Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Little Piece of Thailand, My Way!

As I hope you know by now - I LOVE Thai food! So, when I saw Nina from My Easy Cooking's Event - I was more than ecstatic - I get to cook and eat my favourite food and also stand the chance to win some amazing prizes - how cool is that? Very cool, I'd say!

If you also love Thai food and the chance to win prizes - why not make your very own Thai inspired meal and enter Nina's competition - you still have a few days left - it ends on Saturday the 31st July?

The cornerstone of any successful Thai dish is the combination and balance of flavours - sweet, salty, sour spicy and sometimes bitter. Keeping this in mind I designed my three course meal to focus on this flavour combination.

The first dish in my Thai Inspired Menu is:

Chicken and Coconut Broth: Very Similar to Tom Kha Gai
(Serves 2)


1 Tin of Coconut Milk (400mls)
400mls Water
A Few Kaffir Lime Leaves
A Teaspoon Chilli Flakes or a Diced Red Chilli - Seeds Removed (Adjust the measurements if you prefer it less spicy)
1 Knob of Ginger, Finely Chopped
Lemon Grass (I used 2 x 5cm Sized Freeze Dried Pieces)
3 - 4 Teaspoons Fish Sauce
Juice of Half a Lime
A Squeeze of Soya Sauce, Gluten Free (Optional)
2 - 3 Teaspoons Palm Sugar or Fructose
Salt and Pepper to Taste
2 Chicken Breasts, Chopped into Small Pieces
1 *Punnet Sugar Snap Peas
1 *Green Pepper, Sliced

*Can be left out or replaced with veggies of your choice such as baby corn or mushrooms (contain yeast)


Make the broth by adding the coconut milk, water, lime leaves, chilli, ginger, lemon grass, fish sauce, lime juice, soya sauce and palm sugar to the boil
Allow all flavours to infuse, by simmering for about 10 - 20 minutes
Taste the broth and adjust flavours if needed - making sure you have a balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy
Add the chicken pieces, sugar snap peas and green pepper and cook until chicken is translucent and cooked through
Taste again
Season with salt and pepper if desired
Serve in bowls
* Can also be served as a main course with jasmine rice or rice noodles

 For the main I once again wanted intense flavours, but the idea of mint appealed to me as in my mind this would add an extra freshness and counter balance the heat from the chilli. The amazing thing about Thai cuisine is that it is influenced by other countries such as China, Cambodia and Malaysia, which sees the utilisation of other ingredients such as soya sauce, turmeric and tamarind.

Spicy Beef with Mint and Thai Basil:
(Serves 2)


2 Teaspoons Tamarind Paste
Juice of Half a Lime
Squeeze of Soya Sauce (Gluten Free)
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
3 - 4 Teaspoons Palm Sugar or Fructose
1 Teaspoon Chilli Flakes or a Diced Red Chilli - Seeds Removed (Can Adjust the Measurements)
1 Knob Ginger, Grated
2 Teaspoons Fish Sauce
Sesame Oil (I used an unsmoked one from Dischem) - for marinating and frying
1/2kg Beef Strips or Beef Shin Cut into Strips
1 Onion Finely Sliced
1 Red Pepper, Sliced
1 Packet Baby Stem Broccoli
2 Handfuls Fresh Mint
2 Handfuls Fresh Thai Basil (or Normal Basil)
1 Handful Mung Bean Sprouts
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Jasmine Rice for Serving


Marinade beef in tamarind paste, lime juice, soya sauce, turmeric, palm sugar, chilli, ginger, fish sauce and a glug of sesame oil for a minimum of 20 minutes (1 - 2 hours would be better)
Heat wok or frying pan
Fry onion in a drop of sesame oil until golden
Slowly add the beef, browning each piece as you go - you may need to add more oil
If you prefer a more saucy consistency - add a drop of water at this stage
Add a handful of mint and basil and mix through
Taste - you should have an equal balance of sweet, salty, sour, spicy and bitter - if not, adjust the flavours
Quickly add the red pepper and broccoli and cook through
Toss the mung bean sprouts through the beef mixture
Add salt and pepper if desired
Should be cooked in about 10 minutes
Serve with jasmine rice with an extra sprinkling of mint and basil

The perfect Thai meal needs the perfect dessert and seeing as though for the past week I have been experimenting with coconut and chocolate - I decided that I'd make a pudding using these two main ingredients. In fact, I am so impressed with how versatile these ingredients are - I have made a rice pudding, ice cream and now a chocolate pudding. Don't you just love it?

Chocolate Pudding with Ginger, Lime and Coconut:
(Serves 2)


1 Tin Coconut Milk
1 Slab *Albany Smooth Dark Chocolate, Broken into Pieces
1 Teaspoon Good Quality Cocoa (I used Nomu Cocoa)
1/2 Cup Palm Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut
Squeeze of Lime
A Knob of Ginger, Grated

*If you are highly allergic to dairy, you may want to avoid this chocolate because although dairy is not included in the ingredients, it is made in a factory that uses dairy


Place coconut milk and chocolate into a pot on the stove and stir until chocolate has melted
Add the rest of the ingredients beating well until a smooth consistency has been reached
Boil the mixture so that all flavours infuse - but make sure not to burn
Cook until the mixture thickens - for about 10 - 15 minutes
Remove from stove and allow to cool
Serve in fancy glasses with a grating of ginger

*Can also be turned into ice cream by putting into the freezer for a minimum of 2 hours

And there you have it - an overdose of ginger, lime, chilli and coconut to boost your immune system for the sunny days ahead (cross fingers)


  1. I'm a sucker for all those lovely herbs in your beef dish. Mint & basil are surefire winners in my book, especially when teamed with something fiery & spicy!

  2. Hi Marisa! Yes I agree - the flavours worked so well :)