Tag Archives: thai

Top 2016 Recipe – Thai Yellow Curry

My last post of 2016 is going to be a homage to my favourite thing about 2016 which was travelling to, and around Thailand.

Elix and I travelled East in November embarking on a Thai journey taking us up North to Chiang Mai for cooking, culture and trekking. Then South to Railay for Coastal Rock climbing and lots of Seafood. Third stop was Koh Lanta followed by Koh Phi Phi – both beautiful, sunny, waterfall filled Islands and finally the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

We took a fantastic cooking class in Chiang Mai trying out Thai curries, Salads, Stir Frys and a questionable Banana and Coconut dessert. I have barely scratched the surface with Thai recipes that I still want to try and cook but wanted to share my take on the Yellow Chicken curry we learnt in Chiang Mai – despite me only being back 6 weeks i’ve already cooked it three times for family and friends! It seems odd to put the relish with a curry but believe me, it elevates the taste to insane levels – something about the spicy, crunchy and fresh salsa compliments the creamy curry amazingly!

Serves 4
For the Curry Paste
2tbsp Lemongrass
1tsbp Dried Chilli
2tbsp Grated Ginger
2tbsp Grated Garlic
1tsp Shrimp Paste or Fish Sauce
1 Onion
a dash of coconut cream to help puree
Curry
250ml Thick Coconut Cream
250ml Coconut Milk
1tsp Curry Powder (i used my own one which had the best results and is simply even amounts of ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, ground ginger and chilli powder)
6 Chicken Thighs – cut into bitesize pieces
8 Mushrooms – sliced
Handful of Baby Corn – chopped
Handful of Mange Tout – chopped
Half a Courgette – sliced
2tbsp Palm Sugar
3tbsp Soy Sauce
Relish
50ml White Wine Vinegar
50g Caster Sugar
1 Red Chilli – finely diced
1/2 Cucumber – finely diced
Handful of Coriander – leaves chopped
1/2 Onion or 1 Shallot – finely diced
50g Roasted Peanuts – chopped

First thing is first, make your paste by blitzing everything together in a food processor or nutribullet. Leave to one side.
Fry the thick coconut cream in a pan and as the milk starts to seperate from the oil, add in the curry paste and curry powder to fry for a few more minutes until aromatic and sizzling. Now add the chicken, mushrooms, mangetout and baby corn and mix. Pour in the thin coconut milk and bring to a simmer. The chicken should take roughly 10 minutes to cook through, after 5 minutes, add the courgette and spinach, stir and leave to simmer.
To make the relish, bring the vinegar and the sugar to a boil and keep on the heat to allow to reduce by a third. Leave to cool and then mix together with the cucumber, chilli, coriander and onion. Just before serving scatter with the peanuts for a toasty crunch.
When the chicken and vegetables are all cooked through add the palm sugar and soy sauce and mix. At this stage check seasoning and add extra sugar if needed, extra coconut milk if you want to mellow the spice or extra soy or salt.
Serve with brown rice and the relish and some flat bread or naan bread to mop up the gravy -like sauce.

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Yum Tom Yum

It’s been a cold, foggy, wintery day in Toots today and after a very indulgent week (i have spent the entire week eating and drinking) Elix and I wanted a healthy, warming lunch.

Thai Tom Yum soup it was! Traditionally Tom Yum is made with shrimp paste and seafood – today we used chicken and left out the addition of shrimp paste and it worked well. Now im not sure if there is a standard recipe for this, so the one below might not even qualify as a proper Tom Yum but it was hot and sour as a traditional Tom Yum and hit the spot on this lazy, chilly day.

Serves 2
6 dried chillis – left whole
4 slices fresh or dried galangal
6 kaffir lime leaves
1 lemongrass – shredded
2 Chicken Breasts
500ml Water
4tbsp Coconut Milk
1tsp Fish Sauce
1tsp Palm Sugar
1tsp Soy Sauce
1tbsp Lime Juice
2 portions Rice Noodles
2 handfuls Spinach
Coriander to serve

Bring the water to boil in a large pan and pop in the spices and aromats. Once simmering add the chicken in to start poaching. Mix in the sauces and leave on the heat until the chicken cooks through. The chicken should poach within 10 minutes, add the spinach in and the noodles. At this stage I removed the chicken, shredded it and popped back into the soup.
As with all Asian flavours, check the balance of seasoning – adjust if you want it sweeter, more sour or saltier. If the soup carries too much heat, remove the chillis and add in more coconut milk.
Serve in deep soup
bowls with coriander scattered over for a final bit of colour and freshness.

Jungle Curry

I’m getting more and more excited about my November trip to Thailand. David Thompson’s Thai Food Cookery book as helped this along and I spent quite a bit of time this weekend leafing through the beautiful book – so many salads, curries and soups to choose from. The book includes a recipe for Jungle Curry – my recipe below is not David Thompson’s one – I needed something quick and easy after a busy weekend and his will take more patience, effort and specialist ingredients – one for another time!

Jungle Curry originates from North Thailand, it doesnt include coconut milk (apparently there are no coconuts there, I assume because its inland and a mountainous region – I will check in November and confirm!) so is hotter, less creamy and less sweet than the more commonly found green, yellow and red thai curries.

