Thai Green Curry

I thought i’d share with you my weeknight treat.

I like to make my own paste but you can easily buy it in a jar from any supermarket.

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Ingredients

For the Paste

3 Cloves of Garlic

2 Shallots

5 inch piece of Ginger

1 Tsp Ground Cumin

½ Teaspoon Coriander Seeds

Half a Bunch of Fresh Coriander

Zest and Juice of One Lime

2/3 Green Chillies (depending on how spicy you want it)

(This makes quite a lot of paste but its great to keep in the fridge for up to 3 days to add some flavour to any dishes, or freeze it for future use)

 

Put all of these ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

 

To Make the Curry

Sunflower Oil

6 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Thighs, Sliced into 3-4 pieces

A Handful of Mushrooms, sliced

1 Tablespoon Demerara Sugar

1 Can of Coconut Milk

4 Kaffir Lime Leaves

Half a Chicken Stock Cube

A Handful of Green Beans

Handful of Fresh Coriander and Thai Basil, roughly chopped

One Lime

 

Rice, 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds, Pinch of Sea Salt

Heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a frying pan with high sides or use a wok.

Add the chicken and fry for a few minutes on each side to get some colour.

Remove the chicken frim the pan and keep on the side. Put another tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the mushrooms, fry for one minute.

Add two heaped tablespoons of the Thai green curry paste and Demerara sugar, stirring for a minute.

Add the coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, half a chicken stock cube and the green beans. Simmer for 5-7minutes until the sauce is reduced and thicker.

Return the chicken to the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Check the chicken pieces are cooked through. Stir through the coriander and Thai basil. Serve with wedges of lime and rice.

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Cooking rice – I like using Jasmine rice. Use whatever type of rice you like and follow the instructions on the packet. I like adding a large pinch of salt and cumin seeds to the boiling water when adding the rice.

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Tsukiji Fish Market – Tokyo

Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is famously the largest fish market in the world. Therefore, I couldn’t resist returning there again. The atmosphere is incredible. A whole community of people that carry out their working day from 1am until 10am every day! The main fish auction begins at around 1.30am. This is where the fishermen auction the fish to the market sellers. The restaurant buyers / chefs arrive at a more sociable time to buy off the market sellers.

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Shrimp

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Oysters 

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Squid

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Two Types of Sea Urchin

Tsukiji Market has been going for 80 years! I met Daisuke Shimazaki at 9am. He is the head chef at Sushi Yuu. Sushi Yuu has been running for 42 years, the same age as Daisuke whose father started it the year he was born. I followed him around the market while he made his purchases. He explained that the market is moving in November because of ‘politicians interests’. It seems very sad for the whole area, especially for all of the restaurants and old coffee shops that surround the market to look after the fisherman and market sellers. We went for a coffee in a shop smaller than a corridor that had been there for 81 years.

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The Covered Fish Market in Full Swing

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Octopus

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Tuna Head

Tuna is where the big cash changes hands. The tuna stall I went to and photographed had bought their pieces at 10,000 Yen per kilo. The large piece of tuna he had, weighed 300 kilos. This means it cost £19,614- And that was just a quarter of the fish!

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Tuna

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Inspecting the Quality of the Tuna with a Torch

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Carrying the Tuna Over to Be Divided Up

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It Takes Three Men 

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Inspecting the Quality of the Tuna

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On The Weighing Scales

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Tuna Skeleton – Nothing Goes To Waste

Stir Fry -7 Minutes!

Stir Fry’s and noodle dishes, in general, can either remind you of a steaming hot Chinese meal with friends or, the very depressing greasy noodle take away box that every hung-over / single American seems to eat out of with chop sticks, in every rom-com with a bottle of beer.

Either way, I see this greasy dish as quite appealing, hung-over or not. It doesn’t have to be so slimy you can’t grasp it in your chopsticks, neither does it have to be bad for you. Stir Fry’s are unbelievably quick. When I cooked this I set a timer and the whole dish was cooked in 7 minutes (I chopped up all of the ingredients before I started). It’s full of flavour and there is no MSG in sight.

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‘Stir Frying’ simply refers to the style of cooking, frying quickly in a wok in hot oil. Hot cooking supposedly seals in the flavour of the ingredients quickly and also gives all of your ingredients a golden colour. This term wasn’t used in England until 1945 when it travelled West to America with Chinese immigrants.

This is a great dish for weeknights as well as a big dish for the weekend if you are having a gang round to watch the football. It’s completely up to you what your chicken, veg, noodle ratio is. Also, this is just a guide. If you want to add prawns or pork or egg just chuck it in – ensuring it’s cooked through!

I like using the packs of noodles that you can buy in any supermarket. You just add them two minutes before the end of stir frying. If you want to buy the type that you boil in water, follow the packet instructions and add the noodles at the end.

Recipe

Serves 2

10 Minutes chopping everything up.

6-10 Minutes stir frying depending on how quick you are!

Sunflower/ Vegetable Oil

300-400g Mini Chicken Breast Fillets, each sliced into four pieces

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped into matchsticks shape pieces

5 cm Piece of Root Ginger, chopped into matchstick shape pieces

2 Cloves of Garlic, finely sliced

2 Pak Choi, Cut off the end and separate the leaves

4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce

1 Red Chilli, finely chopped

4 Spring Onions, using just the white part, finely slice

Quick to Cook Medium Noodles 2 x 150g Packs

Handful of Cashews, roughly chopped

Squeeze of Lime

Hanful of Chopped Coriander

 

Marinate the chicken in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.

While the chicken is marinating prepare all of the other ingredients.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok on a medium to high heat. You can use a high sided frying pan if you don’t have a wok.

Add the chicken and fry for 3 minutes, turning half way. You want the pan to be hot enough that the chicken sizzles when it hits the pan.

Add the ginger and carrot matchsticks. Fry for a minute.

Add the garlic, stir.

Lay the leaves of pak choi on top and leave to cook for a couple of minutes.

Mix together 1 tablespoon of fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.

Pour the sauce in and stir everything together adding the spring onions, red chilli and noodles.

Turn out your stir fry onto your plates and top with chopped cashew nuts.

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