Recipe: Yellow Curry / Kaeng Kari (แกงกะหรี่)

“Yellow Curry” is one of the popular Thai foods in the USA. In Thai, it is called แกงกะหรี่ (Kaeng Kari, pronounced “gkehng gkah-dee”). It contains chicken, potatoes, and onions, and is served with cooked jasmine rice, along with cucumbers and shallots lightly pickled in sweetened vinegar.

The English translation of a lot of Thai dishes causes great confusion. The translation that causes the greatest confusion is Kaeng Kari to Yellow Curry. In Thai, there are two types of soups. Unlike Western soups, they are served with rice as a main course. Some Thai people therefore do not like to translate them as soups. However I believe they should count as soup since a soup is a dish with a liquid. And if they must not call Thai soups as “soups”, then they must also translate Chinese tang, Korean guk, Japanese shiru, etc. all not as “soup”, since they are all not served at the start of a meal either. Anyway, there are two types in Thai cuisine. “Tom” is made from simmering whole pieces of Thai herbs in water/stock, etc. to infuse flavor. This includes Tom Yum (no coconut milk) and Tom Kha (contains coconut milk). The other type of soup is “Kaeng”, made from cooking a paste of Thai herbs and spices in water or coconut milk. Coconut milk based Kaeng includes Kaeng Kua, Kaeng However, since Thai restaurants translated “Tom” as soup already, they translated “Kaeng” as “curry”. Now, this name is highly inappropriate for so many reasons. First, what was the original meaning of curry? The British invented the word curry to describe all Indian food, especially the dishes with a sauce. Well then, they invented a spice blend called curry powder! And from then on, any dish containing curry powder became called a curry. Which is fine this way. The Japanese karē (see my recipe), the Korean kare, the Vietnamese cari, the Malaysian kari, all contain curry powder, and are therefore curries. But… Thai Kaeng do not contain curry powder. Only some people add it to Kaeng Kari. That’s why it’s called Kaeng Kari!! So therefore calling all Kaeng as “curry” is not appropriate at all. Only Kaeng Kari can possibly be called a “curry”. The terrible translation of Kaeng into “curry” causes further problems when translating Kaeng Kari. Calling the dish “curry curry” would sound quite strange. So they called it “yellow curry instead”! Why? Well, they already translated Kaeng Phet into “Red Curry”, and Kaeng Khiao Wan into “Green Curry”, so why not, it’s yellow! However, in Thailand there is a Kaeng called “Kaeng Lueang”, which literally means… “Yellow Curry”. So now that they call Kaeng Kari as “Yellow Curry”, what about “Kaeng Lueang”? Well, they don’t really care. Because Kaeng Lueang is not served in Thai restaurants in the USA anyways. If you’re wondering, Kaeng Lueang, along with Kaeng Som and Kaeng Pla, are some of the Kaeng that do not use coconut milk. In Southern Thailand, it’s called Kaeng Som, but in Central Thailand they already have a dish called Kaeng Som. (Som means sour and the Kaeng is sour from tamarind or lime juice.) The Central version is red and the Southern version is yellow from Turmeric. So the Central Thai decided to call the Southern Kaeng Som as “Kaeng Lueang”. Anyways, when they arrive in USA, and want “Yellow Curry”, they will expect Kaeng Lueang, but they get… Kaeng Kari instead. If you’re wondering, the Kaeng Lueang is usually translated as “Sour Yellow Curry” or “Southern Yellow Curry” or “Southern Sour Curry”, etc.

So, that was a long paragraph describing the inappropriateness of the name Yellow Curry. From now on I will call it Kaeng Kari. (I called it the American name at the beginning to not confuse people.)

Okay, so what makes Kaeng Kari different from Kaeng Phet and Kaeng Khiao Wan? All three use coconut milk inside. The difference in the soup itself is that the only vegetables used are potato and onion. You CANNOT add other vegetables and still call it Kaeng Kari. Actually I sometimes add carrot for color, like the “curry” in other countries, but not sure if Thai people will be happy about that fact. Similarly, potatoes and onions and carrots DO NOT belong in Kaeng Phet and Kaeng Khiao Wan. The other difference is the curry paste. Like Kaeng Phet, Kaeng Kari uses dry red chilies. It also has just about all of the other ingredients in Kaeng Phet/Khiao Wan. However, Kaeng Kari paste has less dry red chilies and is therefore less spicy. It also contains extra spices, including turmeric and some people add curry powder. Some people also add a few extra herbs.

In this recipe, you need a few ingredients. First, you need Kaeng Kari paste. I strongly recommend the Maesri brand “Karee Curry Paste” in a small can. You will use the whole can so it’s perfect for one time use. You can also use the Mae Ploy “Yellow Curry Paste” in a large container. The problem with Mae Ploy is that the container is super large. And it is also EXTREMELY spicy. Their Kaeng Kari paste is standable. But their Kaeng Phet and Kaeng Khiao Wan pastes are SO SPICY, that I cannot even eat a bowl of the finished soup. They are also extremely salty! It tastes like you added a whole salt shaker into the soup. But some people like it because it isn’t canned. Personally I think canning does not make the flavor much worse than the Mae Ploy. Both brands are very, very authentic. They are also very tasty (but Mae Ploy is too salty and spicy). So I recommend using Maesri as it is not too salty and spicy, and is in a convenient-sized package. Second, you need coconut milk. In making Thai Kaeng, you must saute the thick part of the coconut milk that floats to the top with the Kaeng paste until the oil separates. Chaokoh used to be a great brand, but now I cannot get the oil to separate at all, even after boiling half an hour. Mae Ploy’s coconut oil DID separate after a while, when I tried about a year ago. But it costs much more, so I don’t use it regularly. Aroy D is the brand with no preservatives and I haven’t tried it with making Kaeng yet. Do not use any other brand because if it is Asian, it is not good quality, and if it is non-Asian, it costs too much and may contain something like guar gum, which prevents it from separating layers. And NEVER buy “lite” coconut milk, which is just coconut milk diluted with water. Don’t worry because coconut fat is healthy even if it is saturated, as shown by recent scientific studies. Anyways, you may use Chaokoh if it doesn’t matter that the oil separates. But most authentic Kaeng should have oil floating on top. For a shortcut, you may saute the paste in a tbsp of coconut oil for a couple minutes before adding the coconut milk. This is not traditional, but does taste wonderful, hehe. So do it if you like! Next, you need seasonings, Thai fish sauce and palm sugar. Preferably, don’t use Three Crabs, which is not Thai fish sauce. Use the much cheaper Tiparos brand (used in the majority of Thai homes and still very good) or the slightly better quality, Tra Chang brand (harder to find). Palm sugar may be hard to find so you may substitute white sugar in this recipe.

