HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Cookbook of the Month June 2013: BURMA Fish & Seafood, Chicken, Beef & Pork

We've chosen BURMA: RIVERS OF FLAVOR for June.

This is the reporting thread for the following three chapters:

Fish & Seafood, p131
Chicken, p155
Beef & Pork, p177

Please remember that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

As always, have fun, and I look forward to hearing your reports.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Easy Grilled Chicken, p. 163

    I had to pinch myself, because this recipe sure felt like I was cooking from Planet Barbecue. The name sums it up nicely: it's chicken, it's grilled, it's easy. But of course there is more to it than that.

    The recipe calls for chicken breasts or legs, chopped into small pieces. It refers you to page 157 for clarification on what that means. What it means, according to page 157, is the chicken is chopped to 10 pieces per pound. So a drumstick is chopped in half, a thigh into three pieces, a breast half into 4 pieces, and so on. This is all assuming you have pieces on the bone.

    Well, I had boneless thighs, so I divided each thigh into three pieces, and that was that. The resulting pieces were larger than bite size, big enough to grill easily without worrying about them falling through the grate.

    The chicken gets marinated in a mix of salt, turmeric, red chile powder (or cayenne), minced garlic, minced ginger, and fish sauce. The recipe says to marinate for 30 minutes, but for my own timing reasons I let it go about 2 hours.

    Then you grill it. My grilling time was much shorter than stated in the recipe, partly because I was grilling boneless pieces, and partly because my grill was pretty hot. I did the chicken on a mini Green Egg, over lump charcoal, which imparted a nice smokiness on top of the flavorful seasoning from the marinade. This was an easy and tasty recipe for the grill which was reminiscent, as noted earlier, of something out of Planet Barbecue. Absolutely a keeper.

    Served with the okra-shallot stir fry on p. 102, white rice, and the tart-sweet chile-garlic sauce from p. 36.

    18 Replies
    1. re: MelMM

      Very interesting MelMM. I was drawn to this as well but I was a little reticent about the hacking of chicken. Primarily for two reasons, I am not experienced with a cleaver and I don't want to damage my cutting board or me, and also I love the flavour of bone in chicken meat but I always find it challenging to eat politely.

      Do you think there was a huge difference in flavour to for your boneless prep?

      1. re: delys77

        I love bone-in meat too, and generally do not shy away from butchering tasks. But in this case, I think most of the flavor is coming from the marinade, so I really think the boneless substitution is fine here, and much easier to eat.

        I think this could also be done with even smaller pieces on skewers for a great pass-around party dish or appetizer.

      2. re: MelMM

        This is perfect for me, Mel. I felt like Delys about hacking through bones, etc. I didn't even think about using boneless, though, and as far as I can tell most if not all the chicken recipes call for 15 pieces of chopped bone-in chicken.

        1. re: Gio

          I've been looking at those recipes that call for cutting a 2-1/2 to 3 lb chicken into 15 pieces and I'm not buying it. I have a good, heavy cleaver and I'm not the least uneasy about using it. But the idea of cutting the leg of a 2-1/2 lb chicken into 3 pieces just seems silly to me. I plan to ignore that instruction. In fact, if you read the caption on page 163 for the Easy Grilled Chicken, she says "The chicken has been left in larger pieces here, rather that being cut small." Looks good to me.

          1. re: JoanN

            Very small pieces might make sense if being eaten with chopsticks, but as far as I've understood from the book the Burmese only use chopsticks with noodles.

            1. re: JoanN

              Originally I thought this book was going to be more intimidating than it's turning put to be. I've been rethinking the recipes I intend to cook and feel as you do about the tiny pieces of meat. This opens up many more recipes that are appealing, what Delys says about chopsticks notwithstanding. That's what I'll consider from now on. Small enough for chopsticks.

              1. re: JoanN

                What I do in cases like this is make a few slashes in the piece of chicken through to the bone, but not cutting through. It gives more surface area without having to hack through the bones.

            2. re: MelMM

              Easy Grilled Chicken, p. 163

              Made this pretty much just as MelMM did, using boneless thighs (8) cut to 3-4 pieces, marinating around 2 hours. We just loved this recipe. It was very fast to put together and packed full of great flavour. I really like fish sauce in a marinade, as it seems to add an extra depth of briny savouriness to the meat. There was just enough spice in the chicken to give a touch of lingering heat on the palate as well as give a light orange colour to the pieces. While the chicken was good enough to eat alone, it was complemented nicely with the tart-sweet chile garlic sauce. Served with sticky rice and a cabbage dish. We were all longing for more meat by the time it was gone, so maybe next time I'll make extra.

