Stir fries

Chicken with ginger + onions

Well, I’d had this in my head for a while and had intended to make it with white fish - a couple of pieces of cod perhaps, fried in the pan, then removed while the sauce is made.

And I do still want to make this ….

But when there’s no white fish in the shop, what to do? Make it with chicken instead!

So I’ve made this twice now to test it out - once last night when I fried the chicken first in thin sort of escalopes - and then once today for lunch when I thought I’d try just cooking diced chicken in the pan and then adding the sauce ingredients to it (that’s why the uncooked chicken is in my ‘ingredients’ photo, but ignore that).

Both were good, but there’s something that just works that little bit better in cooking the chicken separately then slicing and adding to the sauce.

You could fry it, poach it, roast it, griddle it … anything really, but I think griddled looks prettiest.

Just have the chicken cooked and hot and ready to go … oh, and the rice too of course.

To make the sauce - enough for one or two people, you’ll need:

cooked hot chicken, ready to add

cooked hot rice, ready to add

cooking oil - I used light olive oil as this dish wasn’t cooked at a high temperature

2-3 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, peeled, squashed and minced

Rachel Redlaw chicken with ginger and onions

1 small red chilli, finely sliced (this is optional, I’m just a chilli fiend - but I think the dish would have more purity with fish instead of chicken and without the chilli - so when I do get some cod fillets I’ll be trying it like that)

2 teaspoons demerera sugar

the juice of half a juicy lime

1 tablespoon fish sauce

half a white onion, thinly sliced

a big handful of spinach leaves

fresh coriander leaves to serve, if liked

Get everything ready … the ginger, garlic and chilli (if using) in one dish, and combine the sugar, lime juice and fish sauce in another.

Put a good slosh of oil into a non-stick pan, probably about a tablespoon, into a non-stick frying pan and cook the aromatics over a gentle heat, stirring, for a couple of minutes - don’t let it stick, so do add a little splash of water if it needs it.

In another pan add more oil and put the onions on to fry - keep an eye on these, stirring regularly , and cook until golden - probably 5-6 minutes over a medium heat.

Add the lime juice mixture to the first pan and bring to a low simmer, and simmer for another couple of minutes - again add a little water if you prefer it to be a thinner sauce, or if it’s looking too thick or sticking at all. You want to keep it loose as it’s the sauce.

IMG_0038.JPG
Rachel Redlaw chicken with ginger and onions

Slice the hot cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the pan, then add the spinach leaves and cook for a minute to wilt.

Remove from heat and stir so it’s all completely combined and the spinach wilted.

Rachel Redlaw chicken with ginger and onions
Rachel Redlaw chicken with ginger and onions

Serve the chicken mixture with cooked rice and top with the fried onions and some chopped fresh coriander leaves, if liked.



You might also like …



Thai vegetable stir-fry with ginger, chilli and lime


I did consider joining in Veganuary, but realised that it didn't feel right to me to do so.

Generally I feel best when I eat fish, seafood, meat with salad and vegetables.

And I'm fine with that - we're all different and I think it's good knowing what feels best to you.

The only exception for me is if someone was to say they feel best only eating packaged, processed food ... that would test my belief a bit!

I also didn't want to sign up to something that I would then feel I HAD to stick to even if I wasn't feeling good about it ... yep, an over-strong sense of responsibility sometimes here (like Tamagotchis - remember them? I couldn't have one as I'd have felt so much responsibility!).

But I was definitely curious and have decided to just kind of participate in my own way, which is to experiment more with vegan and vegetarian food and recipes.

Today I had a lot of vegetables that needed eating, including a few Brussels sprouts, half an onion and a few carrots - these were the ones that really needed eating ASAP!

So I thought I'd try a vegan vegetable stir-fry for brunch and it was really good ... I also feel good and light after eating it, even though it was a lot of vegetables :)

To make this, you’ll need:

rice (cook it first and it can keep warm while you cook the stir fry)

any vegetables of your choosing

plus onion, garlic, chilli, grated ginger (I much prefer grated ginger to sliced as I find it a bit over-powering).

For the sauce you'll also need:

1/3 vegetarian (vegan) stock cube

light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 lime

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.

Rachel Redlaw Thai vegetable stir fry with ginger, chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw Thai vegetable stir fry with ginger, chilli and lime

Heat a non-stick frying pan, add a little oil (I use a few sprays of my spray oil plus a little splash of water) and then add the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger and stir-fry over a medium heat for about a minute - add a little more water if it looks like it's going to stick or burn.

Rachel Redlaw Thai vegetable stir fry with ginger, chilli and lime

Crumble in the stock cube with some more water - I like to make it with quite a bit of sauce but how much is up to you.

When it's simmering, add the vegetables (I added all except the courgette as I'd julienned it and it will cook pretty much instantly) and stir fry again for about four minutes - half way through this add the soy sauce and the sugar.

Then add the julienned courgette (if using), squeeze in the lime juice and add the sesame oil. Stir to combine thoroughly and remove from heat.

And that's it! I added some chopped fresh coriander but this is optional - I know a lot of people don't care for coriander and that's fine too - it's your food and it should be exactly as you like it!



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE …

Stir fry seafood with chillies // pad talay

Often I have an idea in my head of what I want to make, create, cook.

Sometimes it works first time, sometimes it doesn't.

Today it did with this easy and delicious stir-fried seafood with chillies.

Make the rice first to have with it and then leave to steam with a lid on the pan or sieve hooked over a pan. 

