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Volunteer Cookbook

Karen, Burmese and Western dishes from our orphanage lots of Gluten-free dishes

Many thanks to all our volunteers, who gave us in the last two years hands-on and financial support. Many thanks as well to our friends and donors, who support us and help us to improve our house and to pay our bills . Special thanks to Alban Villain for teaching us how to bake bread. Thanks to Adam and Hannah for discussing and experimenting with Gluten-free recipes. Thanks to our Vegetarians for making us think and look for more recipes. Thanks to Belle Nachmann for fundraising for us and taking photos and Danielle for his photos. Thanks to Sylvia Lin for introducing me to her friends and family from Taiwan and for all the soap orders. Thanks to the borderline team for buying and ordering my soaps and supporting us. Thanks to my daughter Elisabeth for making the drawings for me.

Also available:

Family Cookbook
copyright: Center for Children in Need

A bit more than a year has passed since the Family Cookbook.


I had it printed out in a small copy shop, just from the PDF file, in black and white and sell it now to volunteers as a souvenir. I put some recipes on our facebook group ...Our volunteers love our food and want to know how we do it... In short there has been a demand for more recipes! A lot has changed in the last year: we had more volunteers, more income and could improve our daily food. I didn't have to turn round every Baht, could go a little over the daily budget on some days and cooked what I felt like. We added daily home made bread for the kids and volunteers and even have butter and jam now. The kids are fine, all of them, and grow and put on weight well. When we were invited recently to a children birthday party they ate and enjoyed everything , except the supermarket baguette. Bente and Dominic try to cook beside Dada or on their own, even decorate it on their plate ... Due to the improved income, we could do improvements in the house as well. We made some walls higher, tiled floors and more rooms for volunteers. Like this it is easier to control the booking chaos, people constantly changing their arrival dates and I am able now to allow people to come spontaneously. In the worst case they both come. We have a few more longterm volunteers now, quite a number of French who are staying with us. Ideally we have 4-6 volunteers. 4 are needed to cover all the chores and times and to do a high quality care for the kids. With more we can do construction and other special projects. It is possible then to rent a car and go on day trips with or without the kids.

Several National Parks were eplored by our volunteers and there still more waiting. We also have now tents for overnight stays. For the kid as well. We plan to use them in the big school holidays. Recently we had a volunteer who kind of tested us, how good we are at 100% Gluten-free food. She was so allergic and intolerant of Gluten, that she had fainted before in restaurants, when a food contained Gluten. I was a bit worried about our at times chaotic kitchen, that we might accidentally contaminate her food, but we passed: our food is really 100% Gluten free. We tried Gluten free bread dumplings, but they fell completely apart and only delighted a puppy. When we fried the doe we got really delicious bread burgers! Beginning of the year I trained restaurant staff in Western food and we discovered some new dishes: Basil Spaetzle and Pumpkin sauce for noodles. Banana curry I learnt from my mother in law. It is really easy to cook and very delicious. My mother-in-law goes everyday into the fields and picks wild vegetables. She prefers that to the ones in the shop. She also goes fishing with the kids. In the end of the rainy season you can easily catch lots of small fish in the swamps behind our house. This way I lost my guppies to my 3 year old nephew, who couldn't resist their colours and caught them to fry them (how he hadn't really figured out yet) Many of these dishes are Gluten-free, because of Felix, who suffers from Celiac Disease. They taste delicious, don't worry.

my nephew fishing

I ced Burmese Tea with lime needed (per big glass): boiled, very strong or Burmese tea 1-2 tblsp sugar lime juice Take a big glass and add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of already boiled hot tea and add the sugar and mix well. It should taste really sweet. Add ice cubes and cold water (try it, it should taste now still a bit sweet) and add the lime juice and taste again. Enjoy! It will wake you up the same as tea! be aware when drinking it in the evening.

