After 3 days of sightseeing, it was time to say goodbye to Cambodia and set off for a relaxing week in Thailand. We left with some awesome photos, all the rehydration sachets intact and an exclusive invitation to spend Cambodian New Year at the breakfast waiter’s house next April. Though that invite didn’t extend to Mr. B!
We stayed on Koh Yao Noi – an island in the Phang Nga region. Despite over 90% of Thais being Buddhist, the island’s main religion is Islam. Apparently the original inhabitants were Andaman sea gypsies from the Bay of Bengal and as a result, many of the menus contained Indian style dishes alongside Southern Thai specialities.
We soon realised that Southern Thai food is very spicy! They don’t hold back with the chilli when it comes to local stir frys, salads, curries and soups. One of the more Indian style dishes is a Massaman curry – spicy curry paste combined with cooling coconut milk, beef, nuts and vegetables. This now typically Southern Thai dish is very much Muslim in its origin, using spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg which are not found in most other Thai curries. We also had to find space to sample authentic Thai green curry, Thai fishcakes and Tom Kha Kai! It was pretty exhausting actually :-).
On the last night of our trip, we got to dine on a six-course Asian tasting menu cooked in front of us by one of chefs. The food looked so well presented, it was a shame to gobble it… but we of course did!
Thai Green Curry
Whilst in Thailand, I got to cook a Thai Green Curry with the hotel chef. This is much simpler and creamier than the recipe I had been using back home and uses coconut cream as well as coconut milk.
For the curry:
– 6 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1 heaped tsp coriander powder
– 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
– 120g green curry paste
– 750g chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips
– 480ml coconut cream
– 400ml coconut milk
– 250g aubergines, cut into small strips
– 6-8 kaffir lime leaves (dried are ok)
– 6 tsp palm sugar
– 1 tbsp thai fish sauce
– 1 heaped tsp thai or sweet basil (dried is ok)
– 160ml coconut cream
– 2 red chillies, sliced
– Few sprigs of coriander
1. Warm the oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Add the cumin, coriander and green curry paste. Cook off until fragrant.
2. Add the chicken and stir until it’s cooked on the outside. Season with a little salt and pepper.
3. Now add all of the other curry ingredients and allow the curry to simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the chicken is cooked through.
4. Serve with steamed rice and garnish with a swirl of coconut cream, a couple of slices of red chilli and a sprig of coriander. You can serve any leftover coconut cream in a jug on the side for any oddballs who don’t like spicy food :-).