woodsy, warm, stimulating musky, sweet scent. The scent and oil actually gets better with age. The oil is very healing for the skin and treats oily skin, acne, cracked or sore skin, eczema, wounds, dandruff and dermatitis. It also helps one to relax, ground and center.
8. Ginger (Zinger officinale): This plant is native to Southern Asia and mainly grows in the West Indies and Africa, although it’s oil is often distilled in Britain and India. It is actually the dried ground rhizomes that are distilled to produce an amber liquid that is warm, spicy, stimulating and pungent. It is a great aphrodisiac to use in massage because it helps with aches and pains, poor circulation, colds, flu, sore throats and coughs as well as nervous tension. However, it is a strong oil that can irritate sensitive skin and is mildly phototoxic. It is best used diluted in oil and in smaller doses. Ginger essential oil can be bought in the medium price range, but must be well diluted before applying it to the skin. It should be used sparingly in any blend as it can irritate the skin(less is more).
9. Vertivert (Vetiveria zizanoides): The oil comes from the roots of a long grass that is native to Southern India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The oil which is created through the distillation of the dried and chopped plant roots is now mostly produced in the Reunion and Comoros Islands. This oil is a dark brown with a rich earthy undertone. Like Patchouli the quality and scent of the oil improves with age. It is a great massage oil for the skin as it is good for oily skin, and also helps heal arthritis, muscle aches and pains as well as poor circulation. It is considered non irritating or sensitizing to the skin. It relaxes by easing nervous tension as well as stress related ailments.
One of the most romantic and effective ways to enjoy the full effect of these essential oils is to massage them into your partner’s skin using a carrier oil like organic argan oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil or kukui nut oil for a full body massage. You might also sprinkle a few drops of the essential oils on the sheets, blankets and pillows, or, create a natural air freshener by simply adding a few drops of your preferred essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray around the room to create a romantic atmosphere anywhere.
Also, consider making a special Valentine’s Day spa appointment for you and your partner and relax together enjoying all of these romantic scents.
Apart from the famous Tom Yum Kung and Tom Kah Gai, another Thai soup you should not miss is this Tom Sab or Thai Hot and Sour Beef Soup, a dish typical to the North Eastern part of Thailand. Strange enough, it’s name in Thai means “YUMMY soup!” So if you really want to get a taste of Thai, do take some time off and get yourself some beef and Thai herbs. Once it’s all set, a little bit of work in the kitchen following this recipe will definitely worth a try!
- 1 cup beef, cut into well pieces
- 10 – 15 chilies
- 2 lemongrass, smashed and cut into 1″ long
- 6 pieces of sliced galangal
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 parsley, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons roasted rice, finely ground
- 3 cups beef stock
1. Heat beef stock in a pot over medium heat. Add lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Wait until boiling, turn down to low heat.
2. Add beef in the pot and simmer with low heat for at least 15 minutes until the beef is cooked and tender.
3. Season with lime juice, fish sauce and chili. Add parsley and roasted rice. Wait until the soup is boiling again, then remove from heat.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately with hot steamed rice or sticky rice.
They look like various kinds of fruit and vege- tables, such as chillies, cherries, mangosteens, oranges, mangoes, bananas, watermelons, and carrots but they are in miniature. Their taste is sweet, their smell is fragrant, and their appearance is attractive and colourful. They are called Luk Chup.
- 3 cups yellow mung beans
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup 1:1 sugar syrup
- 2 tablespoons Agar agar powder
- 2 cups (500ml) water
- 25ml each various food colors
- 50 each bamboo skewers
- Soak the beans overnight in water. The next day, steam in a cheesecloth lined steamer until soft.
- In a blender, puree the beans with the coconut milk and the sugar syrup until very smooth. Add more sugar syrup if needed. Place the bean puree into a brass wok.
- Over well regulated low even heat (we use a charcoal burner), cook the puree until it becomes a pliable paste. Make sure the bottom of the wok does not burn, or you will get an unpleasant chunky paste.