              Every time I grill chicken I wonder why I don't do it more often; it's so easy! This one's going into the summer rotation.

               
              1. re: Allegra_K

                I love your photo, that is exactly how I think this dish should look!

                1. re: L.Nightshade

                  Thank you, and I'm glad your first "Burma" meal worked out so well for you!

              2. re: MelMM

                Easy Grilled Chicken, p. 163

                I couldn't resist this one either; had me at "easy" and "grilled." Because I had unevenly matched chicken pieces, a package of drumettes and another of thighs, I did hack away at the thighs with my cleaver. While this made for more uniformly sized pieces and easier grill timing, the hacked pieces were quite visibly *hacked*: I definitely lack cleaver skills. I probably won't be engaging in this scary practice again.

                As has already been described, said pieces get rubbed with easy-peasy marinade and grilled. I managed to overgrill them a tad (should have listened to DH on this one, but had to be my bossy self). Still, we both loved this--I w/the Tart-Sweet Chile-Garlic Sauce, DH without. His verdict: the chicken is so flavorful on its own that it needs no sauce. True, but I thought the sauce enhanced it.

                A definite repeater--but next time I'll either use boneless chicken or just grill the larger pieces.

                 
                1. re: MelMM

                  Easy Grilled Chicken p. 123

                  Recipe for those without the book : http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012...

                  Another quick after work meal.We made ours with bone-in skin on chicken thighs. We only marinated the chicken for 30 minutes.

                  Although the chicken was quite tasty, it wasn't a stand out for us.

                  1. re: MelMM

                    Easy Grilled Chicken, page 163.
                    This dish is well-described above, so I won't repeat that information. We used boneless breasts (actually, the plan was to use breasts and thighs, but two packages of breasts were purchased by mistake). They were cut into long pieces, too big to fall through the grill. I served the chicken with the tart sweet chile garlic sauce. The chicken was on the grill a tad too long (not overdone, but not perfectly moist), as I underestimated the timing for another dish. But was still delicious. I agree that it probably doesn't "need" the sauce, but it's a lovely addition. Besides, I'll use any excuse to eat that sauce!

                     
                    1. re: MelMM

                      Easy Grilled Chicken, p. 163

                      We made this dish with boneless skinless thighs, which made for a quick and tasty meal. This one is great for a weeknight. The marinade comes together in a flash and the recommended marination time is short, yet the flavor still packs a punch. I agree with Allegra that the fish sauce really makes a difference. Would I have preferred bone-in thighs with crispy skin? Yes, but it would have taken longer. Would I have liked to have some tart-sweet chili garlic sauce on hand to enhance the flavor? Yes. But the plain grilled thighs were still quite good on their own. I served the chicken with Andy Ricker's coconut rice (a favorite) and the charred (grilled in my case) broccoli with garlic, chile and fish sauce from Radically Simple.

                      1. re: Westminstress

                        Gosh, I'd forgotten how perfect "Burma" was for summertime cooking. Thanks for the prompt to pull this off the shelf, Westminstress.

                        1. re: Westminstress

                          I echo what Nomad has said. I'm going to have another look too. Thanks WM!

                          1. re: Gio

                            No prob! The shrimp and cucumber salad is also due for a repeat at my house....

                      2. Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce, p.162

                        I made this tonight, using 1/2 lb. boneless thighs, and 1/2 lb. boneless breasts, cut into small pieces (probably a bit bigger than 1/2 inch as stated in the recipe). I do have a mortar & pestle and was therefore able to mash the garlic and ginger to a paste, but chopping and mashing them on a cutting board holding your knife at an angle can accomplish almost the same thing. I'm thinking this might be a step worth doing, as the resulting sauce is probably that much more flavorful than if the garlic & ginger are simply minced.

                        Speaking of the sauce...after preparing that lovely garlic/ginger mixture, I would advise adding a bit less water to your pot/wok after sauteeing the chicken. Or, alternatively, increase the amount of both the garlic and ginger by another 50%. The sauce was delicious, but I thought the full cup of water probably diluted it a bit too much. I didn't think I would be able to find "green cayenne chiles" and purchase serrano chiles as a substitute, but coincidentally found the cayennes (labeled "finger chiles") at an Indian market when buying chickpea flour. I only used 2 but should not have been so timid - we only felt a very slight bit of heat.

