Yum Neua – Thai Beef Salad

Thai Beef Salad

Yum Neua – Tasty Tasty Beef

Thai translation – Yum = Spicy Salad; Neua = Beef

This is one of Mick’s favourite dishes – it combines beef with salad and spice. Perfect! The only thing that could make this better for him would be if it somehow included beer too. Its a super easy dish that can be whipped up in a few minutes and is really healthy too.


250g beef steak
1 small lettuce
½ cup of cherry tomatoes
1 medium cucumber
¼ medium onion
1-2 snake beans
1/5 cup of fresh coriander leaves

Steak Marinade:
3 garlic cloves
2 red chilli’s
4-5 coriander roots
1/2 tbsp of ground black pepper
Pinch salt
1 tbsp of vegetable oil

2 limes
1 tbsp fish sauce
½ tsp soy sauce
1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 red chilli
pinch coriander leaves


  1. Steak marinade – Finely mince the garlic, chilli’s and the coriander root. Mix the minced spices with 1 tbsp oil a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
  2. Wash the steak and pat dry. Spread the meat marinade mix over both sides of the steak, making sure to cover both sides well. Cover meat with cling wrap and leave to refrigerate for at least 30 minutes – or overnight if you really want a great depth to the flavour.
  3. Prepare the salad – wash the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, thinly slice the cucumber and onion and chop the snake bean into small pieces. Present the salad on a plate with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare the dressing – in a small bowl mix the lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce and sugar, stirring well to ensure the sugar is dissolved. Add the finely chopped chilli and coriander. Taste – if too salty, add more lime or sugar. If too much lime, add more fish sauce. Set aside.
  5. Heat 1tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or non stick pan over moderate to high heat. When the oil is smoking, carefully add the steak and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the steak and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. This will give you a medium-rare steak which is the best for this salad. If you wish your steak to be more well done, you should turn the steak again but only after both sides are seared. This will make sure that your steak retains all the flavour and it will be very juicy.
  6. Remove the cooked steak from the pan and let it sit for 5 min. This will let the meat cool down and retain the juices.
  7. Thinly slice the steak and lay it on the salad. Top this with spoonfuls of the dressing and a sprinkling of coriander then serve.

    Slicing tasty steak

    MMMM Steak

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Tom Kha Gai

Creamy and Delicious!

Tom Kha Gai is a really delicious coconut soup that is really popular with those testing the waters of thai cooking. It is mild, flavoursome and uper easy to cook too!  There are a few variations on it, but this one is really wasy to follow.

Galangal must be used in this dish or else you wont have the right flavour. I have seen it for sale in the produce section of Woolworths in Kiama so there really is no reason why you can’t use it. Chop the leftover galangal and store it in the freezer in a zip lock bag for the next time you need it.

500ml coconut milk
200g chicken
½ tomato
½ onion
4 – 5 straw mushrooms (regular mushrooms can also be used)
1 – 2 chilli’s
1 thin piece galangal
1 piece lemongrass
1 lime
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 shallot
1 tsp fresh coriander


  1. In a medium saucepan or wok bring the coconut milk to the boil over a medium to high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the galangal in thumb sized thin slices, bruise the chilli (place your knife flat over the chilli and press down to break it slightly – this will give flavour but not too much heat), chop the lemongrass in a few pieces. Remove the stem from the kaffir lime leaf and break in four.
  3. Reduce heat of the boiling coconut milk and add the galangal, chilli, lime leaf and lemongrass.
  4. Simmer the coconut milk for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours infuse into the coconut milk. You can add water or some chicken stock if you wish to increase the volume of liquid.
  5. Slice the chicken into chunks and add the chicken and cook til the chicken turns white. Next add fish sauce, sugar and lime juice.
  6. Cut the onion in half, then half again and do the same for the tomatoes. Cut the mushrooms in half. Add these ingredients to the soup and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Slice the coriander and shallots.
  8. Turn soup off, stir through the coriander and shallots and serve.
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Yum Tang Gwa – Spicy Cucumber Salad

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Yum Tang Gwa

I have started cooking Thai dishes for publication on a website and I thought it fitting that these get posted on JurkTurtle too. First off the rank is Yum Tang Gwa. Its spicy, fresh and tasty. I think its a good side dish to have with something like a bbq or some grilled fish.

