Sunday, April 4, 2010

To Thai For

Last night two of our friends came over for a pre-Easter dinner.

Thai food is my absolute best! So I decided to make two of my all-time favourite dishes: Tom Yum Goong and Chicken Thai Green Curry.

Tom Yum Goong is a fragrant hot and sour soup made with prawns and is probably the most popular soup in Thailand. It has been said that if the Tom Yum Goong works your sinuses you have made it correctly - and ours certainly did just that! For this reason, it is perfect to eat when you have the flu. In Thailand, because of the intense heat, they eat this soup to regulate the body's temperature.

Tom Yum Goong:
(Serves 4)

    • 1.5 Litres of Stock (Made with 2 Marigold Yeast and Gluten Free Stock Cubes)
    • 1.5 Stems of Lemon Grass Chopped
    • A Handful of Kaffir Lime Leaves (An essential ingredient in Thai cooking - Can be found at some supermarkets - I bought mine from the Bryanpark Spar)
    • 300g of Prawns Peeled and Deveined, with the tails still on 
    • 2 Tablespoons of Thai Fish Sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon of Vital Soya Sauce
    • 1 - 2 Thai Green Chillies or Red Chillies Chopped (depending on how spicy you want it - I used 2 chillies)
    • Half a Packet of Mushrooms Quartered (You can use Shitaki, but I just used Button) Remember, mushrooms contain yeast and therefore should not be eaten if you have an allergy to it
    • A Bunch of Coriander
    • The Juice of 2 Limes
    • Grated Palm Sugar (I also bought this from the Bryanpark Spar)
    • A Thumb-Size Piece of Ginger Chopped
    • Make the stock and put it onto boil
    • Throw in the chopped lemon grass, lime leaves, chilli, ginger, fish sauce, soya sauce, lime juice, grated palm sugar, coriander and mushrooms
    • Allow flavours to infuse for about 15 minutes
    • Taste and adjust flavourings until there is the correct balance of hot, sour, sweet and salty
    • Throw in the prawns just before servings as they don't need much cooking, otherwise they will toughen
    • Serve while it's still hot

    Chicken Thai Green Curry:
    (Serves 6)

    Green curry gets its name from the colour of the dish. It is generally considered to have the same spiciness as red curry, but with a slight sweetness. The reason why I love Thai food so much is because of the balance of flavours and the fact that with each mouthful, my palate pops with the excitement of new tastes. In the past, I used to just buy green curry paste, but I can no longer do this as they contain garlic, so I make my own, which is very easy.


      • 2 Green Chillies
      • A Bunch of  Coriander
      • A Tablespoon of Fish Sauce
      • The Zest of 1 Lime
      • Half a Large Onion
      • A Thumb-Size Piece of Ginger
      • 1.5 Stalks of Lemon Grass
      • A Tablespoon of Cumin
    Other Ingredients:
      • The Juice of 2 Limes
      • A Tablespoon of Vital Soya Sauce
      • Half a Large Onion Chopped
      • A Tablespoon of Olive Oil
      • 2 Tins of Coconut Milk (I used Lite Coconut Milk)
      • A Handful of Kaffir Limes Leaves
      • Grated Palm Sugar
      • 6 Chicken Breasts Cut into Strips
      • 1 Large Green Pepper Sliced
      • 1 Large Red Pepper Sliced
      • A Packet of Baby Corn Cut in Half
      • Bean Sprouts
      • 4 - 5 Tomatoes Quartered
      • Jasmine Rice for 6
      • A Bunch of Coriander for Serving
      • Cook the Jasmine Rice as directed - you usually have to soak in cold water for 15 minutes before cooking, rinse the rice and then cook for about 10 - 15 minutes. The rice goes sticky once it has been steamed after cooking
      • Blend all paste ingredients in a blender
      • Fry the other half of the chopped onion in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt
      • When the onion is translucent add the paste and fry for a few minutes
      • Pour in the coconut milk
      • Add the chicken pieces to the fragrant coconut milk
      • Cook for a few minutes until the flesh is no longer pink
      • Add the lime leaves
      • Add the lime juice bit by bit, testing the flavours all the time
      • Add the grated palm sugar, bit by bit, until you are happy with the sweetness
      • Add the soya sauce for a dash of saltiness
      • You may want to chop in another chilli or add some more ginger or lemon grass if you want the flavour more intense
      • Throw in the vegetables, except the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes until tender
      • Add the tomatoes just before you are ready to serve
      • Dish the rice and curry into bowls and top with coriander

    Mango Pudding:
    (Serves 4 - 5)

    I am not a dessert person, therefore desserts are not my strong point, but I wanted to make a dessert that would fit into the theme of the evening and I found this one. Tropical fruit is very common in Thai desserts and to me; mango and coconut milk go extremely well together.

      • 2 Large Ripe Mangoes
      • 1 Packet of Gelatin (I used 6 gelatin leaves)
      • 1 Tin of Coconut Milk (I used Lite Coconut Milk)
      • 2 Teaspoons of Xylitol (Optional)
      • Grated Nutmeg
      • Peel and chop the mango and place into a blender
      • Add coconut milk and blend
      • Add Xylitol if you want to
      • Add grated nutmeg to taste
      • Make gelatin as per direction on the packet. For the leaves - place in a little cold water for 5 minutes, squeeze out the liquid and then dissolve the squeezed out leaves into a little boiling water. Add part of the mango mixture to the dissolved gelatin and mix together. Return back to the blender - stir until the gelatin is evenly distributed
      • Place the mixture into Martini glasses and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
      • Before Serving grate some nutmeg over the top and decorate with a strawberry


    1. This was an absolutely awesome dinner!!! The soup most definitely got my sinuses working, it was awesome. Your Mango Pudding is an absolute winner! And what's more, I felt so good again afterwards! Thanks Leaine!

    2. Thanks for the comment E! Was nervous to cook for you, but am glad you liked it :) It's important to feel good after a meal - and not bloated or uncomfortable - so I'm really happy to hear that you did!