Tag Archives: Thai

Sweet Chilli Salmon Skewers

We’ve blogged loads about our love for south-east asian flavours – especially chilli and lime (we have recipes for Thai-style Sea Bass, Thai Noodle Soup with Crispy Tofu, Thai Green Curry… you get the idea!). This recipe for sweet chilli salmon skewers couldn’t be easier, but it’s impressive and the flavours really pack a punch! We’re getting a bit of help from Mr. Vikki’s Chilli Jam here, which we got for Christmas from Fats’ parents. You can use any sweet chilli sauce though, or even make your own!

Ingredients for 2 people:

  • 1 tbsp Chilli Jam/Sweet Chilli Sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 100g tenderstem broccoli
  • 1 pak choi, thickly sliced
  • 100g sugarsnap peas
  • 500ml jasmine tea
  • 180g white rice

Chilli Jam and Jasmine Tea

Start with the marinade by mixing together the chilli jam, lime and 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a bowl. Cut the salmon into chunks and coat it well with the marinade. Leave for at least 20 minutes or so. When they’ve finished marinading, skewer your salmon cubes and prepare them for a grilling – we did this by resting the skewers over a roasting dish lined with kitchen foil – the foil should ensure that the salmon gets cooked from both sides.

This was taken pre-foiling of the roasting dish... Don't forget! Looks good though, right?
This was taken pre-foiling of the roasting dish… Don’t forget! Looks good though, right?

Make your jasmine tea (brew for about 5 minutes in a jug), and add to a pan (being sure to sift out any leaves!), topping up with water as necessary. Bring to the boil and add the rice, cooking for about 12 minutes. Put your salmon skewers under a hot grill at the same time – they should take about 12 minutes too.

Mix together the oyster sauce and the soy sauce in a bowl, and heat the rest of the oil in a wok. Add your veg to the wok, keeping aside the green parts of the pak choi, and cover in your sauce. Toss to coat the veg and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.

Stir-frying veg

If you’ve timed it right, everything should come together at the same time. Plate it up with an extra wedge of lime to squeeze over and enjoy!

Salmon Skewers Done

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Thai Noodle Soup with Crispy Tofu

This was only our second ever time cooking with tofu. Bird is a big fan and often chooses it over meat options when eating Thai food out but our first attempt about two years ago fell a little flat (well, more accurately, it fell a little slimy). However we got a real craving for it and decided to try again. The tofu we bought helpfully had some cooking instructions on and told us to press the tofu for a better and firmer texture, we figured it knew best so went along with it. What a huge difference! Much firmer, much less fragile, and when cooked MUCH crispier! The extremely-helpful-packaging suggested a minimum of 10 minutes but we left ours for 30 minutes. To press tofu simply drain it of the fluid it’s packaged in and then wrap it in about 2-3 layers of kitchen paper. Place it on a chopping board with another chopping board on top and place a weight on it. This doesn’t have to be really heavy, we used 2 cookery books but a large saucepan would be perfect too. Then make yourself a cuppa and go and chill out for a while. When you come back to it simply unwrap it, use a fresh piece of kitchen paper to give it a wipe down and then get cooking!

Tofu marinading

Ingredients

  • 1 block of pressed tofu
  • 1 litre of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • A thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 red chilli, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 spring onions, white parts sliced thinly, green parts sliced thicker on the diagonal
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • Zest of 1 lime (you will use the lime juice to season later)
  • noodles, either straight-to-wok or dried ones cooked and drained
  • vegetables, we used baby corn, mange tout and pak choi but use whatever you fancy making sure you have a mix of crunchy and leafy
  • dark soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil)
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • coriander leaves

Chop your tofu into 1-2 inch cubes and place in a bowl. Drizzle over around 1-2 tsp of dark soy sauce and let the flavour soak in. Pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring to the boil, then add in the sugar, the white part of the spring onions, the garlic, the lime zest and most of the ginger and chilli – the rest will be cooked with the tofu. Let this simmer away for about 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle.