Today I made a pescetarian version with tofu, which is not traditional. You may use chicken thighs if you wish. Vegetarians/vegans cannot eat Thai Kaeng as it has kapi inside the paste, made from krill. However you can make the paste yourself. I can make a recipe later.

Note: You can use 1 inch cubes instead of 1.5 inch. I prefer smaller, but 1.5 is more traditional.

Adapted from Serious Eats, Ajat Recipe adapted from both Serious Eats and the High Heel Gourmet

Ingredients:

1 can Maesri “karee curry paste”, if using Mae Ploy, use about 3 tbsp (depending on your preference, it may be too salty)

1 can coconut milk (14 oz), DO NOT shake!!

1 lb chicken thighs, cut into 1.5 inch cubes, or substitute with 1 package tofu (about 14-16 oz), cut into about 1.25 inch cubes since tofu doesn’t shrink

1 lb potatoes, cut into 1.5 inch cubes

NOT traditional: some carrots, cut into pieces slightly smaller than potatoes

1 onion, cut into wedges (traditional) or cubes (my preference)

palm sugar or white sugar (to taste and optional, about 1/2 tbsp or so if using)

fish sauce to taste (don’t add too much or it might be too salty, I use about 1/2 tbsp)

water

serve with: cooked white jasmine rice, ajat (cucumber and shallot lightly pickled sweet and sour) is optional but always served in Thailand, see recipe below the main recipe

Directions:

1. Prepare ajat first, if using. Then wash and start cooking the rice. Once started, you can start making the Kaeng Kari.

2. Traditionally: Open the unshaken can of coconut milk. Add the thick part floating on top to the pot with the Kaeng Kari paste. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk. Heat the pot, using a spatula to break up the paste and combine well with the coconut milk. Stir and cook until the coconut oil seprates and floats on top. However, this takes a while and it never happens when I use Chaokoh brand. So see the non-traditional way that is faster and easier.

2. Non-traditionally: Heat a pot with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add the Kaeng Kari Paste and use the spatula to distribute evenly through the oil and cook a couple minutes as it becomes fragrant. Then carefully (it may splatter if oil is too hot) add the thick part of the coconut milk floating on top and stir well to combine.

3. Add the potato, onion, non-traditional carrot if using, chicken or tofu, rest of coconut milk, and water to cover the ingredients. Add fish sauce and sugar. You can also add after boiling to taste it. Then bring to a boil. Stir after boiling and adjust with fish sauce and sugar to taste.

4. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the potato is soft. Check to see if it is soft (taste it, it will be hot though!). Also adjust to your taste with fish sauce and sugar.

5. Serve! I ladle the soup into individual bowls, and serve rice on plates. Also serve with ajat. Then use a spoon to scoop some of the soup and ingredients from the bowl onto the rice and eat with a spoon and fork like Thai people. Eat ajat to refresh between some bites. Thai people DO NOT EVER eat Thai cuisine with chopsticks! They eat stir-fried rice noodles in a very interesting way with the spoon! Usually the fork cuts and the spoon is used to feed. You do not put the fork into the mouth, only into the spoon. Thai people also do not use knives at the table. They used to use hands like Indians and most Southeast Asians. But with Western influence, they switched to spoon and fork.

Ajat Recipe:

4 Persian cucumbers, sliced thinly into full, half, or quarter moons

1 shallot, halved and then sliced very thinly (I always skip shallot as I cannot stand raw onion flavor. Again not traditional)

some chilies or a jalapeno, sliced thinly (I also always skip. In Thailand the super spicy tiny chilies are used. You can use jalapeno too for less spicy. And always deseed for less spicy. In Thailand it is never deseeded, hehe. You can skip like me if you don’t like raw fresh chilies)

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (or Japanese white rice vinegar if you prefer but white vinegar is traditional)

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Put sliced cucumber, shallot, and chilies in a bowl.

2. Add the other ingredients in a small pot and heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and pour over the vegetables. You can also cool down first, then pour if you wish.

3. Stir well. Leave aside as you cook the Kaeng Kari or for about 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes so it is evenly seasoned. Then serve alongside the Kaeng Kari and rice. Ajat is always served traditionally. Today, I could not make it since I had no cucumbers 😦

Ajat is also served with Thai satay. It is very refreshing and tasty!

Enjoy! Kaeng Kari is very easy and quite quick to make when you have the canned paste ready. 🙂

  

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43 thoughts on “Recipe: Yellow Curry / Kaeng Kari (แกงกะหรี่)

  1. this must of taken you FOREVER to write up. :D. it’s very good. your pescatarian version looks good. I won’t
    mention to anyone that you add carrots to your Kaeng Kari and you even included the pickled cucumber recipe, impressive!!! 🙂 😉
    Thank You!!

