Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tibetan Thenthuk

Our delicious thenthuk and rice pudding
We made a wonderful warming soup called thenthuk the other night.  I found the recipe and a great video showing how it is made at www.yowangdu.com/.  My daughter and I watched the video together and then we tried to recreate the technique on our own.  We were not able to "pull" the noodles as fast as the video showed, but it was great fun and they still tasted delicious.  I'm pretty sure that we wouldn't have made them quite right without watching the video first!  The simple broth was enhanced with ginger, cilantro, beef and a variety of vegetables.  I wanted to make another recipe from this site called "momos", but because I had to work late Friday night we had to save those for another time. For dessert we made up our own version of  rice pudding.

Thenthuk --(reprinted here with Yowangdu's permission but share the love and please visit his site as well)
2 heaping handfuls of all purpose flour -- about 2-2 1/2 cups
about 1/2 cup water


1/2 - 1 lb. stew beef or chicken- cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 onion chopped
1 inch piece of ginger root
1 clove garlic
1 small tomato
soy sauce
beef or chicken bouillon
1 potato or Japanese daikon radish
1/4 bunch chopped cilantro
2 green onions chopped
1/4 bunch spinach
salt as needed
The dough is very important for this noodle soup. It needs to sit for fifteen or twenty minutes so that it can become flexible and easy to pull.
  1. If you want to make "thenthuk" for two people, put two heaping handfuls of all-purpose flour in a pot and add about half a cup of water.
  2. Mix the flour and water very well by hand and keep adding water until you can make a smooth ball of dough. Then knead the dough very well until the dough is flexible. You want it thick enough that it will stretch when pulled.
  3. Separate the dough into pieces about half as big as big as your fist, and roll the dough between your hands. Make the shape like bananas, or wedges. Then put oil on your hand and roll the pieces between your hands again so they won't stick together.
While you are cooking, chop 1/4 of a bunch of cilantro, two green onions, and 1/4 bunch of spinach.
The Throw-down
  1. When the broth starts to boil, you can add the dough. Take a wedge of dough and roll it between your hands so it gets a little longer. Flatten it with your fingers. Then pull the dough off in little flat pieces as long as your thumb and throw them in the pot. See how fast you can pull off the noodles... ("I hear the people in Amdo can do it really fast." - Tenzin)
  2. When all the noodles are in the pot, cook it for an additional three or four minutes. After that, you can put in the cilantro and spinach. They don't need to cook, really, so you can serve the soup immediately. Before you serve the "Thenthuk" make sure that the taste is right for you. Enjoy your food and sweat because it really makes you warm!
Check out www.yowangdu.com for the momos and thenthuk recipes.  Check out his other recipes and great photos of Tibet as well.

Our Rice Pudding

1 cup long basmati rice
2 cups whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
about 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 cup shredded or flaked coconut
golden raisins about 1/2 cup
1/4- 1/2 peanuts coursely chopped
dash of cinnamon

Melt butter in large saute pan.  Add rice and stir.  Add milk, cream and sugar and bring to a light boil.  Add coconut milk and let simmer about 30 minutes or until rice is softened to your liking.  Add more milk as needed to keep rice from burning and sticking to pan.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer until it is at desired consistency. Chill until cooled.  If desired sprinkle with cinnamon.

I hope you enjoy your Tibetan feast as much as we did.


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