Mastering the skills, enjoying the cuisine
Thai cooking is about balancing flavours, something that can be hard with a long list of ingredients.
When faced with so many ingredients and a short cooking time, it can be easy to get into a mess. Here are our top tips for success when cooking Thai;
Spend time preparing
The process of preparing the ingredients for the pan is an important process in Thai cooking. Like other forms of cooking, including Indian and Malaysian, Thai dishes come together quickly and so the more prepared you are, the better.
This is why it makes sense to create a delicious batch of curry paste that you can use over the coming weeks to quickly put together a delicious curry or soup. You’ll also find that the flavours develop beautifully in a curry paste, forming a deep flavour base to any dish you choose to create. If you’d like to learn how to do this, why not join us on our curry paste and spice blends course?
Concentrate on the cooking process
Thai dishes are light, yet packed full of flavour. The flavour of ingredients is retained and enhanced by the cooking process so when you light the gas under the pan, concentrate on the cooking.
Some dishes require a scientific approach but if you watch a Thai cook in action, you will see that no dish is seasoned the same every time.
When you have everything in your pan, keep checking the seasoning. It may need a hint more sweetness or a little more kick.
Find a good Asian food retailer or supermarket
Not everyone is blessed with an Asian supermarket on their doorstep but the next time you happen by one, spend some time getting to know the authentic ingredients. They will revolutionise the taste of your Thai dishes.
Our soup dish
This is one of the favourite dishes of Seasoned’s founder Clare Major. Use different vegetables as the season roll by and vary the meat you use in the recipe too.
The secret of this one-pot dish is to make the paste in a large quantity and freeze it in small batches for the next time you make this soup.
Thai Noodle Soup
Thai cooking is enjoying a welcome resurgence, possibly because at last, we have realised that to get a beautiful fusion of flavours is not difficult (when you know how, of course!) This Thai Noodle Soup recipe is perfect whether you are new to Thai cooking or an old hand.
- Thai Paste we suggest making 5-6 times this quantity and freezing in batches
- a large thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 lemongrass stalks outer stalks removed & chopped
- 1 handful unsalted peanuts
- 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce sesame oil and soy sauce (adjust according to your taste & the strength of the brand you are using)
- 2-3 fresh red chillies with or without seeds depending on their strength
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or a finger-sized piece of fresh turmeric
- 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves sourcing fresh ones really makes all the difference
- 2 tablespoons Thai paste
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 400 ml vegetable / chicken / game stock
- 2 portions of rice noodles soaked in hot water
- 2 pheasant breasts / chicken breasts / Rump / Sirloin steak
- 1 lime 1 red chilli and fresh coriander to serve
Seasonal vegetables, for example
- 1 carrot peeled in long strips with a peeler
- broccoli / cauliflower florets
- butternut squash/pumpkin chunks roasted
- green beans
- pak choi
To make the paste put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz to a fine paste. If the lemongrass remains stringy add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil and blend again in smaller batches.
Soak the noodles in hot water (not boiling) according to the packet’s instructions and get all of the rest of your ingredients ready – the dish is very quick to prepare!
In a large casserole pan, add 2 generous tablespoons of the paste, along with the coconut milk and the stock.
Bring to a gentle simmer and heat a separate frying pan with some oil, ready to cook your pheasant breast.
Cook the pheasant for 2-3 minutes each side, remove from the heat and rest on a plate.
Add your vegetables to your coconut broth in the order which they will need cooking, i.e broccoli which will take 4-5 minutes, followed by carrot ribbons and pak choi which will take only 30 seconds.
Serve at once into hot bowls, placing the sliced meat on top. Garnish with coriander, a quarter of lime and red chilli pieces.
You don't have to stick to the seasonal veg we've suggested you use - you can use almost any vegetable in your house