      1. Language update: I found a Hmong course online! I found several but they all shut down a few years ago. But one was saved by the Internet Archive! Yay!… but it has no audio! so I have no idea how to pronounce the words. I believe I will study vocab and conversation and attempt to pronounce it then make it better later… I also found a Memrise course without audio from a native speaker. I strongly doubt that Duolingo will get a Hmong course within one year, since it’s so obscure of a language, I’ve never heard anyone say they want to learn Hmong. Even though 4 million people speak it, almost ALL speak a second language of the country they live in (English in US, Mandarin in China, Lao in Laos, Thai in Thailand, Vietnamese in Vietnam, etc). I hope a Hmong speaker can add audio to a Memrise course though.
        I’m debating on learning Esperanto since I already speak a second language and it might not be useful. I’m not too interested in Esperanto conventions XD And I’m thinking about a little Spanish for Peru, yet whenever I start Spanish I get bored. Same with French or other Romance languages!
        Still, Duolingo has Irish (less than 2 million speakers!) and Esperanto (a fake language but I understand why they want to have it) but it’s developing KLINGON (fake language spoken by extraterrestrials in movies!!) which in my opinion is somewhat ridiculous. If they are developing a course for an alien language they should get their priorities and make some Asian language courses spoken by hundreds of millions, like Indonesian!

      2. you have some interesting concepts.
        IMHO, I cannot follow or learn something that I cannot hear. I am also not as good learning from a book as I wish. the Internet is more helpful for me when I want to learn something which keeps me WAY TOO long on the web then it should. Klingon? well, I think it’s something that is for groups that obsession goes beyond dressing up & memorizing movie lines. But I’m all for what makes you happy. Do what makes you happy 😀

      3. I started learning Japanese originally without hearing… so my pronunciation was bad until later as I got used to anime’s pronunciation. I haven’t EVER spoken a word of Japanese to a Japanese person yet, but my pronunciation is probably ok.
        Same with me, I like the internet more than books 🙂
        Whoever wants to learn Klingon should do it for an interesting experience. I strongly doubt that I will ever even learn one word of it though. XD you can now communicate with fictional aliens and understand the movie without subtitles! But really, I can’t believe they’re making a Duolingo course for it while they are neglecting some Asian languages. Yes, I understand that Chinese and Japanese would be hard to teach characters from the Duolingo system. And Hmong is spoken by only a few million people, and it’s hard to pronounce, and most of the speakers speak a second language. (Same goes for Irish but they have a course for it…) But Indonesian, spoken by hundreds of millions, is written in the Latin alphabet, it’s as easy to pronounce than Spanish, and its grammar is super simple. The spoken form has almost no grammar rules. Even easier than Chinese grammar and definitely easier than Chinese pronunciation. I think it would be perfect for Duolingo. Oh well, at least a Vietnamese course is developing 🙂

      4. oh I would be interested in learning Vietnamese!!! 😀 Hurry Duolingo!!!
        I think it will be interesting when you can test your Japanese language to see
        how well it is 🙂
        I apparently do not have a good ear for a language. I view this TV drama ‘Sound of the Desert’ with English AND Mandarin (??) subtitles so the characters are speaking their chosen language. they keep repeating Jian An
        and I don’t hear the pronunciation of this town by the characters and I purposely if not intently pay attention to the convo. They have repeated Jian An a million times!!!!!!!!! I’ll never learn :((

      5. Duolingo courses are all created by the users. There must not be any Hmong users who want to make a course though, which is sad 😦
        I’m looking forward to Hebrew when it comes out, it will make learning Arabic easier 🙂
        I’m also looking forward to a Thai course. They aren’t making one now though. Thai writing system is hard because there are many letters, like about 10 letters than make the K sound for example. And so many letters look too similar. Also, vowels go in front of, behind, on top of, or under the consonants! And there are NO spaces between words. There are also no commas or periods, only spaces between sentences. It’s pretty crazy, even stranger to read than Chinese.
        My Japanese is beginner level, not yet conversational. This is due to the fact that: 1. I have little time for learning it except in the summer. 2. When I DO have time, half of the time I am researching some other language like Hmong XD Too hard to keep on track!!
        Interesting. But that’s just because you can’t speak Chinese. And Mandarin is spelled totally differently from English. Jian is pronounced like “dzyehn”. “dz” like in “carDS”, the consonant y, and ehn rhymes with “yEN”. An is pronounced like “un”, like the prefix in English that means “not”, but it is nasalized. This is really confusing for a non-Mandarin speaker to say. Even non-Northern-Mandarin-dialect-speakers have a lot of trouble pronouncing Mandarin. Most Cantonese consonants and vowels are much much easier to pronounce than Mandarin, the only exception being the consonant “ng”.
        Don’t be pessimistic if you want to learn sometime. I recommend learnyu.com (check it out!) It’s free and even better than Duolingo, but not released yet so just sign up for email 😀

      6. took your recommendation and signed up for learnyu. 😀
        does the Hebrew language have some words that have guttural sounds, if so,
        I wonder how this sound comes off on paper/reading?
        I’m not so much a pessimistic person. I’m just someone who knows my limits and I’m okay with and accept my limits. 😉