                        To finish, lime juice added a slight amount of tartness, but not as much as the title of the recipe suggests; again, using less water would more than likely allow the lime flavor to come through. I served this with Basmati rice, and even with my problems with the sauce (which is easy enough to fiddle with), thought the final result was quite delicious.

                         
                        8 Replies
                        1. re: lesliej

                          That looks wonderful! It's on my list...

                          1. re: Gio

                            Thanks, Gio - I got to thinking about the above discussion on cutting-up chicken pieces, and even though this recipe worked beautifully with boneless chicken, using the "drumettes" and "flat" pieces of chicken wings may be a nice alternative. They would need to cook a little longer (as she mentions) but not too long, and might would work well as "finger food". Because the sauce/broth probably wouldn't permeate pieces with skin as deeply as boneless pieces, refrigerating the finished dish overnight then reheating would probably compensate for this. Spending a few extra minutes searing to put a little color on the skin might be nice, too.

                          2. re: lesliej

                            We made this last night. My husband liked it and pronounced it "very good" but I found it pretty spicy. I too used serranos, just two and they were seeded and deveined. When I make it again I may try it with a jalapeno. I liked the flavors. I served it with couscous and a tomato an mozzarella salad it helped to temper the heat.

                            1. re: lesliej

                              Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce, p.162

                              Despite its bland look--it and the accompanying napa cabbage stir fry made for one monochromatic plate--we liked this chicken, with its gingery punch and chile kick, quite a lot.

                              Not much to add to lesliej's report: I used bs chicken thighs, cut into pieces, the garlic-ginger-salt paste, three fresh thai bird chiles, seeded. Based on lesliej's recommendation, I decreased the water for the sauce to a scant 2/3 c, and reduced the sauce a bit before finishing with lime juice and cilantro.

                              Another quick and easy recipe that delivers big flavor from a short list of ingredients and minimal effort.

                               
                              1. re: lesliej

                                I made this tonight and reduced the amount of water to a scant half cup and the sauce was perfect--tangy and a bit thickened. I used 4 cayenne chiles, split as recommended and it was spicy. About a half cup of cilantro mixed in brightened the colour. I'll be making this again.

                                1. re: lesliej

                                  Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce, p.162

                                  This was a huge hit even with a slight misstep. I used boneless skinless thighs, cut into one inch pieces. I forgot to pound the garlic and ginger together. I only minced them. But, it didn't matter.

                                  It was a bit bland looking so I chopped up cilantro give it a bit of color.

                                  1. re: lesliej

                                    I liked this recipe as is. I didn't really measure anything, though I did use exactly one pound of chicken thighs and one cup of water. I thought the thin sauce was full of flavor and the highlight of the dish--delicious spooned over rice. It would be fine to use less water, but I would suggest using more garlic, ginger, lime, and salt instead, because like I said, the sauce is the best part, and also because the extra water helps ensure even cooking of the chicken. I don't think the goal here is to make a reduced sauce that clings to the chicken. And if you feel there's too much water at the very end, you can always drain it off.

                                    I have a very high spice tolerance. That said, I used five unseeded bird chiles and didn't find the dish the least bit spicy.

                                    1. re: lesliej

                                      Chicken in Tart Garlic Sauce

                                      Made this almost a week ago, but just getting around to posting. Much has already been covered above, but I was using bone-in thighs (removed the skin, cut most of the meat into 2" chunks, then chopped the thigh bone in half). Also, I used half the oil, but browned/crisped one of my reserved skins in the oil, removed it, proceeded as written. Between the added flavor/depth from the bones, and the added richness from the skin, the sauce, using a scant cup of water, seemed just about right for body to us. The overall flavors were OK, but maybe not our favorite Shan Chicken curry.

                                       
                                    2. Shrimp Curry, p. 136

                                      Another very easy dish here. Heat up some oil, toss in some turmeric, then some shallots and garlic. Stir-fry that for a bit, then add some tomatoes. That cooks down for a while, then you add water and fish sauce. Shrimp goes in, and simmers until pink, and green chiles and salt are added. Cilantro is sprinkled on top (I went heavy on it and stirred it in).

                                      This didn't seem very curry-like to me, but it was a good dish. Also very, very easy, and made with ingredients I already had on hand. Nice quick weeknight supper along with some rice and fried zucchini (from p. 125).

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: MelMM

                                        Shrimp Curry, p. 136

                                        We had this for dinner tonight--very quickly assembled, as MelMM has noted. (I started out trying to pound the shallots and garlic in my mortar and pestle, as Duguid suggests, but gave up quickly and just tossed the minced bits into the peanut oil.) I too was heavy-handed with the cilantro and thought the flavors were improved by it.