The recipe I designed was also healthy and nutritious.  Chillis in the paste are good to supress appetite, the paste also includes ginger and garlic aswell as a sprinkling of turmeric – all good to aid digestion and promote a strong immune system. Brown rice accompanied the curry – unprocessed whole grains are important sources of fiber and protein. For cooking I used coconut oil instead of vegetable/sunflower oil as this is good for balancing cholesterol and light in flavour. I made the curry with fish (I used hake), mange tout and baby corn – a good balance of protein and vitamins. The paste will work with any protein and vegetable combination  though. Next on the list to try are chicken, mushroom and baby corn aswell as mixed vegetable (aubergine, cauliflower, peas and squash).  

I researched a few recipes for the Jungle paste – and came up with one which isnt too hot but balances the sweet, salt, sour, hot flavours found in Thai food.

Serves 4
500g sustainable fish fillets cut into 1 inch/bitesize pieces – i used hake
1tbsp coconut oil
1 large handful baby corn – halved
1 large handful mange tout – halved
2tbsp fish sauce
2tsp palm sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1tsp tamarind water (mix 1/2 tsp tamarind with 1tbsp water)
For the Paste
1 green chilli
1 red chilli
8 shallots
4 cloves garlic
6cm ginger
1 tbsp lemongrass paste/2 sticks lemongrassed bruised and diced
1tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp shrimp paste

Cook the veggies for a couple of minutes in boiling water and set to one side (this way you can pop them in with the fish at the end and as they are part cooked will be ready when the fish is).
To make the paste simply blitz everything together until a smooth paste forms.
Cook the paste for a few minutes in 1tbsp coconut oil until fragrant and sizzling. Add in the fish sauce, tamarind water, lime juice, palm sugar and check the seasoning. If you feel something isnt balanced (too sweet or sour, then balance by adding extra acidity – lime or extra sugar to balance a sour taste). Stir through. Add the vegetables and fish (if you are using a different protein add this now too) – cook through, fish should take 8 minutes or so, chicken will take 10 minutes.
Dish out with brown rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Zoodles & Noodles

Before i go any further, I should clarify that for the purposes of this recipe, I have re-named courgetti (which I usually associate with Pasta meals) to zoodles – associated with South East Asian noodle recipes. Both are spiralized courgettes, eaten raw and a good substitute for the carb-heavy noodle or spaghetti.

After a delightful afternoon tea at The Winter Garden at The Landmark in Marylebone I wanted a light and healthy dinner last night. The new butchers in Toots had some lovely Rump steak in and so an Oriental Beef and Zoodle salad was settled on for dins.
The recipe is quite bitty to cook im afraid. Each task is simple and once completed the ingredients are simply put to one side until ready to be mixed together for serving.

I am making my way through my nutrition diploma so trying to be mindful of the nutrional make-up of my meals. This salad is high in protein from the beef, wholewheat rice noodles and protein rich spinach. It also is low carb and low fat. Chilli and Ginger keep you feeling fuller for longer and brocolli is an excellent source of vitamin C.

Serves 2
1 thinly cut Rump Steak
1 Clove Garlic – grated
1 Courgette – spiralized for zoodles
1 handful Wholewheat Rice Noodles
3cm Ginger – grated
2tbsp Fish Sauce
2tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1tsp Sugar
2 handfuls spinach – shredded
6 Florets Broccolli
4 Spring Onions – finely sliced
1 Chilli – finely diced
1 handful Coriander
1 handful Cashews
2tbsp Sesame seeds

Marinade the steak in the garlic and ginger, rubbing into the meat and leave for 20 minutes.
Spoon the fish sauce, sugar and vinegar over the zoodles and leave to one side.
Cook the rice noodles (i usually place them in a large bowl, pour boiling water over them, and cover for 5 minutes until softened) and add them to the zoodles.
Shallow fry the broccoli in sesame oil until cooked through and slightly charred.
Dry fry the cashews and sesame seeds for a couple of minutes until fragrant and toasted.
Mix together the spring onions, spinach, chilli, coriander and broccolli into the zoodles and noodles.
Rub the steak in olive oil and place onto a searing hot pan for 2-3 minutes on each side (for medium rare steak). Take out of the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes before thinly slicing into strips.
Now we are finally ready to plate up. The zoodles, noodles and veg make up the base of the salad – make sure any excess dressing goes into the salad too. Place the steak slices on top and scatter with the cashews and sesame seeds.

My “Mee Krob” – Thai Crispy Noodles

Its taken me a while to get this recipe on here and I don’t know why because it was so tasty and I was so proud of my little self for coming up with such a nice dinner, it’s one I want documented as I’m sure its going to be a regular dish on our dinner table!

Mee Krob is Thai for crispy noodles and this dish comprises pork and prawns with veg and noodles with a sweet and sour dressing scattered with delightful crispy noodles on top for crunch and toastiness. The dish is light, tasty and sweet and can be cooked with any meat or seafood, im keen to try prawn and tofu next time.

