Thursday, 15 May 2008

Thai Food

A week before our Paris trip we got together and cooked in the demo kitchen of Hugo Dubno (Delikatessen-Import). Many thanks to Fani's husband Richard and to Hugo Dubno. Richard designed and installed this wonderful teaching kitchen. The room is enormous and we could have easily fitted in many more people.

The recipes are my adapations from various Thai cooking classes and cookbooks.

Our Menu

Green Chicken Curry
Tom Yam Goong
Thai Beef Salad
Phad Thai


Green Chicken Curry

350g chicken breast or thigh fillet, cut into bite size pieces
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 - 4 Tbsp green curry paste (recipe follows or buy it ready made from your local Thai store)
1 stick lemongrass, sliced lengthways on an angle into 4 - 6 cm lengths (optional)
8 - 10 long beans, cut into 4 cm lengths (optional)
6 - 8 Thai eggplants, cut in quartered or halved, cut just before added
¼ cup Thai pea eggplant
250ml (1 cup) thin coconut milk
250ml (1 cup) coconut cream
1/2 cup water (more if necessary)
40g (2 Tbsp) palm sugar (optional)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 - 3 green chillies, sliced lengthways on an angle into 3-4 cm pieces
4 - 6 medium sized kaffir lime leaves, torn into pieces
1 cup sweet Thai basil leaves

green or red chillies, thinly sliced
2 - 3 Tbsp coconut cream


In a wok or a saucepan, heat oil. Add the curry paste and stir fry for 2 - 4 minutes, until fragrant. Add lemongrass, beans and eggplants. Fold into paste. Add water and bring to a slow simmer for 3 - 4 minutes. Add coconut milk and coconut cream a little at a time. Allow oil should come to the top before adding more of the coconut milk and cream.
Place chicken pieces into curry and cook for approx. 4 minutes until curry regains its color. Eggplants should be slightly soft. Add sugar, lime leaves, fish sauce and chilli. Simmer for 1 or 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add basil leaves just before serving.

Green Curry Paste

1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds, dry roasted
1/4 Tbsp cumin seeds, dry roasted
1 tsp sea salt
10 white peppercorns
20 small green bird’s eye chillies, chopped (about 3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp red shallots, finely chopped
2 Tbsp garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp galangal, finely chopped
2 Tbsp lemongrass (white part only), finely chopped
1 Tbsp kaffir lime peel, finely chopped
2 Tbsp coriander root, washed, scraped and chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste


Dry roast the spices individually in a frying pan. Grind spices separately to form powders.
Using a mortar and pestle, pound lemongrass, galangal, lime zest, coriander root and sea salt. When ingredients are becoming smooth, add garlic, red shallots, and shrimp paste. Continue pounding to create a smooth paste.
Mix in the remaining ingredients and grind, pound in a mortar or process in a food processor until the mixture forms a smooth paste.

Tom Yam Goong

2 small green chillies
2 coriander root and stems
5 kaffir lime leaves
3 cups (750ml) chicken stock or water
300g prawns – washed, peeled and deveined (peels can be used for the stock).
200g mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, crushed
10 thin slices galangal root
3 stalks lemon grass, crushed, cut into 2cm pieces
2 tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chilli jam (Nam Prik Phao)
½ cup coriander, chopped


In a mortar, crush the green chillies with the coriander roots and the stems.
Heat the stock to boiling point in a saucepan. Add the galangal, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves, crushed chillies and coriander roots back to the boil.
Add the prawns, mushrooms, fish sauce, sugar, chilli jam and simmer for 1 minute. Add the lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice or fish sauce, if needed. Serve garnished with coriander.

Thai Beef Salad

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 coriander roots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons oil
400g piece rump or sirloin steak, about 2.5 cm thick
Salad greens (for example: cos or bib lettuce, watercress, baby spinach)
200g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 small cucumbers, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
4 red shallots, finely sliced lengthways
5 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 lemon grass, finely sliced
½ cup coriander leaves
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup Thai basil leaves (optional)

3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon light soy sauce or Thai soy sauce
2 - 10 red chillies, (chopped finely, seeds removed if preferred)
1 - 2 tablespoons palm sugar or soft brown sugar


Combine the chopped garlic and coriander roots, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of the oil. If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to finely grind the mixture. Alternatively, blend the mixture well in a food processor or blender. Spread the mixture evenly over the steak.
Heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the steak to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes each side, turning the steak once only during the cooking time. Remove the steak from the pan and allow to cool.
To make Dressing: Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, red chillies and sugar in a jar, shake until the sugar has dissolved.
Cut the cooled steak into thin strips. Arrange the prepared salad greens on a serving plate and add the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, shallots, lime leaves, lemon grass and strips of steak. Drizzle with the dressing and scatter coriander, mint and basil leaves over the top. Serve immediately.
Alternatively serve the salad sauce on the side if you are eating Thai style and serving lots of other dishes at the same time.

Phad Thai

3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp chopped shallots
140g dried rice noodles or 300g fresh rice noodles
2 large eggs
200g shrimp or prawns
80g firm tofu
1 Tbsp turnip, chopped (optional)
5g dried shrimp (optional)
6 Tbsp chicken stock or water
45g roasted peanuts, crushed or chopped
20g Chinese flat chives, cut into 2cm pieces
60g bean sprouts

3 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp white sugar or palm sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce (optional)
4 Tbsp tamarind juice

fresh vegetables
(bean sprouts, spring onions, chives,
salad greens, Chinese cabbage)
roast peanuts
2 limes, cut into wedges


Soak the dried rice noodles in hot water for about 10-15 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
Combine ingredients for sauce, dissolving sugar.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wok and fry garlic and shallots. Add the dried shrimp, tofu and turnips. Add prawns and noodles, stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the stock or water and stir-fry for 30-60 seconds. Turn down heat and add the sauce, mix thoroughly. Remove and set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan or a wok, add eggs and scramble, spreading egg into a thin layer over the pan. When set return noodles and mix together.
Add the chives and bean sprouts. Mix together thoroughly. Sprinkle over chopped peanuts. Check seasoning. Serve with fresh vegetables, (bean sprouts, peanuts, chives etc.). Garnish with chillies and coriander if desired. Serves 2.

Making the egg swirls.

Robin making the egg swirls for the Phad Thai

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