This is for one but to make for two you'll just need more seafood really and adjust the seasonings to taste, don't just double without checking what it tastes like.

So for my exactly-as-I'd-wanted-it brunch stir-fry, I had:

2 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped

approx 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 green chilli, finely chopped

approx 1/3 a small-ish white onion, thinly sliced

a few long / fine green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths

about 1/3 green pepper, diced

about 1/4 Knorr chicken stock cube

mixed seafood (defrosted if frozen) - I had a few prawns, scallops (cut in half if very large) and squid rings .... de-vein the prawns and cut along the outside back (leaving top and bottom intact) so they butterfly somewhat on cooking

Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

a good slosh of oyster sauce

a pinch of sugar, perhaps 1/4 teaspoon

2 spring onions, thinly sliced 

1 red chilli, diced

Getting it all together, the prep, is the only time-consuming thing, and then it's so easy to bring together.

Put a non-stick frying pan over a low heat, add 20 sprays cooking oil (or a tablespoon if you don't use spray oil) and add the garlic, ginger and green chilli.

Stir for about 30 seconds until it smells good then add the onion, green beans and green pepper.

Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay
Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay

Stir and add a slosh of water and the piece of stock cube, and stir, cooking for about a minute.

Add the prawns first, toss and stir ... then the scallops - toss and stir ... and then the squid and stir again.

Add the soy and oyster sauces plus the sugar and cook for 2 minutes or so until the seafood is cooked.

Throw in the spring onion and red chilli and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay
Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay

Serve with the rice ... and that's it!

Super-simple, really tasty and a great storecupboard staple if you keep frozen seafood in the freezer.

IMG_8059.JPG
Stir fry seafood with chillies / pad talay


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Pork belly + noodles

Sticky, crispy pork belly, with soft noodles and lovely warm flavours - this is my favourite comfort food of the moment.

Really simple to make, and really good.

Quantities are kind of flexible so it's up to you if you want more of the pork belly or more of the noodles, or to make the sauce more of a soupier texture. Or just more of all of it of course!

I'd say maybe 2 pork belly slices per person and we want these good and dark and sticky and crispy, so add a couple of tablespoons of light soy sauce and another couple of runny honey. 

Mix it all together and then cook on a baking tray a medium oven (or in a remoska, like me), turning a few times, for 45-60 minutes. You can finish under the grill if you really want it crisped up more.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

While the pork is cooking, prepare some dried rice noodles according to the pack instructions so they're ready to stir fry.  

I like these vermicelli rice noodles for this dish and mine took longer to soak than the packet said - I like them very soft in this dish anyway, so soaked mine in a pan of boiling water (taken off the heat the minute it comes to the boil and the noodles thrown in) for about ten minutes, then drain and rinse in cold water to stop them cooking further.

They can then just wait until the pork's done.

Also prepare the other ingredients:

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 - 1 red chilli depending on your taste and how you feel 

2 or 3 tablespoons - maybe a little more - water

1/3 Knorr chicken stock cube

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 finely sliced spring onions

fresh coriander leaves, chopped

When the pork is cooked, remove it from the baking dish and slice into bite-sized chunks - I also remove some of the fat if it's very fatty but that's just personal choice, so do whatever's going to taste best for you.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

Then put a non-stick frying pan on the heat, add the tiniest amount of oil - I use a few sprays of a spray oil - and add the onion, garlic and chilli, stir frying for a couple of minutes.  Add a splash of water if it looks like it might be sticking - garlic burns really easily so keep it moving and add that splash of water if you need to.

Then add a good slosh of water, crumble in the piece of stock cube, add fish sauce and bring it all to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes or so until the onions are soft.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

It's entirely up to you if you want to add more or less water, to make more of a sauce or more of a dry dish.

When the onions are softening, add the noodles, and stir fry for another few minutes - again add water if you need or want to - until the noodles are hot through.

Then add the pork pieces and stir - cook for another minute or so, then add the spring onions and coriander, stir through, remove from heat and serve.

Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles
Rachel Redlaw pork belly and noodles

Finish with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and - that's it!

finished.JPG

Yes it takes a little time for the pork belly to cook, but then the rest of it is just combining a few ingredients really.

Eat and enjoy .... 



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Gai pad pong karee / chicken curry stir fry

 

It's a curry, kind of, a stir-fry, kind of ... and just a good, easy comfort-food dish really.

It uses curry powder rather than paste plus some nam prik pao - chilli paste in oil - for the heat, and it's all finished into a scrambled egg mixture.

OK, I can't say it's the prettiest dish ever, but when you need something warming, comforting and easy ... this would be a good choice, whether for brunch or a simple supper.

Serve with lovely hot fluffy rice and do cook the rice first - so it's ready to go.

For two, you'll need:
 

one egg

1 teaspoon mild curry powder

2 teaspoons chilli paste in oil (buy in Asian supermarkets or it's easy to make your own)

a good splash of fish sauce

a good big blob of oyster sauce

a good splash of almond milk (or use cow's milk if you prefer) - maybe 50-100 ml

cooking oil spray plus 1 teaspoon of the oil from the top of the chilli paste in oil

1/2 an onion, sliced

a few slices of red chilli, if liked

1 garlic clove, minced

1 chicken breast, cut into very small pieces

some vegetables, whatever you have and like really - I made it once with red and yellow peppers and spinach and then again with orange pepper, asparagus and broccoli - all cut up small


Mix the egg, curry powder, chilli paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce and milk in a bowl and set aside.

Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry

Add some sprays of cooking oil and the oil from the top of the chilli paste to a non-stick frying pan and then add the onion, chilli (if using) and garlic and cook, stirring often, over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add a little splash of water if needed.

Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry
Rachel Redlaw Gai Pad Pong Karee chicken curry stir fry

Then add the chicken and cook for another three minutes or so, again add a little splash of water if it's too dry.

Next add the vegetables and cook again, stirring all the time, for another two minutes or so.

Then tip in the egg mixture and stir to cook and scramble - it'll take another couple of minutes or so until scrambled.

I forgot to take a photo of when the eggy mixture first went in! I'll add one next time I make this.

Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry
Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry

And that's it!

Rachel Redlaw gai pad pong karee - chicken stir fry curry

Something a little different and really easy - I hope you try it.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Eating for energy // steak + broccoli

Eaten alone, these are both still great choices for energy, each being a great source of iron and of B vitamins.

But eaten together they are even more powerful - broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin C and the body absorbs iron better when it's taken with vitamin C. 

So by adding broccoli to our steak we get maximum energy benefits.

Rachel Redlaw The Food Healer steak and broccoli

And of course, it's also just a great-tasting meal.

First I toasted some flaked almonds in a dry non-stick pan and set aside to add at the end - just for a lovely crunch on top of the broccoli and for extra healthy fats. Don't use peanuts - peanuts are legumes rather than nuts and don't have the same health benefits as nuts!

I trimmed the ends of the broccoli and then put it into a pan of boiling water which I then immediately removed from the heat and let the broccoli sit for ten minutes.

I drizzled my piece of rump steak with a little soy sauce then cooked it on a very hot griddle pan for three minutes on each side (leaving it alone during that cooking time) and then rested it while I stir-fried the broccoli n a few sprays of cooking oil in  a non-stick pan with a little red chilli and a dash of soy sauce.

Note: I like my steak medium-rare to rare so do just cook your steak the way YOU like it!

I love the simplicity of this dinner and also just that magic of how things work together - this is a perfect pairing for energy.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Ruam mit gratiem - pork + seafood stir fry with garlic

II'm not sure about these Thai words - except gratiem meaning garlic.  But having looked them up, I think it means 'all together' something to do with 'friends' .. and garlic.

I like to think - as pork and seafood are such great friends - that it's along the lines of the pork and seafood being friends and inviting the garlic to join them!

This recipe was sent to me by a friend fluent in both spoken and written Thai who has translated it from a Thai cookbook for me.

I tried it for the first time a couple of years ago - and somehow have forgotten to make it again.

But that's now been remedied as I've made it twice this weekend. 

It's delicious.  And easy.  And quick.

And all the things I wanted it to be.

As always, cook your rice first as the dish itself comes together very quickly.

For a lovely, quick and simple dinner for two you'll need:

cooking oil

about 100-200g pork - tenderloin would be best as the Thai instructions were to cut into 'spoon-sized' pieces, but I only had a loin piece and so chopped into 'bite-sized' bits (and I've since made with a pork belly slice, chopped small)

5 or 6 prawns, defrosted if frozen, and de-veined (I had huge jumbo prawns so two each was perfect)

two big cloves of garlic, finely chopped  (a dessert spoon of minced garlic)

2 squid,, defrosted if frozen and cut into tubes and scored, or sliced into rings

2 teaspoons oyster sauce

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons ground chilli powder (I used flakes)

a splash of water

2 spring onions, finely chopped (optional)

white pepper, sliced cucumber and coriander leaves to garnish

Put some oil in a wok or frying pan and heat until hot and then add the pork and garlic and fry over a medium heat (not so hot the garlic burns), stirring all the time for two-three minutes.

Add the prawns and squid and turn the heat up a bit at the start until it's really hot, then reduce again to medium and cook for a further two-three minutes until the pork is cooked (cut into a piece to check).

Tip the meat and seafood onto a plate or into a bowl and then tip away any juices from the pan.

Rachel Redlaw Ruam Mit Gratiem - pork and seafood stir fry with garlic
Rachel Redlaw Ruam Mit Gratiem - pork and seafood stir fry with garlic
Rachel Redlaw Ruam Mit Gratiem - pork and seafood stir fry with garlic

Then return the pan to the heat adding a little more oil if necessary to cover the bottom.

When the pan and oil are hot add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and chilli flakes plus a splash of water, and the spring onions - and stir fry for about a minute until mixed and sticky.

Return the pork, squid and prawns to the pan and cook for a minute more.

Serve with rice with a shake of white pepper plus sliced cucumber and coriander leaves to garnish.

Rachel Redlaw Ruam Mit Gratiem - pork and seafood stir fry with garlic
Rachel Redlaw Ruam Mit Gratiem - pork and seafood stir fry with garlic
Rachel Redlaw Ruam Mit Gratiem - pork and seafood stir fry with garlic

I hope you try this - I think it's so much nicer than I can describe, and so simple too!



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Chicken stir fry with yellow bean sauce

I love this recipe - actually I love all recipes that are super-simple to make but feel somehow really special.

This is definitely good enough to have when entertaining friends - and also easy and quick enough for an everyday midweek supper.

I usually try to avoid using specialist ingredients in the recipes I share, but I don't have a substitute for yellow bean paste I'm afraid. It'll be available in Asian supermarkets or I'm sure will be online too.

Do try to get hold of some - it's got a lovely savouriness that just makes the dish delightful.


OK, so for dinner for two, you'll need:

2 teaspoons dry sherry (optional but good)

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

a small chunk of fresh ginger, grated (about 1-2 teaspoons)

1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (to your taste!)