Thai Translation – Yum = Spicy Salad; Tang Gwa = Cucumber


2 lebanese cucumbers or one large cucumber
¼ cup of fresh coriander leaves
1/3 cup of raw unsalted peanuts or raw unsalted cashew nuts.
2 tbsp of lime juice
2 tsp of palm sugar or brown sugar
1 – 2 chilli’s (depending on your own taste)
1 small red onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. of fish sauce


  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the lime juice and sugar and mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Finely chop the coriander leaves and the chilli. Add this to the lime and sugar mix and stir well to combine.
  2. Wash and slice your cucumbers in half. Remove the seeds from the centre of the cucumber and set aside. Thinly slice the remaining cucumber, plus the red onion. Add both the cucumber and the onion to the bowl containing the lime and chilli mixture.
  3. Stir the mix well, add a pinch of salt and pepper and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the liquid.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan or wok over a medium heat. Add the raw nuts and toast well, ensuring you stir the nuts so they do not burn. Once browned, remove from heat and chop roughly. Set aside.
  5. In the same pan, heat a small amount of oil over medium heat. Add the garlic that has been diced and cook quickly, moving it all the time so the garlic doesn’t burn. Take off the heat when well cooked and crispy and drain on paper towel.
  6. When you are ready to serve your salad, gently mix in the chopped peanuts, garlic and fish sauce. Season and serve.
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KL For Sale!

KL is a majestic, almost bursting to tell the world “hey, we’re first world country now!”

And let me tell you it is damn close. But there is an excellent way to sum up KL as well.

KL – Brought to you by….

It’s everywhere! Advertising for this, that, the other! Our hotel room alone had 3 pieces of advertising on the walls, and another ad in the bathroom. Above our bed was a lovely hand painted piece featuring the golden arches and ‘HEY – we deliver 24 hours, no minimum purchase!’ Ah… I’ll sleep well tonight. But if you can look past the monorail station brought to you by Sony Handicam and the elevator brought to you by el-muncheero it really is quite an amazing city.

Sydney is always promoted as a multicultural city and it really is, but it pales in comparison to what KL has on offer. We were completely unprepared for it. You’ll see Malaysians smoking hookahs with their Hindu friends, girls in full burkkas sharing a coffee with Japanese and Indian friends. All walks of lives locking arms, smiling and sharing a beautiful city together. Everyone is very accommodating, the food is amazing, and the electronics are cheap.


We went to Imbi which has probably the most amazing shopping centre I’ve ever seen. 10 floors of nothing but electrical and computer related goods on offer at fantastic prices! I’m not sure how long we spent there in total but it took us two days to explore properly and make our purchases.

I can really see myself warming to this place.

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Crab Island

So how can I say this?

Crab Island, you are an amazing and strange beast filled with many gifts.

Let me go back to the beginning to explain as this is one weird and odd story, however it all began so unassuming and harmless. We left our room at ~10:30am and headed for the monorail, which in KL is fantastic, I cannot recommend it enough for reaching your must-see tourist destinations. It took us to Sentral(sic) where we made the change to the komuter(sic again) trains which were fast, clean and efficient, which pretty much sums up KL to a T. After a short walk we then boarded a ‘ferry’ which looked like it belonged in the scrap yard. The view out the window would have normally been amazing if we could have seen out them in the first place so instead we amused ourselves by staring at the fake flowers lining the roof.

Crab Island itself was very picturesque with all the buildings on stilts about the mudflats which when we arrived were submerged from the tides. We didn’t get to see much of Crab Island before we reached our purpose for visiting – the seafood restaurant situated at the end of the pier, SO HANDY!

We sat down and ordered mud crab of course, steamed! Plus some chilli prawns which we recommended to us. Excellent choice. The sauce they were in were amazing! So much so that we found ourselves scooping up every last drop. Then came the mud crab! We didn’t really specify size or amount, just mud crab please! And wow, what came out was a platter full of bits and pieces of steamed excellent! We counted all up what would have been 3 and a half mud crab.