Onions, chilli, ginger

After this time grab a wok and heat the vegetable oil in it over a medium-high heat. Once hot throw in the tofu and the remaining ginger and chilli. Our tofu took about 7 minutes to become golden and crispy all over. Keep an eye on the tofu turning it over every 30 seconds or so to make sure it colours evenly. Put the noodles in with the soup and let it come back to the boil. This is the time to season it with dark soy sauce, fish sauce and lime – the amounts are completely up to you, try with 1 tsp of soy sauce and fish sauce and the juice of half a lime and then keep tasting and adding until it’s perfect for you.

Tofu fall

When the tofu is almost ready chuck the vegetables in with the soup, we reserved the leaves of the pak choi as they just need to wilt in. Let the vegetables cook for around 1 minute – you want them to retain some bite! At this stage pour the toasted sesame oil over the tofu, let it cook for a last few seconds and then tip into some kitchen paper to drain slightly. Season it with about 1 tsp of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. Put any leafy vegetables in the soup to wilt and then serve immediately.

Crispy tofu

Dish yourself up a bowl of the noodle soup, top with the crispy tofu and garnish with the green parts of the spring onions and the coriander leaves – this would also be lovely with some crushed peanuts. We had ours with a wedge of lime to add extra zing at the table and a simple infusion of lemon and ginger to drink.

Tofu with noodle soup

This has filled us with confidence to try tofu again soon, maybe with a stir fry, a curry or a salad… any suggestions?

Thai Style Steamed Sea Bass with Jasmine Rice

In an attempt to counteract the large volumes of cakes/sweets/biscuits we have been consuming over the last few weekends and will probably continue to consume (it’s practically the law when you have guests or are a guest that you have to set yourself well on the track to diabetes) we’ve been getting super healthy with our evening meals. Thai and Vietnamese style food just screams healthy to us – the fresh, spicy, clean flavours are exactly what we need. This recipe, steamed sea bass with jasmine rice and stir fried vegetables, is particularly virtuous. The fish is wrapped in pak choi leaves and steamed over a fragrant liquid while the vegetables set you well on your way to 5 a day (and the jasmine rice is just lush – don’t try to take our carbs away, you might lose your hand!). This one was a make-it-up-as-we-go-along number, as so many of our recipes are, and we’re chuffed with how it turned out! It was also our first time using our new bamboo steamer and we predict we’ll be getting lots of use out of it.

Ingredients

Basmati rice

  • 1 tsp jasmine tea leaves or 2 jasmine tea bags
  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • A piece of ginger, about 2-3 inches long, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 limes
  • 2-3 pak choi
  • 1 birds-eye chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, bruised and chopped in half
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • A selection of vegetables (we used baby corn, pak choi, mange tout, carrot, sugar snap peas XXX), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Neutral oil such as sunflower or vegetable

Brew the tea for the rice by placing your loose tea or tea bags in a jug and pour over half a litre of boiling water. Allow to brew for at least 5 minutes. Once brewed pour into a saucepan (making sure to strain it if using loose leaf tea!) and top up with more boiling water if necessary, then place over a medium heat to bring to a rolling boil. Once boiling add the rice and stir occasionally until cooked.

Jasmine Tea

Fill up a saucepan (over which you can fit your steamer) about a third of the way full with water. Throw in half of the ginger matchsticks, the chilli, the lemongrass, the garlic, half of the fish sauce, half of the sugar and the juice of half a lime. Bring this to the boil.

Frozen chilli

Meanwhile cover the bottom of the steamer with a layer of pak choi leaves and then lay the sea bass fillets on top. Squeeze over the juice of half a lime and sprinkle the fish with the other half of the ginger. Place another layer of pak choi leaves on top so that the fish is completely covered. If you don’t have a bamboo steamer then you could easily use a metal vegetable steamer, or just buy one – they’re dirt cheap in Asian supermarkets. Once the steaming liquid is bubbling place the steamer over the top. The fish will take around 5-10 minutes to cook depending on thickness, about the same amount of time as the rice.

Seabass raw

To make the sauce for the stir-fried vegetables mix together the oyster sauce with the remaining fish sauce and sugar, the juice of half a lime, a few drops of sesame oil and enough water to thin it out.

Vegetables raw

When the rice and fish have a few minutes of cooking time left get a wok really hot, add 1 tsp of neutral oil, throw in the vegetables and stir to coat in the oil. Once coated and beginning to wilt throw in the sauce and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until the vegetables are slightly soft but still retain a lot of crunch.