1-2 skinless chicken breasts, depending on their size and your greed/hunger, cut into small pieces so it cooks quickly - or firm tofu. I tried tofu recently when my vegetarian niece came to stay and it was really good.

Cooking oil spray

2 peppers, sliced into strips - either red or yellow (not green which is too bitter) or a combination would be prettiest - I only had red when I made it this time.

2 tablespoons yellow bean sauce (decant the rest of the tin into an airtight tub and keep in the fridge for a day or two)

2 teaspoons light soy sauce

 1/3 of a Knorr chicken stock cube 

2 teaspoons cornflour mixed into 2 tablespoons cold water, stirred until smooth

about a tablespoon of flaked almonds or sesame seeds - toasted quickly in a hot dry pan - to serve


Put all the marinade ingredients - italicised in the list about - into a bowl with the chicken. Mix and leave to marinate for 15-30 minutes.

Then put a frying pan on to a medium heat, spraying with the spray oil (I use about 20 sprays) and add the chicken - cook for 3-4 minutes stirring all the time so it doesn't stick, and add a little splash of water if needed.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, and add the peppers to the pan and stir fry for a couple of minutes over a medium-high heat, again stirring all the time so they don't stick and add the tiniest splash of water if needed.

Rachel Redraw chicken story fry with yellow bean sauce
Rachel Redraw chicken story fry with yellow bean sauce
Rachel Redraw chicken story fry with yellow bean sauce

Add the chicken back to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and add the yellow bean sauce (I've used two varieties now and both good, but it's great having found the big bottle of paste as I can keep it in the fridge for longer) - cook for a minute or so, stirring every now and then.

Rachel Redraw chicken story fry with yellow bean sauce
Rachel Redraw yellow bean sauce

Next add the soy sauce, crumble in the piece of stock cube, and add the cornflour and water mixture - stir in, simmer for another minute or so until the sauce has thickened a little.

Serve with rice and sprinkle with the toasted almonds or sesame seeds.

cHICKEN STIR FRY WITH YELLOW BEAN SAUCE AND TOASTED SESAME SEEDS

cHICKEN STIR FRY WITH YELLOW BEAN SAUCE AND TOASTED SESAME SEEDS

TOFU STIR FRY WITH YELLOW BEAN PASTE AND TOASTED ALMONDS + SESAME SEEDS

TOFU STIR FRY WITH YELLOW BEAN PASTE AND TOASTED ALMONDS + SESAME SEEDS

I really love this and hope you do too! 


Prefer to watch how to make it? Here's the video ...



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Lamb (leftovers) stir fry

I love a good roast dinner.  Lamb is probably my favourite - and my step-mum makes possibly the best roast lamb ever ... it's testimony only to the size of the lamb that there were leftovers at all!

We had the roast lamb last Sunday with mint sauce - of course - and roast potatoes and vegetables and an incredibly good gravy.

And on the Monday evening I made a simple stir fry with the leftovers (even simpler for me as my dad had done the work slicing all the meat into small-ish strips). 

I really like using fresh mint leaves in this - it's a sort of nod to the mint sauce of the day before.

We had enough lamb to serve four as a stir fry with rice.

Here's what you need:

1 garlic clove, minced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, outer tough parts removed and finely chopped

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced

Some chopped vegetables-  we had peppers and mushrooms

2-3 spring onions, sliced

cooked lamb, cut into strips or diced

fish sauce

light soy sauce

zest and juice of a lime

a handful of coriander leaves, chopped

a handful of mint leaves, chopped

rice, to serve

Heat a pan, add a little oil and when hot, tip in the garlic, chilli, lemongrass and ginger and stir over quite a high heat, moving the ingredients around in the pan constantly to prevent burning.

After about 30 seconds, when it starts to smell good, add the chopped vegetables and a little splash of water, enough to loosen it and make it easy to turn in the pan.

After a minute or so, add the cooked lamb, a couple of sloshes of soy sauce, one of fish sauce and the lime zest and juice, and continue cooking until the lamb is hot right through. 

Do taste and taste and taste as you add the sauces and lime - add half in first, stir and taste, before adding the remainder of each so you can check you're happy with how it tastes. If you think it's a bit too sour, just add a pinch of sugar.

When it's all ready, throw in the fresh herbs, immediately remove from heat and stir in to wilt.

And that's it! 

Serve with rice .... this is such an easy delicious dinner - I do hope you try it!

 
Rachel Redlaw lamb stir fry
 


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Simplest seafood stir-fry with lime + chilli

Late Sunday morning.

Realise need to eat and that, having been up for several hours (well, from 7.30am and now it's 10.45am.

I really need brunch.

Time for my own personal take on Masterchef's 'invention test' (the one I'll be looking forward to most should I ever get on it).

I have: a rasher of smoked back bacon; a packet of cooked seafood mix (squid, prawns and mussels); some asparagus tips I picked up cheaply yesterday as they were put on offer as they became out of date. 

So ... time to rustle up the simplest seafood stir fry! 

It all goes together well - pork and seafood HEART each other big time. 

This is super-simple but it IS spicy and it IS very lime-y.

I actually think lemon might be nicer - and I rarely use lemon!

