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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013... Starts with Khao Soi Gei

Back again for another year and I tried sneaking in a blog post just before January came to an end but couldn't.  So February it is and the year is flying already. Last year finished up with a bang and turkeys and fruit mince pies are a faded memory along with any holiday time off, that I had. Yes indeed, it was back to work with all systems go on a most busy start to the year. 
As previously mentioned, I moved house in December last year and have been equally busy at home settling in. The kitchen has had a workout over the last few weeks and rightfully so, as we customised it to be a highlight of our house and essentially-my world. 2012 was farewelled with a cracker of a feast of TexMex delights that definitely impressed. And if chowing down on Nachos at 4am to cure the alcohol induced hunger pangs is anything to go by, then I say it was a feast well deserved.  
 But on to a recipe and one that has been a long time coming - Khao Soi Gai. I made this on my birthday last year alongside my mum's Burmese/Anglo Indian style Pantay Khao Soi and although the votes were very close, I'm pretty sure that my mum's dish won the battle. To be fair, she has been making it for many years now and is only allowed to do so on my birthday - so perfection is a prerequisite. This version is my own take on this Thai style spicy curry noodle soup that just sings with flavour in a balanced harmony of heat, sweet, sour and salt. This dish is very reminiscent of a good curry laksa and I love the flavour combination of curry powder and red curry paste that sets it apart from the well known northern Thai curries. I think I have employed as many cheats into this recipe to make it a quick and easy dinner dish using chicken breast, which cooks fast and also ready made Thai Red Curry paste (of course you could make your own!). The garnish could also be a myriad of other ingredients from pickled cabbage to fresh red onions and more.  I have kept it really simple with ready made fried noodles and shallots and humble spring onions and chillies for colour.
2 large x Chicken breast pieces, marinated for 30 mins in a tbsp of Thai Red Curry paste

2 tsp x Malay curry powder
4 heaped tbsp x Thai Red Curry paste
1 inch piece x Ginger, sliced thinly
1 quill x Cinnamon 

2 sprigs x Curry Leaves, picked
200 ml x Coconut Cream
400 ml x Coconut Milk
2 cups x Water
1-2 tsp x Fish Sauce
2 tbsp x Palm Sugar
2-3 x Red Chilli, sliced finely
Lime juice to taste
Vegetables of your choice. I used:
250g x Eggplant, sliced
100g x Green beans, topped and tailed
2 x Baby Bok Choy, washed and segmented
For the garnish:
2 x Spring Onions, sliced finely
Fried shallots
200g x Crispy fried noodles, available from most Asian groceries
Extra Red Chilli
To serve:
250g x Rice or Egg noodles, cooked


Place a large wok on medium heat and dust in the curry powder
Toast the curry powder for a few seconds until it starts to darken and become fragrant
Stir in the curry paste followed by the ginger, cinnamon and curry leaves
Now add the coconut cream and combine well to form a thick sauce
Pour in the water plus half of the coconut milk and stir to combine, then bring to the boil
In a separate pan heat a little oil and pan fry the chicken breasts turning every 2 minutes until cooked through
Remove the cooked chicken from the pan and rest on a chopping board
Back in the wok add the vegetables that you have chosen in two minute intervals, starting with the hardest to softest (i.e. Eggplant,  Beans then Bok choy)   
When the veg has cooked through add the fish sauce, palm sugar, chillies and some lime juice
Stir gently and taste for a good balance of salt - sweet – hot and sour flavours – add more seasoning to taste, as required
Add the rest of the coconut milk and stir through gently
Slice the rested chicken breasts into ½ cm slices and add to the wok
To serve, place a generous serve of cooked noodles in a deep bowl and ladle in the soup with the veg and chicken
Now garnish with spring onions, fried shallots and a big heap of crispy fried noodles
Add some extra sliced chilli for colour and heat and serve

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