Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Thai Coconut and Curry Soup

January 17th, 2010 1 comment

Once again I break from my normal posts of esoteric ponderings and theo-political rants to bring you a recipe we have been cooking up (don’t worry, I don’t intend to make this a habit.)  Beth and I have continued our Thai cooking kick and have loved what has come from it.  Here is a hearty soup we have made a couple times.  It is flavorful, spicy and brings a very pleasant sweetness.  It is not overly complex and the ingredients can be found in the international section of most major grocery stores.  If served with rice, it easily makes a meal. 

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Thai Coconut and Curry Soup

[Serves 6  //  Prep time: 20min – Cooking time: 35min]


  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 pound cubed Chicken (Tofu may be substituted)
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 4 cups (32 oz) Chicken Stock
  • 14oz Coconut Milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Ginger
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 3-4 Large carrots sliced into discs
  • 3-4 Celery Stalks chopped
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, minced, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass (may be omitted)
  • 1/2 large onion sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 1 Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 Tbsp Thai Chili Paste
  • 2 chopped Basil Leaves
  • Cilantro (to garnish)
  • 6-8 cups Cooked Rice (roughly 1.5-2 cups uncooked rice)
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Put 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. When it reaches temperature, add 1/2 pound cubed chicken. Season with black pepper. Cook until chicken is done.

Add 1 Tbsp Thai red curry paste and cook an addition 30 seconds while stirring continuously. Add 4 cups chicken stock (add less for a thicker soup), 14oz coconut milk and 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger. Bring mixture to a boil.

Once mixture comes to a boil, add 1 Tbsp lime juice, (if you omit the Lemongrass, add an extra Tbsp lime juice) 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 1 Tbsp brown sugar 1/2-1 Tbsp Thai chili paste (depending on how much “kick” you like your soup) and vegetables (carrots, celery, lemongrass, onion, garlic, bell pepper) Return mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered until vegetables have soften but are not mushy (approx. 15-20 minutes).  Salt and Pepper to taste. 

Right before serving, stir in 2 chopped basil leaves. Top each bowel with cilantro and serve with rice.

Note: Soup can be ladled over the rice, or the rice can be added to the soup depending on personal preference.

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Categories: Food / Drink Tags: , , , ,

Pad Kee Mao (Thai Drunken Noodles)

January 8th, 2010 2 comments

Beth and I have always had a special place in our heart for Thai dishes.  In fact, for our rehearsal dinner we rented out the entire Thai restaurant and offered a buffet.  However it has only been recently that we have ventured into cooking our own Thai food.

Below is a recipe for one of our favorite dishes called Pad Kee Mao or more popularly "Drunken Noodles."  This is an amalgamation of several recipes I found online and then adjusted  to taste.  Most of the ingredients can be picked up at grocery stores with a decent international section, or at your local Asian market.


Pad Kee Mao (Thai Drunken Noodles)

[Prep time: 30min // Cooking time: 30min]


  • 12 oz package medium rice sticks (rice noodles about the width of fettuccini)
  • 1 pound chicken
  • Oil (Peanut, Canola, Vegetable, etc)
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh Basil
  • Fresh Cilantro

   Stir fry components (adjust to meet your preferences)

  • 4-5 Baby Corn stalks cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 Medium carrots sliced into thin discs
  • 1 small can bamboo shoots (drained)
  • 1 small can sliced water chestnuts(drained)
  • 2-3 stalks of celery sliced
  • 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, green or a combination) sliced into 2” strips
  • ½ medium onion sliced into thin strips
  • 4-5 Shitake mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic (4-5 cloves)

    For sauce:

  • 1-2 Tbsp Thai Chili Paste (2 Tbsp is noticeably hot, but still tame by Thai standards)
  • 2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp Golden Mountain Sauce (a very flavorful soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice (1/2 fresh lime juiced)
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine (use Cooking Sherry if unavailable)
  • 1 Tbsp Black Bean Sauce (or substitute Hoisin Sauce)


Begin by chopping all your stir fry vegetables as this can be quite time consuming.  If you are using dried shitake mushrooms you will need to soak them in hot water for up to 30 minutes so plan accordingly.

Cut up 1 pound of chicken (thin strips are better than cubes) and cook in large skillet with 1-2 Tbsp oil and black pepper to taste.  [Note: We have found it easiest to cook large pieces of chicken until they are about half done, then remove them from the heat to cut into smaller pieces, and then finishing cooking in the skillet.  It is less messy and easier to have consistent pieces.]

While you are cooking your chicken, begin preparing your rice noodles.  You will break the noodles into 3-4” pieces, place them in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let these sit 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Prepare your sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

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[Vegetables, Brown Sauce and Noodles]

Once your chicken is cooked, drain it and set aside.

Add 1-2 Tbsp of oil to a large skilled (use the same one you used for the chicken if you like) and bring up to medium-high heat.  Add your stir-fry vegetables and sauté.  If the vegetables begin to dry out, add a small amount of water.  Cover between stirrings.  Vegetables are done when they are firm but no longer crisp.

Add the chicken back in, along with previously prepared sauce and cook a 1-2 minutes on medium heat.

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Reduce heat to medium-low and add in the noodles (drained).  If your skillet is not large enough, you may need to transfer things to a large pot at this point.  Add 3-4 chopped basil leaves.  Cook until noodles begin to absorb the sauce and the basil leaves begin to wilt.

Remove from heat and serve on plates garnished with cilantro.

Enjoy!2009-12-25 Christmas 017

[Final Dish]

Easy Hot Cocoa from Scratch

November 9th, 2009 No comments

My wife is usually the one who makes posts about recipes, but tonight I cooked up something of my own that was worth posting.   We were wanting some hot chocolate and lamenting the fact that all we had was raw cocoa powder and most recipes we found online were fairly complex.  So we improvised and things turned out really well.  Here is what we came up with.


  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt


Combine all the ingredients into a  1 quart Nalgene bottle (obviously wide-mouth is the way to go) righten the lid and shake.  After all ingredients are mixed, unscrew the lid but leave it in place.  Microwave for 3-4 minutes until hot.  Serve in mugs with marshmallows. Enjoy.

Of course the Nalgene just makes things easier.  You could always mix the ingredients in a container of your choosing and serve it however you want.