Thai night

Keith requested Thai food for dinner (possibly inspired by the fact that I start another Thai cooking class tomorrow night!).  I was looking at the recipes – I don’t have the noodles on hand for Drunken noodles and that requires a trip to the Asian market, we had the one grilled chicken recently and it’s past soft shell season.  I decided to go with the chicken satay and spicy peanut sauce with cucumber salad.  It is another one of our favorites and we hadn’t had it in a while.  You may need a trip to the Asian market for the curry paste and coconut milk but the other ingredients are readily accessible.  If you’ve been afraid to try the Thai dishes, this is a good one to start with.  And if you’re thinking of the dried out chicken satay that you sometimes get at parties – this is nothing like it.  The coconut cream makes it really tender.

Thai Chicken Satay

  • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into thin 3” strips and 1” wide (approximately 1/2” thick)
  • 1 tbsp. of each whole spice seeds, cumin, coriander, and black peppercorn, lightly toasted in a pan with no oil
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce (either Mushroom base soy sauce or standard Thai Golden Mountain soy sauce)
  • 2-3 tbsp. coconut cream (from the top of the can of coconut milk – save the rest for the peanut sauce – don’t shake the can)
  • (9-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes to prevent burning
  • canola oil or Pam

In a pan with no oil and low heat, toast cumin, coriander, and peppercorn seeds for 3 minutes until you can smell the aroma of the spices. Put the toasted seeds in the mortar and smoothly pound them into a paste. Add garlic to mixture and mash. Add turmeric, soy sauce and coconut cream. Pour your marinade over the chicken and coat it well. Let it stand for 20-30 minutes. (You can plastic-wrap the bowl of marinated chicken and put it in the fridge for 3-4 hours for best results.)

Soak bamboo skewers in hot water for 30 minutes. Thread a piece of chicken onto each skewer and brush with canola oil or spray with Pam.  Grill until done (about 2 – 3 minutes per side depending on its thickness. NOTE: Alternatively, you can broil.

Spicy Peanut Sauce (Make about 1 cup):

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil (Canola preferable)
  • 1 – 2 TB minced garlic or shallots
  • 2-4 tbsp. of red curry or Massaman curry paste (more or less depending on level of spiciness) Mae Sri brand
  • 1 cup of coconut cream (the rest of cream and milk mixture that’s left in the can)
  • 2 tbsp. concentrated tamarind water or freshly squeezed lime juice (or both)
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce or salt to taste
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, ground

In a sauce pan, heat oil and add garlic. Saute. Before it turns yellow, add red curry paste and cook until the paste is bubbly. Stir in coconut a little bit at a time. When the sauce starts boiling, stir in tamarind and lime juice, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Taste and adjust the sauce. Stir in peanuts and remove from heat. NOTE: If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water.

Cucumber Salad (Makes 2 cups)

  • 2 cups English cucumber or pickle cucumber if available, peeled and cut into bite sizes
  • Optional – finely chopped carrots, red or yellow peppers
  • 2-3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped

In a mixing bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, salt and stir until sugar and salt completely dissolve. Pour dressing over the chopped cucumber (and carrots or peppers if using). Add shallots and toss until well-blended. Cover and chill. Serve cool or room temperature.

Another Thai favorite!

Another Thai favorite!


About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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