Tag Archives: cashew

Madame Shawn – Bistrot Thai…. great place to go for lunch

28 May

As my parents drove me back to Paris last week-end, we took the opportunity to go to Madame Shawn – Bistrot Thai, a Thai Restaurant located close to the Carreaux du Temple, 18 rue Cafarelli. I used to go there when I was still living in Paris 5 years ago and I wanted to share the address with my parents.

As it was freezing, we were not especially looking for a place on a terrace nor for fresh salad and cold drinks…. Jasmine Tea, rice and spices were just what we needed!

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Seated at very simple square bistrot tables decorated with a tiny flower bouquet we ordered our “lunch menu formule”. For 15 euros, you have a broad choice of starters, main and sides as well as drinks. Unfortunately, we were not hungry anymore to try the deserts even if the Tiramisu looked really great when I saw them being served on a table close to ours! Next time maybe?

In the meantime, let me share with you our pick of the day….

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Starters:

Kai Ping: Chicken Skewers with Peanut Sauce, the chicken was moist inside and crispy outside, the sauce had a real flavor of peanut and was slightly spicy.

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Pho Pia: Fried Chicken Rolls with a Sweet and Sour Sauce, smaller than the rolls you buy in any Asian take-away or cheap restaurant, those rolls are very fresh and release a lot of flavor. They are not too greasy but just crispy enough. Really great to share as a starter!

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Som Tam: Spicy Green Papaya Salad, yummy and fresh…. Just the way I like it. The dressing is not too spicy and there is just enough peanuts crumbs on top. The carrots and green papaya are still crunchy and the portion is just what’s needed for a starter.

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Mains:

Madame Shawn Bobun…. one of the restaurant specialties: usually, a Bo Bun is a whole meal in itself…. you don’t need anything else to go with it. You have thinly sliced beef, fresh crispy vegetables and rice noodles covered with crunchy peanuts, fresh herbs and sliced spring rolls. Usually it comes with a tasty nuoc-man sauce to bring all the flavor together. At Madame Shawn, the Bo-Bun is almost served as a soup but still verty tasty. Not my favorite though.

For the best Bo Bun in Paris, here is a review: Best Bo Bun in Paris.

Among them is the restaurant Le Cambodge, 10 avenue Richerand in the 10th, by the Canal St Martin. I used to go there a lot and I promise you will love it for its freshness and great taste.

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Pla Pad Prik Keng: Wok Fish Filet with a Red Chili Sauce and Vegetables. The fish was tender, the sauce well balanced, neither too thick, nor too heavy. Just the right amount of red chilli paste. The vegetables were crispy enough and the fresh herbs brought a lot of flavor in addition to the sauce.

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As a side, my Dad had Pad Mi (Rice Noodles fried with vegetables) but he ended-up picking in my rice to finish the sauce of his fish…. Anyway, the rice noodles were really tasty too. Nicely sauteed with soy sauce and fresh vegetables and covered with finely chopped spring onions and herbs. Fresh and fulfilling at the same time.

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Kai Pad Mamuang Himmapan: Chicken Filets with Cashew Nuts When I am craving for Asian food, that’s one of my favorite dish…. with the Green Curry! The problem is that in many places, the chicken is often dry or not well prepared and has lots of nerves that are not a good surprise when you take a bite. As you may guess, I was pleased this time…. first there was lots of cashew nuts maybe even too much but not for me! The sauce was light and tasty and really kept the chicken moist and tender. It was not loaded with onions either.

I had my chicken with Khao Hom Mali (Perfumed Rice), which is the perfect side to keep on enjoying the nice flavor of the sauce when you have finished the chicken!

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Now you may understand why we were not anymore hungry for dessert….

I have to say that Madame Shawn offers a really good bargain for lunch. I know it is more expensive at night but still worth it as the atmosphere is all different. And you can also go in the other locations they have in Paris were the atmosphere is not “Bistrot like” but more refined and sophisticated.

Madame Shawn – Bistrot Thai

18 Rue Caffarelli
75003 Paris
Ph: +33 (0)1 42 72 36 06
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An Asian Feast

29 Jan

For the last dinners I have organized at home I tried new ideas and new techniques. I tried the wild flavor of the Hot Smoked Paprika from Spain then I felt like a Magician playing with a crazy amount of spices to cook Indian food. Yesterday, I was in an Asian Mood…. I had tried one of Nigel Slater‘s pork recipe from is book Real Food and it was really yummy! That’s why I decided to do it again with a few other easy Asian dishes. Here is the menu… and the recipes!

