Thai cooking has always been a passion, with fresh aromatic ingredients like lemon grass, cilantro, chilies and ginger the possibilities of creating dishes in endless. This cuisine brings to world the 5 flavors of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and hot. The subtle variation in proportions of ingredients used highlights these flavors.
Soup is always the best when the stock is of ultimate quality. Make your chicken stock at home with bones and vegetable or buy a good organic variety.
With Thai cooking you need the sour with the sweetness of creaminess. In this soup I have used low fat coconut milk and no oil, the ingredients lend their flavors beautifully.
Use dried shitake mushrooms instead of fresh ones and they are more intense. Just soak the in warm water for 30 mins and use the liquid as well.
The spark comes from the kaffir lime leaves which I have bought dried ( I can’t find the fresh ones here so far)
Thai cooking has always been a passion, with fresh aromatic ingredients like lemon grass, cilantro, chilies and ginger, the possibilities of creating dishes is endless. This cuisine brings to the world the 5 flavors of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and hot. The subtle variation in proportions of ingredients used highlights these flavors.
I am fortunate to have a store within a mile that carries fresh Thai ingredients ( except for Kaffir lime leaves). Kaffir lime leaves are essential flavoring in Thai cooking and I found a wonderful online store for a bag of dried leaves. The smell is heavenly.
Lemon Grass ( or Takrai) is widely available and sold in bunches. The edible portion is about 4-6 inches from the root. The rest can be used for flavoring broths.
I am using fresh mushrooms but If you have dried shiitake mushrooms just soak them in warm water until they are soft and use the broth in cooking as well.
The simplest soups are sometimes the best…warm, tangy and so good for the soul. This soup is simple and this soup is good and this soup is nourishing.
It was ready is just 20 mins and made this chilly winter day just a little bright. The fridge was left with a depleting stock but I found the vibrant celery sticks and fresh carrots which inspired pulling this off. I had made some fresh lemongrass paste and had dried kafir lime leaves on hand so looked like a perfect day for soup.
The color in the soup is obtained from fresh turmeric that I minced with the garlic and ginger. It adds an earthiness but if you don’t have it on hand then don’t fret….equally delicious with out it.
For the home made recipe of lemongrass paste check it out on my blog here.
The vegetarian version of this soup uses a vegetarian broth, I bought an organic low sodium version but homemade would be great. If you are not a vegetarian then do use a good bone broth or beef broth that will bring intensity to the soup.
There are so many varieties of lettuce available these days that it would make your head spin. Rich in vitamin A and K and deficient in calories, it is a low carb alternative that accompanies us in salads around the globe.
Butterhead – Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce has a sweet flavor and tender texture and is perfect for use as cups to serve your favorite mixture.
This gluten free dish is quick and easy to make and the flavors are amazing. I made some lemon grass paste at home and store it in the fridge for multiple uses. It stays pretty well for a couple of weeks. You can always use the store bought version
I have used organic ground turkey here but you could use ground chicken or any vegan proteins you like.
To get a tangy taste, I have added pickled carrots which are easy to make with rice vinegar, salt and a teaspoon of maple syrup.
Chestnuts have been used for that crunch in every bite.
1 head of Butter lettuce – cleaned and leaves removed for serving
Use 2-3 stalks and remove the hard dry stalks first. Then chop up the softer interior. Add 2-3 cloves or garlic, an inch of ginger root, an inch of fresh turmeric (or a tsp of dry) and some sea salt . Blend it in a blender adding water as needed for consistency. Then a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and a final blend. This will store well for 2-3 weeks in the fridge
Marinate shredded carrots in a cup of rice vinegar, sea salt and a tablespoon of maple syrup. Pickle is ready in 20 mins but ages well for future uses.
Putting it together:
Cook the turkey in olive oil breaking up the lumps until brown. Add the lemon grass paste and mix well.
Continue to cook and add the water chestnuts. Give it about 5 mins and set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the cucumbers, green onions, basil, mint, lemon juice and sambal oelek. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cooked turkey and mix well.
Spoon the mixture on to the lettuce cups and garnish with pickled carrots and toasted cashews.
This broth-y spicy dish has so many variations that is it hard to go wrong. Always feeds all the senses…
The basic taste is that of Thai food but crosses over to Indian with the addition of curry powder and garam masala. Temper the spices to your taste but if you enjoy spicy food then use the amounts I recommend.
Start off with a tablespoon of good coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add chunks of firm organic tofu and let it fry for a few minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder and 1 tsp of garam masala. Fry the spices for another few minutes.
Add 1 heaping tablespoon of red thai curry paste, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and 1 tsp of finely chopped ginger. Add 1 cup of light coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add 2-3 cups of vegetable broth, 1 green zucchini chopped in large pieces, 1 red bell pepper chopped in large chunks, 1 cup soaked dry shiitake mushrooms, 2 red thai peppers – halfed.
Let it cook for about 10 minutes at medium heat. Add a handful of rice noodles and cook another 5-10 minutes.
Adjust the salt to taste.
Serve topped with red onions, green chillies, crushed peanuts, Cilantro and lime.
It was a perfect green papaya that came from the market. The snow outside kept it intact for a couple of day before I ventured to make this tangy uplifting salad. This salad is usually a staple at Thai restaurants but making it at home could not be easier. I have adjusted to make it lower in calories and healthier.
Peel half of a green papaya with a box grater ( needs to be thin and long)
Blanche a bunch of green beans, cool in ice water and then julienne
Chop cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions, thai chilis
Smash a handful of unsalted organic peanuts
For the dressing mis 5 tbsp of fresh lime, a tsp of lime zest, 1 tsp of stevia extract, 2 tbsp fish sauce ( or make it vegan with Amino Liquid), 1 tsp of minced garlic.
Mix the vegetables, pour in the dressing and top with the peanuts.