Tag Archives: Thai

Thai Noodles with Bok Choy

Today started off horrid and rainy, as usual.  Bummer.

But it ended up being a great day!  I treated probably the most adorable child you have ever seen (he had cerebral palsy) with a few of my friends for my case studies week, and it was such a great experience.  He was so motivated, and we got to watch him feed himself yogurt at home for the first time (and show his mom!).  Even though it would have been incredibly frustrating to probably any other seven-year-old (he only managed to eat about a tablespoon of it, with the rest all over his face, arms, leg, chair, floor…etc), he was able to push through his physical limitations and be super excited anytime a drop of it actually made it inside his mouth.

It was very inspiring, to say the least.  A nice reminder that I probably should not get so annoyed just because it’s been raining nonstop for the past few weeks.  At least I can not only feed myself dinner, but plan it, go shopping for it, and make it all by myself.

So here’s a lovely dinner for all of you people to make.  Just remember to be grateful for every bite you take on your own, okay?

It’s a deal.

Thai Noodles with Bok Choy (adapted from Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast
Asia)

  • 1 lb wide dried rice noodles
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 lb bok choy, rinsed and sliced lengthwise into thin spears
  • 1 T miso paste
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T Thai fish sauce
  • 2 T cider or rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 C mild broth (I used 1/2 C chicken broth with 1 C added water)
  • 1 T cornstarch, dissolved in 3 T water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is a great dish, and despite the rather long ingredient list, it’s very quick and easy to make.  Because the cooking moves fast, have the ingredients all prepared and ready to be tossed into the pot at a moment’s notice.  Start by soaking the dried noodles in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain them.

Heat a wok (I use a flat-bottomed GreenPan wok, which I love) and add 1 T of the vegetable oil.  When it is hot, add half the rice noodles and fry for 2 minutes, pressing them against the hot sides of the wok.  Once finished, divide them among the plates (this recipe serves four).  Add a second T of olive oil, and fry the second batch of noodles, dividing them on to the plates when finished.

Toss in the last T of vegetable oil, and when hot, add the minced garlic and saute for a few seconds, then add the chicken.  Cook until the meat has all changed color.

Add the bok choy, pressing the leaves against the sides of the hot pan until they turn bright green and wilt.  Admire.

Lastly, add the miso, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and broth.  Stir it around until the sauce begins to combine, then add the cornstarch and water mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is thickened and the bok choy is tender–it should only take about five minutes.

Divide the bok choy and chicken among the plates, and ladle extra gravy over the top.

Serious yum.  This can be served with a hot chile-vinegar on the side to heat things up a bit, if you like (which I obviously do).

This dinner is really satisfying, and for once, not too fishy.  Actually, not fishy at all–just “deliciously Asian”, as Fritz says.  Definitely an Southeast Asian comfort food that I am certain we will be making again.

And for those of you scared of Thai food, Fritz isn’t a huge fan of strong Thai flavors, but he really loved this dinner.  He ate a giant bowl of leftovers in the car while driving on the way to see Thor the day after.  Which is kind of scary, if you think about it.  Noodles aren’t really the most portable of foods for those of us planning on eating while driving (which you should never do, of course).

I don’t have class until eleven tomorrow!  Is that something to be grateful for, or what?

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Filed under Entrees

Thai Coconut-Lime Peanut Sauce

Girls’ night.

What a great invention, right?.

Combine girls’ night with a lot of wine, a strawberry spinach salad, make-your-own Thai food buffet, and strawberry shortcake, and it’s heaven.  I don’t remember the last time I ate (or gossiped) so much.

First course was my friend Brianna’s salad–spinach, sliced strawberries, fresh mozzarella, and candied pecans with a light balsamic vinaigrette.  I didn’t take any pictures, but I did eat two bowls.  I’m not (yet) a huge salad lover, but next time I have to impress someone I know exactly what I’m making.  I would have been okay finishing dinner here.

