Thai Salad

writing up this recipe is making me hungry as I’m going for Thai food tonight before a Monet painting class. The recipe was actually Green Papaya Salad in Gordan Ramsey’s ‘Ultimate Cookery Course’ but I couldn’t get papaya so I subbed it out with some mango and cantaloupe melon which worked pretty well. I served the salad with some pan fried sea bass and had a tasty cantaloupe breakfast the day after,

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 chillis
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 mango
  • 1/3 cantaloupe melon
  • 1 shallot
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • 10g basil leaves
  • 6 tbsp peanuts

Method

1.) Make a paste with the garlic, chilli, sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and lime.

2.) Chop the mango and melon into sticks and add to a large bowl with the dressing. Peel and finely chop the shallot and peel and add this too.

3.) Crush the peanuts and toast in a pan for a couple of minutes.

4.) Chop up the basil and coriander leaves. Add the nuts and herbs to the salad and give everything a mix.

Thai Seafood Soup

I used this picture of my seafood soup as the end product although delicious came out as looking a bit beige. Despite the reputation of beige food this soup is very healthy containing lean fish, mushrooms and tomatoes. It’s also really quick to put together but something really different too. I finally found some squid at the supermarket, albeit frozen so I used that. The recipe uses chopped lemongrass stalks but they’re pretty tough so maybe next time I would just chop into bigger chunks and fish them out at the end or use a lemongrass paste.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 nests rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp galangal paste
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 2 shallots
  • 100g punnet mushrooms
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 100g frozen squid
  • 100g frozen raw prawns
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 750ml stock (I used Massel chicken flavoured stock)
  • 10g coriander leaves

Method

1.) Make up the stock and add to a casserole dish. Add the rice noodles and cook until soft.

2.) Peel and finely dice the shallots. Slice the mushrooms, Slice the tomatoes. Half a lime and remove the pips.

3.) Add the shallots, galangal, lime leaves, lemongrass, mushrooms, tomatoes, squid, prawns, sweet chilli, lime juice, fish sauce and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes (or longer if the fish isn’t hot).

4.) Finely dice the coriander leaves and serve with the soup.

Thai Aubergine Fish Salad

I’ve just joined the herd recently and started playing ‘Wordle’. I was convinced that I wouldn’t get addicted to this game. I’m not really sure why when I spent most of my days at my old job playing ‘Words With Friends’. Admittedly some of the draw with that was winding up the less sophisticated versions of the ‘Tindler Swindler’ who seem to think that enjoying a word game is synonymous with being lonely and looking for love. I loved the excuses of why these people who supposedly hailed from the US were online at 2am US time. Makes the Swindler himself look sophisticated.

This ‘salad’ is probably more of a Thai side dish which I’ve served with rice to make it into more of a meal. It’s weird how when you mash up the coriander leaves with a lot of aubergine, it almost has the flavour of avocado. Aubergines travel a lot less than avocados and keep a lot better too. The recipe was in ‘Thailand – The Cookbook’.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 whole sea bream/sea bass
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp rice
  • 4 shallots
  • 4 spring onions
  • 15g coriander leaves (the recipe used some sawtooth coriander which I have no hope of acquiring)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced galangal
  • 2 aubergines
  • 15g mint leaves
  • rice to serve
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Method

1.) Put some rice on to cook.

Turn on the grill. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place on the aubergines. Prick the aubergines all over with a fork.

2.) Heat under the grill, turning over with a fork until all the skin is charred.

3.) Set aside to cool so you can handle it.

4.) Set the oven to 180 degrees C (or recommended cooking temperature for the fish)

5.) Place the fish on the baking tray and cook for about 25 minutes or per the instructions on the packet.

6.) Check on the rice and once done, drain off the water and stir in the sesame oil and soy sauce.

7.) While the fish is cooking, toast the rice on a low heat until it smells fragrant. Move to a pestle and mortar and pound to a powder.

8.) Peel and finely dice the shallots, add to a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the spring onions and the coriander and mint leaves and add. Spoon in the galangal (this is similar to ginger if you can’t find it).

9.) If the aubergine is cool enough, peel off the skin and blitz in a food processor until pulpy. Add to the bowl with the herbs, add the fish sauce, toasted rice and give it a mix.

10.) When the fish is done, pull it away from the bone and add the boneless chunks to the salad. The edges will be more bony so be extra careful to check those. Gently mix the fish through the salad so it doesn’t disintegrate.

11.) Serve the salad with the seasoned rice.

Thai Papaya & Carrot Salad

Here’s another of Gordon Ramsey’s recipes from ‘Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course’. I was recently watching Kitchen Nightmares and there’s now a version where it’s basically the same concept: Gordon Ramsey goes to a failing restaurant and shouts at a lot of people and it gets better, except that this time he only has one day to improve it. The show is the same length as the normal one so as a viewer I don’t really see the point of the change. Maybe Gordon just wanted to spend less time at work, I think we can all sympathise with that.

