A Taste of Thailand

My first food blog, who would have thought eh? Mixing two things I love in cooking and travel is so easy and there will certainly be more on the way if people enjoy them. I’ll try to do something different each week inspired by somewhere I have been and personally experienced or things I’ve tried to create from destinations we are yet to travel to.

First up… Thai. So back in April 2011, we were in Ao Nang, Krabi and we decided to book a cooking lesson. It was on our last day before moving on to Railay Beach and when we called to book the class the lady wasn’t running one that morning. We explained it was our last day and she decided to put on a private lesson for us and even picked us up from the hotel… VIP style!

Upon arriving at the cookery school, we were given a huge list of Thai dishes to choose from and the five we picked were tom yam soup, green curry, pad thai, chilli chicken & basil and vegetable spring rolls (not sure why we picked this though!). We did think we were going to be making the green curry paste from scratch but our teachers advice was to find a paste you like to make it easy and then taste to your liking with fish sauce and sugar.

We made so much food that we ended up taking most of it away with us in plastic bags, but it was a great experience and something we both loved.

Over the years we have taken the dishes we learned that day and adapted them for slightly easier cooking at home. We’ve settled on some great supplements to add and make these amazing dishes as authentic as possible. The key ones being the Flying Goose curry paste (both Green and Red from Tesco) and the Fragrant Thai Base (from Sainsbury’s), both definitely worth adding to your kitchen cupboard.

We don’t often cook all three dishes together unless we are cooking for others, but on this occasion, we did and managed to have the same feast again the next evening. So, they can be cooked together or individually, it is really up to you but it does work great if you are hosting others.

So here you go, our take on three classic Thai dishes… Green Curry, Pad Thai and Chilli Chicken & Basil.

Thai Green Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 2 White Onions
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 tbsp Flying Goose Green Curry Paste (or equivalent)
  • 1 Tin Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cornflour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Fresh Chilli or Chilli Flakes

Method

  1. Cut the peppers and onions into large chunks and dice the chicken ready to cook
  2. Add the coconut milk (keep 50ml to one side to thicken) and the green curry paste to a pan, stir well and bring to the boil, then add the vegetables and gently simmer for 10 minutes
  3. Add the diced chicken, fish sauce and caster sugar and simmer for 10 minutes more
  4. If like us, you prefer a thicker consistency of curry sauce then at this point add the cornflour. To do this mix the cornflour with the 50ml of cold coconut milk you kept to one side and roughly 50ml of the cooked curry sauce, constantly stirring before adding back to your main pan and stirring well
  5. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh chopped chillies or chilli flakes

Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • One Pack of Pad Thai Rice Noodles
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil (we use Rapeseed)
  • 1 Garlic Minced Clove
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 100g Beansprouts
  • 1.5 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 3 Spring Onions
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Peanuts

Method

  1. Bring water to boil in a pan and the noodles for 7/10 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Drain and put to one side
  2. In a bowl add the soy sauce, fresh lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce and chilli flakes, mix and then put to one side. Chop the coriander, slice the green onions and crush the peanuts and put to one side.
  3. Add the oil to a pan and add the chicken, garlic, spring onions and beansprouts, cooking together on medium heat for 5 minutes
  4. Push everything in the pan to one side and then crack both eggs in and start to scramble. Once they are nearly scrambled mix with the rest of the ingredients in the pan
  5. Add the noodles and the mixture to the pan and stir well to coat all ingredients
  6. Add everything to a serving bowl and top with the coriander and crushed peanuts

Chilli Chicken & Basil

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 Peppers
  • 2 Onions (white or red)
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
  • 2 tsp Chilli Flakes (add more if you like it spicy)
  • 2 tsp Fragrant Thai Base Sauce
  • 2 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • 1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves

Method

  1. Dice the pepper, onions and chicken
  2. Add the chicken to a separate bowl and marinade with the fragrant Thai base sauce
  3. Add the oil, peppers, onions, garlic and chilli flakes to a pan and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes
  4. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes
  5. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce to the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes
  6. Add in the fresh basil and cook for 3 minutes then serve

To Serve

We had this all with a side of rice, I’d say any rice would do so just make what ever you prefer. We used white basmati on this occasion and to get the finish I filled a ramekin with the rice and seasoned with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.

Hopefully it looks something liks this when you’ve finished and it tastes just as amazing too!

I had this with a full bodied red wine (Villa Vincini Governo Torro Rosso – 13.5%) as ti goes really well with the heat in this dish.

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