While ethnic foods can be so enjoyable to eat, making them at home can seem daunting. My husband and I love ethnic food, Thai being one. We have found that while some recipes can be quite complicated, simpler recipes still provide us with a taste of what we love without loss of time and energy or overspending by going out to eat.
Thai food can consist of a variety of meats, vegetables, spices, and herbs, so there is opportunity to let you make a recipe your own – when I think of Thai food I think of chicken, curry, peanuts/peanut butter and coconut milk. Chicken is a staple meat I use often so it is my go-to for Thai recipes; I also bend toward peanut sauce and curry so the following recipes includes these staples.
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
My mom gave me this peanut sauce recipe she found from Rachel Ray – I also found it online for reference at Food Network. I like this sauce on cooked chicken best, and then you can add any side of vegetables or rice you prefer. The previous link provides Rachel Ray’s recipe for a chicken wrap that incorporates the peanut sauce and looks delicious. The sauce added to an American dish gives you a flavor of Thai cooking without over-complication!
Mix following ingredients together and warm over low heat; pour over chicken.
1/4 cup room temperature chunky peanut butter, soften in microwave if it has been refrigerated
2 tablespoons tamari (which is similar to soy sauce)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Curry Thai Chicken
Thai recipes also offer basic curry recipes that can be tweaked with more experience. A basic recipe given to me by family who live overseas near Thailand sent me a recipe similar to this one I found online for your easy reference:
1 10 oz can Coconut milk
½ Cup Chicken stock/or Water
2 tsp. Brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Red curry paste
1 Tablespoon Fish sauce
About 1 pound (or less) Meat of your choice – Chicken, Pork, Shrimp
Vegetables of your choice, chopped (broccoli, shaved carrots, bell pepper -green, orange, red)
1. Place a skillet on medium high heat, and add coconut milk, chicken stock, brown sugar, and red curry paste. Stir and bring it to a boil.
2. Then, insert fish sauce and chicken to skillet. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Turn the heat to medium and throw vegetables in skillet. Mix well and simmer for 5 minutes or until done.
4. Serve chicken/pork,etc. curry hot over jasmine rice.
Sweetened Coconut Milk with Fruit
Thai recipes also provide satisfaction for those with a sweet tooth, like me! My husband introduced me to a fun dessert dish that you can tailor to your liking. All you need is coconut milk and fruit of your choice!
Step 1. Over low to medium heat, dilute coconut milk to a desired consistency – sweeten it by adding white sugar until fully dissolved. The taste is based on personal preference.
Step 2: Pour the liquid over your favorite fruit(s) (bananas, mangos, any kind of berries) and serve warm, cold or room temperature.
Be proud of yourself for indulging in a cultural experience that may be unfamiliar to you! Good luck and happy cooking!