Cook your rice first so it's ready and then prepare the ingredients:

1 garlic clove, minced

a small piece of ginger, minced

1-2 bird eye chillies, squashed and chopped

1-2 spring onions, sliced

cooking oil, or Frylight spray oil 

1 bacon rasher, fat removed and chopped(I had smoked but whatever you have is good)

some mixed seafood (probably around a small bowlful or around 200g)

if you have them asparagus tips are good, but you could use another vegetable

1 lime

fish sauce

sugar

oyster sauce

cooked rice and chopped coriander leaves (if liked) to serve

Rachel Redlaw seafood stirfry
Rachel Redlaw chilli lime seafood stirfry

I use my Frylight 1-cal oil spray as I'm losing weight at the moment, but you can just use a tablespoon of cooking oil if you prefer- and if so, you probably don't need the splash of water, but see what you think and add it if you need to.

Put a frying pan over a medium heat and add 20 sprays of 1-cal spray oil and then put in the garlic, ginger, chillies and spring onions.

Stir for around 20 seconds until it smells good and then add the bacon and stir for another 20 seconds - add a splash of water now, or earlier if you think it needs it.

Cook for another 20 seconds or so and then add the asparagus tips (if using) and cook for a minute. Add another small splash of water if needed at any time.

Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime

Tip in the seafood, stir and squeeze in the juice of the lime. 

Add a splash of fish sauce and half a teaspoon of sugar then cook, stirring all the time, for a couple of minutes until the seafood is hot all the way through.

Add a little glug of oyster sauce and cook for up to another minute until it's all hot and good.

Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime
Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime

Turn off the heat, add the coriander (if using) and serve with rice. 

Rachel Redlaw seafood stir fry with chilli and lime

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

 

 

 

 

 

5 fave breakfasts/brunches

Usually a weekday breakfast is something quick - a croissant, fruit and yogurt, a green smoothie or just toast and marmite.  My daily cup of tea first thing and then a coffee grabbed on the way to the office (flat white please!).

And several days a week I skip breakfast altogether as I'm interested in intermittent fasting and by having dinner a little earlier than usual the night before, say finishing at 8pm, and then not eating until 1pm the next day, that's created a nice 17 hour break for your digestive system (and I find it easy to do, with a couple of coffees in the morning though - I'm not that strict about it).

But when there's time to cook something more special, and time to enjoy and spend longer over breakfast, chatting or reading, these are my favourite brunches.  I'm not sure you can call them breakfast really when it's after 10am.

So after a cup of tea, after journaling, after a walk outdoors round the park, here's what I come back and make ...

 

1. Eggs in purgatory

A little garlic, a very little chilli, eggs poached in tomatoes and sprinkled with parmesan. Mine rarely make it out of the pan when I make this just for me as I dunk bits of baguette in and scoop spoonfuls straight from the pan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Kai jeow - Thai omelette

Yes, another eggy breakfast. Eggs are good!

I love this Thai omelette - really savoury with minced pork, served with some chopped chillies in fish sauce.  You can serve it with rice or have it on its own.

I also do a super-quick version using ready cooked diced chicken or pork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pad krapow gai - spicy stir fry with chicken and holy basil

I ate this all the time for breakfast when I lived in Thailand.  

I loved that there was all the usual variety of food for breakfast, rather than 'breakfast food' as we often categorise it.  

I'm not sure why that is, but it doesn't have to be that way and for me, a favourite first meal of the day is this very spicy, very good stir fry with rice - and sometimes with a fried egg on top too.

If you can't get holy basil, it's still worth making without it.

 

4.  Kao pad gai - chicken fried rice

Rachel Redlaw kao pad gai chicken fried rice

Especially good if there's been a rice dish the night before - I deliberately cook extra rice so there's some for breakfast as this is best made with cold cooked rice.

Just something so comforting about this dish (it's a good one for mopping up hangovers too).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. And number 5 ... is a total cheat!

I couldn't decide, so it's 'anything made from a combination of these ingredients'!

Avocado, smoked salmon, eggs and spinach.

Rachel Redlaw breakfast brunch
RAchel Redlaw avocado on toast

It could be avocado on toast with a squeeze of lime and a little salt and a few chilli flakes.

Or smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on spinach. Poached eggs on sliced avocado with a little dill on top. Any combination of these things is going to be a winner!

 

So ... what are your favourite brunches? 


Rachel Redlaw

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Wat ton hor / fried noodles in an egg gravy

A few days ago I'd never heard of this dish and now I've made it twice in two days! A colleague at work was telling me about this great dinner they'd made, a noodle dish, from Gizzi Erskine's Healthy Appetite.  Another book to go on my wish list! 

I'm a Gizzi fan and a noodle fan so that was it for me, no further discussion needed - and I bought the few things I needed that I didn't already have at home ready to make it.  

Well, except for making a trip to the Thai supermarket to get the wide rice noodles it really needs (it's been freezing in London this weekend and has not been weather for going out).  

So I used some thin dried rice noodles from the supermarket that were in the cupboard and it was so good I can only imagine how much better it's going to be with those wide slippery noodles.  So much so that I'd even go out in freezing rain for them next time I make this if necessary.

This dish is another that I know might sound a bit odd. Egg gravy anyone?

But as with my recent discovery of Eggs in Masala, it's another one that is just so much lovelier than it sounds.

Another one that's just perfect comfort food for wintry days (and nights) . .. it's soft and soothing and delicious. 

Back to the recipe.  The recipe I'd been given was for four, so I just made up what the measurements would be for one (very greedy) portion.  I had to improvise a little at various stages and wasn't quite confident enough in my version to share it.  

But I was very intrigued by the recipe so searched online and found a few other versions and made mine again today with more confidence and slightly more simply. 

