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.

Jungle Curry

Day number 2 on the January health kick and the soreness of my legs from the aerobics workout videos on Amazon prime from day number 1 has obliterated all possibility of a run. Just a walk today for exercise but at least I can keep up the healthy-eating with another recipe from Shelina Permaloo’s ‘Sunshine Diet’. I was surprised to see a jungle curry in there as it’s typically a Thai dish. However, comparing it to my Thai cookbook, she’s kept it authentic. Jungle curry is a great option if you’re trying to keep the calories down as unlike most Thai curries we know in the West there is no coconut milk. Apparently coconuts are not so common in Northern Thai jungles! I also chose this recipe to be economical with the shrimp paste that I bought for the Ghanaian Okra I cooked the previous day.

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Serves 2

Ingredients

Spray oil/vegetable oil

300g quorn (I no longer eat meat but the original recipe calls for 200g turkey mince)

300ml vegetable stock

1 aubergine

100g green beans

2 carrots

basil leaves (I forgot to include these)

Curry paste

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

6 cloves of garlic

5cm root ginger

1 tsp lemongrass paste

black pepper

1 tbsp dark brown sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

zest of 1 lime

1 tsp shrimp paste

Method

1.) Peel the carrots, chop into slices and chop up the aubergines into cubes. You can see in my pictures I had a lot of aubergine which is because I had 2 aubergines to use up. Honestly I think aubergine is best roasted in the oven and had I had the foresight I would have just whacked it in there and omitted the carrot from the recipe.

2.) Fry the aubergine and carrot until cooked through then put to one side in a bowl. At this point it’s worth putting on some rice if you want to serve it with that.

3.) Put all the curry paste ingredients in a food processor and blitz. Then further crush in a pestle and mortar. (Unless you have a specific spice attachment on your processor, I don’t think a normal bowl will do the job – Thai people spend a lot of time grinding their curry paste in a pestle and mortar.)

4.) Heat some oil and fry the paste for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

5.) Add the quorn, the carrot and aubergine and the vegetable stock.

6.) Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or so until it’s reduced.

7.) In the meantime, rip up the basil leaves for the garnish.

8.) Serve!