Monday, October 26, 2015

Cooking in bamboo

Bamboo is wonderful. It can be used for almost everything you do in a camp. We regularly cook rice or fish in bamboo. You can stick it directly into the fire.

We're cooking rice (wrapped in leaves) and boiling water for coffee in these pics.  Dried bamboo is also superb for both starting a fire and for keeping it going. OK, it doesn't burn for a long time like some wood, but it will burn long enough to boil water and cook skewered chicken.

Put the bamboo directly into the fire.
If it's full of water it won't burn.

Splitting green bamboo to make spoons and bowls

Boiling nicely... just about ready

Rice cooked to perfect in bamboo

Bamboo chopsticks... only took a couple of minutes to make these

Coffee in a bamboo cup.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Thailand wild edible fruit: Elephant Apple

A bit reminiscent of a Granny Smith Apple that is a bit more bitter, 100 grams of the Elephant Apple (Dillenia indica) offers about 60 calories,  15 milligrams of Calcium, and over 25 milligrams of Phosphorous. There is a mere 4mg of Vitamin C in 100 grams of this fruit.  However, if you find a tree in fruit, you can get your belly quite full, thus the psychological value of this food is rather beneficial. A belly full of Elephant Apples would provide energy and fuel for your brain.

Medicinal value: the papery bark and the juice from the leaves can be used to treat diarrhea. The fruit is also antimicrobial, another very beneficial property in a survival situation.

Elephant Apple

wild edible fruit in thailand

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Survival fire starter

Here's a challenge: take an old lighter that is out of fuel, might as well cut it off to make it smaller, and remove the 'bendy' steel bit. Try to get a fire going with the sparks.  It's really easy with Vaseline cotton balls, but not quite as easy with natural materials.

Survival fire starter
Start a fire with a dead lighter

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wild edible food: Sawtooth Coriander

Sawtooth Coriander is a common jungle plant here in Thailand. It is also found in the New World.  This not to be confused with popular Cilantro that is also known as Coriander.

This plant is so popular in Thailand that it is also cultivated and sold in most markets.

Today I made some Pinto Bean, rice, and chicken soup using a bunch of this chopped up into the mix. It came out really nice. 

This plant has a long list of medicinal uses.

Sawtooth Coriander
Sawtooth Coriander

Friday, October 9, 2015

Wild edible food: wild bananas of Thailand

This is one of the species of wild bananas in Thailand. They don't get bigger than this. They are very tasty. Some have BB-sized seeds in them, making them difficult to eat.  When I eat the seedy types, I suck all of the nutrients out that I can, then spit out the seeds.

BTW, the banana tree flower is also edible.  It's nasty by itself. It's normally put in other dishes, such as curries.

Wild bananas of Thailand
Very tasty, but tiny, wild bananas

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wild medicinal plants: Pennywort

From being considered a general youthful tonic, to helping lower blood pressure, to helping you think better, Pennywort is considered highly medicinal by many cultures.  I happen to simply like the taste and I appreciate the fact that it's fairly easy to find in the jungle here.  When you find a patch, there is usually quite a bit of it.

I eat it raw usually, but it can be cooked or steeped and made into tea.

Pennywort wild medicine plant
The fairly common Pennywort wild medicinal and food plant

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Campfire fish cooking in bamboo

The plant that I most appreciate having in the jungle has got to be bamboo.  Not only can you build a complete shelter with it, you can use it directly for cooking.  Here, we're steaming a fish in bamboo and at the same time boiling drinking water in another piece of bamboo. 

We use a leaf plug on top of the piece of bamboo that is steaming the fish. This both retains the water (steam) that is trying to escape and this particular leaf adds a bit of flavor to the fish. Water soluble nutrients would escape with the steam, so in a true survival situation it makes sense to drink some of the water that was used in cooking the fish.

survival cooking skills
Cooking fish in bamboo

Cooking with bamboo campfire skills
The finished product is a perfectly steamed fish