The team at Fed Up & Drunk get ready to celebrate Thai New Year…
Thai New Year, or Songkran, is celebrated from the 13th-15th April. In Thailand, the New Year celebration is marked with epic water fights and general merrymaking. Though we can’t rule out an ill-advised office-based water fight next week, we’ve decided to plan for the celebration the best way we can – with food.
Thai food is one of the most popular cuisines in the UK, and it’s easy to see why – Thai cooking is all about delicate dishes and aromatic flavours but it’s also some of the healthiest food in the world. There’s a lot of variety, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a scorching curry, a noodle dish or easy-to-make street food-style snacks.
Hannah’s coconut prawns and sweet chilli dip
We love finger food, so when we had friends round for a games night recently we made a batch of these super easy coconut prawns. We loved them because they’re so easy to make and serve, and our guests loved trying something a bit different.
18-24 large raw prawns, butterflied (tails can be left on)
50g dry shredded/flaked coconut (unsweetened baking type)
For the coating:
Dry refined breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried crushed chilli or cayenne pepper
1 tsp white sugar
Preheat the oven to 210C. Grease and line a baking tray. Mix together the coating ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Beat together 2 eggs in a small bowl and place the shredded coconut in another separate bowl. Hold each prawn by the tail and dip it first into the beaten egg, then into the coating mix, then back into the egg. Finally, roll it in the coconut and place onto the prepared baking tray. If your prawns are very large you might need to use a third egg. Bake the prawns on the middle shelf for 15-20 minutes (turning them over after about 8 minutes) until the coconut is lightly toasted. Serve in a bowl with sweet chilli dip in a ramekin.
Sian uses Nigella’s curry in a hurry
I have to admit that curry isn’t something I tend to cook at home, but I have a real weakness for a lovely aromatic Thai green chicken curry – it’s got just the right level of spice for my (relatively delicate) palate and I really love the succulent meat and oodles of creamy sauce.
When whipping one up in my own kitchen, I’ve tried and tested many a different recipe over the years, but once I found Nigella’s curry in a hurry in Nigella Express, I never looked back. I always find Thai food to be quite complex, but this proves that you can get delicious results from simpler methods. Hats off to those of you who make your own Thai curry paste, but I’m quite happy to go for shop-bought.
2 tablespoons wok oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
3-4 tablespoons green thai curry paste
1 kilogram chicken thigh fillets (cut into strips about 4 x 2cm / 1½ x ¾ inches)
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
250 ml boiling boiling water
Chicken stock concentrate or cube
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
185 grams frozen peas
200 grams frozen soya beans
150 grams frozen fine green beans
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Cooked rice or noodles to serve
Heat the wok oil in a large saucepan that owns a lid, drop in the spring onions and cook, stirring for a minute or two, then add the curry paste. Add the chicken pieces and keep turning over heat for 2 minutes, before adding the coconut milk, stock (i.e. the water plus stock concentrate or cube) and fish sauce, then the frozen peas and soya beans. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the frozen fine beans to the mix and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Serve with rice or noodles, sprinkling the coriander over as you do so. Put out a plate of lime wedges for people to squeeze over as they eat.
Michelle loves Jamie Oliver’s Thai chicken laksa recipe
My recent visit to the Giggling Squid has given me a taste for Thai food, so I’ve stocked up on all the fragrant spices, herbs and sauces needed to create a delicious Thai feast in time for Thai New Year. Although this Jamie Oliver recipe seems to have a very long list of ingredients, many can be kept in your store cupboard for the next time you fancy whipping up a Thai dish (and, if you’re anything like me, it certainly won’t be long until next time).
For the chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 heaped teaspoon Chinese five-spice
1 tablespoon runny honey
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 fresh red chilli
For the laksa
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
1 butternut squash
2 cloves of garlic
1 small piece of ginger
1 fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 a bunch of spring onions
1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter
4 dried kaffir lime leaves
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
300g medium rice noodles
2 bunches asparagus
400g tin coconut milk
Toss the chicken with salt, pepper and five-spice on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Fold over the paper so it covers the chicken, then, with a rolling pin, hit the chicken to flatten it to about 1.5cm thick. Cook the chicken on a hot griddle pan, turning after about 3 minutes, until it is nicely charred and cooked through.
Pour 800ml of boiling water into a large pan and crumble in the stock cube. Roughly chop the neck end of the butternut squash, then grate and put into the boiling stock. Use the bowl blade in a food processor and blitz together the peeled garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, trimmed spring onions, peanut butter, dried lime leaves, coriander stalks (keep the leaves), sesame oil and soy and fish sauces to create a paste. Add this to the stock, then add the noodles.
Trim the asparagus, cut in half and add to the pan. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to the boil, add soy and lime juice to taste, then turn off the heat. Drizzle the honey and squeeze the juice of one lime over the charred chicken, then scatter with the sesame seeds and toss to make sure it’s fully coated. Serve with your lovely aromatic laksa and lime wedges, and sprinkle with the coriander leaves and slices of chilli for a bit of a kick.
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