      7. Yes, only lesson one is released for free, I think the rest will be next year 🙂 The creator of the site speaks several languages, she is natively German and used to host GermanPod101! Her favorite language to learn is Chinese. I found her story quite interesting. They raised $10,000 already! If someone donated, they get to see the rest of Level 1 early. The system seems very interesting, like Duolingo but with even more. And it caters to your own needs depending on how you do, which is really cool!
        I think so. But I haven’t studied Hebrew yet. The hardest part of Hebrew for me will probably be that vowels aren’t written XD But the script is easier to read than Arabic. I learned the Arabic script already but it takes forever to read, and after reading I can’t pronounce because only consonants are written.
        I know you are not pessimistic 🙂 I was sort of joking (sorry). I know my limits too. The main problem with me is that I start browing the internet and read ineteresting things for hours without getting anything more important done XD
        The languages I am more ineterested in, if you are wondering: improve my Mandarin (that’s really hard to do though since I’m basically at the point where I can’t do lessons anymore but I’m still not totally fluent in every way), learn Sichuanese (impossible to do in English), learn other Chinese topolects like Cantonese, learn more Japanese, and Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, learn Indonesian and Malay, perhaps Indian languages, and Chinese minority languages like Hmong, Tibetan, Uyghur, also interested in Arabic, Hebrew since it will get on Duolingo, and Esperanto. All of them are from Asia except Esperanto… maybe Esperanto will be the gate to European languages, or I won’t learn it. But I will probably start it this summer just to check out Duolingo. I will most likely not learn all of these in my lifetime, but just saying these languages are more interesting and I want to learn at least a few phrases in all of them hehe. The ones that say “learn” before them, I do want to learn more though. It also depends on what countries I will be traveling to. I wish Spanish wasn’t boring to me so I could speak to people in Peru XD I know a Chinese person who speaks Spanish very well though. I somewhat envy someone who can speak 3 languages okay while I can speak 2 but I hope I’ll improve this summer.
        I think the biggest problem is that I start to off task, and learn a little of more languages, taking my focus away from the main language I want to learn which is Japanese! I must find a way to stop researching other languages and stay focused on Japanese which I have a goal of achieving fluency.

      8. you and I are alike in the sense that once on the Internet, we get off task. it’s a running joke in my family now at how well I get distracted and sidetracked but I have a few good attributes too and they love me for that 😀 😀 Good Night!

      9. I can’t stand when I get distracted when I’m supposed to be doing something else XD I wish I could fix it… But I do think it is a “helpful” ability to pass time when there is nothing else to do, lol
        Hope I will be able to learn at least some of a language this summer. I’m being distracted to Tibetan right now since I mentioned minority languages! Perhaps I will start posting language posts to prevent distraction but it takes so much time!
        This week (maybe tomorrow or today) I’m going to be making tom yum! Pescetarian with tofu (adapted easily to vegan this time too). I bought lemongrass, cilantro and limes, and I have galangal and Thai lime leaves in my freezer (I call them Thai lime leaves now since kaffir has a similar meaning as the n-word in South Africa). Technically tom yum needs Thai chilies but I don’t want a ridiculously spicy soup which you will get even with ONE Thai chili XD Anyways tom yum is really easy and I will explain how to make it. You need is 3 non-optional herbs: lemongrass, galangal, and Thai lime leaves. If you skip or substitute one of them, it can no longer be called tom yum (tom yum would be defined as a soup containing these 3 ingredients and a souring agent). For sour, you need limes, not lemons. Then for salty, you can use either fish sauce or salt. Salt makes it vegan. Cilantro is optional in the soup but usually added. You need Thai chilies for the authentic version but optional for non-spicy. Lastly you need the main ingredient and vegetables. For vegetables, you need mushrooms (button, oyster, or straw). Tomatoes and white onions are sometimes added but optional. The main ingredient is meat or seafood, depending on ingredient the soup is made differently. I’m using tofu which is easy and tasty. Lastly, for the “creamy” version, you need evaporated milk and nam prik pao (Thai roasted chili-seafood jam in oil). Nam prik pao tastes quite sweet with a little seafood flavor, and is a deep red color but not spicy. The recipe will be posted after I make it and you will find out how if you wish to make at home, it’s really easy when you have all the ingredients already 🙂

      10. I made Tom Yum! But it was really bad since I made lots of mistakes, which happens often the first time I cook something very different from what I’m used to. That’s good though because I know what to do next now. I don’t have time to write the post today so maybe even the weekend (quite busy this week). I’ll explain what mistakes I made while making it and how to avoid 🙂

      11. awwww. I agree that you learn from your mistakes. Good luck on another attempt.
        stay on track!! 😀 😀 certainly take your time.

      12. I haven’t posted in a week because my schedule was too busy 😦
        I made miso ramen though. It’s always really good! It doesn’t have the traditional toppings of course, because they take way too long to make and still tastes good without. I made it for my family this time. (someone not named) threw out the giant bowl of soup that took forever to make because of high blood pressure… next time I must remember to add only a tiny amount of soup to the bowl! Because this time, tons went to waste and I could only think of the ingredients like miso paste without additives fermented naturally in Japan with Japanese soybeans and wheat… and the traditional fermented Pi County fava bean segment and chili paste from Sichuan… and the long time it took to simmer the soup… ugh, LOL I always don’t like cooking for others because of this kind of thing happening, even though I know it’s just a little waste and Americans waste millions of tons of food every year. But it feels like my effort is totally wasted because I always have to spend so much time cooking in order to eat (half an hour isn’t that much, but still for my busy schedule, I can’t get other hobbies done like learning Japanese)… Do you like cooking for others? A lot of Americans do. Like in every other of Laura’s cooking videos she mentions she has guests today XD

      13. I have NEVER like cooking for anyone else. the times I do cook for family, I ask what I can bring. being family, I seem to know what and not to cook and what most like to eat. YAY,,,,RAMEN!!!! it’s one of the best dishes to use for leftovers when only a small amount remains and adding most anything to ramen is good tasting. I hope your efforts to make this dish was at least appreciated. 🙂

