Five years ago, when I was rambling around Thailand (you know, on my Gap Yahhh), my Mum paid me a visit for a couple of weeks. Thank GOD, because I had absolutely no money left.
You may meet the idea of a parent joining her kid on their year-out with a little skepticism – and that’s OK. Because you haven’t met my Mum. She’s a riot. So, after she had taken me to get my first tattoo, she treated me to one of the most memorable parts of that trip – a day at the Smart Cook Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai.
We were signed up for the Daily Course and Market Tour, which meant that after selecting all of our fresh ingredients at the local – and vast – market, we then went back to the school and spent the rest of the day preparing, cooking and eating 7 traditional Thai dishes. The best bit? Thai food is ridiculously free-from friendly.
And it is testament to the brilliant teachers and recipes that a) I can remember it so well (the rest of that year is quite the blur) and b) that we still make these dishes, five years on. My firm favourite is the Thai Green Curry – quick, easy and it always tastes like a pro made it.
- 50 g boneless chicken breasts (or tofu), thick sliced
- 30 g aubergine, cut into wedges
- 30 g baby corn (or carrot), cut into slices
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
- 6 sweet basil leaves
- 1 tbsp green curry paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (most shop-bought curry pastes already have fish sauce in them, so don’t worry too much if you can’t get hold of it)
- Put the oil in a pan, and on a low heat add the green curry paste. Bring it to a simmer, add some coconut milk to stop burning and stir until fragrant.
- Add the chicken and stir vigorously until it is cooked.
- Add the remaining coconut milk, aubergine, baby corn and kaffir lime leaves, stirring occasionally.
- Season with sugar and fish sauce to taste
- Sprinkle sweet basil leaves and turn off the heat.
- Garnish with red chillies.
NB: If you really want to cheat, Loyd Grossman’s Thai Green Curry Sauce is a really good alternative. But don’t be lazy.