Ginger tea with lime

This tea is delicious and boosts the immune system and helps with colds needed: fresh ginger sugar (brown or white) line or lemon juice Peel the ginger and cut it into small pieces. Roughly one tablespoon pe person. You can squeeze it or pound itor just add the pieces to a kettle or pot full of hot water. Boil it for one minute and let it rest another 1-2 minutes. If you boil it longer, it will become very spicy! Some people like it like that! Put sugar in a mug and add the hot tea. Pour it through a tea strainer. Let it cool down a little or add an ice cube (or some cold water) before adding the lime juice. Like this the Vit. C of the lime is not destroyed. You can also make it into an iced tea version.

Lime Basil Mocktail

needed ( for 1 big glass): 1/2 bunch Thai basil 1-2 tblsp sugar lime juice Pick the leaves off the basil. Use only the fresh good looking ones. Put with 1/2 cup of water into a blender and blend until you get a green juice. Take a big glass and add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, the basil juice and some lime juice. Add some ice cubes and cold water. Very refreshing.

Iced Coffee
needed (for 1 big glass): 1 package of 3in1 coffee 1 tablespoon milkpowder 1 ice spoon (1 cone) of vanilla icecream Put 1 package of coffee in a big glass together with milkpowder and mix it well. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and mix well. Add ice cubes and stir, add the vanillla icecream. You can also use vanillachocolate icecream.

Bread French style

1 kg of wheat flour 12 g (= 3 table spoons) of dry yeast 1 table spoon of salt 2 mugs of water time needed: 2,5 - 3 hours put the flour with the yeast and salt into a big mixing bowl mix well with a big spoon and add step by step the water until you get a sticky doe let it go up for 1 hr stir with spoon to work air into it let it rest and go up another hr oil and put a thin layer of flour in 2 baking forms to prevent it from sticking sprinkle flour over the doe and divide it in the middle and work with the spoon the flour below it, that you can pick the half up transport it fast and carefully into the baking form and form a ring. let it rest and rise for 30 min add a bowl of water into the oven and bake at highest temperature for 25-35 minutes. In convection oven ( turbo broiler ) 250 degrees for 25 min You get 2 round breads. In case you want only one: use half of the ingredients. We bake it up the next morning (turn it, if you like both sides crispy): 175 degrees for 10 min. The bread keeps 2-3 days.

Stick bread
The same bread doe can also be used for stick bread to be roasted on a stick over a fire. You might need to add more flour at the end that it sticks well. You prepare and let the doe rise for 2 hours as described above. You wrap it around a 1 cm thick stick and instead of baking it, you hold it over charcoal and turn it. It is a lot of fun for kids.

Potato Stick Bread (Gluten-free)

needed (for 2 pers): 2 boiled potatoes 1 tblspoon dry yeast corn flour Boil 2 potoatoes in their skin. Let them cool, peel and mash with a fork well. Add 1 tablespoon of dry yeast and add the same volume of corn flour. Mix well and add a little bit water. Let it rise and stir the same as the other doe (2 hours). Wrap it around a stick and roast over a fire like the other stick bread. It is finished faster, because the potatoes are already cooked. You can also bake it in an oven. Tastes best fresh. Is a little bit gummy the next day.

Gluten-free bread dumplings

As Gluten-free bread tends to crumble terribly, especially when it gets older and dry, this a way for delicious dumplings for breakfast or as a sidedish Of course you can also make this with normal bread rests! needed: bread crumbs of one loaf of Gluten-free bread 5 eggs milk 1/2 tablespoon of salt herbs as parsley and spring onions (very finely chopped, if you like) Put the crumbs into a bowl, add the salt and eggs and mix slowly. Add the milk, that you get a thick doe (like for hamburgers). Form small balls and fry them in hot oil. You can reheat them in an oven in the morning and cut them and eat with butter and marmelade. Will give you lots of energy.