Menu: serves about 6 people

Mango and Sugar Snap Peas Salad with a Ginger and Lime Dressing

Molded Pilaf Rice with Grilled Coconut

Pork with Cashews, Lime and Mint from Nigel Slater Cookbook


Mango and Sugar Snap Peas Salad with a Lime and Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

  • 500g of sugar snap peas
  • 1 mango firm not ripe in order to cut nice squares
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • coriander and/or mint, chervil
  • 1/4 cup of cashew nuts
  • Sesame oil
  • kecap mani sauce (sweet soy sauce)

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 2 limes juice and zest finely grated
  • 2-3 cm of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/2 red chili seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of palm sugar or honey if you don’t have it

Method

First prepare your ingredients.

Wash the sugar snap peas and cut them into 2-3 stripes with an angle to give them a nice shape.

Peel the mango and cut 2 thick slices along the stones then cut the slices into 2-3 cm squares.

Mango peeledMango Diced

Wash the spring onions and finely slice them with the same diagonal angle.

Wash the herbs and chop or slice them finely. If you are using them later, put a wet piece of kitchen towel on top of it to prevent them from getting dark.

In a wok or large frying pan, toast the cashew nuts until golden brown. Because the nuts are oily, you need to toast them to release the flavor.

Add 1-2 tsp of kecap mani sauce or honey on top of it and stir them until well coated. The sauce will caramelize around the cashew nuts. Pour the cashew nuts on a silicon mat or a piece of parchment paper.

In the same pan while it’s still hot, add a little sesame oil and pour the sugar snap peas in the wok. Fry them quickly as they need to remain crunchy. The leftover of kecap mani will caramelize the edges of the peas.

After 2-3 minutes, pour them in a container and let them cool down.

Then add a little sesame oil in the wok and quickly fry the mango cubes. Because the mango is not ripe, the cubes will not tear apart and they will keep their shape.

Set aside and let them cool down.

While that time, prepare the sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and depending on your taste, add more palm sugar for the sweetness or lime to make it more sour.

Just before serving, mix together the sugar snap peas, mango, spring onions, herbs, cashew nuts and the sauce, place them in a nice serving dish and decorate with a few remaining chopped herbs.

Molded Pilaf Rice with Grilled Coconut

Ingredients for the Pilaf Rice

  • 2 cups of Basmati Rice
  • 5 cups of hot water
  • 1 chicken/veg stock cube dissolved in the hot water
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped or crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • groundnut oil
  • grilled coconut

Method for the Pilaf Rice*

In a deep medium frying pan, pour a little oil and start to gently fry the onions then add the garlic and keep on frying until golden brown.

Add the rice and cook it until it becomes translucent. Stir it to avoid it sticks to the pan.

Then add the stock on top of it, some salt and pepper and stir it just one time. Bring it to a gentle boil. Cover it and let it cook for at least 20 minutes.

When the rice is cooked, (just taste it to check, it has to be tender) either put the pan in the oven if it is oven proof or keep on cooking on a very gentle heat.

It will slowly create a nice crust of rice at the bottom of the pan.

Just before serving, you can add some grilled coconut on top of the rice to have it at the bottom and as for a cake, turn the pan upside down on a serving plate. The rice should come out easily and keep the shape of the pan.

Add some grilled coconut on top and serve it.

* You can have a lot of fun with the pilaf rice and give it the taste that you want. For example, you can add some spices to the onions such as curry, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and make it more Indian like.

You can also replace half of the stock with coconut milk or infuse Jasmine Tea instead of stock cube.

You can add fresh herbs, toasted nuts, chopped vegetables.

Indeed, this recipe is just a base that you can adapt to the main dish you are cooking.

Pork with Cashews, Lime and Mint

from Nigel Slater Cookbook

Ingredients 

  • 800g-1kg of pork fillet
  • 60ml of groundnut oil
  • 2 handful of cashew nuts or peanuts
  • a bunch of spring onions finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic or 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 8cm of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 red chillies seeded and finely sliced or chopped
  • 60ml of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • a bunch of mint leaves finely chopped
  • a bunch of basil finely chopped

Method 

Start by preparing all your ingredients. Chop the onions, ginger, chillies and cashew and set aside for later. Chop the herbs and keep them in a wet kitchen towel so that it does not get dark.

In a large wok or frying pan heat 1 tbsp of oil and seal the whole pork fillet until it gets golden brown. Turn the fillet upside down to get the other side the same golden brown color. If the fillets are thick, do the same for the sides that are still raw or barely cooked.

Once it’s done, set the meat and its juice aside. Cut the meat into thin strips about 7-8mm and keep the juice that comes out when you are cutting it.

Return the unwashed wok to the heat, add 2 tbsp of oil in it and as soon as it is hot, add the spring onions, garlic, ginger and chillies. Fry the whole mix and stir constantly for about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Just before serving, reheat the unwashed wok and pour 1 tbsp of oil in it and when it’s hot, quickly fry the slices of pork and pour the mix on top, stir it then add the nuts, the meat juices, the lime juice and the fish sauce. Stir it for about 2 minutes then stir in the herbs.

Serve immediately.