Tom Yam Goong – A spicy prawn and lemongrass soup

This delicious soup is the perfect addition for your Thai Banquet – it is spicy, fresh and tangy, how tangy depends on how you like it – how much lime juice you use. How spicy depends on how spicy you like it and how much chilli you add…

Tom Yam Goong - Feature Image

We often enjoy this soup for a light meal on a hot summers’ night – it is absolutely perfect, light, fresh and flavoursome.

Tom Yam Goong (Spicy Prawn & Lemongrass Soup)

Tom Yam Goong should be spicy, fresh and tangy - how tangy depends on how you like it - how much lime juice you use...

Ingredients

  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • 20 g shallots (peeled & sliced)
  • 20 g galangal (chopped)
  • 20 g lemongrass (bashed)
  • 20 g small hot chilies (whole)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 6 green prawns – tiger if you can get them
  • 20 g straw mushrooms (cut into halves)
  • 1 spring onion – green part only, finely shredded on the angle
  • 6 snow peas – cut into julienne

To garnish

  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves cut into fine chifonade,
  • Fresh coriander leaves

Directions

  1. Peel & devein the prawns. Set aside
  2. Gently sautee the galangal, shallots, lemongrass & chillies to release their flavours.
  3. Cover with chicken stock and add the kaffir lime leaves. Simmer gently for 2 minutes.
  4. Season with the fish sauce and palm sugar and adjust the flavour with the lime juice.
  5. Strain the broth, discard the solids and return the broth to a clean saucepan.
  6. Bring the broth to a simmer, add the prawns and straw mushrooms and simmer gently for two minutes.
  7. Divide the snow peas and spring onion between two serving bowls, top with the the prawns and straw mushrooms and pour over the broth.
  8. Divide evenly between two serving bowls
  9. Sprinkle the kaffir chiffonade and coriander leaves to garnish.
  10. Serve hot.

Notes:

  • You may substitute diced chicken for the prawns.  The dish is then called Tom Yam Gai.  I believe that fresh fish would also work wonderfully .
  • Adapted from’Thai Country Cooking from Laguna Beach Resort’ (2002) p57.
  • I like to add some fresh seasonal vegetables when I can.

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Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!

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A Thai Banquet – Sweet, Hot, Sour, Salty Bitter – Delicious!

While it sounds like someone has gone crazy in the kitchen, this is what Thai food is all about, balance and flavour, and there’s one thing I learned when taking a class in Thailand… That is if you need to adjust one element, you must slightly adjust other elements as well. This sounded a little strange – needs more salt? Add more salt – but also a little more sweet and sour as well!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Wat Chalong – Phuket

The combination of sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter is wonderfully refreshing, and leaves you reaching for more. Chilli is one of the most important ingredients, providing the heat in Thai Cuisine, but there are a number of other key ingredients used to provide the balance, flavour and aroma unique to Thai food. These ingredients are fish sauce, coconut milk and cream, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and lemon grass.

Like many of us, the people of Thailand love to share a meal together, and a Thai banquet is the perfect way to share a meal with family and friends. There are no individual courses – Everything is placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share – a soup, a curry, a steamed or fried dish, a salad, a vegetable dish, the sauces/condiments, and rather than fried rice, a large bowl of steamed rice is served. A platter of seasonal fresh fruit makes the perfect simple and refreshing finale to such a delicious meal.

Over the next week or so, I will be sharing a number of dishes that we enjoy when we plan a Thai banquet. We hope that you enjoy the flavours and aromas of Thai cooking as much as we do. The first dish on the table is Tod Man Goong (Deep Fried Shrimp Patties).

Tod Man Goong (Thai Prawn Cakes)

These fantastic little patties, are packed full of flavour and a Thai Banquet in our home would not be complete without them.

Ingredients

  • 300 g green prawn meat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 10 g coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Maggi seasoning sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 40 g breadcrumbs
  • 40 g minced pork fat or lard
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Sweet plum sauce (to serve)

Directions

  1. Mince the prawn meat and lard/pork fat.
  2. Combine with remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Form into small patties.
  4. Coat in breadcrumbs and place on try in fridge for half an hour or longer if possible.
  5. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown.
  6. Serve hot with sweet plum sauce, separately.

Notes:

  • Adapted from’Thai Country Cooking from Laguna Beach Resort’ (2002) p35.
  • You can substitute minced white fish meat for the prawns, the dish is then called Tod Man Pla.
  • These make a wonderful dish to share as part of a Thai Banquet, equally, served with a green mango or pawpaw salad, they make a delicious entree or main course.

Phang Nga Bay

We are slowly getting the Thai herbs and aromatics growing in our garden, and our Kaffir Lime is looking wonderful.

Until next time…

Happy Cooking & Bon appétit!

