Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thai Last Night: Unripe Mango Salad

When I passed by my entrance mirror this morning, I saw this auntie from Tenom looking at me. The Auntie from Tenom/Keningau/Ulu Wherever with crazy hair and frazzled face devoid of make-up and smile was wearily and gauntly looking back at me. It's only been 4 days (and 26 more to go) since Vero went back to West Timor and I am coming undone. Like my ma said, "Your're like a person without hands."

This is only the second time in 11 years that Vero has asked to go home. I didn't want a replacement whom I don't trust so I decided to do it all myself. Clothes are now washed every 2 days instead of everyday. When it rained yesterday, none of us thought to bring the dry clothes in. I picked Wey up from school just now and he was wearing a white shirt that says 'Hong Ming' instead of 'Hong Wey'. As expected, none of his teachers noticed it. But he had to choose today of all days when he was wearing his bro's old shirt to wear forbidden Nike socks instead of plain white ones. Of course he got caught. He said for that he'll have to wash the toilet one time this week. (Yuks!!! I still have nightmares of my old school toilet!) The prefect looked at his name on the shirt and, as luck would have it, remembered Ming as his senior so Wey couldn't pass off as Ming. Anyway, Wey was let off when he told the sad story of how his clothes got drenched in the rain. Floors were not swept or moped until today, plants in the covered areas are drooping and dying (we are all so happy it's been raining every afternoon) and my hands are dry and coarse from washing the dishes. And I've found that front-loading machines take 3 hours to wash one load! That's six hours in a day for a load of whites and a load of colored! What kind of mad washing-machine company would make such inefficient washers. But I've just figured out that there's a 30-min wash cycle and I just have to put it through a rinse and spin for another 30 min and that would cut it down to one hour. Not bad (pat myself).

Today my neighbor was kind enough to let me 'hire' her maid to sweep and mop the floors and iron the clothes everyday until Vero comes back. I am SO grateful, Irene. And you know what, Irene's maid Eda cooks wonderful aromatic curries and beef soups that torture and torment me when it wafts with the wind, and now maybe I can even learn some Indonesian cooking.

So I've decided to cook simple and use whatever is in my fridge. Monday night I cooked Thai, and just as I was frying the kangkong, the lights went out. The lights went out in most of KK and some small towns for nearly 4 hours. Yep, that's how developed we are. Power outages are the norm here, in spite of the tallest this and biggest that. And despite sending a Malaysian to space, even if he was on a piggy-back ride.

I had to take this photo in total darkness:

Crabs and tanghoon with fish sauce and coriander roots, seafood tom yum soup, fried fish (the fish lost their skins because I didn't want to deep fry them; too oily. Okay, it's also because I don't have the patience to wait until they are crispy. Hub hates my fried fish because they are never crispy), unripe mango salad and fried kangkong. Another 'meatless' dinner that turned Wey off. With this kind of food and the amount of housework I now have to do, maybe I can loose those 3 stubborn kgs.

I really wanted to do a post on fried kangkong, Thai style, but since I couldn't get a good pic of it, let's just make do with the unripe mango salad which I made early in the afternoon. This pickle-salad goes well with fried fish.


Thai Unripe Mango Salad
1 large green unripe mango
1 medium-sized Bombay onion
4 bird's eyes chilies
1/2 large red chilli
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
3 polygonum leaves (optional)
3 sprigs of coriander leaves
juice from 1 small lime
2 to 3 T fish sauce
1 T palm sugar
roasted almond or cashews or peanuts nibs
mint for garnish

1. Peel and slice the mangoes or if you are very well-coordinated, hack it like this:



2. Slice the onion thinly, cut the chilies finely, mince the polygonum leaves and cut the other leaves into 1 cm lengths.

3. Mix the mango, chilies, polygonum and coriander leaves with the palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce to taste. Sprinkle the toasted nuts over.


ekeng said...

i heard that there were major blackout in Sabah..Oliver told me it maybe terrorist attack..haha..

Precious Pea said...

With all the housework, you still able to whip up such a complete Thai meal. Salute!! The mango salad looks lovely, one of my fav too. Used to make it quite often but now getting lazier.

NEE said...

You poor thing. you sounded really harassed hehehe....but your lucky family still have a meal. if it is me. i would be sooooo harassed and dropped everything esp with the light out bit and tell greg we go eat out Good for you!

bryan said...

I jokingly sent an sms to my gf in Singapore:

'Got a blackout. When's the last time you had a blackout?'

Denise ^ ChiCkyEGG said...

U Tortured my Wey ah!?
He is still a growing child that needs protein (A.K.A MEAT) at the moment, at least a chicken?
pls...he's my fav ! cook him chicken!

hey! share me ur Tom Yum seafood sop!!! I like that!

a feast, everyday said...

Hats off to u. No maid and full course dinner with a theme too...for me 1 pot meal is pretty much the norm.

Hazza said...

You just happen to have crabs in the fridge?? :)) Were they alive? The dinner looked great!

Bento Pet said...

I'd give an arm and a leg for good help!! Just had a change and even the air seems cleaner suddenly!

Thank God for good neighbours!

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

ekeng: goes to show the quiet ppl have colorful imagination :D

preciousp: i don't know how long i'll last...

nee: oh the whole town was out of power so even restaurants were closed. pitch dark, like kampung nights. lucky for us it rained earlier. when u don't don't have smthing, it makes u appreciate it more. it was like being blind.

bryan: ah, gf in sing ha. don't tell her the outage was bc some thieves cut the electricity tower to steal the steel. tt would scare her frm ever putting roots here!

denise: he eats way too much pork n no veg so he needs periodic cleansing. ok, next time i cook tom yum soup, i'll do a post.

a feast: it wouldn't be so bad if everyone helps. what @@@ me off was this member of the family suggested tt frm now on we each take care of ourselves so that he doesn't have to do chores. so i told him he can't eat what i cook, n i won't pick him frm school. guess what, he ate all my canned food the last two days, n last night when he saw me do a Jap meal, he meekly came to wash n clean up. motherhood is so hard!

hazza: haha, those were leftover boiled crabs that i froze.they were still good.i would sooner run away if i have to handle live crabs when i'm so overworked.

bento: yes, def! i used to think i totally overpay her compared to all my friends (bc she's been with me so long) but now i think she's overworked!

Moodie Foodie said...

that looks fantastic, even without the light. i seriously wouldn't mind popping by during a thunderstorm just to taste ur cooking. haha...

yeah, i think i quite understand how a good help is hard to come by...especially ones that cook, clean and handle ur kids. hopefully, ur maid vero will return sooner than u expected. there is a funny story though i thought i might share - someone actually brought their maid instead of food to a potluck dinner to help with cleaning up. now i think that's sheer genius.

Smart Payment Plan said...

So happy you posted pictures of how to finely shred the mango. Now I can make my own salad!

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