This serves a huge portion for one very hungry person (it actually defeated me today which is unheard of - but don't worry, I went back to it and finished it off an hour later) or two as a very light meal.  Or just add a few more noodles for two and another rasher of bacon to make it for two - honestly, I don't think it's possible to ruin this dish no matter what you do!

Prepare the noodles as required so they're ready to stir fry, and then then other ingredients you'll need are:

cooking oil 

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon oyster sauce

1-2 cloves garlic (your choice, I used two), finely chopped 

a small piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 rasher unsmoked streaky bacon, chopped into small pieces

some thinly sliced chillies in a little soy sauce, to serve

some slices of squid (I had one small squid ready cleaned from the supermarket fish counter) - I like it in slices then scored so they end up rolling up into tubes, but you could use ready sliced into rings calamari if that's what you have

a few prawns - I had four - deveined

1/2 cup or so chicken stock (I used half a Knorr cube and then just topped up with boiling water straight into the cup)

light soy sauce

white sugar

white pepper

some pak choi or other leafy green vegetable

one egg, beaten (you actually only need half an egg, so instead of breaking straight into the pan, it's easiest to beat it first and then tip in half.  To be honest I was a bit heavy handed and it didn't affect the deliciousness!)

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Heat a pan, add a glug of oil and when hot add the noodles, soy sauces and oyster sauce and stir fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring all the time so the noodles don't stick.  Some recipes say to cook until 'charred' or 'caramelised' but I wasn't really sure what this would look like so just cooked a little longer than I'd though necessary, so all the sauces are coating the noodles and then noodles are hot through. 

 
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
 

Tip into a bowl and put somewhere to keep warm.

Wipe the pan with kitchen paper if your noodles stuck at all, or just put straight back onto the heat and add some more oil, then the chopped garlic.

Stir fry for a few seconds until the garlic smells good and add the ginger, bacon and squid and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes, taking care that the garlic doesn't burn (don't have the heat on too high!). 

Add the prawns, stir and tip in the stock plus a dash of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and a shake of white pepper.  Stir and then simmer for two or three minutes til the prawns are done.

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Next stir in the cornflour and water mixture and keep stirring for a minute or so as the gravy thickens.  If it looks too thick just add a splash of water.

Add the pak choi and stir for another half a minute, then turn the heat off and immediate pour in (half) the beaten egg, stirring all the time so it scrambles . Keep stirring until it's all combined and the egg cooked in the hot gravy.

Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Get the bowl of noodles and unstick them a little if they've stuck together a bit then top with the lovely gravy. 

Top with some of the sliced chillies and soy sauce, if liked.

finished 2nd 1.jpg
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy
Rachel Redlaw wat ton ho fried noodles in egg gravy

Twice in two days and I'm still not sick of this! If it wasn't for the fact I have a bacon and egg pie to make I'd even be considering having it for dinner too!

Would love to know what you think! Please make it and let me know. 

PS. Next time I make prawn balls, I'll be saving a few to freeze to halve and have with this dish. I'd fry them at the same time as the bacon and squid.



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...





Chicken stir fry with chilli paste and Thai basil

So, first the chilli paste in oil, or nam prik pao.  If you like cooking Thai food, you may have a jar of this in the cupboard or fridge already.  

If you don't - and you fancy making it - I've a very simple version that's super-quick to make right here.

 
nam prik pao chilli paste in oil Rachel Redlaw
 

You can use the nam prik pao in a tom yum soup, or in this lovely squid stir fry.  It's also just a really versatile condiment and I just might have been known to scoop a little on cheese on toast or have with shepherd's pie too ... 

If you've got some nam prik pao, and you've made the rice to serve with this in advance, then you're basically ready to go - as this stir fry is quick to make.

For two, you'll need: 

cooking oil 

2 cloves of garlic, flattened and chopped

1 chicken breast, minced (in the food processor, or chopped as I prefer to do it)

1 heaped tablespoon chilli paste in oil (nam prik pao)

1 teaspoon fish sauce

some chopped veg (I had red and yellow peppers, a mushroom and a few spring onions)

a tablespoon or so of water

a big handful of Thai sweet basil leaves, or 1.5 teaspoons of jarred Thai basil

dried chilli flakes (to serve)

 
Nam prik pao stir fry chilli paste in oil Rachel Redlaw
 

Put your pan on a medium heat and when hot add a good slosh or two of oil and when that's hot add the garlic.

As for many Thai recipes, stir fry the garlic for perhaps up to 30 seconds over a medium heat, making sure it doesn't burn, until it 'smells good'. (Yep, that's the instruction on most recipes!).

Then add the chicken, nam prik pao and fish sauce and stir fry for a few minutes until the meat is nearly cooked. 

Add the chopped vegetables and a splash of water and stir, then add the jarred basil (if using jarred) and cook for another 4-5 minutes until done. 

 
Nam prik pao stir fry chilli paste in oil Rachel Redlaw
 

If using fresh basil add right at the end just before turning off the heat and stir in until wilted.

Serve with the rice and with a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes (if liked).

Nam prik pao stir fry chilli paste in oil Rachel Redlaw
Nam prik pao chilli paste in oil Rachel Redlaw

I really love this simple stir fry - I think it has unexpected depth from the nam prik pao.

What do you think?





Stir fried chicken & broccoli w/ oyster sauce & sesame seeds

Oh, this is very nice!  And very simple. And good.

One of my sisters emailed me a recipe for 'broccoli in oyster sauce' yesterday and it looked great, so I tried it tonight - adding a few other things along the way - and very good it was too. 

I've a feeling it's going to become a new favourite.

