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Thai éncore

…And with popular demand, I’m back with some hot and spicy Thai food! It’s been a while since the last time I made some at home. So I replenished my Thai pantry with a quick trip to the Asian grocery store and put a spin on some of my older recipes to dish out a few of the cuisine classics – the Thai Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk and the Thai Green Curry.

thai ingredients

 

 

 

Thai-style Chicken Soup

(Chicken Soup  with coconut milk, lemon grass, galangal, mushrooms, hot chili, and lime juice )

This is a rich, creamy chicken soup made with coconut milk as the base and a distinctive spicy, salty, sweet and sour flavor. This simple Thai soup gets its tantalizing taste from the wonderfully balanced combination of citrusy lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, the earthy galangal (or ginger) and the red hot chillies. Simply put, its an explosion of citrus flavors in your mouth followed by the creeping heat from the chillies.

Thai Chicken Soup

My recipe is no standard but more of a framework; play with the ingredients and tweak it to suit your style.  You can use shrimp in place of chicken but add them only in the last minute of cooking as the shrimp will cook very fast and will continue to cook in the warm stock. You can also make a pure vegetarian version by using vegetable stock and soy sauce in place of chicken stock and fish sauce. By the way, this is a tasty way to clear up a  cold and sore throat!

Thai Chicken Soup

 

Makes 2 bowls

2 chicken thighs (or 1 breast), boneless, skinless, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

5-6 button mushrooms, sliced

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1-2 tsp roasted red chilli paste

1large fresh red/green chilli, diagonally chopped (optional, for additional heat and spiciness)

1 can (about 1 cups) lite coconut milk

same amount of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 inch galangal, roughly chopped (alternatively, use ginger they way I used it)

2-3 kaffir lime leaves, torn (1/4 tbsp lime zest)

1/2 lime, juiced

1 lemongrass stalk (use white part only), halved and cut in to 1/2 inch pieces

2 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)

salt

1 tbsp light brown sugar

cilantro or coriander, roughly chopped for garnishing

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat and sauté the shallots and mushrooms for a couple of mins. Season with a little bit of salt.

Stir in the red chilli paste and the chopped green chilli, if using and continue sautéing for another min. Pour in the coconut milk and the chicken stock. Add the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, lime juice and the fish sauce. Season with salt and sugar and simmer for about 15-20 mins, till the chicken is fully cooked.

Ladle the soup in a bowl and garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.

Thai Chicken Soup

Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger, or lime leaves.

 

 

Thai Green Curry with Vegetables

While red curry is usually in demand in my kitchen, the green curry looks like a formidable contender. It is a classic Thai curry, with a robust flavor and a refreshing green color. The coconut milk makes a rich and creamy base and the green curry curry paste packs a warming punch.

The trick is in making the paste; once you have that ready, it is not as difficult as it seems! I originally came up with the recipe for the red curry and applied the same concept to this one too. I am presenting a vegetarian version, but feel free to add chicken, beef or shrimp according to your preference.

thai green curry with vegetables

 

The Green Curry Paste

 

Makes about 1 cup of paste

10-12 small green chillies

4 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped or 1/4 tsp lemon zest, grated

1 tsp lime zest, grated

2 kaffir lime leaves, torn

2 shallots, chopped

1 cup cilantro leaves and stalks, roughly chopped

1 inch piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tsp coriander powder or 2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp peanut oil (or any other cooking oil is also fine)

water, as required to add moisture while making the paste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and grind to a thick paste. Add water, as necessary.

green curry paste

 

Transfer the paste to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator till you are ready to use. It can be refrigerated for 3-4 weeks.

 

 

 

The Thai Green Curry

thai green curry

 

Serves 2

1-2 tbsp oil

5-6 Thai Holy Basil leaves (If you can’t find Thai Holy Basil, use regular European basil)

1/4 cup Thai Green Curry paste (homemade or store bought)

1/2 small yellow onion, sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

handful bunch (about 6-8) string/green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 carrot, cut into 2 inch long thin slices

1 small crown of broccoli, cut into florets

1/2 can (about 1 cups) lite coconut milk

1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1/4 cup green peas, fresh or frozen thawed

salt

1-2 large fresh red/green chillies, diagonally chopped

2-3 kaffir lime leaves, torn (1/4 tbsp lime zest)

1 tbsp light brown sugar

2 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)

cilantro or coriander, roughly chopped for garnishing

Heat oil over medium heat in a wok or a large skillet and stir fry the basil leaves along with the green curry paste for about a min. Add all the vegetables and fry for another min. Stir in the coconut milk and chicken broth with peas and cook for about 2 mins, stirring occassionaly.

Season with salt; add chillies, kaffir lime leaves or lime zest and sugar. Mix well and add the fish sauce. Stir thoroughly to combine everything very well and cook till the coconut milk just starts to boil and the vegetables are cooked, but still have a bite to them.

Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with steamed Jasmine rice.

green curry with steamed jasmine rice

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