Thai curry with duck breast

Thai duck curry 2

Flavourful Thai curry with plenty of vegetables and just a few slices of duck breast – serve with a handful of noodles.

We just got home from three weeks in Mexico, and that always makes me turn to Asian dishes in the kitchen.  Well, that and the old comfort foods like roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, which are always a family favourite.

Thai curries come together very quickly, and are very easy if you take a few moments to get everything ready first.  This is one of those recipes that works more like a guideline – we made this for dinner for two, but double it up for a group.

Cook noodles according to the package directions and set aside.

Duck breast is really easy to cook, and not something to be intimidated by.  I don’t know why I didn’t take a moment for a photo doing this …. maybe next time.  Score the fat on top of the desk breast lightly, not through to the meat.  Set in a cast iron skillet (or non stick if you don’t have cast iron) and gently heat on med/low so the duck fat can release and the top gets nice and crispy.  Every stove top is different, so just watch yours.  When it has reached that golden layer of crispy goodness, flip it over and cook until preferred doneness.  170 degrees is the golden rule, but if you prefer medium rare, go a little less.  Whatever temperature you desire, make sure to remove it from the heat and allow it to sit and rest – distributing the juices evenly.

While the duck is cooking – slice and set aside the vegetables you have chosen.  The only thing that is important is that you separate the vegetables based on how long they take to cook.

Heat a saucepan, add some peanut oil (or any neutral oil with a high smoke point).

Saute one onion until soft, then add:

  • 2 tbsp Red or Penang curry sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp thinly sliced Thai red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp galangal (minced if you can get it fresh, powder if not)
  • 1 tbsp lemongrass (minced if you can get it. fresh, powder if not)

Stir until the curry is fragrant – just for a minute or two.  Add 1 can of coconut milk and 1 cup of stock (chicken or vegetable).  Add the vegetables, and as soon as they are lightly cooked, but still crisp remove the curry from the heat and stir in the holy trinity of Thai curries ….

  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
Thai duck curry 1

Without the duck breast you’ve got a perfect vegetarian dinner.

 

 

Laksa

Laksa 5

Ready to be garnished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, bean sprouts, maybe some cilantro sprigs and a few fresh sliced hot peppers – then drizzle more sauce over top and enjoy!

Laksa …. or Thai curry noodle soup …. whatever you call this, you are going to L O V E the exquisitely well balanced flavours in this noodle bowl.  This dish is so versatile and can be a completely vegetarian or even vegan dinner with a few tweaks.

 

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 prawns/shrimp , peeled and deveined 
  • or
  • 1 chicken breast, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely grated
  • 2 tsp ginger , finely grated
  • 1 stalk lemongrass , peeled, finely grated 
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Penang curry paste
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp chilli garlic paste or other chilli paste , adjust to taste 
  • about 4-5 cups of fresh vegetables – sliced and ready to be added to the broth
  • 400 g/14oz coconut milk
  • 2 cups /500ml chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 slices fresh galangal
  • 2 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
  • 200 g / 7 oz fresh egg noodles, prepared per packet (although really you can use any noodle)
  • Big handful bean sprouts
Laksa 2

Have everything ready to go before you start cooking, and it will all come together quickly.

Toppings / for serving:
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves
  • Sliced red onion or scallions
Laksa 1

Did you even know lemongrass could be grated?  So easy and quick!

 

Instructions
Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add prawns or chicken and sear both sides until light golden (doesn’t need to cook inside). Remove onto plate.
Turn heat down to medium. If pot is looking dry, add a touch of extra oil.
Add garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Saute for 20 seconds until garlic is golden.
Add sugar and fish sauce. Stir and cook for 30 seconds – it should look like caramel.
Laksa 3

 

Add chilli paste, coriander and curry powder. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
Add chicken broth and coconut milk. Stir and bring to simmer, add lime leaves and galangal.
Simmer for 2 minutes, then add lime zest and return prawns and chicken into broth, heat just until cooked through.
Laksa 4

Tonight’s bowl of laksa included mushrooms, snap peas, sweet peppers, zucchini & cauliflower.

Serving:
  1. Place noodles in bowl. Ladle over soup.
  2. Top with bean sprouts and coriander, plus toppings of choice (chilli, red onion, Asian fried shallots).
  3. Squeeze over lime juice to taste.

This recipe came from a great food blog – RecipeTin Eats – pop on over to her blog for some more great recipes.

Massaman Curry

I’ve had a bit of a love for Penang curry lately, but tonight Massaman won the battle.  In no way is this totally authentic, since I wasn’t planning to put either carrots or potatoes in and those are both always found in Massaman curry.  Served with Sticky Thai chicken wings and jasmine rice this made a fantastic dinner, quick and easy but oh so tasty.

Massaman Curry

Tonight this was a vegetarian dish with cauliflower, broccoli and bok choy but you could easily add a protein if you like.  In Thai lessons we learned to add thinly sliced meat and then NOT stir it until it is cooked through.

Thai chicken curries are so simple to make, and come together very quickly.

Get everything ready first and when its time to cook it will happen before you know it!