This salad flavour wise is really great but there was a bit too much sauce and next time, I would just mix it in with some rice noodles then I think it would be perfect. Also, it’s more like a starter portion as it is, I think the rice noodles would bulk it out to a light dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 chillies
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 large green papayas
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 carrots
  • 15g coriander
  • 15g Thai basil (or just normal basil)
  • 6 tbsp chopped peanuts

Method

1.) Peel and grate the carrot and shallots. Add them to a large mixing bowl.

2.) Peel the papayas and cut out the seeds. Chop into small chunk and add with the carrots.

3.) Finely chop the herbs and add to the salad.

4.) In a measuring jug, add the sugar, tamarind paste and fish sauce.

5.) Peel and finely chop the garlic and finely slice the chillies. Add them to the measuring jug and give everything a whisk with a fork.

6.) Crush the peanuts and throw in the salad bowl. Pour in the dressing and mix everything. Serve.

Tom YUM Goong

Tom Yum derives from the Thai word for the boiling process ‘Tom’ and ‘Yam’ – mixed. Everyone loves a Thai rice noodle dish and this one is fairly quick to put together once you’ve sorted out the curry paste which could be done in advance and even frozen. I have a Kenwood mixer plus spice blender attachment but I had to split the ingredients into smaller portions to get them to blend properly. Once you’re done you have a vibrant green paste which is very appetising. Don’t be tempted to add any more shrimp paste than stated in the recipe, the smallest amount of that overpowers everything. This was supposed to be a soup but for me ended up more like a noodle in sauce dish which was just as tasty. This was another recipe from ‘Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite’.

Ingredients

Serves 4

Curry paste

  • 3 shallots
  • 3 lemon grass sticks / 1tbsp paste
  • 4cm piece galangal/ginger 1 1/2 tsp paste
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves (I used dried but use fresh if you can get them)
  • 3 chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 20g coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemongrass paste/1 stick
  • 1 cm ginger/ 1/2 tsp paste
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • 350g plum tomatoes
  • 400ml stock (Massel chicken flavour or vegetarian)
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 12 raw tiger prawns
  • 3 fillets white fish
  • salt
  • 10g basil
  • 10g coriander leaves
  • crispy shallots
  • rice noodles for 4 people

Method

1.) Make the curry paste by peeling and chopping the ingredients and crushing down into a smooth paste.

2.) Peel and finely chop the other lemongrass, ginger and garlic

3.) Heat the oil in the pan and add the ginger, lemongrass and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the paste. Cook for another 3 minutes.

4.) In the meantime, chop up the plum tomatoes. Add them to the pan and cook down for 3 minutes.

5.) Make up the stock, chop the lime in half.

6.) Boil some water, add the noodles to another pan, pour over the water and cook until soft.

7.) Add the stock to the tomatoes then squeeze in the juice of each lime half. Add the fish sauce and the kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another few minutes to let the tomatoes break down.

8.) Chop up the white fish into cubes and add to the pan with the prawns. Cook until the fish is done.

9.) Dice the herbs finely. Drain the noodles and move into the pan with the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Season with salt and stir.

10.) Garnish with the shallots and the herbs and serve.

Thai Rice Salad

The Euro football tournament has been a bit of a lifesaver recently and I’m sooo happy England are still in the running at this point. After beating Germany it was lucky that the game was on at the 5pm slot as I had to spend the rest of the evening sobering up. There’s been some dull pub food and it was great that this homemade Thai salad turned out to be so delicious. Rice and noodles might sound weird together but I think it works as the rice soaks up the dressing more than the noodles and so it’s a nice balance. The recipe was in ‘Thailand – The Cookbook’ and I’ve played around with it a little to make it a little easier.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 400g jasmine rice
  • 1 pack cooked prawns
  • 300g rice vermicelli
  • 150ml coconut milk (I used light)
  • 250ml fish sauce
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 3 lemongrass stalks (I used 1 tsp lemongrass paste)
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 galangal roots – pounded (I used 1 tsp galangal paste)
  • 1 mango
  • stir fry vegetables – mangetout and baby corn are recommended

Method

1.) Soak the vermicelli in a bowl of water

2.) Put the rice on to cook ( I have a rice cooker)

3.) Make the dressing by adding the fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal to a pan. Heat to boil and then reduce to a thick sauce. If you taste it on its own at this point it will taste disgusting so don’t worry. Assuming you’re using dried kaffir lime leaves, fish them out.

4.) In a wok, stir fry the veg for a couple of minutes then add the coconut milk and the drained vermicelli noodles. Cook off the coconut milk.

5.) Peel and chop up the mango. Add the slices of mango to a big mixing bowl. Add the vermicelli and veg, the cooked rice, the prawns and the dressing and mix it all up. Serve.