Tag Archives: Thai Food

Lime-Scented Chicken Curry

Chicken_and_Lime_Curry (1 of 1)I’ve been cooking red meat like crazy on my new pellet grill/smoker, so it was time to give that a break. This weekend, I was in the mood for something fresh and spicy, so I made this Thai-inspired chicken curry. Fantastic –  this dish really fulfilled my culinary desires for something different (not that I haven’t posted my share of Southeast Asian curries, but it’s been a while). This recipe can also be made with fresh, peeled and grated galangal in place of ginger — if you have access to that, I recommend it. Oh, and for some added fun for the kids, don’t seed the chilies! I hope you’ll try this dish tonight!

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6 – 8 red Thai bird chilies, seeded and minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk lemon grass, tough outer leaves removed, bottom (white) portion very finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp turmeric

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch x 1-inch chunks
2 14-oz cans coconut milk
Juice of 1 lime
kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish

Combine first 6 ingredients (onion through turmeric) in a food processor. Process into a fine paste.

Heat oil in a wok or Dutch oven over high heat. Add spice paste and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook an additional 4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, lime leaves, sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat. Season with additional fish sauce and sugar, if desired. Serve with lime wedges and steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Thai Stir-Fry of Mushrooms and Tofu

Mushrooms_and_Tofu1 (1 of 1)I’ve been posting a lot of meat dishes lately, writing about meat, even declaring my love of meat in my last post. That said, I’m taking a break from meat. This is simple and delicious vegetarian dish (if you use vegetable stock), and served with steamed rice, is a meal in and of itself. It’s not too spicy (depending on the chili garnish you use), give it a try tonight!

14 oz extra firm tofu
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp plus 2 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp peeled and finely grated or chopped ginger
5 Tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely grated or chopped
8 oz oyster mushrooms, tough bases removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 hot red pepper (about 3 inches long), seeded and cut into very fine julienne slices

Drain tofu block and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes in between paper towels and let drain further for about 15 minutes.

Place tofu in a shallow dish. Whisk together sesame oil, 2 tsp soy sauce, ground black pepper and ginger in a small bowl. Add to tofu and toss until tofu is well-coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Whisk together stock, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and tofu, and gently mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with a couple  additional sprinkles of soy sauce, if desired. Remove from heat and place on a serving platter. Garnish with the sliced green onions and red pepper (add more red pepper, if desired). Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as part of a Thai meal with other dishes.

Thai Caramelized Pork Stir-Fry (Muu Waan)

Thai_Caramelized_Pork_Stir-Fry1 (1 of 1)Here’s another simple, quick and delicious stir-fry dish. The garlic, liquids and sugar cook down into a wonderful, sweet and sticky sauce that nicely compliments the pork tenderloin. Those who enjoy Thai cuisine, but don’t like too much spice will like this recipe, as it does not have the usual red peppers in it. I hope you’ll try this dish tonight!

1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp palm sugar (or light brown sugar), packed
1 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 1.25-lb pork tenderloin, sliced lengthwise down the middle, then thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 tsp white ground pepper
3 green onions, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 additional green onion, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces for garnish
1 Tbsp fried red onions for garnish (store-bought, found in Asian markets in the Thai condiment section)

Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until very thick. Add the 3 sliced green onions and white ground pepper, and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and fried red onions.

Serves 4.

Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Cashews

Cashew_Chicken1 (1 of 1)Here’s another stir-fry dish that’s delicious and quick to prepare. You can substitute the raw cashews with unsalted, ready-roasted cashews, but I prefer the wonderfully sweet and nutty flavors they take on when dry-roasting yourself (you can also deep-fry raw cashews in a bit of canola or peanut oil, which is what they do in Thailand). You can also substitute the dried Thai chilies with fresh ones, but I believe this dish is traditionally prepared with dried chilies. I really like this dish, and I hope you’ll try it too!

1/2 cup raw whole cashews
3 – 5 dried Thai chilies, slit lengthwise on one side with a sharp knife, seeds removed and chilies cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
1 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 Tbsp chicken stock
1 1/4 tsp sugar
3 Tbsp canola oil
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 1/4 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced, then cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
1 small onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
2 scallions, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces (both pale and dark green parts)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Heat a small cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and dry-roast until lightly browned, but not burnt. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Whisk together the fish sauce, oyster sauce, stock and sugar in a small bowl, then set aside.Cashew_Chicken2 (1 of 1)

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the chilies and stir-fry for one minute. Remove chilies with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-high. Add the garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Turn heat back up to high and add the chicken, stir-frying for 4 minutes.

Add the red bell pepper, carrot, onion and sauce mixture to the chicken. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cashews, chilies, scallions and white ground pepper. Season to taste with a bit more fish sauce and sugar, if necessary. Serve with steamed jasmine rice, and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serves 4.

