Thai Spiced Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup (v)

This quick but oh-so-tasty soup is based on this recipe. I had butternut squash to use up, along with some yellow thai curry paste and only 150ml coconut milk. The results were delicious and nicely filling for a working week day dinner. We had home made garlic bread along side to bulk it out a bit more. And poor old me gets to eat the leftovers for lunch today. It’s hard life 😉
For 4-6 portions you need
1 tbsp oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch fresh ginger grated
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1cm chunks
½ cup red lentils
150ml coconut milk
1 litre vegan stock
2 tbsp thai yellow curry paste (this isn’t too spicy and uses turmeric to colour the paste yellow which also gives an earthy background note to the soup)
Sliced red chilli and chopped fresh coriander to serve
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice or fish sauce if not vegan
Begin by sweating the onion in the oil for 5 mins. Add the garlic, ginger, squash and curry paste and cook for a further 5 mins. Tip in the lentils then add the coconut milk and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins until the lentils are cooked.
Blitz the soup until velvety and smooth. Add the soya sauce and lime juice or fish sauce. Serve in warmed bowls topped with the fresh zingy chilli slices and chopped coriander.

Thai Style Courgette Fritters with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Beetroot and Carrot Salad

I’ve been meaning to blog this for ages as someone asked for the recipe (sorry!) but just hadn’t got round to it… Well better late then never eh 😉 You can make this dish as spicy or not as you wish. I like mine ferociously hot.

For 4 people you need
Fritters
1 large courgette, grated coarsely
1 large carrot, grated coarsely
1 large onion, likewise grated
2 tbsp red curry paste
1 egg
1/2 cup plain flour (about 100-150g)
vegetable oil for shallow frying

Sauce
4 tbsp crunch peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2-6 red chillies, sliced

Salad
2 beetroot, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
4 thai chillies, finely sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce or mushroom soy sauce if you’re veggie
2 tbsp soya sauce
2/3 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Plain boiled jasmine rice, Raw peanuts, lightly pan roasted and fresh coriander to serve.

Begin by making the salad. Using a food processor if you have one, grate everything and place in a bowl with the dressing ingredients. Mix thoroughly and leave to one side while you prepare everything else.

Make the sauce by placing everything in a pan and bringing to a gentle simmer. Cook for 2-3 mins then leave to one side.

Make the fritters by mixing everything together in a bowl. Heat about 1cm of oil in a large frying pan and fry spoonfuls of the mix for 3-4 mins on each side until lightly browned and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.

Serve garnished with peanuts and coriander and with plenty of plain rice to cool your mouth down on!

Laab

Lip tingling, tongue searing, tastebud rocketing yumminess! This salad is so simple to make but it sings off the plate. Beware, it is VERY hot! I serve with sticky rice to help calm the chilli burn, but sometimes you need to numb your lips with spice! My sister gave me a packet of laab mix
which is what I used tonight and it was the most authentic tasting one I have made to date. I just cannot get enough of thai food right now!

For two people you need
300g pork mince (use quorn mince if you’re veggie or crumbled tofu)
1 packet laab seasoning
1/4 cup water
fresh mint and coriander to serve
as many thai chillies as you want, thinly sliced as a garnish (I used two!)
a thinly sliced shallot or red onion
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
1-2 tbsp fish sauce or mushroom soy sauce if veggie/vegan
Thai sticky rice to serve

Heat a wok and stir fry the protein in the water until completely cooked and hot. Add the packet of laab seasoning and mix well. Turn out onto a serving dish and garnish with the shallot/onion, spring onions, chillies, coriander and mint. Serve with the rice and prepare for a taste sensation!

Thai Dipping Sauce (Nam Pla Prik)

This is the most versatile thai condiment that you will find. It works so well with anything you want to dip into it, and it also tastes fabulous on other things like boiled potatoes, omelettes etc. It’s also highly addictive from all the chillies! Beware of numb lip syndrome when you eat it tho, those chillies are f-i-e-r-c-e!! My sister will quite rightly point out that the variation of this I made to accompany the pork toasts is not authentic as it contains soy sauce and coriander. But I like the added tang of the coriander, and the soy enriches the sauce and takes away some of the OMFG fish sauce sting!

You will need
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 thai chillies, chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Mix everything together and serve. Yum!

Thai Pork Toasts (Kanom Punk Na Moo)

My sister made these for us as a thank you for helping her to move some stuff about in her house. I was amazed at how simple yet delicious they were. This recipe is more intricate as the pork mince is flavoured, but they’re still a doddle to make and taste fantastic. The original recipe can be found on Supatra’s website.

For four people you need
500g pork mince
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 tbsp crushed garlic
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp mushroom soy sauce
1 egg
8 slices white bread, crusts removed and cut into four squares
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Mix all the ingredients, apart from the bread and oil, together till thoroughly combined.

Divide into 24 balls and press each onto a square of bread.

Heat the oil until a cub of bread sizzles immediately upon contact and turns golden brown in about 30 seconds. Fry the toasts in batches, flipping over half way through to ensure the pork is throughly cooked.