        Hope you now have more time to
        spend on your hobbies 😀

      14. Hehe. I made the ramen with Chinese dry noodles since I can’t get fresh ramen here. Very good but different texture and taste. But probably what you think of as ramen is different from what ramen really is. You can’t really use leftovers in ramen? Perhaps you are speaking of other noodles. It is fine to top noodles with leftovers. But Ramen is a special type of noodle dish made from noodles called chukamen with a unique soup and toppings. The variety of noodle, chukamen, was introduced to Japan from China within a hundred years ago probably. (Other noodles: udon, soba, somen were introduced like a thousand years ago.) The soups and toppings are also all Chinese inspired. Chukamen differ from the other 3 types of noodles because they have lye added. This makes them have a different texture and color, and also can make them a bit curly when cooked. Chukamen are used in 4 main dishes (there are more too, but these are most popular): Yakisoba (Japanese version of chow mein), Hiyashi Chuka (served cold with toppings), Tsukemen (dipped into a soup), and Ramen (served in a soup). All 4 are inspired by Chinese food but uniquely Japanese too. The soup for ramen is usually made from chicken or pork stock, like Chinese noodles in China. In Japan, udon, soba, somen all have soup with dashi base. But the soups are still uniquely Japanese. Like miso ramen includes toubanjan (Japanized version of Pi County fermented salted fava bean paste with dry red two-golden-strip variety chilies), miso, sesame seed powder, as flavorings. These are not used as a combination in any Chinese noodle dish but so tasty, hehe. For the toppings, they are also Chinese inspired. The most popular topping is yakibuta also called chashu in Japanese. Although yakibuta means roasted pork, and chashu means fork roast… it is braised not roasted! In Cantonese cuisine chashu is roasted. But the Japanese one is braised, almost like red braised pork but with Japanese seasonings and method. (Actually the Japanese do make more Chinese-style of red braised pork, but they call it kakuni literally square-simmered.) There are other toppings too like menma which is made from bamboo shoots, nori seaweed sheets, shredded white part of a naganegi (long green onion), and sweet corn kernels. Also, the soy sauce eggs which are inspired by Chinese cuisine too. These are most of the toppings. The soup for miso ramen also has ground pork. There are other types of ramen too. Shio ramen is mostly seasoned with salt, and shoyu ramen has a lot of soy sauce. There are many variations. Anyways ramen is NOT just a leftover noodle dish. However, leftovers can be served with noodles if you wish. In China, noodles are very simple. Basically, you can always serve any stir fry with noodles. Cook noodles while boiling 1 to 1.5 cups chicken/pork stock per person (preferably Chinese but western one is ok too. I always use Better than Bouillon paste) in another pot. Put noodles, cover with stock. Then top with any stir fry or braised dish or whatever that would taste good. You may serve with condiments: soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, Sichuan red chili oil, etc. This isn’t ramen. But it’s how soup noodles are served in Chinese homes. Popular stir-fries for this: tomato and egg (super fast meal), julienned pork and zha cai or pickled mustard greens (refreshing!), a lot more too. 🙂
        I am trying to spend my free time doing things important to me (learning Japanese!) but I ALWAYS get off track when I’m on a computer! I need to find a way to stop that. Because after, it doesn’t help that I get nothing done XD

      15. Thank You for your explanation. I’ve used pork slices, seaweed, chicken bits, cabbage,,,,nothing crazy but really good in broths.
        I’ve improved my staying on track by using timed increments to do a specific task. if I feel that I’m going off track, I put myself on time out,,,,hehe

      16. I’m using Duolingo for Esperanto during my free time. It’s fun because of how ridiculously easy the language is, and it prevents me from losing focus. My goal is to finish the whole “tree” (Duolingo courses are structured from lessons into a tree) before I go to Peru. Honestly a much more helpful goal would be to finish the Spanish tree instead, lol. Study showed that Duolingo is much more effective than Rosetta Stone (by far the least effect language “learning” software that costs like a thousand dollars to learn like 10 words that would never possibly be useful) and even more effective than a school course! Of course it is much more focused than a school course though. Funny fact, more people are learning Irish with Duolingo than there are native speakers of Irish! I’m excited to learn more languages in the future with Duo. Unlike other courses, it prevents me from getting distracted. And of course it’s by far the best way to legally learn for free with no ads! I wish a Japanese course could arrive sometime though… considering there is a klingon (fake alien language…) course already being created XD. When you have time you could try out the beta lesson 1 of learnyu and see if it is helpful 🙂 It’s said to be better than a personal tutor and also free, so I hope that more will be released by next year! Afterwards I’m hoping there will be a similar course for Japanese somewhere.

      17. I chuckled when you chose to go with Esperanto vs Spanish. do you know much Spanish for your trip?
        What about Duolingo works for YOU?
        hmmmm. wonder why Irish is popular.
        I couldn’t wait and I ordered the OST to Sound Of The Desert. so now it’s a waiting game for it to be shipped from Taiwan 😦 😦 😦 Do you know about the ‘er’ sound in Mandarin? is it really like the English ‘er’. there is something different about its sound but I can catch why it is. Glad you have sometime to focus on learning some language. I wonder why Duolingo does not focus on the more popular languages? Japanese should be popular enough!!