                                        We liked this fine, but tomato-forward seafood dishes will never be my favorite, even when brightened by cilantro and a squirt of lime. Not a failure by any means--we'll certainly finish the leftovers--but I guess I prefer shrimp curries with coconut milk or cream to mute the tomatoes.

                                         
                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                          Yeah, those tomatoes kinda threw me off when I first read the recipe. And I'm with you on the coconut milk. Your pic sure looks good, though.

                                        2. re: MelMM

                                          Shrimp Curry, Pg. 136

                                          We had this for dinner last night and Loved it. No, it didn't taste like Indian curry, it tasted like Burmese curry. Very easy to prep and cook as Mel and NW said. I increased the garlic, turmeric, and cilantro by just about 1/4. Deceased the water by 1/4 and used ground cayenne for the chili powder. The tomatoes were Maine "backyard beauties", organic/hydroponic... full of luscious flavor which added to the deliciousness of the sauce which we sopped up with warm naan.

                                          Served with the Smoky Napa Stir-Fry on page 115 as Ms Duguid suggests. This will be a repeat for us and I think chunks of firm white fish would do well here too.

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Couldn't agree with you more on the fish idea. When the tomatoes are good, Burmese fish curry with tomatoes is a really nice dish, and super easy and healthy too.

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              Okay. I'll rethink the tomatoes. And wait until the good ones are at the farmers' market. Getting a late start here, but keeping a "to try" list and it keeps getting longer and longer.

                                            2. re: Gio

                                              Having a good laugh re-reading my post about the "deceased" water. Of course that's supposed to be "decreased". Thank you Spellchecker!!

                                            3. re: MelMM

                                              Shrimp Curry - p. 136

                                              We ended up making this with canned tomatoes, because the fresh ones available around here are still pretty depressing at this time of year. I think that may be the reason why the sauce part of this curry mostly just tasted of... canned tomatoes. Somehow I didn't manage to get the balance of flavours right. I know I will want to try this recipe again later in the summer, when I have fresh tomatoes and good garlic.

                                              On the plus side, I was extremely fortunate to score some fresh, live spot prawns at a very reasonable price, and used them in this dish. The prawns were outstanding, so it was by no means a disappointing meal!

                                              1. re: geekmom

                                                Oh Geekmom, where did you get the well priced spot prawns.

                                                1. re: delys77

                                                  From Skipper Otto's CSF - they had a pickup on Wednesday. Not sure if their spot prawn fisherman, Stewart, will get another chance to bring any in before the season closes.

                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                    Interesting, I've looked into the CSF before but I was worried it would be a bit salmon heavy. Glad to hear they are adding new products.

                                            4. Katchin Pounded Beef with Herbs, p. 178

                                              Even though the "pounding" technique was somewhat problematic for me, the finished dish of deeply- flavored minced beef was delicious.

                                              I used a 1 1/4 lb. chuck-eye steak, trimmed as much surrounding fat as possible, and braised the 1" pieces in Sichuan-peppered water. There may have been too much water in the skillet, or perhaps I simmered the meat at a lower boiling point, but this process took closer to 45 minutes (which was fine because the meat needs to be tender). Then I quickly seared the cubed meat in a wok. I made the herb paste while the meat was simmering. The ginger, garlic, toasted peppercorns and coriander were easy to pulverize in my smallish mortar & pestle, but I should have separately ground the dried red chiles and peppercorns to a powder in my coffee grinder as she suggests because I COULD NOT break down the chiles into the paste...I ended up using my kitchen scissors to "mince" the chiles into the paste, making the pieces as small as I could.

                                              I ended up "shredding" the pieces of beef with two forks because I couldn't seem to successfully break it down any other way - even using the "alternative" method of pressing/pounding with a mallet. But, the end result was tasty and spicy. The two red chiles give plenty of heat (I felt sweat on my brow this time!), and the Sichuan peppers were interesting to work with (not overpowering at all - they provide a nice, fragrant mildly peppery taste). My only adjustment might have been to cut back on the salt - should have started with 1 teaspoon then added more to taste.

