A few weeks ago, on my last visit home, Sister Number 2 told me that she had never eaten food. Not a mouthful. I was stunned. How was she going to be part of the aspiring middle classes if she couldn’t say with confidence: ‘Well, I like Chinese food, of course, but really, I prefer . It’s so much fresher.’

This culinary void had to be filled. So, being a good sister, I went shopping in London for some of the more exotic ingredients, carried them down on the train, losing the glass noodles on the way, and last night we cooked a Thai feast together. It was a hit and the recipes are below.

A kind of tom yum soup
A kind of tom yum soup

A kind of tom yum soup
Serves 4

I didn’t bring enough galangal with me, so we added in some ginger. You could just use 100g galangal. You may also want to add extra chill – I toned all these recipes down for the family.

1.5 litres stock (made my own this time, as it was a special occasion)
2 sticks lemongrass, fat ends only, pounded with a pestle to bruise them
Big handful of coriander leaves and stalks, plus extra coriander leaves to serve
40g galangal, peeled and finely sliced
60g ginger, peeled and finely sliced
4 tomatoes, quartered and deseeded
1 bird’s eye chilli, deseeded
30ml tamarind concentrate
2 limes
60g demerara sugar
Fish sauce, to taste
250g cooked, peeled king prawns

1 Pour the chicken stock into a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the lemongrass, coriander leaves and stalks, galangal, ginger, tomatoes, chilli and tamarind. Grate the zest from the limes and add that. Quarter the limes and add them.

2 Bring the soup up to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the soup through a sieve into a lipped bowl or large jug. Return the soup to the pan and add the sugar and about 2 tbsp fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Taste and add more fish sauce if necessary.

3 Add the prawns and simmer for about 3 minutes. Ladle into 4 bowls, top with a handful of coriander leaves and serve.

Thai green curry with chicken
Thai green curry with chicken

Thai green curry with chicken
Serves 4

Again, you may want to add more chilli. We kept it really low and I think it could take at least 2 more chillies – we used long green chillies marked ‘hot’. We also used half-fat coconut milk, but switch to full-fat if you don’t care about the calories.

3 sticks lemongrass, fat ends only, roughly chopped
60g galangal, peeled and sliced
Zest of 2 limes, as much pith removed as possible, finely sliced
Handful of fresh coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp black peppercorns, toasted in a dry frying pan until aromatic and then roughly crushed
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 hot green chillies, deseeded and chopped (add more/leave in the seeds to get the heat you want)
450g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large aubergine, chopped into bite-size pieces
400g can half-fat coconut milk
Approximately 2 ladlefuls of chicken stock
Thai jasmine rice and chopped coriander, to serve

1 Place all the curry paste ingredients into a small blender and blitz together. Add a splash of water and blitz again to make a paste – you want to get it as finely minced as possible. Taste and add more chillies, if liked.

2 Add a splash of coconut milk to a pan and place over a medium heat. Add the curry paste and fry, stirring, for about 3 minutes until the curry paste is aromatic (if you’re using full-fat coconut milk use the thick part of the milk that has risen to the top of your can to fry the paste in).

3 Add the chicken and aubergine and about 1/2 the remaining coconut milk. Cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining coconut milk and the chicken stock. Cover, keep at a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 more minutes. The curry will still be saucy but not ‘wet’. Serve it with Thai jasmine rice and sprinkle with a bit of chopped fresh coriander for show.

Tagged with: ChickenSoupsThai

3 Responses to Cooking Thai with Sister Number 2

  1. Nora says:

    Mmmm, your sister is very lucky indeed! That looks fab and is making my mouth water!

  2. Sue says:

    Stumbled upon this blog and loving reading it, going to try the curry later this week, love thai red curry, as they say give green a chance πŸ˜‰

  3. ginandcrumpets says:

    Nora – SN2 did most of the cooking. I just stood over her shouting instructions and then got to eat what she made, so reckon I was the lucky one!

    Sue – glad you like the blog. Definitely give green a chance! Hope you enjoy it.

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