Tag Archives: pasta

Ramen Noodles in Beef Broth

This is my first beef related recipe since we had a cow butchered! You can read more about that experience here.

Don’t skip past this post just because you think people who care about good food and health don’t eat ramen. They do! Before moving to Laos, I thought ramen noodles were sort of a lazy junk food for college students. Actually that’s not true, my mom used to serve them without the liquid as a side dish and I always loved them.

Anyway, ramen can be more than junk food. The best ramen I’ve ever eaten was from a ramen restaurant in a Japanese neighborhood of Bangkok. The noodles were handmade and served in a beef broth with leafy greens and tempura shrimp. It isn’t fancy Japanese food, but it’s real food and a good ramen shop should be appreciated.

In Laos, noodles are very popular, but the noodle shops usually specialize in straight rice noodles rather than wavy ramen noodles made of wheat. But, you can buy dry ramen packets at almost any convenience store and people do. Many Lao people usually eat ramen in a healthier way than Americans do. They cook it the same way, but at the end they pile on green vegetables – cilantro, green onions, celery leaves, Thai basil . . . They might also include tomato and a cooked egg or some meat.   Continue reading

Linguine Carbonara and Watermelon Juice

I’m pleased to announce that this is my first guest post! My brother, Scott, is a great cook. He makes his own chicken broth, pita bread, and braided challah bread. Scott is probably a braver cook than me in some ways because I have never dealt with a whole chicken by myself. We had originally thought Scott might post his challah recipe, but it comes from a cookbook, which brings up copyright issues, so he chose to share this meal instead! I hope this will be the first of many guest posts from Scott.  Parmesan is not easily available in Laos, but you can get it in Vientiane. You could use the New Zeeland cheddar if you have to, but it won’t be as good. Usually carbonara includes ham or bacon, so add that too if you wish.

Carbonara is mac and cheese’s classy older cousin.  It’s a creamy and savory pasta dish with a pepper bite and yet will take perhaps only three or four more minutes than the blue box.  I’m not sure about the availability of parmesan in Laos, but the other 5 ingredients or substitutes should be available.

Watermelon juice compliments this dish well, it’s sweet, thirst quenching and puts out the black pepper sniffles.  I hear this drink comes from Mexico, but it could be from anywhere. Continue reading

Tomato Pasta Sauce (the better one)

After talking with my friend Meghan, who loves tomatoes, I’ve changed how I make pasta sauce. Pureeing the tomatoes before cooking them wasn’t a great idea because it ended up with a strange consistency. So this time, I only halved some cherry tomatoes and they became soft very quickly. You don’t need to use cherry tomatoes, it’s just what I had. I liked this sauce better. Like the other sauce recipe, you can add 1/4 C red wine and let the sauce cook a little longer. Continue reading

Alfredo Sauce

We make this sauce a lot and serve it over fettuccine. Sometimes I add a half cup of broccoli or seeded and diced tomato. I think this is just as good as the store bought stuff, if not better. If you have a lot of parmesan, you could use that instead of the white cheddar and it would be more authentic. Continue reading

Tomato Pasta Sauce


I think in many places it’s actually cheaper to buy pre-made sauce than to buy the tomatoes to make it yourself. Why is that? Anyway, homemade sauce is worth the effort. This is what I’ve come up with, but it’s sort of a work in progress. Continue reading