Friday, March 1, 2013

Thai entrees

We're carefully catching up on the meal from Thailand and now is the time for the entrees. I'll post the feature drink and the dessert in a separate post. The internet was a wonderful resource here since there are a plethora of Thai recipes available. However, one should always wonder if each part is exactly authentic. Or not. The Curried Beef Stew is not exactly authentic, but the Thai spice influence is unmistakable. And I would totally make it again, just as a weeknight dinner. Also, just a reminder that I have cut and pasted these recipes and then have added my own comments within - if you want the unadulterated version, please use the link provided at the end of each recipe.

We also had Tom Yum Goong soup (sweet and sour) to start off the entree menu. This is my "go to" in many Thai restaurants. The local Kingston restaurant called Ly's Place (run by Ly and his family - Ly had worked previously for Chez Piggy restaurant which is featured in the Where to Eat in Canada food guide) has a KILLER version of this soup. It's simply amazing and even has little spheres of Thai sausage in it. If you ever come to YGK, you have to check our Ly's!

FYI, when I've made it in the past I've frozen the surplus. It has tasted just fine out of the freezer, too, when reheated gently on the stove.

Anyway, the Tom Yum Goong looked like this:

Tom Yum Goong Soup

And you can make it by following these instructions:

Tom Yum Goong - Sour & Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp Soup Recipe

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, trim off the very end of the root and smash with the side of a cleaver of chef's knife; cut into 1 inch pieces; or 2 pc dried
  • 3 slices fresh galangal root (smashed) or 2 pc dried
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leave or 4 pc dried
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind paste, with or without seeds
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauceGolden Boy preferred
  • 3/4 lb shrimps, medium to large size, shelled and de-veined; butterfly if desired
  • 12 fresh Thai chili peppers, whole or 2 medium sized jalepenos, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips.
  • 1/2 small white onion, cut 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tbsp. roasted chili paste (nam prik pao)
  • 1 (16 oz.) can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small lime, squeezed
  • 2 sprigs fresh cilantro


Bring water to boil over high heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the lemon grass, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, fish sauce and tamarind paste (break apart the tamarind paste with your fingers as you add it). Add the shrimp, bring to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Add the onion, nam prik pao and straw mushrooms. Boil for another 7 minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Add the chile peppers and tomatoes. Turn off the heat. Add the lime juice. Taste to adjust the seasoning, adding fish sauce to taste. Garnish with cilatantro if desired and serve.
Serves 3 to 4 (but we stretched it to 6).

Chicken Curry - Gang Gai แกงไก่

  • 1 chicken breast
    1 cup coconut milk
    1 tablespoon red curry paste
    1/2 lb eggplant
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    4-5 kaffir lime leaves Optional, but you really SHOULD put them in!
    3-5 sprigs Thai basil Also, optional but necessary in my opinion...
    3 cups water
    Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces. If you have this dish in Thailand, you will see that the chicken comes with bones. All parts such as legs and thighs can be used. The bones make the curry more flavourful. I could only find regular eggplant but Thai eggplant is usually called for in this recipe.
    Pour half of the coconut milk into a large pot, over low to medium low heat. Add the red curry paste. Break up the paste and mix it with coconut milk. Stir constantly. Lower the heat if it splatters too much. Add chicken when you see red oil bubbling on top. Stir and coat chicken with curry sauce. Add the eggplant when chicken starts to turn white. Add the rest of thecoconut milk and water and the fish sauce. Let it boil until all the eggplant pieces turn dark and tender. The longer you boil the curry, the thicker the curry becomes because the eggplant disintegrates and thickens the sauce. Pull the center stem off from the kaffir lime leaves and add them to the curry. Add the basilleaves just before you serve and make sure the leaves are submerged quickly in the curry to preserve the color.
    Serve hot with rice. If you prefer, use rice noodles.

Chicken Curry

Curried Beef Stew

Curry paste:
  • 6 dried puya or 3 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, bottom 4" only, tough outer layer removed, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh galangal
  • 2 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup halved garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Thai shrimp paste


  • 2 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2"–2" cubes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, preferably Thai thin soy sauce (such as Healthy Boy)
  • 2 tablespoons ground dried Thai chiles
  • 9 cups beef broth, preferably low-salt
  • 1 cup halved shallots
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick half-moons (about 1 cup)
  • 6 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Thinly sliced Thai basil


For curry paste:
In a mortar, pound chiles and salt with a pestle until pulverized, about 5 minutes. Add ingredients one by one in order listed, fully pulverizing each before adding the next, about 15 minutes total. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead; cover and chill.
For stew: 
Combine curry paste, beef, soy sauce, and ground dried chiles in a pot; stir to evenly coat beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender but not falling apart, 2–2 1/2 hours.
Stir in shallots, carrots, and lime leaves. Simmer until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. If broth is too salty, add water a few tablespoonfuls at a time.
Garnish with cilantro and basil.
Check the webpage for wine pairing suggestions!

Curried Beef Stew

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