Pork, beef and chicken are the meats most often eaten in Bhutan, along with an array of vegetables such as; Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. Grains such as rice, buckwheat and barley are also cultivated, depending on the local micro-climate. Rice is a staple part of a Bhutanese meal, usually accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat and/or vegetables.
Bhutanese cuisine is renowned for its spiciness.
Chili is an essential ingredient in almost every dish and most Bhutanese people would confirm that if its not spicy, its not delicious!
Chili peppers are a favorite ingredient in Bhutanese cuisine. Here they add zest to a mellow pork and noodle combination.
- 1 package [2 ounces, 55g] bean threads or cellophane noodles
- 1 medium onion [about 4 ounces, 110g] , peeled and quartered
- 1 medium tomato [about 5 ounces, 140g ],quartered
- 1 stick unsalted butter [4 ounces 110g]
- 1 /2 pounds pork shoulder [680g], cut into 1-inch[2.5cm] cubes
- 1/2 cup water [120ml]
- 3 medium fresh green chili peppers [ 1 1/2 ounces total, 45g], seeded and cut into julienne strips
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soften the bean threads in a bowl of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and cut into 6-inch [15cm] lengths. Chop the onion coarsely with the metal blade of a food processor, about 4 pulses. Set aside. Chop the tomato coarsely, about 4 pulses. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, tomato, pork, and water and simmer over low heat until just tender, about 1 hour and 35 minutes. Add the bean threads, chili peppers, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings [about 61/2 ounces each, 185g].
The addition of cured dried pork, a staple in Bhutan, gives this dish a hint of appealing sweetness.
- 1 medium onion [about 4 ounces, 110g], peeled and quartered
- Fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a 1 -inch [2. 5cm] cube
- 1 medium daikon or white radish [about 31/2 ounces, 100g], peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise to fit the feed tube
- 1 stick unsalted butter [4 ounces, 40g]
- 1 pound boneless pork shoulder [450g], cut into 6 by 1/2 inch [15 by 1.25cm] strips
- 1/2 cup water [120ml]
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 large heads bok choy [about 3 pounds total, 1.3kg], stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch [1.25cm] strips
- 6 ounces dried pork [170g], cut into 3 by 1/2 inch [7.5 by 1.25cm] strips
- 1 large fresh green chili pepper [about 1/2 ounce, 15g], seeded and cut into julienne strips
Chop the onion coarsely with the metal blade of a food processor, about 4 pulses. Set aside.
Drop the ginger through the feed tube with the motor running and chop finely, about 10 seconds. Set aside. Slice the daikon with the thick [6mm] slicing disc.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the pork shoulder, onion, daikon, water, chili powder, and salt and simmer over low heat until the pork is just tender, about 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the bok choy in a saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Add the ginger, bok choy, dried pork, and chili pepper to the stew and simmer over low heat until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes.
Makes 6 servings [about 7 ounces each, 200g].
Tshoem (Beef & Mushroom)
- 1 large garlic clove [about 1/6 ounce, 5g], peeled
- Fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch [2cm] cube
- 1 stick unsalted butter [4 ounces, 110g]
- 1 pound boneless beef chuck [450g], cut into 1 -inch [2.5cm] cubes
- 1/2 cup water [120ml]
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium fresh green chili peppers [about 1 ounce total, 30g], seeded and cut into julienne strips
- 11/3 cups fresh oyster mushrooms [about 21/2 ounces, 70g] (see NOTE)
- stemmed Freshly ground black pepper
Chop the onion coarsely with the metal blade of a food processor, about 4 pulses. Set aside. Drop the garlic and ginger through the feed tube with the motor running and chop finely, about 10 seconds.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the beef, onion, water, and salt and simmer over low heat until just tender, about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and remaining ingredients and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
Makes 5 servings [about 6 ounces each, 170g].
NOTE: Fresh oyster mushrooms are available at some supermarkets and most oriental food stores.
Kewa Phagsha (Spicy Pork with Potatoes)
- 350 g of pork (thigh)
- 2 potatoes peeled.
- 3 green chillies.
- 1/2 onion.
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 piece of ginger (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tbspoon canola oil.
Chop pork into chunks (not so small). Add about 400 ml of water in a sauce pan. Add pork and a bit of salt and boil for about 20 mins (Pork should be thoroughly cooked; soft to feel). Cut potatoes longitudinally into 6 or 8 pcs each. Cut chillies longitudinally into 2 pcs each. Add chilli, potato and onion and 1/2 teaspoon of canola oil (Discard for ladies). Cook until potato is 75% cooked. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 3-4 mins. Stir…pepper or coriander seasoning to taste. Serves 3.
Note: Vary the amount and type of chilli according to your tolerance or taste!
Jasha Maroo (Minced Chicken)
- 1 chicken
- 2 tbspoon of vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 3 green chillies (cut into small pieces) or use chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
Cut chicken into very small pieces about the size of peas (remove leave bones as desired). Place in a saucepan and add water and 2 tbspoon oil and bring to a boil. Add garlic, salt and ginger to taste. Lower heat slightly and boil for another 5 – 10 mins stirring occasionally. The dish should have some liquid when you’re done. Garnish with cilantro.
Serves:3 – 4.
Kangchu Maroo (Trotter Tshoem)
Contributer: Dasho Karma Loday Rapten: [email protected]
- Trotters (pig’s feet) = 2 lbs (900 grams)
- scallions = a bunch (about 1/2 lb. or 25 grams)
- garlic = 2 pcs
- ginger = a small amount
- salt = 2 teaspoon
- chillies = about six pieces of hot chillies
Chop trotters into small pieces, add salt and boil until thoroughly until cooked. Remember to leave some amount of gravy from the boiling. Then add scallion, and ground ginger and garlic. Ideally, this dish should turn out a “little” sticky, which is half the fun.