Instead, the rest of the girls put together the dinner–pad Thai noodles, with cauliflower, bok choy, and shrimp, chicken or steak cooked in coconut milk.  I made two sauces that we tried out and they both went over really well.  If you’ve never had Thai food, I strongly suggest you go out and have some tonight.  My favorite of the two sauces was the coconut-lime peanut sauce.

Thai Coconut-Lime Peanut Sauce (original recipe here)

  • 1/2 C light coconut milk (I actually used pure creamed coconut and dissolved it in 1/2 C warm water)
  • 1/2 C natural peanut butter
  • 1 T Thai red curry paste (mine was hot so I used a little more than half a T)
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1-2 T fish sauce (you can use soy sauce too)
  • 2 t tahini
  • 1 t honey
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients into a big bowl and stir or whisk until combined.  Soak pad Thai (or other rice noodles) in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes, then quickly fry for a few minutes until cooked.  The way we served it, we warmed the sauce and spooned it over the cooked noodles once we had picked our toppings, but you could also toss the sauce in with the noodles while you are frying them. 

this is actually a picture of leftovers--bad lighting the first time around!

Peanutty, spicy, and with the mellow flavor of coconut.

Perfection.

And we couldn’t end the meal (though we did have to take a long break) without dessert–which another friend of mine named Brianna made: strawberry shortcake birthday cake.  Filled with a layer of strawberries and topped with fresh whipped cream, it was so good.  Sometimes I forget how good it feels to indulge.

Happy birthday to Lola!

Happy April Fool’s Day (no jokes here, sorry)–new month, new grocery budget.  Hello grocery stores!  I also found out that I am going to be the proud new owner of a hand-me-down ice cream maker from my good friend Jenny’s mom–so many cold and sweet ideas in my near future.

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Filed under Sauces

Thai Chicken Soup (Crock Pot)

Every once in a while, there comes a moment that is vastly important to the continued success and happiness of our marriage.  That time has come.

I needed to make Fritz a giant slab of meat for dinner so the past few weeks of beans, vegetarian meals, large varieties of grains, lentils, and vegetables he can’t name can fade into the background.  So there is a roast beef in the oven.

It’s actually a nice gift to myself as well.  I found the roast on sale (half off!–and not because it was old, don’t worry) and the fun part about making a meal like this is that once it’s cooked, there are leftovers that offer me innumerable opportunities for creative and quick dinners (beef tacos! sandwiches! stir fry! soup!).

So I’ll tell you tomorrow all about how to make a roast beef.  Until then, here’s a recipe for a seriously beautiful Thai chicken soup that I made this week.  It’s not as hearty as the soups I usually make, but it has a much more delicate flavor that will leave you begging for seconds.

Thai Chicken Soup (adapted from this website)

  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cubed into bite-size pieces (I used cooked chicken leftover from a roasted chicken, but uncooked is okay too!)
  • 2 cans chicken broth (32 oz–I used about 25 oz of broth I made from the roast, then made up for the difference in water)
  • 2 C carrots, sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/2 lg onion, diced
  • 1 T grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T lemongrass, minced
  • sprinkle red pepper flakes
  • 1 can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 T Thai curry paste
  • peanuts and lime for garnishing (optional)

Combine the first eight ingredients (up to and including red pepper flakes) into a crockpot and turn on low.  Then go to class/work/bed.

When you return from whatever errand you chose, add the coconut milk, bell pepper, and curry paste and stir.  Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, then serve.  Top with peanuts and lime juice if you like.

Putting the bell pepper in for only fifteen minutes was a stroke of genius that I wish I could take credit for.  It gives the soup a crunch and a fresh taste that is incredibly refreshing, especially for a soup that was made in the crockpot.

The next day we were down to one bowl of leftover soup, and we both wanted it.  I added 2 C of leftover cooked brown rice and a bit of water, and it made two bowls of a heartier version of this soup.  I love when I can combine two leftovers and clean out the fridge in such a delicious way!

Anyway, I can smell the roast browning away, so I should probably go check on it.  Come back tomorrow to see how it went.

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Filed under Soups/Stews