I fell in love with Thai food many years ago and we even honeymooned in Thailand, I’m certainly no expert on Thai cuisine but I do know what I like to eat. The Thai dishes I make are inspired by those I ate in Thailand and I try to replicate the flavours as closely as I can.
Whilst in Thailand I undertook a one day cookery course which ignited a fire within me to try more Thai cooking when I got home and I have ever since. I found a delightful little Chinese supermarket in Swansea, which stock lots of Thai ingredients, even fresh vegetables and herbs and I’ve shopped there ever since.
Sometimes Thai recipes can seem a little daunting because there are lots of new ingredients, but Thai cooking is so popular these days you can find most items in your usual supermarket, and the recipes themselves are usually very straight forward.
1 tbsp Dried Shrimp
150g dried rice noodles
2 garlic cloves
180g fresh prawns
2 spring onions
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
½ tsp easy chilli or chilli flakes
1 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsps peanuts
1. Grind the dried prawns to a fine powder, I use my nutrabullet, but you could use a pestle and mortar.
2. Put the noodles in a dish and cover with boiling water, leave for about 15 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients ready, test by tasting, they should be al dente but edible. When ready drain them and coat them in a little oil.
3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan, lightly beat the eggs, add to the pan, keep swirling the pan until the egg is spread thinly, removed from the heat whilst still soft to prevent over cooking. Once cool enough slice into thin slices, set aside.
4. Mince the garlic, slice the spring onions into 1cm pieces, crush the peanuts and chop about 3 tbsp of coriander.
5. Mix together the shrimp powder, fish sauce, ketchup, juice of 1 lime, chilli and sugar and mix to make a sauce.
6. Heat some oil in a wok, add the garlic and the prawn, as soon as the prawns turn pink remove them and set aside.
7. Add the noodles to the wok, followed by the egg strips, bean sprouts, spring onions and finally the sauce, stirring constantly over a high eat. Once everything is heated through add the prawns.
8. To serve, sprinkle over the peanuts and coriander leaves, I serve mine with a wedge of lime.
This recipe used prawns, but prawns can easily be substituted for chicken, pork or tofu, or you could just add some extra veggies.
I love Thai soup, it’s one of my favourite Thai dishes, if I’m feeling like I might have a cold coming I will make a big batch of this soup and I find it makes me feel a lot better.
I have played around with this recipe a lot over the years, because I couldn’t find a recipe that really hit the spot… I’m happy now that I perfected the base to my taste but I can’t pretend that this is an authentic Thai soup.
Below I have written the recipe using chicken, mushrooms & butternut squash, but you could easily use prawns, pork, tofu or just lots of mushrooms, also you can add extra vegetables at the end of coking, I often add bok choy.
250g chicken thighs, cut into strips
1/2 butternut squash, cubed
3 tins of coconut milk
3 tbsp ginger minced, plus a thumb sized piece, sliced
2 pieces of lemongrass, bashed
2 red chillis, sliced
250g mixed mushrooms
6 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp palm sugar
4 spring onions, sliced
handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1. In a pot, bring the coconut milk and water to the boil, reduce the heat. Add the butternut squash, all the ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, 1 chilli, lemon grass, sugar and spices. Simmer until the squash starts to soften, 15 -20 mins.
2. Add the chicken and mushrooms, cook for another 5 mins and check the chicken is cooked through.
3. Serve steaming hot and sprinkle over the spring onions and coriander.
It is really important to taste this soup as you go along, so it's to your taste, I often need more lime juice and fish sauce.