(doesn't work with Gluten-free bread believe us! )

Traditional German bread dumplings

needed: 2 mugs full of old dry white bread (or bread crumbs) 1-2 eggs milk salt 1-2 table spoons of parsely nd spring onions (finely chopped) Soak the bread rests in milk until they soften, squeeze them out add the salt and herbs and egg and mix well and kneed into a doe. Form small dumplings with your hand. Take care that they are not too wet and stick well. Boil water with salt. As soon a it boils turn the heat down. Test your doe by adding one dumpling: It should sink to the bottom and come up after 1-2 minutes depending on it's size. The water should not boil, just simmer! When you take it out it should be firm and not fall apart! In case it does that: add more bread crumbs or more egg or both until you get the consistency right. When the test went well, carefully boil your dumplings. Not too many at once. This of course depends a lot on thesize of your pot. The dumplings can be eaten as sidedish instead of rice or potatoes with meat (usually with a sauce or gravy) and vegetables.They can also be fried the next day.

Basil Spaetzle
Spaetzle are noodles which are typical for the South of Germany. It can be made easily and fast in small quantities. Sorry, no Gluten-free version possible, the noodles fall apart in the water.

needed (for 1-2 pers.): wooden cutting board knife 1 egg 1 mug of wheat flour 1 bunch of Basil(Thai or Italian) water onions (and cheese) The basic recipe for Spaetzle is one egg per one mug of flour. You mix and add water for the proper consistency.

For our recipe:

Pick the leaves from the basil and blend it with 1/2 cup of water Mix the wheat flour and egg well and add the basil water mixture. Add more water, if necessary' You need a thick doe to srape it off the cutting board. Set water (with 2 tblsp of salt) up to boil. Cut onions in thick slices or rings and fry them in oil. set aside. When the water starts to boil, turn it down a little bit. Put a big spoon full of doe on the end of the wet wooden cutting board (no rim, plain simple board). Dip your knife into the water and go over the doe to thin it out towards the edge. Start scraping it off that thick (irregular) noodles fall into the just boiling (or simmering) salt water. try to work fast that you can take all the noodles of one batch out together. They need to cook about one minute depending on their thickness. The aim is that all noodles hve about the same thickness. This will take a little bit of practice. Use a big spoon with holes to scoop the noodles off the surface and place them in a strainer to drain off water. Repeat the procedure until the doe is gone. Drip the Spaetzle well off, heat the frying pan with the onions rings or slices again and add the noodles for 1 minute. Add grated cheese if you like. The Spaetzle can also be eaten as side dish (usually the ones without herbs and not fried). I would use 2 mugs/2 eggs for 3 persons as a main dish. If you have leftover Spaetzle you can reheat or fry fry them.

Grandmother's Christmas Cookies ( hearts)

needed: 2oog wheat flour 50g sugar 1/4 pack cocnut cream powder 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 egg 100g oil (palm) cocoa powder Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add the egg and oil and keep mixing until you get a thick doe. Separate in 2 portions. Add to one the cocoa powder until you have a really dark colour. Add a little bit water in case it is too dry. Roll one after the other out on a surface powdered with wheat flour. Use cokkie forms like hearts and cut the cookies out.. Bake at 175 degrees until the cokkies are brown (~ 10 min)

Orange Choco Cookies

needed: 250g wheat flour 100 g baking chocolate 100g sugar 1.2 pack coconut cream powder 125 g vegetable oil (palm) juice of 1 orange (plus a little lime juice) 1 egg 1 tablespoon baking powder Cut the chococlate until you get small pieces. Mix the dry ingredients and then add the egg, oil, chocolate and juice until you get a thick doe, which you can cut out with cookie forms. The cookies are quite crumbly, simple round forms work best.

Choco Spice Bread

needed: 500g wheat flour 250 g oil (palm) 250 g sugar 2 eggs 1 tablespoon baking powder 50 g cocoa powder 50 g fresh ginger 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cloves 1/4 teaspoon cardamon frosting: 15 g frosting sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice Mix the dry ingredients welland add the eggs and the oil and mix thoroughly. Form rings (or other forms) like the bread and bake. in turbobroiler: 175 degrees 20-30 min (depending on size). Test with a toothpick. It is finished, if it doesn't stick anymore.

our convection oven (=turbo broiler)