      18. I know: gracias, hola. XD a little more 🙂 but much less than the esperanto I already learned in the past 2 days, lol
        I should learn Spanish since it would be so helpful but Esperanto is so much easier! I wish Spanish was that easy. For example, in Romance languages every verb can have like 500 endings. And there are 3 classes. Then about 200 irregular verbs. While Esperanto has one class only, with like 8 endings!
        Irish is a very unique language since it’s Celtic (more distantly related to English but still in same family) so it has an interesting sound. I find it extremely challenging to read and pronounce though. Maybe I’ll try once I’m done with the languages I’m more interested in 🙂
        Yay! I hope it will arrive “soon”!
        The er sound is pronounced like errrrrr… like when you are thinking. NOT pronounced like “air”. But like the end of “butter”. In the northern dialects of Mandarin, like Beijing, an -r sound is put at the end of a lot of words. Like you would say “nar” meaning “there” or “where” (depending on tone) instead of “na”.
        Japanese is hard for Duolingo because of its writing system. It works better to use alphabets on Duo rather than confusing character systems like Japanese. Like in Chinese, at least 一 can only be pronounced “yi”. But in Japanese, yikes, it has like 20 different ways to be read depending on the words around it, and most of them sound totally different from each other! This would be really confusing to teach using Duolingo in my opinion. Maybe one day they will develop a way to make that happen easier. Right now Japanese is the most popular language people want on Duolingo. Just look at the reviews like “Why no Japanese?” hehe

  2. I agree that teaching Japanese would be hard to teach online but if a business is going to teach a language then teach what is most popular. Maybe you can use/or find a Spanish for the traveler’ lesson 🙂
    in this TV series, I do not hear much
    of the -r sound and I believe it’s Mandarin that they are using. But northern/southern Mandarin. I don’t know.
    what else is keeping you busy? done any baking? (maybe not in this hot weather). been busy myself with a mudroom/bath remodel. I really dislike making decisions about what I want. I’m a very ‘visual’ type person so I can’t imagine where I would want to see object go. Uhhhhh!!!

    1. Duolingo is really effective for some reason. It works better for me than Memrise. Maybe that’s because I’m using Duo to learn such an easy language (Esperanto)
      They are using standard Mandarin which is Beijing dialect with slang removed. There are less -r at the end of words (but still a little is optional). No TV show in Mainland China or Taiwan or Singapore would think about using any dialect other than standard Mandarin, unless to show something special like the poor people’s life in rural areas where they can’t speak standard Mandarin. TV shows in Hong Kong may use Cantonese sometimes though.
      I baked Hokkaido milk bread 🙂 It was good. It was very challenging and extremely time consuming compared to what I had expected XD I probably won’t bake it again.
      I’m busy for a lot of things this summer. I’ll have some free time to study and maybe blog. And of course cook a little but nothing that is too time consuming. One exception, I REALLY want to make red bean paste zongzi for Duan Wu Festival on Saturday. I hope I will be able to do so. I’m thinking about prep on Friday night and boiling Saturday morning 😀

      1. WordPress is not being very kind to me at this moment and I don’t know what to do. not sure you’ll get this message as this is my 3rd attempt to respond to your last message. 😦 😦

      2. Hmmm strange I got this message. But I did not get the previous. You can try again if you want but sorry for your efforts 😦
        Hopefully I will get the next message if you choose to send one.

  3. somewhere out in space are four or five responses to your previous comments.
    maybe I have something in these responses that is being blocked because they are basically the same contents so among the four attempts there are simular words that being used. I will wait for a different subject and see if it continues. BAFFLING!!

    1. So strange! I didn’t receive any of them. Hopefully WordPress would not think you are spam, since you already sent many good comments… I hope it will not continue 😦
      I’m not sure if I will be able to write more recipes for now. I already haven’t for 2 weeks. I hope I will write one for Duan Wu Festival though, with the zongzi recipe and some information! 🙂

      1. I’ll miss our small chats but you do what you have time for 🙂
        Hope you get this message

      2. Yay! I got the message, hehe. good night, おやすみ, 晚安 (^_^) selamat malam, bonan nokton, buenas noches, bonne nuit, buona notte, oíche mhaith, tisbah ‘ala khayr 😀

      3. Saluton! Here are some Updates! Yay!
        First, Esperanto is still continuing on Duolingo. It’s still really easy. But it gets a little harder when you learn more cause you can forget. Also I probably won’t be able to finish the whole course by the time I go to Peru, oh well. I’ll just try to get as much done as possible. I’m also thinking about learning a little Spanish. Learning Esperanto makes learning European languages a lot easier because it has simplified grammar, spelling, and vocabulary, which allows you to understand better. Maybe I’ll try learning a little. Meanwhile, my list of languages I want to learn sometime is pretty crazy. I added Thai to the list since I like Thai food and want to travel there someday, and the script is really beautiful but confusing. สวัสดี = “hello”
        Food, I haven’t had much time to cook new foods this week. But I will make zongzi tomorrow and on Saturday (I think prep tomorrow, then make them actually on Saturday). Yay! Duanwu Festival! The only thing I do on Duanwu Festival is eat zongzi, since there is no dragon boat race here! XD I love sticky rice and red bean paste and foods wrapped in leaves. So zongzi is very tasty 🙂

      4. busy,busy,busy!!!! I really like the
        writing that you displayed and its
        similar to Hindi script.
        wouldn’t hurt to learn more Spanish but if your using mostly tours then my guess is that you’ll be ok.
        you’ll want to know. ‘donde esta else
        baño/escusado’ (where is the bathroom/toilet) 😉

        how many languages are on you list’?

        will you be making your own Red Bean
        Paste or buying pre-made?
        I’ve never tasted anything wrapped in leaves. hopefully you’ll find the time to tell it in your blog.

