... I've never made any Thai food before... god knows why not because i do love it so
... whilst its wonderful living in bucolic bliss it can sometimes be very frustrating finding ingredients without trawling through the shops and even then sometimes after a whole day of searching you can still be left high and dry... I mean I've spent 2 days searching for lemongrass for goodness sake... not exactly a rare breed!... and I flatly REFUSE to go to Tesco in Skegness... believe me it's like a living Bruegel painting... not pretty!
... so it was with a heavy heart that I left Louth without some major ingredients for this dish and although I've adapted I think it could have really done with some of the missing things to add that extra special punch... and it's that Thai punch I need because I'm still hanging on to this stupid cold!
still, good old Lincolnshire managed to come up with some good substitutes and some extra add-ons that don't seem to have gone amiss... spring greens instead of pak choi anyone?
3 pints good veg stock
2 lemongrass stalks - minced
3 whole kaffir lime leaves
2 red chillies - finely sliced (I had one green and one red)
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 thumb sized piece of galangal (I used ginger which is just as good) - cut into fine matchsticks
1 cup of mushrooms - sliced (shitake is good... but could I find any...?)
2 cups of pak choi - chopped into rough slices
a handful of fine green beans (you could add peppers)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 can of coconut milk
1 tsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
a squeeze of lime juice
- make up the stock (nice and strong) and get it boiling in a soup pan
- add the lemongrass, lime leaves, chili, garlic,and ginger and boil for about 5 mins until the broth is very fragrant
- add the mushrooms, reduce the heat and simmer for about 8 mins or until the mushrooms are soft
- add the pak choi and cherry toms and green beans and gently simmer for a couple of mins... you want the pak choi to be slightly crunchy
- reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce and lime juice to your taste.
- just before serving throw in some noodles, the glass or fine Asian noodles are the best, they should be light.
You could add tofu pieces (can't think of anything worse...) or any selection of veg to add texture and colour but I think I've got this one just right...
...the whole thing should pack quite a punch...
eat and of course, enjoy!