                                              I can see where this would be nice "served with drinks" as Ms. Duguid mentions, or as part of a selection of small plates, as it is intensely flavored (and with just 1 lb. of beef the yield is not huge). I just served it alongside rice, with her Succulent Grapefruit Salad.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: lesliej

                                                Just had a "why didn't I think of that!" moment while reading the reviews of the Lemongrass-Ginger Sliders... Allegra mentioned how using a food processor would have broken down the various ingredients faster than the mortar & pestle, and realized the processor was what I should have used to mince the beef. The spice paste could be worked into it afterwards, or processed with the meat.

                                                1. re: lesliej

                                                  I just got around to making this dish - it sure is different. I love it for its intense flavours but some may find it too strong. I used a food processor on the meat as suggested above and I think that is an excellent solutiuon. It was a bit of an adventuire finding the Sichuan pepper and the Vietnamese coriander, they are both out there but were not labelled with these terms (in Chinatown Toronto) so I had to go on visual memory from web image searches. My dish ended up with very strong Sichuan pepper taste (and slight mouth-numbing, but nowhere near as much as from the one piece I ate directly to see what it would do), and quite salty, although I am not sure if it really is all that salty or if the Sichuan pepper in part makes it seem that way. The Vietnamese coriander is unique, but I think a substitution of normal cilantro would not be a problem for those who have no access to the former.

                                                  1. re: maple99

                                                    I am happy to see that you tried this recipe and now that I've read your review I have concluded that I need to seek out a better source for Sichuan peppercorns - I found mine at Whole Foods ("Frontier" brand) but they are actually not that strong or flavorful (I think the heat in my finished dish came primarily from the chiles I used). Maybe I'll try Penzey's as I see them listed in their catalog. Glad the processor worked out for you - that is the way I will go the next time I make this.

                                                    1. re: lesliej

                                                      FWIW, I've been using the Sichuan peppercorns from Penzey's since the early days of cooking from Fuchsia Dunlop's books. To my palate they have just the right amount of the ma la/numbing effect component people look for in such a spice.

                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                        Terrific - thanks! I will definitely add them to my next order!

                                              2. Lemongrass-Ginger Sliders p.192

                                                Recipe here: http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipe/164...

                                                This seemingly simple recipe was the main dish for an all-Burmese dinner, and though it was good, there are some things I would do differently for next time.

                                                There are several different options for meat types and cuts to use in this recipe, from hand-chopped beef chuck/pork shoulder to ground pork or chuck. In my province of residence, I have never seen a cut of beef labelled "chuck", ever. (Any ideas what this would alternatively be called?) So I used a regular fatty ground beef. The beef is mixed with turmeric and set aside while the flavouring paste is made.
                                                For the paste, minced lemongrass, garlic, shallots (mincing a 1/2 c shallots is pretty time consuming!), and ginger are pounded in a mortar or a food processor. I used the mortar, and made each ingredient to a paste in order of most fibrous before adding the next one. A small amount of chilled rice, chile powder, and chopped tomatoes also add their flavours to the blend. This paste takes quite some time to break down with the mortar and pestle and if I had known how much it made I would have opted to use a food processor. The paste is blended with the meat, formed in to 1" balls and flattened to thick patties, then fried in oil until they form a nice crust. I elected to toss them on the grill and it worked just as well.

                                                I find that anytime a recipe I make has "lemongrass" in its title, I expect the finished product to be filled with the delicate scent of the herb, and am always let down. Same thing here; it needed more lemongrass flavour. I would double for next time. Also I was not a big fan of the beef and think that pork would have been better suited to these flavours, or at least a blend of pork and beef.

                                                I made the mistake of calling these "burgers" to the family, and when the tiny meat patties were presented sans buns and pickles there was much disappointed grumbling and other protests from the hungry lot. After they got over it, the patties were well received by the dining companions. I, however, was underwhelmed, and kept spooning the fiery tart-sweet chile garlic sauce over the meat in an attempt to boost the flavours. I'd like to try this again with those adjustments and see how it turns out.

                                                 
                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                  Besides the well written post Allegra, those little patties look perfectly shaped. Good job!

                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                    Beef chuck is I believe called braising steak in my corner of the world (England).

                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                      Lemongrass-Ginger Sliders p.192

                                                      I made these last night. Allegra has described the process, so just a few notes from me. I went a bit heavy on all the seasonings. I used my molcajete to make the paste, and it worked well. If you only have a small mortar and pestle, you might want to use a food processor. I used local grass-fed ground beef for the meat. I grilled them over hardwood lump charcoal on a mini Green Egg, instead of pan frying.

                                                      We really liked these. The rice in the paste was just enough to make the patties very tender. Perhaps because I had a heavy hand with chile powder, I found them well-seasoned with a pleasant, but not overwhelming heat. I would make these again.