It's also a great vegetarian dish, well, pescatarian, as it has oyster sauce.  Just leave the chicken out if you're pescatarian!

Many a time a reader of my recipes has laughed at my vague or slapdash-seeming approach to measurements.

And when I say 'reader', you know I mean 'friend', but I'm being polite (but you know who you are).

It's just really difficult with this sort of cooking - different soy or fish sauces have different strengths and one lime will have more juice than another.

Plus I think the best bit about cooking is using your own palate and what tastes good to you. 

This recipe is possibly - to date - the MOST vague and slapdash when it comes to quantities. 

You're really going to have to guess and guage and taste!

To be honest, it doesn't include any ingredients you have to be careful with and is pretty much guaranteed to taste pretty awesome no matter what you do.  

So do give it a go! 

You'll need: 

 
Rachel Walder recipes - chicken and broccoli in oyster sauce with sesame seeds
 

cooked rice, to serve, if wanted

broccoli, the long stemmed sort is nice, but any sort will do - quantity is however much you feel like eating of it

cooking oil - I like my coconut oil at the moment but any oil that cooks at a high temperature is good for stir frying so vegetable, grapeseed, rapeseed etc (NOT olive oil which cooks at a lower temperature and will burn)

1-2 garlic cloves, depending on size (and your taste!)

1 chilli, or quantity to your taste

a couple of spring onions

a piece of fresh ginger 

one small-ish chicken breast, or however much you'll want to eat

dark soy sauce

oyster sauce 


Cook the broccoli first so it's ready to stir fry by steaming or boiling for a few minutes.

 
Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce
 

If you're cooking rice to serve with this then just pop a steamer over the top for the last 4-5 minutes - or you could just put the broccoli into the rice to boil with it for a few minutes of course (no need to over-complicate).

Remove from heat and keep warm until needed.

Then toast some sesame seeds (I'd say around a tablespoonful) in a dry pan for a few minutes, shaking all the time and again, when toasted, set aside until needed.

 
Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce
 

Chop the garlic, chilli, spring onion - cut it on the diagonal for this dish so it looks nice - and ginger.  Cut the chicken into very small pieces so that it will cook quickly. 

Heat a wok or frying pan over a medium-high heat, add some oil and only when it's hot tip in the chopped garlic, chilli, spring onion, ginger and chicken - it should sizzle when it goes in.

Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce
Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce

Keep stirring and turning until the chicken is sealed and if you need to turn it down a little to prevent the garlic burning, then do! If it looks like it's going to stick, add a tiny splash of water.

After a few minutes, when the chicken's cooked, add the broccoli.

Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce
Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce

I think the long-stemmed broccoli very elegant but once I'd added it to the pan tonight, I decided to chop it up a bit to make it easier to eat! Up to you what you do. 

Cook for a minute, stirring, then add the soy and oyster sauces.  I used a scant tablespoon of each. 

 
Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce
 

Stir and continue cooking for another minute. 

Then put the rice onto a plate, spoon the stir fry around and sprinkle everything with the toasted sesame seeds. 

Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce
Rachel Walder chicken and broccoli with oyster sauce

Very good indeed! Let me know what you thought.

Next time I might try half a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil right at the end too, just before it's removed from the heat ... 



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ... 

Pad keemao gai - drunken noodles with chicken

I love pad keemao (drunken noodles) - and no surprise there as it has my same favourite pad krapow flavours but in a rice noodle dish and with some more veg.

So the same rules apply! If you can get krapow - Thai holy basil - then that's the best. If you can't but you can get fresh or jarred horapha - Thai sweet basil - then definitely do that! And if you can't get either then honestly I would still make itanyway.

Another thing ... whilst pad keemao should be made with rice noodles, you could use whatever noodles you like. I often make it using leftover cooked pasta with shapes like penne - and it tastes amazing still.

So - this is really versatile and up to you how you pimp it basically!  Oh, and you can also use any meat or seafood of your choosing of course or have just with vegetables.

Ok, so to make a couple of portions you'll need ...

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad keemao

about 1.5 chicken breasts, chopped small so it cooks quickly

a few garlic cloves and bird eye chillies, skins and stalks removed and bashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. The chilli pieces should still be large enough to remove easily if you don't want to eat them.  I used three garlic cloves and six chillies

I had a few slices of white onion, chopped, but this isn't traditional and I'm only adding it as I had a piece of onion that needed using up. Entirely up to you to include or not.  If not I would definitely include spring onion in your vegetables

half a chicken knorr stock cube

selection of veg, chopped - I've got spring onion, a piece of carrot, red pepper, fine beans and mange tout

rice noodles, ready to stir fry, or other noodles or pasta cooked ready to add

fresh or jarred Thai basil

white sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce

handful of spinach leaves (optional but nice)

Heat a frying pan or wok, add cooking oil and when hot add the chicken, chillies and garlic and onion (if using).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad keemao

Stir fry over a medium-hot heat until the chicken is completely sealed, then crumble in half a stock cube and a splash or water and stir fry until it's all mixed in.

Add the veg and stir ... then add a teaspoon of jarred Thai basil (or half a good handful of Thai sweet basil leaves).

Stir again and then add a good pinch of sugar, a few dashes of soy sauce, a glug of oyster sauce and a small splash of fish sauce.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad keemao

Cook for a minute and then add your noodles - and yes, I've got too many noodles or too small a pan really!