Tropical Stollen
needed: 300g raisins 4 table spoon orange juice 12 teaspoon salt 3 table spoon dry yeast 3 eggs 175 cc milk 250 g oil 75 g sugar 200 g roasted peanuts (pounded) 100 g fresh ginger Soak the raisins for several hours in the orange juice. Peel the ginger and cut it into small pieces. Mix the wheat flour and the other dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil and milk. Add the raisins, ginger and nuts. Let it rest in a warm place for 2-3 hours that it rises well. Form rings like with the bread (page 11) and bake at 175 degrees for 25-30 min. Test with a toothpick, if it is finsihed. Stollen is a typical German Christmas bakery. It is usually made weeks before Christmas and wrapped and stored in a cool place. It contains Almonds or other nuts. As it is difficult to get these ingredients I created a tropical version, to be eaten within a week (if you can wait so long! )

Gluten-free Flour
1/2 volume rice flour (normal or sticky rice) 1/8 volume Tapioca starch 3/8 corn flour Replace any wheat flour in a bakery recipe with this mixture and you get a Gluten-free version. It behaves a little bit differently because it lacks "glue". It tends to be crumbly, which can be nice effect with cookies. You don't have to spend a fortune on aany Gluten-free mixture in a supermarket, just buy the ingredients in an Asia Shop and make it yourself. It might need a little bit experimenting, but bakery does with eggs usually work fine and you can enjoy your cakes like anybody else.

Felix's Oatmeal:
1 cup of Australian oats 1 cup fruit juice or 2-3 pieces of palm sugar (made small witha spoon) hot water a bit lime juice This is his favorite breakfast and snack after napping. You can add raisins of course or nuts.

Chocolates with Oatmeal

needed: 1/3 baking chocolate (couverture) 1/3 oatmeal (Australian or Gluten-free) 1/3 roasted unsalted peanuts small paper cups Pound the peanuts until you get a mixture of small bits with some powder. Cut the chocolate into pieces that melt easily. Put it into an oven or microwave or waterbath and melt it until it becomes soft add the peanuts and the oatmeal and mix it well. Fill fast with 2 spoons into the papercups as the baking chocolate is hard at room temperature you can keep them outside in a tin or in the fridge. If the oats are Gluten-free the sweet is Gluten-free. You can vary the kind of chocolate and also add raisins. Other nuts can be used instead of peanuts. Avoid American oats they can be contaminated.

Tomato salad
needed (for 2 persons): 8-10 ripe tomatoes 1 onion 3 fingers of garlic 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts Golden mountain seasoning sauce Cut the onion into thin slices, the same for the garlic. Heat 1/2-1 cup of oil in afrying pan or wok and add the turmeric and stir it for a few seconds. Not too long or it will bun. Add the onion and the garlic and fry crispy golden. Cut the tomatoes in quarters or eigths, depending on the size of the tomatoe. Pound the peanuts. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and season with the seasoning sauce and mix carefully. Add the onions and garlic with some of the oil and sprinkle the peanuts over it. Delicious!

Burmese Potato salad

6-8 middle sized potatoes 1 onion 1-2 bunch spring onions 1/2 cup sesame seeds (white or black or both) 1 tea spoon sugar Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce (Burmese bean (chickpea) powder if available) Boil the potatoes in the skin in a pot until soft. The water needs to be higher than the potatoes. When finished cool with cold water and peel them and chop into pieces. Slices the onions and spring onions thinly. Put the potatoes in a bowl and add the sugar, oil and chopped vegetables plus the sesame seeds. If available add Burmese chickpea powder. Mix all well and season with seasoning sauce (or salt) . Sprinkle some extra sesame seeds and spring onions on top for decoration.

needed (for 2 pers): 3-5 eggs 1-2 onions salt 1/2 teaspoon sugar Seasoning Sauce

Omelette / Scrambled Egg

Slice the onions into thin slices. Open the eggs into a bowl and scramble them, add the onions. Season with a pinch of salt and sugar. Add Seasoning Sauce, if you like. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan. When hot add the eggs and fry them. Turn, if you know how or scramble them. These eggs look exactly like the one's you know, but taste better! The trick is the sugar!