      5. Yes, both actually derive from Brahmi script, which was used in India thousands of years ago. In the South, it became more curvy and it evolved into the South Indian and Southeast Asian scripts. In the North, letters became connected with a line at the top (usually) like Hindi script and Tibetan script too.
        Yes, I would learn more Spanish if traveling without tours, but since I am following a tour (with some free afternoons/mornings too) I don’t really need to know much. I’ll probably try to learn a few phrases. Duolingo-type phrases wouldn’t be that helpful (“Your bear drinks beer”, “The bear likes vegetarians”, “Rabbits have many offspring”, “Our owls are warm”, “I’m a penguin” are all on either the Spanish and/or Esperanto courses and I can translate them into Esperanto if you like, lol)
        Let’s see. Some languages are like “really want to learn fluently”, some “really want to learn some of it but fluent isn’t as necessary” and others “want to learn the basics and some phrases”. Also between the 2 and 3 categories the languages often switch XD
        Okay, the list is in order of most wanting to learn, to least wanting. So really want to learn fluently = Mandarin, Japanese. Esperanto probably, maybe I will even go to an Esperanto convention in the future XD. Want to learn intermediate level or at least basics first = Korean (I know so many Koreans but no Japanese who speak it! so it makes me feel bad for wanting to learn it less XD), Cantonese (for dim sum, other restaurants, and traveling to Hong Kong), Indonesian and Malaysian (very easy, same language but slightly different vocab and spelling), Thai, Vietnamese. Then several on my maybe list.
        3 hoping to be fluent, 5 hoping to be intermediate like my Mandarin now. I really want fluent Mandarin and my great wish is to be able to go to China for a month. That would be horrifying for my schedule though XD maybe it will happen in many years!
        On my maybe list there are 9999999999 languages: Lhasa Tibetan, White Hmong, Standard Zhuang, Uyghur, Turkish, Egyptian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, Irish, etc. everything on Duolingo except Klingon, once I’m done with Esperanto. (small rant about WHY Duolingo already approved fake alien language with 12 human speakers, yet has not approved any of the 10000 real languages with more speakers)
        Food-related now 🙂 hope you were not bored with the long long language paragraph again XD
        I’ll make my own red bean paste since I’m not going to the Asian store 🙂
        Zongzi, banh chung, and many other Asian foods are made from glutinous rice boiled inside leaf pouches. I will definitely try to blog about the Duanwu Festival customs, origins, and foods like zongzi. Hopefully it will be a success 😀
        PS. Since Esperanto is so regular, estas is used with 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons singular and plural and it sounds so funny after remembering the basic Spanish from school.

      6. I’m a sucker for cute and pretty so I guess it’s my only reason for liking these scroll’ish type texts 😊
        so sounds like you don’t have much of a need to learn Spanish and since your not as interest as much to learn Spanish anyways, you should be okay for your trip, but what’s with these silly phrases? ‘Our Owls are warm?’. where do they think your going? Thanks for the offer to translate into Esperanto 🙂 🙂
        Wow,,,attending an Esperanto Convention would be better then drinking beer with a vegitarian bear. 🙂
        learning Korean/Japanese would be nice especially if your serious about going to these places. I think it’s worth it even if you have no one to practice with.
        staying in China for a month is more possible because you already have family connections and you can take advantage of this opportunity in 9999999 years (or sooner)
        I don’t think I’ve ever been bored with your long long language paragraph (your statement) I always prefer more rather then less and its always you who takes the time to type it out. THANKS.

      7. I love the Brahmic scripts too 🙂
        Yes. But I would like to learn some phrases. I still remember a small amount from school. But obviously barely anything.
        Saluton, mi estas Link. = Hola, soy Link. = Bonjour, je suis Link.
        Another phrase would be “I do not need a man” XD
        Nia strigoj estas malvarmaj (Our owls are cold)
        mi trinkas bieron kun vegetara urso (I drink beer with a vegetarian bear)
        Yes, I really want to visit Japan and Korea sometime. Korean is a lot harder than Japanese though. But I can still do it. Probably not for a while though. My goal is first Japanese then Korean. Actually, first Esperanto, then Japanese.
        My parents’ generation speaks Standard Mandarin quite badly. And my grandparents’ generation can’t speak Standard Mandarin. Actually my grandpa can understand it but doesn’t speak it. He was too poor to attend school. But he had to join the Chinese (communist) army to fight in the Korean War. He actually learned to read there. He studied 50 characters a day in his little free time. Now he can read. And he can use a PC. Better than other Chinese elderly people who went to college yet cannot use technology. Meanwhile my step-grandma is illiterate and can read even less than me. This makes me feel quite strange. She can’t speak or understand much Standard Mandarin and speaks a strong rural dialect of Sichuanese. I can’t understand a word. My step-grandmother’s granddaughter has to translate to Standard Mandarin while I can barely speak Standard Mandarin myself even though I understand speech. But I can’t understand the TV news and documentaries etc. They use highly formal vocab. I really like Sichuan though. If I stay there long enough my Mandarin will become better and I might even learn Sichuanese, hehe. One of my friends has a parent living in China and must visit every summer for a month. She used to not be able to speak Chinese but now she can. But my reading Chinese is still better than hers. (If I open a Chinese novel or blog or newspaper, I still can’t read it though.) Probably after learning Esperanto for a month it will be better than my Chinese XD. Actually Chinese is my first language. When I went to preschool I spoke English. It became better than my Chinese. But through my early childhood I pronounced things wrong like th. Now I speak like a native white American but with only very few words wrong (my parents pronounced them that way). Anyways my Chinese is horrible and I can’t even speak without translating, yikes, but I can understand speech. Just too much vocab is passive and I forget how to say it. This is because I use the language too rarely.
        Anyways, long travel is too hard for me 😦 but I hope I can do it one day.. I wish Esperanto replaced English. Since it’s so easy. English spelling is ridiculous. Ghoti is pronounced FISH. (touGH, wOmen, naTIon, = tuF, wImin, naySHin) You must learn 99999 rules throughout elementary and middle to read and spell 85% of English correctly yet adults still spell wrong. The other 15% is totally irregular. English has a SPELLING BEE because of how hard it is. Children can win tons of money by spelling irregular words right. Crazy. My mom memorized a dictionary to take the TOEFL test in order to immigrate to USA. Then when she got here she couldn’t speak or understand a word since it was so different from spelling. English is probably about as hard as Japanese to read. When my mom learns a new vocab, she cannot spell it at all since English spelling is so weird. English grammar makes no sense either. I’m not even sure how small children around the world can possibly learn this strangest language. I wish everyone spoke Esperanto. But only 2 million speak it. Which is about nothing compared to English.
        Another long long language paragraph hehe 🙂
        Nedankinde / You’re welcome / De nada

      8. perhaps a weird and a little cruel question but do you know if the Chinese government really wants to have a ‘standard’ language for all modern Chinese. seems like transitioning to a started language has been going on for such a long time.
        while I agree that English is a hard language to learn and even hard to write properly, even in some the poorest countries, kids can speak some English. or at least that’s the sense I get from watching foreign documentaries.