  • 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped (in Thailand, every cooking class I took had us cutting 1/2 an onion into 6 pieces)
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 tbsp each minced ginger and lemongrass
  • 2 tbsp Massaman curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk (don’t use the lite version)
  • 3-4 cups assorted vegetables, in bite size pieces

Mix together and set aside: 2 tbsp each fresh lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar

Heat peanut oil in saucepan until shimmering and add onion pieces, stir until slightly softened and add garlic, ginger, lemongrass and curry paste.  Saute to bring out the flavours in the curry and aromatics.  Add coconut milk and stir well.  Add vegetables and cook just until crisp tender.  Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar.

Thai food should have a great balance of sweet, spicy, salty & tangy.  If this doesn’t yet, keep making adjustments until it does!

 

Sticky Thai Chicken Wings

Thai Chicken Wings

Not my first Thai chicken recipe, and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but loved the tart, slightly sweet and hint of spice these wings provided.  Get out the napkins!

3 pounds chicken wings, drums and tips separated

1/2 tbsp sea salt flakes

MARINADE

  • 3/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp minced or grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced or grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

GARNISH

  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • sesame seeds
  • green onions, sliced

Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour half over chicken wings.  Allow to marinate for 30 minutes, up to overnight.  Put the rest of the marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce by about half and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400

Lightly grease, or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Put wings on baking sheet in a single layer.

Roast for 20 minutes, then remove and toss in a bit of reduced marinade.  Sprinkle sesame seeds & sea salt over and roast for a further 20 minutes until shiny and crispy.

Garnish with cilantro, green onion and more sesame seeds.

Thai Grilled Chicken

Thai grilled chicken should be moist, flavourful, and make you want more …. this is it.

Thai Chicken

This chicken.  So moist and delicious.  The dipping sauce takes it over the top!

 

  • 2 lb / 1 kg chicken thigh fillets (skinless, boneless) 

 

  • Use whatever chicken you have, or prefer, this amount of marinade worked with 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into pieces and pounded equal thickness.  I reserved some of the marinade and kept it to serve as a dipping sauce, it was incredible.
Marinade
  • 1 large lemongrass stalk , white part only very finely chopped (about 2 tbsp) If you live in an area like we do, fresh lemongrass is not always easy to come by, and in that case, I use 1 tbsp lemongrass powder)
  • 1 tbsp garlic , minced
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

Mix all marinade ingredients together, reserve 1/2 of it, and and add chicken to the rest.  Marinade overnight, or for at least an hour …. (I had an hour and it turned out really well!)

Serve the chicken with the reserved marinade.

Thai chicken

put all the marinade ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and give it a good whiz ….

 

Grill chicken until just cooked through, and serve with dipping sauce.

Spicy Sweet & Sticky Asian Pork Chops

Spicy Sweet Sticky Pork Chops

Grill just until cooked through, these juicy pork chops hit all those notes of spicy, sweet and sticky – get out the napkins!

 

  • 8 thin cut pork chops, pounded lightly until uniform thickness
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 chilli finely chopped (seeds removed if needed)
  • juice of 1 lime
  1. To make the pork chops, combine the soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, curry paste chilli & lime juice in a bowl and mix well.  Taste, and adjust if necessary – especially for heat.  If you like it hotter, add more!
  2. Place the pork chops in a ziploc bag and pour over the sauce. Close the bag and allow to marinade for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Grill over high heat until just cooked through.

Noodles 2

 

We served these with a crunchy Thai noodle salad.

CREAMY THAI PEANUT PRAWN & NOODLES

Noodles 3

Creamy, tangy and full of crunch this Peanut Noodle Dish is really a one pot wonder.  One of the few peanut sauces I’ve liked, that didn’t require cooking!

My BFF Jean made a version like this when we met up in Osoyoos for wine tasting, and it was just perfect.  She made it into a one pot meal by using quick cooking Ramen noodles, which cooked in a large pot of boiling water, adding veg and shrimp at the appropriate times to get it all cooked.  Drain it in a colander and pour the sauce over – presto, deliciousness!!!
Ingredients:
These are really just suggestions.  Tonight I used broccoli and sweet coloured peppers.
  • 2 servings of rice noodles
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • vegetables, such as :
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • ½ pound snow peas, ends trimmed and shredded
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • sweet coloured peppers
  • onions
  • garlic

Peanut Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • Toppings:
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped peanuts
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • lime wedges
  • sriracha sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix ginger, garlic, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chicken stock and chili flakes in a bowl, puree and set aside.
  • Soak rice noodles in very hot water until just al dente, drain and set aside.
  • Remove the ingredients from heat and drain with a colander.
  • In saute pan, stir fry vegetables until just crisp tender.  Remove and stir fry prawns just until plump and tender.  Be careful not to overcook them – that can happen in the blink of an eye.

Noodles 1Return all ingredients to saute pan and stir to mix.  Add in enough noodles just to get the balance right.

Noodles 2

  • Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles and mix well.
  • Top with cilantro, peanut, sesame seeds and lime wedges to serve.
You can use any noodle if you don’t want the rice noodles, just cook according to package directions.