After an epic lunch we sat back and enjoyed our beer and revelled in the location. That was when we were approached by a Malaysian fellow by the name of Thaba who asked us if we were Australian and to join his group who also were Australian. Suddenly we found ourselves talking to Australian Apex volunteer workers who had just completed building a shelter for the disabled. They continuously filled our glasses with beer as the shared their stories and the wonders of Apex. We were plied with much beer and odd desserts.

We attempted to leave many times citing that we had not yet seen the island, that we had to leave soon as our ferry was about to leave, whatever we could come up with. The only answer they had for us was more beer. They then offered us a lift on their boat which we humbly accepted and we set off down the pier for the boat. By this stage the tide had subdued and we could see the mudflats complete with tiny crabs running about. You kids will grow up to be a tasty treat one day!

To get to our boat we had to climb across the old rickety ferry which we had no problem saying goodbye too. As we passed the entrance an English girl by the name of Rachael popped her head out to which Thaba instantly encouraged her to join us with her friend Kelly. The Apex hospitality machine keeps on turning. Thankfully we weren’t the only ones roped in on this wild ride.

The boat was fantastic, a lovely modern fishing boat complete with esky fully stocked with beer, which unsurprisingly was offered to us at any opportunity. The ride was a far cry from the ferry we arrived on. We relaxed on the rear deck of the boat with the sun shining down, cool beer in our hands and amazing scenery flying past, life was great. We arrived at our destination just beyond the port at a yacht club where they gave us and the English girls more free alcohol and generally outstanding hospitality. Then all of a sudden there were speeches being given applauding the work that the Apex volunteers had done when all of a sudden the speech was turned to us. Turns out that the global pacific leader, the Australian leader and the Malaysian leaders for Apex were all present, and had all agreed to induct us as global members of Apex, complete with induction chanting, ceremony, and pin to commemorate the event. We were humbled and baffled to say the least. To make the situation even more amusing Rachael the English girl who we talked to most on the boat, decided to give an impromptu speech about the good that Apex was doing and her sadness that she could not join due to jurisdiction in the UK. Afterwards the four of us were quite amused Rachael’s sudden soapbox moment.

As if things couldn’t get any more odd, we then were driven to an exclusive club, somewhat like a country club for the rich and exclusive of Malaysia. Again there was even more alcohol and conversation, however it was interesting to see that Thaba was all of a sudden on his best behaviour, a far cry from his drunken antics earlier in the day. Unfortunately we could not join everyone for dinner in the members area due to our attire, not that we expected to end up in some rich kids club in the first place, we were just going to Crab Island!

One of the members, Melvin, had his own personal driver due to his dad being a fairly significant politician, and offered to drive us wherever we pleased. We were hungry so stopped for some excellent Chinese food whilst the alcohol started to really get to Melvin. We had intended to meet up with the others again except Melvin in such a drunk state, forgot where they were all going, and so instead offered to drive us home which we though sounded fine. That was until we hit the road. The driver was aparrently new and not driving to Melvin’s satisfaction, prompting him to order the poor driver to pull over. There was some concerning conversation in Malasian before the driver announced that Melvin wanted to drive.

Well you’ve never seen four people exit a van so fast in their lives! We pleaded with Melvin to let his driver continue, that he was too drunk to drive, and that yeah, we didn’t feel like dying just yet. Melvin gave in to our pleas and then we set off on our journey again, somewhat shaken by the prospect of what almost happened. Everything was good for about 10 minutes before a similar conversation brewed between our young Melvin and the courageous driver. Then once again the van began to pull over so that they could swap seats. Okay that was it, we pleaded for him to let us out so we could call a teksi (sic) but Melvin was determined to drive us home. After much negotiating we finally agreed that he would drop us at the nearest train station and be on our merry way.

We said our goodbyes and waved him off then promptly found a cab where the driver was sober and not very talkative. Excellent! The rest of the journey consisted of us talking about this crazy day and trying to take in all that happened. Malaysian hospitality is amazing and these people really showed us another side to the country. However I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to see that side again just yet.

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