Drain on kitchen roll and serve with a dipping sauce. We had one made from fish sauce, soy sauce, chillies, garlic and coriander but anything you fancy will do! Enjoy 🙂

Thai Yellow Curry (v)

This was a very quick, throw it all together a la Jamie, creation earlier in the week where I *really* didn’t feel like cooking at all. It also made the most of the delicious Gourmet Garden, Fresh Made Easy herbs and spices I am trying out for a blogging competition. Double win.

For one hungry person you need
1 small can coconut cream and same quantity of water (fill the can to measure and rinse it out)
Handful sugar snap peas
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
3-4 mushrooms, thickly sliced
Handful spinach
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp each of gourmet garden crushed ginger; crushed chilli; crushed Thai spices; crushed garlic and chopped coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp vegetable oil
Rice to serve

Begin by heating the oil in a pan and sauteeing the onion for a few minutes. Add the Gourmet Garden ginger, garlic, chilli and Thai spices and the turmeric powder and fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the carrots, coconut cream and water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3-4 mins then add everything else and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Serve steaming hot over rice and enjoy the taste of paradise on an otherwise bleak, wet and cold British December evening.

Thai Massaman Curry (v)

We had a Thai extravaganza at the weekend (can you guess from recent blog posts ;-)) and this was pronounced deeeeeelicious by both boyfriend and son. Result.

For four greedy portions you need
1 tub massaman curry paste (I like the Thai Taste one but it contains shrimp paste, use one without obviously if you want it to be vegan…)
1 can coconut milk
1 onion
2 courgettes, sliced
1/2 pack each mange tout and green beans
1 head pak choi
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1-2 sweet potatoes (equal quantities to the squash), peeled and cubed
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp fish sauce or mushroom soya sauce if vegan

Begin by frying the curry paste and onion for a few minutes. Add the squash and sweet potato along with the coconut milk. Season with the sugar and fish sauce/mushroom soya sauce and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, for 10 mins. Add everything else and cook for 3 mins until the remaining veggies are al dente. Serve with sticky rice and sigh with pleasure as the fragrant, rich curry fills that hole in yer belly.

Thai Style Tofu ‘fish’ Cakes (v)

Spicy, salty, hot and delicious. Everything Thai inspired street food snacks should be. And vegan too, yay! This satisfied a craving for fish cakes and was dead simple to make. They are lovely straight from the deep frying pan, but equally store well for a few days and can be successfully reheated in an oven so make up a full batch and enjoy over a few days 🙂

For about 20 nuggets of deliciousness you need
1 pack tofu, pressed flat and well drained (it doesn’t matter if it starts to crumble)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
4-6 chillies, depending on how hot you like your food!
2 tbsp thai red curry paste (I used a massaman one as it was already open)
1 bunch coriander stalks
About 1/4-1/2 cup plain flour
Oil for deep frying

Begin by placing everything apart from the tofu, flour and oil in a food processor and blending to a mush (you want everything really finely chopped and well combined). Add the tofu and pulse to blend until it’s just mixed. Add flour until it reaches a thick sticky consistency.

Heat the oil in a deep pan until really hot (a cube of bread turns golden brown in 3 secs). Take small spoonfuls of the tofu mixture and drop into the pan, taking care not to splash yourself with the very hot oil. Leave to cook on one side for a few mines then flip over and cook the other side.

Drain on kitchen paper and either eat straight away or reheat in an oven. Lovely with prik nam pla (but make with soya sauce not fish sauce!) and sweet chilli sauce.

Salty and Spicy Green Beans (v)

I have been craving Thai food this week, and whilst what I wanted were tofu fish cakes, I didn’t have any paste so I had to be creative with what was available instead… This combo of salty soya sauce, fiery chilli and toasted sesame hit the spot. It’s lovely warm or cold and is a good quick and healthy side dish to make.

For two portions you need
1 pack green beans, topped and tailed as necessary
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce or mushroom soya sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp japanese rice vinegar
1 tbsp tabasco sauce (fresh chilli if nicer is you have some!)
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 1-2 mins. Drain and refresh in cold water to retain their colour and stop them cooking further. Place all the other ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Immerse the beans and then scoff. Nomtastic!

Thai Cucumber Salad (v)

Every good Thai dish deserves something refreshing, cleansing and tasty to compliment it. And this delicious cucumber salad does just what it should. There’s a sour hit from the vinegar but this is tempered with the syrup that sits alongside it. If you don’t like your chillies to kick a HUGE punch, then let the salad sit for a while to reduce the fearsome heat. My mouth went numb when I ate this, but that was the idea so it was all good. Sooooooo gooooooooood!

For 2-3 servings you need:
Salad:
1 whole cucumber. cut into quarters, lengthwise, and deseeded, then cut into chunks
1 red onion, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, julienned
2 large handfuls coriander, roughly chopped
3-4 bird’s eye chillies, sliced finely

Dressing:
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water
pinch salt

Bring the dressing ingredients to the boil and simmer till the sugar has disolved. Leave to cool. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Allow to infuse. Eat. Wonder that you could create something so healthy and delicious and easy. Feel smug.