        I sincerely hope your wish to learn Japanese comes true and I hope to be able to read from some distance blog of yours of your trip to Japan.
        Happy learning/stay focused and take good pictures of your Zongzi

      9. The standard language programs in China were started like a hundred years ago. However at that time poor people like my grandparents could not go to school so they couldn’t learn it. Then, at my parents’ time, people learned it in school but used it less. Now, in the modern time, ONLY the standard language is allowed in schools. In fact, the other Chinese languages are becoming endangered despite having hundreds of millions of speakers, since they are being replaced by Standard Mandarin. Everyone 30 or under speaks Standard Mandarin very fluently. My mom can’t even speak Sichuanese very much anymore. She just speaks Standard Mandarin with Sichuanese pronunciation, when talking to my grandparents.
        English is really hard. But kids can speak some since English is taught so much in schools and is heard in music and TV (even people in Africa can see a TV once in a while). When heard so much, you can still learn it. But it’s really hard. In Nigeria and India, English programs in schools are taking too much time and distracting from important studies. If it was Esperanto instead, they could learn much faster. Even if it was Spanish they would learn it faster, since Spanish spelling is so much more regular than English 🙂
        Standard languages are interesting in different countries. In China, Standard Mandarin is necessary to read and is spoken everywhere. In Indonesia, Indonesian is similar. Except there are thousands of languages in Indonesia. While China has dozens only. In the Arab world, Modern Standard Arabic is spoken by ZERO people. It is only written. However, it is used in the news, and in children’s cartoons. (Shows with people acting are dubbed in local dialect.) This may be because the Arab World is so many countries, not just one, like Indonesia.
        More about Indonesian: It’s the standard language of Indonesia, a country with thousands of islands. Each island has dozens of ethnic groups. Each ethnic group has its own language with many different dialects. The largest one is the Javanese. The capital is on Java too, and same with the early presidents. However, for some reason the government did not make Javanese the standard language. They didn’t want to create an ethnic bias. So they chose Malay. Malay in ancient times was a lingua franca in Indonesia. The Malay ethnic group dominated trade early on. And in Indonesia there are few Malay people. Only thousands, not millions. So they used the standardized form and called it Indonesian. At the beginning politicians still used Javanese. But now Indonesian is widespread. In fact, Javanese is slowly dying with its hundreds of millions of speakers speaking Indonesian instead. Malaysia also uses Malay as the standard language. But their standardization is a little different and they call it Malaysian. Malay is a very easy language with easy grammar, spelling, etc.
        I actually don’t want to go to Japan yet because I can’t speak much Japanese. I think when I reach an intermediate level in a few years (if I have time and don’t get distracted XD) then I would like to go to Japan. 🙂
        Yay! Zongzi 😀

    1. Hi! 🙂
      I still have WeChat app. Foxmail is through WeChat. So I will receive a notification if I get a mail. Currently there is nothing in my inbox though. Feel free to send anything if you like.

    2. I’m writing my zongzi and Duanwu Festival info, history, culture, variations. It’s really really long. I finished everything except the zongzi part (that means I’m probably 2/3 way there). It took 2 hrs to write this part so far. I have to go somewhere now so I hope I’ll finish tonight! The recipe is not part of the post. I will make the recipe the next post! I made red bean paste last night and it was amazing and ridiculously easy with a pressure cooker. (Soak beans. Add to cooker. Cover. Cook. Wait for pressure to release. Open. Mash. Add sugar. Boil. Stir a couple minutes until thick. Take out, cool.) Zongzi were made this morning also with a pressure cooker. It takes only an hour to finish! It’s really tasty and awesome. The zongzi are challenging to wrap at the beginning. The more you do, the more you get the hang of it. It isn’t nearly as easy to wrap as YouTube videos show though. The zongzi are very tasty. I made like 30. I didn’t count though. I had to pressure cook 2 batches even though my cooker is gigantic. It was really tasty. But I made it only very faintly sweet, which of course my mom likes a lot. My mom failed zongzi making before, lol. She loves zongzi since it has sticky rice. Our family likes red bean zongzi more than savory one. But I like the savory one too. I just couldn’t make it since you need a billion more ingredients and I couldn’t go to the Chinese store. I used the leaves from my mom’s failed attempt (several years old!) and leftover organic red beans. I used up all of the beans and sticky rice in my house. Anyways since it’s not very sweet I can add honey or sugar on top, hehe. But of course my mom won’t. Zongzi are tasty and time consuming to make. With a pressure cooker though, you only need one morning to make them. 🙂
      Look forward to my post tonight! (Hopefully I will finish!)

      1. to me, your last comment was your Zongzi blog. I know it’s tiime consuming and since its YOUR blog you should take whatever time you want to add to your experience with Zongzi making. later gater!!

      2. I finished my blog post! It’s extremely long and detailed. Go check it out and hope you enjoy 🙂
        I still have the recipe of zongzi to write tomorrow. Look forward to it too 😀
        I sacrificed my Esperanto studying to write this blog post though, so my 6 day streak is gone 😦
        oh well! Have a healthy Duan Wu Festival! 😀

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