Eggplant salad
needed (2 pers): 1/2 kg green long or purple egg plants (=aubergines) 1 onion 3 fingers of garlic 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder 1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts Golden mountain seasoning sauce You roast the egg plants over a charcoal or gas fire until the skin is black everywhere and the vegetable soft and cooked. Peel the skin and break the egg plant with a fork into smaller pieces. Cut the onion into thin slices, the same for the garlic. Heat 1/2-1 cup of oil in a frying pan or Wok and add the turmeric and stir it for a few seconds. Not too long or it will bun. Add the onion and the garlic and fry crispy golden. Pound the peanuts. Put the egg plants in a bowl and season with the seasoning sauce and mix carefully. Add the onions and garlic with some of the oil and sprinkle the peanuts over it. Delicious! This salad is a bit more work, but it is well worth it.

Patou (salted Mackerel)

Patou is already cooked and used for many purposes. it is often a basis for a soup or added to fishpaste.

Patou soup:
needed: package of small patous 1 onion 3 fingers of garlic vegetable (pumpkin leaves or rosella or Acacia concinna) Slice onions thinly. Squeeze the garlic with a kife and remove the skin. Rmove the bones from the fish. Boil a 1/4 l of water and add the onions and garlic plus the fish. wash and prepare the vegetables. Boil the waer for 5 min then add the vegetables and boil another 2 min or until vegetables are just soft. Serve together with curries and raw or steamed vegetables. This soup is a nearly always found on a Karen family dinner table. The fish can be replaced by dry shrimp. Gluten-free.

Fried Patou
needed: 1-2 bigger mackerels per person Heat oil in a Wok or frying pan and fry the fish at medium heat. No seasoning necessary. Serve the whole fish, remove bones on your plate. The Burmese will also eat the head.

Crabpaste with chilies:

needed (2 pers): 1-2 onions (shallots) 3 garlic cloves 1/2 tablespoon crabpaste 3-7 fresh chilies salt lime juice Cut the onions, garlic and chilies into pieces and pound them by hand. Put the crabpaste in a bowland add some hot water and stir. Add the pounded ingredients and mix. Add lime juice and salt and taste.It should taset spicy salty sour. It is served with the fried fish and the steamed and raw vegetables. it can also be served with other fried food.

Takapo (Karen rice soup)

needed (for 2 pers): 1 cup raw Jasmin rice 1/2 cup cooked bamboo shoots 1/2 cup pumpkin or other vegetable 150g pork or chicken 5 garlic fingers 1 teaspoon crabpaste 1/2 teaspoon salt (Thai Basil) Blend the rice in a blender. Don't pulverize it! Place in a bowl. Cut the meat and the vegetables into pieces. squeeze the garlic and remove the skin. Heat oil in a wok and add the meat and fry it a moment. Add water, salt and garlic and cook for 10 min to make a stock. Add the bamboo shoots and continue boiling. Add the pumpkin and any other vegetable you like. Add the rice carefully while stirring the soup to prevent lumps. Keep stirring to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot until the soup has a the consistency of a thin porridge. In a bowl mix a little water with the crabpaste and add to the soup. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. You can add Thai Basil at the end (don't cook it). Traditionally a certain wild herb is added, which gives this soup a specific taste. You can cook this rice soup in many variations, also with catfish and rosella. Of course this dish is Gluten-free.

Thai pork and egg tofu soup

needed (for 2 pers): 150 g minced pork 1 package of egg tofu 1 white raddish 1 Chinese cabbage 1 small pack of glass noodles 1 onion 3 garlic fingers 1/2-1 teaspoon salt Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce This dish is very fast and of course also Gluten-free. Boil water with some salt. Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Slice the onion thinly and squeeze the garlic and add to the water. Form small balls from the minced meat and add to the stock. Turn heat down and cook at medium heat. Take the foam that develops off with a spoon. Soak the glass noodles in water for a few minutes. Cut carefully the soft egg tofu with a scissor into slices. Add the raddish and a bit later the cabbage to the soup. Add the glass noodles and at the very end the tofu. Taste and add salt and Seasoning sauce, if necessary. If you have, you can pound Coriander roots and mix with the minced meat before making the meatballs. This soup is regularly found in Thai families on the dinner table, especially together with spicy dishes.