- Pull off small chunks of paste and mould them into various fruits, such as mangoes, pomelo, mangosteen, carambola or anything else that you can think of. You can use bamboo skewers to help you shape the fruits, as well.
- Place the bottom of the fruit on a bamboo skewer and paint appropriate colors. While the fruits are drying, make the agar dip. Gently heat the agar powder in water until the agar is completely dissolved. Cool slightly. Dip the painted fruits into the agar, using the bamboo skewer as a handle. Poke the other end of the skewer in a sheet of styrofoam to let the agar set.
- When the agar is dry and set, arrange the fruits on a tray and serve.
Apart from celebrating Father’s and Mother’s Day differently from the rest of the world, there’s also another important occasion that Thai people celebrate differently; it is Children’s Day. Learn more about Thai Children’s Day and how we celebrate it in Thailand below!
National Children’s Day in Thailand meets the second Saturday of January every year. Is a public holiday and is not compensated in the next working day . The motto is Children’s Day every year by the Prime Minister of Thailand . Children’s Day was first started on October 3, 1955 was designated the first Monday of October. The National Children’s Day Until the year 1963 has approved the National Children’s Day is the second Saturday of January. Children’s Day started in the year 1966 onwards.
This year Children’s Day will be held on Saturday 11st January and Activities that follow the National Children’s Day . Are all in the same purpose is to make children aware of the value role. And the importance of self- By participating in various activities held in village schools or agencies , both public and privately held . It can be seen that all residents will have plenty of candy . The invitation because we are greeting the children. A privileged children all roads open space for the children . Or do activities together In each community, to children Atmosphere for children, music for kids, kids gifts , etc. .
Children’s Day 2014 slogan – Yingluck Shinawatra – Grateful serves as a good discipline firmly establish Thailand.
Another year has ended and many of us are gathering up our willpower for a brand new set of New Year’s resolutions. But have we learned from past experience? A large number, if not the majority, of previous resolutions were probably broken in weeks, days, or even hours.
So, how to make this time round more successful? Well it’s not as hard as you might think — there are some really easy ways to set yourself on the path to success, and the first is:
1. Keep your resolutions simple. Sometimes people find themselves aiming for an overhaul of their entire lifestyle, and this is simply a recipe for disappointment and guilt. It may be understandable at this time of year, when self-improvement is on your mind, but experience shows these things can’t all be achieved at once. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.
2. Choose carefully. But which to choose? Well, you might like to concentrate on those that will have the greatest impact on your happiness, health and fulfilment. For example, giving up smoking will obviously improve your health, but it will also give you a sense of pride and will make you happy (but perhaps not immediately!)
3. Be realistic. Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to lose too much weight or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.
4. Create bite-sized portions. Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as losing 5 pounds, saving $30 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.
5. Plan a time-frame. In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.
6. Make notes. Having made a note of your time-frame, you will have a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for. Now go further and write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook, remembering to add your motivations. You could keep a scrapbook for this purpose, and fill it with photos of your slimmer self, pictures of sporting or hobby equipment you are saving for, or even a shocking credit card statement to spur you into action! If your resolution will directly benefit your partner, children, colleagues or friends then add their photos too – anything to remind you of your initial motivation.
7. Treat yourself. When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a dieter to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars”, or a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.
8. Receive support. It is at such times, when you’ve temporarily fallen off the wagon, that your support network is crucial. Carefully choose those people around you who have shown themselves to be trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough, and if they’re truly caring they’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.
9. Don’t give up! Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”
10. Put yourself in charge. These achievements are under your control – other people can advise and support you but it’s your actions which need to change to see the results you want. Having a strong sense of control over your life is necessary to stick with your plans. Those who blame everyone and everything apart from themselves will not have the resources needed to change. Yes, it’s scary to take responsibility for your future, but surely it’s better than the alternative?
Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck!