Homemade panang gai recipe (Thai red curry chicken)

A weekday favourite of mine is this version of a spicy delicious Thai panang curry. When we’ve been to Thailand, this is usually my number one choice for dinner, and after several attempts, I’ve finally succeded in making a somewhat authentic-tasting version.

What you need (approximately for four persons)

500 grams of chicken thighs

About 1 dl of peanuts (unsalted if possible)

Half jar of Thai red curry paste

One can of coconut milk

1 red chilli pepper

2 cloves of garlic

2-3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

1 Lime

5 kaffir lime leaves

1 teaspoon white sugar (can be excluded)

To serve

Fresh coriander

Steamed jasmine rice

How to cook

1. Trim the chicken thighs of excess fat, sinews or bones, if any. Finely chop red chilli and garlic. Mix peanuts and red curry paste until smooth.

2. Take the hard part from the coconut milk can, that is the coconut fat, and add to a frying pan. Save the remaining coconut water for later. If the coconut milk is mixed already, then skip this and next step.

3. Fry the coconut fat in a pan on high heat until it splits and releases coconut oil. (If you had no coconut fat, start at this step with heating cooking oil. Fry the curry paste- peanut mix in the oil). After 30 seconds or so, add the chicken, chopped garlic and chilli, and fry for about another minute or two.

4. Lower the heat and add the coconut water remaining in the coconut milk can. If the coconut milk was already mixed, then add all of it to the pan. Add lime juice, sugar, fish sauce and lime leaves (don’t forget to count them before adding them).

5. Let the curry reduce for 5-10 minutes. Taste and add some extra fish sauce, lime juice or sugar if needed. Finally, remove the lime leaves (I hope you did not lose count of them šŸ˜‰).

6. Serve! Top the curry with fresh coriander, and serve with steamed rice on the side.

Recipe for perfect spaghetti cacio e pepe

One of my favourite pasta dishes (okay I admit that most pasta related dishes are my favourites) is the simple yet delicious Roman dish’cacio e pepe’. Cacio e pepe means cheese and pepper, and that is pretty much the dish, with the addition of spaghetti and a splash of cooking liquid.

Despite being a quite simple dish in terms of ingredients and time comnsumption, it’s kind of hard to get that perfect silky coating of cheese ‘sauce’ around the spaghetti. My previous versions have been a bit “lumpy”. But recently I fortunately learned a great trick: mix the grated cheese with cold water before mixing with the pasta.

Ingredients

Spaghetti (I use Martelli or De Cecco)

Pecorino cheese (in emergency use parmesan, but won’t be the same)

Black pepper

Cooking water

Salt

Preparation

1. Set pasta water to boil. Add lots of salt.

2. Mix about 2/3 of the pecorino cheese with a little bit of cold water to form a thick “paste”.

3. Cook spaghetti quite al dente (will cook some more in the sauce).

4. Drain spaghetti, but save a deciliter/half a cup or so of cooking water.

5. Combine the drained cooked spaghetti, a splash (maybe half) of the cooking water, cheese mix and a proper amount of black pepper in the cooking pot. Add heat and stirr (I use a kitchen tong) until most liquid has evaporated and the spaghetti is coated by a velvety, ‘glossy’ sauce. If needed, use the back up cooking water.

6. Serve immediately topped with remaining cheese and extra black pepper.

Recipe for homemade truffled spaghetti carbonara

The other day I went to have dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in Stockholm; Urban Deli. There, I found that they sold fresh Gotlandic autumn truffles. The lady working the deli part of Urban Deli kindly allowed me to have a sniff before I decided to go ahead and buy the tiny but great smelling truffle.

When that was done, the mission was to figure out what to cook with it. I was craving carbonara, and since truffle is good with eggs, and sort of mild flavours, I’d thought I give a truffle spaghetti carbonara a try. Below recipe is my go to for a ‘normal’ carbonara. So it’s very much usable without any truffle. šŸ™‚

What you need for the carbonara (2-3 portions)

300 grams Spaghetti (I used Martelli)

4 good quality eggs (I only use the yolks)

About 100 grams of guanciale, pancetta or bacon (preferably in quite thick slices)

Cooking water

1 deciliter of grated pecorino cheese, or parmesan cheese

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 black truffle (optional)

How to cook

1. To start with, add quite a lot of salt to water in a cooking pan and set to boil.

2. Combine the four egg yolks with about 3/4 of the grated pecorino/parmesan cheese. Add a bit of salt and some black pepper (but not too much so the truffle is overpowered). If you’re not using truffle, go wild with the pepper though.

3. Slice guanciale/pancetta/bacon in to quite thick cubes.

4. Cook the spaghetti al dente, before draining the pasta reserve a deciliter/half cup of the cooking water in a cup or similar.

5. Put the cubed pork in a cold pan before putting on heat. This will make the fat render, which you’ll need to make the creaminess. Fry until crisp and set aside.

6. Gently combine spaghetti, egg-cheese mix, cooking water and fried pork, including the fat from the frying, over low heat, continously folding/stirring so the eggs won’t set. When the spaghetti is coated with creamy sauce and most liquid’s gone, immediately remove from heat and serve.

Top with grated or shaved truffle if using, and an extra sprinkle of the remaining cheese. Enjoy!

Spicy coconut pulled chicken


The other day I was craving beef rendang, an Indonesian dish I sampled while at Bintan Island a couple of years ago. We thought that we should try to combine the yumminess of pulled chicken with the flavours of rendang and ended up with the above. Not so rendangy as I’d hoped, so let’s call is spicy coconut pulled chicken instead.

What you need (serves 3-4)
500 grams of chicken thighs
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
1 stalk of lemongrass
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
ground cloves
ground cinnamon
ground cardamom
1 chilli
1 can of coconut milk
Water
Jasmin rice
Cooking oil

How to cook it

1. Start by frying the chicken thighs until browned, set aside. Slice shallots and garlic. Pound and cut the lemongrass in a couple of chunks, keep count on the number though as you’ll discard them in the end.

2. Fry garlic and shallots inĀ the same pot as the chicken. When softened, add all of the spices and let fry on medium heat for a minute or so. Add the chicken and water so it covers the ingredients and let simmer in a stewing pot for about an hour.

3. Check the chicken, if its soft enough to be pulled, remove it from the pot, but don’t throw out the juices as the chicken’s soon going back in.

4. Pull the chicken by using two forks. It should have a stringy texture.

5. When chicken is pulled, remove any bits of cartilage, sinews or similar you don’t want to chew on, and put back in the cooking liquid in the pot.

6. Add coconut milk to the pulled chicken and reduce until almost dry. You’re done.

7. Serve, preferably with steamed jasmin rice.

Larb gai recipe


Last year I visited Thailand, and for the first time I tried the dish larb, something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. Larb is a salad commonĀ in Northern Thailand as well as in Laos. It contains groundĀ toasted rice and herbsĀ and can be made with several proteins. Some use raw beef, some use pork mince, I had it with guinea fowl in a spectacular version at Nahm in Bangkok,Ā and you could also, like me, use chicken for this fresh tasting flavour explosion of a dish. A saladĀ in my taste.

What you need
Minced chicken/chicken chopped finely
Fresh mint leaves
Fresh coriander/cilantro
1 Green chilli (or use chilli flakes – or like I did, both)
3 stalksĀ of spring onion (the green stuff)
2 shallots
3 deciliter of jasmine rice (get Thai long grain if possible)

For Thai saladĀ dressing
2 limes
2-3 tablespoons of Thai fish sauce
1-2 teaspoons of caster sugar

How to cook it
1. Start with the salad dressing. Roll the whole limes for a bit against the table, this will make it easier to squeeze out the juice. Then cut limes in half and press the juice into a bowl. Add fish sauce and caster sugar. Stirr with a spoon until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Time to toast the rice. Toast a deciliter of rice in a dry pan until it’s is quite brown but not burnt. When it smells toasty it’s probably about done. Ground the rice in a blender or by using a mortal and pestle.

3. Continue with the chicken. Fry the mince or the chopped chicken until done. Set aside.

4. Roughly chop mint leaves, coriander and spring onion stalks. Finely slice the green chilli if you’re using one. Then mix everything together and pour over the dressing. Let rest for a while and then served together with steamed rice and possibly a cold beer.