Sometimes you just really want some Thai food! But often, I try not to order take-out if I can make a cheaper alternative at home.
Here are some recipes that I’ve learned to make. I adapted them from this awesome website which has countless suggestions. My adaptations are because I never buy more than a few ingredients for a recipe, instead I try to substitute as many ingredients as possible with what I already have on hand (hopefully without sacrificing flavor).
Here are three that I’ve perfected, that are also easy on the wallet. And, as a bonus, they connect together!
1. Chicken Satay Over Noodles. This is a classic, and my dad use to make it (albeit with bottled sauce). I recently had a huge craving for it and so I searched around and found a way to make an approximation of chicken satay, only this time I added noodles and veggies to make sure it was filling.
I pkg. of chicken breast cut into cubes
2 tbs of creamy peanut butter (crunchy works fine too if you want peanuts).
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1-2tbs of brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like)
1tsp of ginger (I use dry, but I’m sure fresh would be great)
1tbs of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbs of oil (I use canola–coconut would work great here)
1 yellow onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 head of broccoli chopped (really any vegetables you have would work great here, but think about the ones that you normally see in Asian food)
4 pkgs of ramen
2 limes (optional)
In a large bowl mix peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Set aside half of the mixture. Put chicken in the other half and let marinate for about twenty minutes in the fridge. While it’s marinating, chop the veggies and cook your ramen (or rice noodles, but ramen is cheap). Bring a pot of water to boil, drop the noodles in and throw away the sauce packet (too much sodium anyway). Turn the heat off as soon as you throw them in, and then drain them as soon as they are soft. Set aside. Put the cubes of chicken into the pan with the oil turning every so often to make sure it’s cooked through. About halfway through that throw on your veggies. After everything is cooked, toss the noodles in the leftover sauce mixture and serve with the chicken on top. Put wedge of lime on the plate and squeeze the juice over dinner, if desired.
2. Crock pot Thai Beef Stew. I love this recipe because it involves a crock pot, which is my favorite kitchen appliance in the world. You literally just throw everything in and then hours later it is magically cooked. For this recipe, I use the same sauce as the chicken satay as a base. When making the satay, I make extra sauce and save it for this meal.
1 cup satay sauce
2 carrots chopped
2 pounds of beef chuck
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Put all the ingredients in the crock pot on high for about 3-4 hours. You may have to pull a slice of beef out and cut it to see if it’s cooked all the way through. This can be served over noodles, or over brown or white rice. I also recommend a squirt of fresh lime juice or some chopped peanuts, but those are my two favorite things about Thai food. Put this all in a big steaming bowl and enjoy!
3. “Thai” Sloppy Joes. The idea for Thai sloppy joes came about because my boyfriend and I had a cookout and we had a ton of leftover buns!
1 head of cabbage (shredded)
3 sprigs of mint (chopped into slivers)
2 tbs of cilantro (optional)
3 green onions (chopped)
1 tbs of ginger
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 tbs of oil (I use olive oil for this but sesame oil would probably be perfect)
the juice of a lime
1 tbs of honey or 1 tsp of sugar
leftover beef stew
buns (or tortillas if you want to turn it into a sloppy joe taco, or lettuce if you wanted to make these into lettuce wraps).
Make an asian slaw out of the cabbage, mint, cilantro, green onions, ginger, vinegar, oil, lime, honey or sugar. Tossing the cabbage and onions together with the remaining ingredients as if they were a dressing. Reheat the stew in a skillet until it’s heated through and some of the moisture has been cooked off. Should take about five minutes. If it’s especially moist and saucy, simply strain out the sauce. There is always enough on the meat and carrots to make this super flavorful. Take the meat and the slaw and make yourself an amazing sandwich.