                                                      Allegra, chuck is from the shoulder. You might check at the meat counter of your market and see if they have one of those diagrams that shows where each cut comes from and see what they are calling it where you are. A lot of butchers, even in supermarkets, have these diagrams.

                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                        Glad you liked them!

                                                        Thanks for the info on the beef; it looks like chuck might be the same as blade. I'd like to try this recipe now with the hand-chopped proper cut and see if I would enjoy it more.

                                                      2. re: Allegra_K

                                                        Lemongrass-Ginger Sliders p.192

                                                        I decided to make a half-recipe for a lunch for DH and me. I used 1/2 Lb of ground pork. (For the red-meat averse, these could probably be made successfully with ground turkey or chicken.)

                                                        Remembering that Allegra was underwhelmed by underspiced patties, I upped the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass proportions by 50%. Otherwise, I followed the recipe except that I used Korean chile powder (of which I wouldn't have minded a bit more in the mix). I had planned to grill them but discovered we were out of fuel for the gas grill so fried them in hot oil in a cast iron skillet.

                                                        We ate these in butter lettuce "cups," with cucumber batons, sliced radish, and cilantro and drizzled with the tart-sweet chile-garlic sauce. Diet-friendly, low-carb, healthful--we felt downright virtuous upon finishing.

                                                        Wow, were these delicious. They remind me of one of my favorite apps--grilled meatballs on lemongrass skewers--served at a local restaurant.

                                                        Great summer fare: I'll be doing these again and again, next time on the grill.

                                                         
                                                         
                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                          Cool idea, serving them in lettuce leaves. I do believe I will steal it for the next time I make these little gems.

                                                        2. re: Allegra_K

                                                          Lemongrass-ginger sliders - p192

                                                          Just a quick note to add our experience. Mr Geek made these for dinner last night -- meatball shaped, not flattened patties -- and used a package of lean ground grassfed beef rather than chopping the meat by hand. The ginger and lemongrass flavours came through very well and the addition of rice to hold everything together was unusual and interesting (though ours were delicate and needed careful handling not to fall apart in the pan). We all thoroughly enjoyed this dish. I did find myself thinking the meatballs could benefit from a sauce and have been mulling this over; perhaps as I continue to cook from this book I'll come up with an idea.

                                                          Will definitely make again.

                                                          By the way, for those puzzling over the different names for cuts of meat such as chuck - just wanted to make sure you all know that there's a page on wikipedia for every cut of meat imaginable. I have found this extremely helpful since I live in Canada and the books I cook from seem to mostly be Australian or British. The page tells you what part of the animal the particular cut of meat comes from, the characteristics of the meat and what it's called in other parts of the world. For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_steak

                                                          (There is also this fascinating page which shows how the beef is cut in different countries around the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_of_beef)

                                                          1. re: geekmom

                                                            Super informative, thanks Geekmom. I am often perplexed by the names of certain cuts (ie. flap steak). This will be a very helpful resource.

                                                          2. re: Allegra_K

                                                            I also made these the other day and they were a big hit. It's a recipe I'll certainly be making again. I used store bought ground beef. I hadn't realised until I went to make them that I'd bought extra lean ground beef, but surprisingly the finish product wasn't dry.

                                                            To make the paste, I grated the ginger and the onion. I used an immersion blender to make it all into a paste. I liked the idea of using rice as a binder. I had used rice as a binder before, but never blended it down like this recipe.

                                                            During cooking I fried in my cast iron skillet. I also used a lot less oil, and I'm glad I did. 1/4C of oil seems a lot when likely a couple tbsp's would do.

                                                            I also agree, they needed more lemongrass. The flavour was lost beneath the ginger.

                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                              I made these sliders with all pork last night, and they were just wonderful! I much preferred the delicate, sweeter flavour of the pork with these seasonings. I will definitely be making it this way again. We had this with sweet-tart chile garlic sauce, shallot-oil new potatoes, chinese kale salad w/cracklings, and cabbage-shallot refresher. It was a memorable match.

                                                              An aside: every single time I make a Burmese dish or meal, the dining companions let out a few grumbles and sighs upon hearing the menu. That is, until it is time to eat--then I hear nothing but praise and contented chewing as dinner is inhaled. These flavours are always so exciting and comforting at the same time that they are irresistible!

                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                That sounds like a wonderful meal, Allegra. My family tends to do the same -- grumbles then eats it all up!