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A Stroll Through The Vegie Patch – The End of Summer

Today I thought you might enjoy a stroll through our Vegie Patch. Lots of photos and very few words – A break from the kitchen…

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Aubergine / Egg Plant

Beans

Beets

Berries

Brassicas

Corn

Courgette / Zucchini

Cucumbers & Cornichon

Flowers

Green Stuff

Herbs & Aromats

Onions

Other Stuff

Peas

Peppers

Potatoes

Pumpkins

Rhubarb from Navarre

Rock Melon

Seed Saving

The Bees

Tomatoes

 

My favourite pics…

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I hope that you have enjoyed joining me on a stroll through our vegie patch.  It’s one of my favourite places to be.  Can you believe that just three months ago, we did not have a vegie patch!  I am looking forward to working and watching it through the seasons ahead.

Until next time…

Happy gardening and…

Bon appétit!

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The Vegie Patch

Ravioli Ignudi (Naked Ravioli)

These delicate little pillows of ricotta and Swiss chard / silverbeet were given their wonderful name because they are not blanketed in fresh pasta like the ravioli that we all know and love.  This dish is fast becoming a favourite in our home – it is delicious, surprisingly simple to make, very economical and has very few ingredients.  I love making it because it means I get to make use of produce from our vegie patch.  It is so rewarding to take your basket and fill it with the ingredients needed to prepare your next meal…

Ravioli Ignudi - 20

Ravioli Ignudi (Naked Ravioli)

Ingredients

  • 300 g ricotta
  • 400 g Swiss chard, leaves only
  • 1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 16 whole fresh sage leaves
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the Swiss chard and boil until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Drain thoroughly, wrap in a cloth and squeeze until the chard is very dry. Chop very finely.
  4. Gradually combine the Swiss chard with the ricotta. Add about two-thirds of the Parmesan, the nutmeg and egg yolks. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Scoop up a small quantity of the mixture with a spoon and, with well-floured hands, form it into a little oval pillow about 3cm long.
  6. Dredge the little pillow lightly with some of the flour and set aside.
  7. Continue forming little oval pillows with the remaining ricotta mixture.
  8. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil.
  9. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the sage leaves in a frying pan and keep warm.
  10. When the water reaches a rapid boil, add the ravioli, a few at a time, and cook until they rise to the surface (as you would for gnocchi).
  11. Remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place them into the warm melted butter and sage.
  12. Continue cooking the remaining ravioli in the same manner.
  13. Arrange the ravioli in a serving dish and drizzle with the melted butter and sage. Dust with the remaining Parmesan and grind over a little black pepper.

Notes:

  • I like to bake some tomatoes and add them together with a few shards of crispy prosciutto to the plate when serving, just for colour, flavour and texture.
  • We also like to crisp some of the Ignudi up a little in the butter.
  • While I have used my Gluten Free Flour Blend, this recipe was originally made with normal wheat plain flour, so either can be used, depending on dietary requirements.
  • Adapted from a lovely old book, Tuscany – The Beautiful Cookbook (1996) L De Medici, p78.
  • I make my own soft ricotta style cheese.

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Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

I have read many recipes for Swiss Chard or Silverbeet gratin, where the prominent ingredient is the stalk, rather than the rich green leaves.  I recently stumbled upon this recipe that I thought I would try, because it includes some of the leaves as well.  I was so thrilled with the end result, I cooked it again a couple of days later.

This gratin really is very easy to make, and the end result is a delicious cheesy gratin with the stalks providing texture, the leaves, colour, and both contributing to the wonderful flavour.

Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

The stalks of Swiss Chard make a gratin that is delicious and delicate in flavour, and pairs beautifully with a roast. Equally it can be served as a light meal with a fresh green salad on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • Stalks from a large bunch of chard, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced.
  • 4 chard leaves, thinly shredded
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml full-cream milk
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 30 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the oil and half the butter.
  3. Add the onion and chard stalks, place the lid on and cook over low heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onion softens.
  4. Stir in the flour, and cook for a 1 minute over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk. Bring to the boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer until the sauce has thickened. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Stir in the chard leaves and cook for another minute or two until the leaves have wilted a little.
  6. Then stir in the Parmesan and the cream, then pour into a greased gratin dish.
  7. Mix the topping ingredients together and scatter over the top of the gratin. Dot with the remaining butter.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbling and golden on top.

Notes:

  • This gratin can also be popped under the grill ’til golden and crispy, if short on time or oven space.
  • For a gluten free version, simply replace the flour with the same amount of gluten free flour blend.
  • Adapted from Easy Vegetarian One Pot, 2011, R Woods (ed), p159

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Chard, Onion and Cheese Gratin

Gluten Free Four Blend

Swiss Chard

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