Then just dish it all up! Spoon some of the delicious steaming liquid over the fish, it should be just cooked and really moist with delicate Asian flavours. Sit back and feel smug at just how healthy you’ve been!

Steamed sea bass complete

Green Thai Curry

This is a really quick and easy recipe for one of our favourite meals, green Thai curry. I hesitate to call it Thai green curry, because it isn’t really – but it has amazing fresh flavours that really evoke memories of south east Asia (for me, Fats – I promise to take Bird there one day!). We think we might have stolen this from Jamie Oliver – I’m sure he’ll let us know if he wants to claim credit!

Here’s what you’ll need for 2 people:

  • About 10 good-sized raw king prawns
  • A medium-sized bunch of coriander
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 1 green chilli
  • Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (or to taste)
  • Tiny drizzle of sesame oil (this stuff is strong!)
  • 2/3 tin low-fat coconut milk
  • 50 g fine beans
  • 150 g white rice

Green Thai Curry Ingredients

Before you start, put a pan of water on to boil for the rice. Now make the curry paste. To do this, throw together (take a deep breath…) most of the coriander (leave back enough to garnish the finished article), the spring onions, the chilli, the ginger (peeled), the garlic, the juice of half the lime, the vegetable oil, the soy sauce, fish sauce and the sesame oil (phewf!) in a blender – we use a small hand blender. Whizz until you have a nice green paste, don’t worry about it being too smooth.

Green Thai Curry Paste

Green Thai Curry Wok

When your rice water is boiling, add the rice. Now put a wok on a medium heat and then add the mixture. Cook for about 20 seconds to loosen it up, and then add the coconut milk – you don’t want to cook the paste too much as it will lose its lovely green colour. Add the beans and then cover to keep the moisture in. This should take about 10 minutes to cook, so it should be ready at the same time as the rice. About a minute before its ready, add the prawns to cook – they should be just ready after a minute of cooking – pink all the way through – and will be deliciously tender.

Green Thai Curry Nearly Ready

When everything is ready serve it up by carefully sculpting a mound of rice, nestling some curry on it and delicately placing some choice coriander leaves on top… Or just slap it on a plate, it will taste just as good! Serve with a lime wedge each for a little added zing.

Green Thai Curry Done

This recipe is also excellent with salmon – if you want to be really fancy, fry it for a couple of minutes skin-side down before adding it to the wok with the curry to get a satisfyingly crispy texture.

Glazed Mango and Coconut

It’s been a long week. It’s been raining, windy and we had the Thursday blues… we needed dessert! Time for an indulgent, exotic treat. We had Thai food last night (as our Instagram followers will know) so wanted a dessert which fitted in with this, and after some conspiring over the phone on our walks home from work we came up with a mango-y, yoghurt-y, coconut-y kinda thing. We didn’t really have a clue how it would turn out but we have a rule – if all nice things go in then you’ll end up with something nice!

Preheat the oven to around 150°C and once it’s heated up put some flaked coconut (not desiccated!) in a small roasting dish and whack it in the oven. You want it to be lightly golden in places by the end so keep an eye on it and mix it around every few minutes as it toasts quickly.

While it’s toasting take the cheeks off the mango. A mango stone is pretty flat which means either side there are lovely big hunks of mango which come off neatly like so:

Mango slice

Then go to town hacking up as much of the rest of the mango as you can, making sure you remove the skin on these pieces too. Once you’ve done this put all of the little pieces (not the cheeks) in a blender and whizz up with a bit of water until you have a rough puree. Then heat a griddle pan, and after lightly dusting the cheeks with icing sugar to help with the caramelisation, put the cheeks cut side down into the pan. This should take around 5 minutes on a medium to high heat, try not to check them too often as you want beautiful lines, but do keep an eye. Once it’s cooked put it on a clean surface to cool down for a few minutes and do the same with the toasted coconut.

Dust mango

Mango cook

Cooked mango

Then it’s time to put it all together! Grab a few spoonfuls of natural or greek yoghurt in a bowl and lightly ripple about half of the mango puree through it. Place the caramelised mango on the yoghurt, spoon over the rest of the puree and top with the crunchy toasted coconut.

Mango and coconut dessert
Just what we needed to brighten up a wet Thursday!