Serves 2
100g Vermicelli/Rice Noodles
50g Minced Pork
50g Prawns
6 Mushrooms -sliced
2 heads Pak Choi
4 Spring Onions – sliced
6 Mini Corn – sliced lengthways
40ml White Vinegar
40ml Fish Sauce
1tbsp Sugar
1 egg
1 Clove Garlic – finely diced
1 Red Chilli – finely diced
1 handful Coriander – chopped

So first for the crispy noodles – I shallow fried mine in sunflower oil in a small frying pan. Heat the oil and when hot, take a handful of the noodles and break up, gently scatter them in the oil, within seconds they will be puffing up and sizzling, remove them and place on some kitchen paper and put to one side. they should stay crispy when cooled.
Place the remaining noodles in a
bowl of boiling water, cover and leave to soften for 8 minutes.
Transfer the oil from the noodles to a wok or larger frying pan and cook the mince. Whilst the pork is cooking, mix together the vinegar, fish sauce and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add this dressing to the pan with the prawns and veggies and bring to the boil. Once the veggies have softened slightly add the garlic and chilli. Whisk the egg and season with a little salt and pepper, quickly pour this into the pan and stir so the egg scrambles and icorporates with the mixture. By now the noodles will have cooked and can be mixed in with the pork and prawns. Stir everything together and toss the coriander in for the last few seconds.
Serve with the crispy noodles scattered on top!

Burmese Curry

Last year i holidayed in Myanmar and it was the best couple of weeks I could have wished for. The country is beautiful both physically and culturally with so much to see and do. The cities are vibrant, beaches are idyllic and everywhere in the middle is beautiful.

The food in Myanmar is a mixture of the cuisines of all it’s neighbouring countries – thai, indian, chinese flavours and spices and curries, salads, noodle soups and stir fries.

The curry in this blog perfectly showcases the fusion in Myanmar’s cuisine with Indian turmeric and chilli spices mixed with South East Asian fish sauce and lemon juice. The curry was lightly spiced,  sweet, fresh and nutritious. It was also nice and easy to cook!

Serves 3
3 Chicken Thighs – chopped into bitesize pieces
1 Medium Potato – cubed
1 Large tomato – chopped
1 Onion
1/2 Cauliflower – chopped into florets
1tsp Ginger
1tsp Lemongrass Paste
1 Clove Garlic
1tbsp Chilli Powder
1tbsp Turmeric
1tsp Fish Sauce
1tsp Lemon Juice
Vegetable Oil

Start by making a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass using a little vegetable oil if needed. Slowly fry the paste with some water until rich in colour which should take 10-15minutes. Meanwhile part boil the cauliflower and potato for 8 minutes. Add the chicken and coat in the paste, sprinkle in the chilli powder and turmeric, cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the chicken is sealed. Add the cauliflower and potato aswell as the tomato and pour in 100ml water and the fish sauce and lemon juice. Stir to combine and simmer until the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy and the vegetables are cooked.
Serve with brown rice and a little naan bread.

Another Asian Dinner – Laksa with Seabass

A cheeky little friend of mine jokes that all I ever cook and eat is Asian food – to be fair after a trio of home cooked Indian, Chinese and Vietnamese meals over the last few nights I can’t really argue and so i thought i would live up to this and blog about a Rick Stein Thai Laksa that  

 i made this evening for dinner.
I’ve been feeling poorly for the past few days and this soup was full of fresh herbs, comforting chilli heat and healthy fish and vegetables so was perfect to get me feeling better.

  
Ingredients (serves 2)
Soup
Groundnut Oil
450ml Stock (I used vegetable but Chicken or Fish would work too)
50g Egg Noodles
400ml Coconut Milk
50g Beansprouts
4 Spring Onions – sliced
2 Handfuls of Vegetables – I used mini-corn, tenderstem brocolli and pak choi
2 Fillets Seabass
1 Handful chopped mint, basil and coriander
Chilli Sambal (optional)
Lime Wedges to garnish
Laksa Paste
25g Shrimp Paste
3 Red Chillies
2 Lemongrass Stalks
25g Unroasted Cashew Nuts
2 Cloves Garlic
2.5cm Ginger
1tsp Ground Turmeric
1tsp Ground Coriander
1 Small Onion
Juice 1 Lime

Start with the laksa paste and blend all the ingredients in a food processor adding a couple of teaspoons of cold water if necessary until a smooth paste forms.
Fry the paste in some groundnut oil and stir for 10 minutes until fragrent. Add the stock and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Pop the noodles and vegetables into boiling water until almost cooked through (they will finish off later in the  main soup) and drain.
Add the coconut milk to the soup and mix. Add in the spring onions, beansprouts, noodles and vegetables and leave on a low heat.
Fry the seabass, skin side down in some olive oil for a couple of minutes on each side.
Spoon the laksa into a noodle bowl and sprinkle the fresh herbs on top. Place the seabass on top and if you like extra heat spoon some sambal and garnish with the lime.

We had seabass but the original recipe suggests grilled cod – I think anything would be lovely – mixed vegetables, tofu, chicken, prawns, mussels or beef – I think next time we will definitely be trying mixed seafood and if I get my way…tofu!