Chiang Mai Chicken Noodles (Khao Soi Gai)

Chiang_Mai_Noodles1 (1 of 1)Chiang Mai noodles is one of my all-time favorite Thai dishes (no kidding!). It is the signature dish of Chiang Mai, Thailand, and that is where I tasted it (experienced it!) for the first time. It is said to be of Burmese origin, but it now calls Chiang Mai home. It is served soup-style in a bowl with lots of broth over noodles, together with a bit of meat, such as pork or chicken. The broth is a fantastic blend of spices, coconut milk and chicken stock, and it is on the hot side. It is typically garnished with green onions, shallots, peppers and a deep-fried nest of noodles (optional). I hope you’ll try it!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (about two breasts), cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 Tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 Tbsp fish sauceChiang_Mai_Noodles2 (1 of 1)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce (don’t substitute with regular/light soy sauce; do substitute with kecap manis, if necessary)
Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1/8 tsp ground white or black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb fresh Asian-style egg noodles, cooked 2 minutes in boiling water, then drained and set aside

For garnish
3 spring onions, diagonally sliced
4 (or so) red Thai bird chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
4 chopped shallots
Some cilantro (coriander leaves)
4 fried noodle nests (optional)*

Heat about 1/3 of coconut milk in a wok or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, add the Thai curry paste and turmeric. Stir constantly for about 1 or 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add chicken and stir fry for another 2 minutes.

Add the rest of the coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, lime juice, ground pepper and salt to the chicken mixture. Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 7 minutes. Serve in bowls, over portions of the egg noodles. Garnish each serving with spring onions, chopped bird chilies, chopped shallots, cilantro leaves and fried noodle nests (if using).

Serves 4.

*To make fried noodle nests, divide 6 oz rice vermicelli into 4 “nests.” Heat about an inch of canola oil in a wok over high heat. Test oil when it is hot by dipping one of the noodles into it; oil is ready when noodle puffs up on contact. With tongs, drop one nest into the oil. It will just take a second to fry — remove from the oil as it has puffed up. Place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with the rest of the nests.

Thai Beef Stir-Fry in an Oyster Sauce

Thai_Beef_Stir-Fry_in_an_Oyster_Sauce3 (1 of 1)I enjoy stir-fry dishes because they call for the freshest of ingredients, and they are generally quick to prepare (and they can be very healthy, as well!). This is a typical Southeast Asian-style stir-fry that combines fresh, spicy, sweet, sour and salty flavors into an harmoniously delicious dish. I hope you’ll try it!

 

1 lb flank steak, cut against the grain into very thin slices that are 2 inches in length
1 Tbsp dry sherry
1 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

3 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)

2 Tbsp canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
2 tsp finely peeled, grated fresh ginger

4 fresh Thai bird chilies, seeded and cut lengthwise into very fine julienne strips
3 scallions (green onions), cut into 1-inch pieces, then cut lengthwise into very fine julienne strips

8 lettuce leaves

Whisk together sherry, cornstarch and black pepper in medium bowl. Combine well with beef and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by whisking together oyster sauce, soy sauce, honey and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the beef mixture, sir-frying until the meat is no longer pink (about 3 minutes). Add the sauce and continue to stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the chilies and scallions. Serve over individual lettuce leaves, together with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Thai Barbecued Chicken (Gai Yang)

Thai_Barbecued_Chicken_(Gai Yang)2 (1 of 1)I pulled out the grill (I have a charcoal grill — I prefer the end results over gas) for the first time this spring. I made one of my favorite chicken recipes, Gai Yang. Gai yang is a beloved “street food” in Thailand — you find it everywhere, and when you get it, it comes in a plastic bag, together with another plastic bag of delicious spicy pepper dipping sauce. The marinade for the chicken calls for a commonly used ingredient in Thailand, including fresh, scraped coriander (cilantro) roots. If that’s not available, you can use the stems of the plant (which is what I use, and it seems to work well). This grilled chicken is flavorful and wonderful. I hope you’ll try it!

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 lbs), cut into 8 pieces (so you end up with 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 wings and 2 drum sticks)
2 stalks lemongrass (lower 6 inches), outer leaves removed and very finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh garlic
3 Tbsp fresh coriander root, or 1/4 cup coarsely chopped coriander stems
1 1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp (plus) canola oil

Add lemongrass, ginger, garlic, coriander root (or stems), turmeric, brown sugar, fish sauce and oil to a food processor. Puree to a very fine paste, adding additional tablespoons of oil as needed.

Combine chicken pieces and paste in a large bowl. Mix well and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Be sure to stir chicken mixture occasionally.

Prepare grill.

Grill chicken about 25 minutes, until cooked but not overdone. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a spicy Thai chili dipping sauce.

Serves 4.