Green Curry Paste from scratch

Green curry is a typical Thai dish. It can be prepared with chicken or pork and for vegetarians with Tofu. The problem is probably to get the real Green Curry Paste outside of Thailand. Here we just buy it on the market.

needed: 1 tablespoon Coriander roots 1 tablespoon Coriander 1/2 tablespoon Cumin seeds 1 1/2 tablespoon Galangal (chopped) 1/4 - 1/2 cup garlic 1 Kaffir Lime 3-4 tablespoon Lemongrass (chopped) 1 table spoon salt 1/2 cup sliced onions (shallots) 1 teaspoon shrimp paste 10-15 green Thai Chilie Peppers (chopped) In a dry frypan on medium heat, toast the shrimp paste, coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside. In the mortar using the pestle, pound the lemongrass, ginger, Thai basil leaves, coriander roots, lime and peppercorns. Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender. Once the items in the mortar are finely ground, add these to the food processor and blend together to form a paste. You should get a thick spicy paste for your curry. You can keep it in the fridge for a while.

needed (for 2 pers.):

Green Curry (Chicken)

200 g chicken breast 250 g round Thai egg plants 1/2 cup of small egg plants (photo) 250 g coconut milk 1-2 tblsp green curry paste 1 onion salt Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce Slice the onions thinly and cut the meat into pieces. Cut the egg plants into halfs or quarters, depending onn their size. Keep them in water until the cooking that they don't get black. Don't use egg plants with with big and hard seeds inside. Wash the small egg plants and take them offtheir stems. There are 2 ways to make the sauce: you can fry the onions and then add the meat or you boil everything in the coconut milk Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and add the green curry paste. Fry for a short time before adding the onions and the meat. Fry together for 1-2 minutes and add a litte bit water. Add the egg plants and add the coconut milk. When you have emptied the box fill it half with water and wash it out. This water will evaporate when you cook the sause and it will just be right. Season with salt and the Seasoning Sauce. When the meat is done plus the egg plants soft (changed the colour) the dish is ready to be served with rice. Test the taste, if it is spicy enough (if not add more curry paste) or needs more salt or Seasoning Sauce. It only takes about 10-15 min to cook this dish. It is Gluten-free, if the curry paste is.

Green Banana Curry with pork

needed (for 2 pers): 2-4 green bananas 250g pork 1 onion 3 fingers of garlic 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce Wash the pork and cut it into pieces. Slice the onion thinly and squeeze the garlic, remove the skin and chop into small pieces. Wash the bananas and cut into quarters or 1/8th depending on the size of it. Cut another time that you get long pieces. You leave the skin on! Fry the onions and the meat in vegetable oil in a Wok (or frying pan), add the garlic, salt and the bananas. Add water that all is just covered. Cook at medium heat, until everything is done. Taste and season with Seasoning Sauce, if necessary. Gluten-free. This dish very delicious. The bananas should be really green and you will get a sauce which tastes nearly like coconut milk. The bananas taste like Planteen (a kind of banana, which is not sweet and used in Southamerica and the Phillipines instead of rice or potatoes).

Flowery Chinese cabbage with pork

needed (2 pers) 250g pork 1-2 bunch Chinese flowery cabbage 1 onion 3 cloves of garlic 1 pack dry tamarind fruit salt, Seasoning Sauce Cut the meat into pieces and slice the onions thinly. Squeeze and cut the garlic. Soak a tablespoon of tamarind fruits for 10 min in 1/2 cup of water. Wash the cabbage and cut it into 3-5 cm big pieces. Heat oil in a wok and add the meat and the onions. When they are half done add the cabbage and stir. Add the taamrinf juice and season with salt and Seasoning Sauce. Add water, if necessary.