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad keemao

Stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add half a teaspoon more Thai basil from a jar (or another handful of fresh Thai basil leaves) and a big handful of spinach leaves (if using).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad keemao

Stir until the leaves begin to wilt and then turn off the heat and continue stirring until the leaves are completely wilted in.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad keemao

Hope you like this recipe: it's an everyday favourite here! Let me know what you think ...



LIKE THIS? YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY THESE ...

Brunch invention - ruam mit gratiem/kao pad

There was rice left over from cooking dinner last night and I'd been planning a kao pad gai - fried rice with chicken - for brunch this morning.  I don't know why I'm saying it like this was an accident - I had deliberately made more rice last night than was needed just so that I could have kao pad today!

But I was also thinking about the ruam mit gratiem I'd made and thinking I'd like to make it again as I'm not that familiar with it yet and it was so easy and so good.

The conversation I had with myself went like this:

'Oh good! Favourite fried rice today!'

'But I kind of fancy making that stir fry again - I could try it with chicken this time.'

'If you make a stir fry though you're going to have to make more rice and there's already cold rice sitting there.'

'But I don't know which to choose - I want both!'

'Well then have both! Mix them together into one!'

So that's what I did.  I love cooking just for myself - I can experiment away and also make things as spicy as I like.  And that's generally pretty spicy.

Note that you do need cold cooked rice for this as freshly cooked hot rice is just too wet to stir fry.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Here's how to make my hybrid brunch dish.

Chop a piece of chicken breast into small pieces and also chop a nice big clove of garlic.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Get a pan hot, add some cooking oil and when hot tip in the chicken and garlic.

Cook over a medium heat - hot enough to seal the meat quickly but not so hot the garlic burns - for four or five minutes until the chicken is cooked.

Remove the chicken and garlic to a bowl, tip out any excess oil and return the pan to a medium low heat.

Quickly add:

2 x teaspoons oyster sauce

1 x teaspoon fish sauce

1 x teaspoon thin / light soy sauce

1 x teaspoon sugar

1 - 2 x teaspoons dried chilli flakes (I'd suggest just one - I put in two and it was a bit too much)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Stir for a few seconds until mixed and thick and bubbling.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Then return the chicken and garlic to the pan and mix with the sauce.

Add the cold leftover rice and cook for a few minutes on a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the rice is hot right through.

Push the mixture to one side, add a little oil into the space and when hot crack in an egg.

Leave to cook for around 15 seconds until scrambling and combining with the rice and chicken mixture.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Stir fry until everything is mixed and the egg cooked.

Remove from heat and prepare any garnishes you like - I'm using a shake of white pepper, some coriander leaves and a few slices of red chilli.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

Turn out the rice and chicken mixture onto a plate, or pack into a plastic bowl first to make it look nice, and add a few slices of cucumber too if you have it.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice

A very good brunch and I'm glad I made it, but I do still prefer a 'proper' kao pad I think.

What do you think? Let me know if you try this - or any other variation of it.

And I'm off now to make more coffee :)

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder brunch fried rice


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE  ...

Pad Thai (no further description needed!)

I love Pad Thai - who doesn't?! Ultimate comfort food.  But I've had a mental block about making it. Actually, that's not quite right as I've been experimenting and experimenting and trying out different recipes but none I felt confident enough in sharing, until I came across a recipe for Pad Thai on Chez Pim's site.  I then started making it slightly more regularly (I still have weird Pad Thai nerves!) and adapting slightly until I now have a recipe I know by heart and that I feel I can happily pass on.

If you'd like the original, you can find it here.

And here's how I make it.  The absolute key thing is to make the sauce first.  Most recipes tell you to add the tamarind, fish sauce etc into your wok whilst cooking and I just find that impossible. As, I think, do most people.

To make this dish easily, you do need to get everything together first.  And, again as usual, just cook 1-2 portions at a time - it'll just become a gluey noodley mess if you try and do too much in one pan.

Here's what you'll need to make a portion for two ...

 For the sauce:

1/2 cup tamarind paste/pulp/puree - this is often available in supermarkets now although I did get mine from the Thai supermarket and it looks like this

 
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder tamarind
 

1/2 cup fish sauce

very slightly less than 1/2 cup light brown sugar (or white if you don't have any)

1 tsp chilli powder

Other ingredients:

vegetable cooking oil

about a handful of fried or other hard tofu, sliced into bite-size pieces.  The tofu my local Thai supermarket recommended looked like this (but I'm sure any firm textured tofu would work).  The tofu's optional though so don't worry if you can't get it

The Tinest Thai Rachel Walder tofu for Pad Thai

one clove of garlic, minced

wide rice noodles, cooked or soaked according to instructions, ready to stir fry - enough for two people

one egg

dried shrimp - optional.  If you can get them they keep well in the freezer to use as needed.  If you're using them, you need about a tablespoon and use a pestle and mortar to fluff them up slightly (this will make sense when you do it!)

raw prawns, maybe 6-8 per person, deveined and defrosted if frozen

a small handful of peanuts, chopped or ground

as many beansprouts as you like! I use just a handful but I'm not a huge beansprout fan so you may like more

a handful of chopped garlic chives, or just normal chives if that's what you have

To serve:

wedges of lime

some more chopped peanuts

sugar

chilli flakes

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad Thai

OK ... start with making the sauce.  Put the tamarind, fish sauce and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil very, very, very slowly and when it starts to simmer add the chilli powder.  Taste and see if you need to adjust the flavours - it'll taste a little odd yes, but what you're after is salty first, then the sour tamarind, then a little sweetness and ending with just a touch of spicy.

When you're happy with it - and if you can't tell then just follow this the first time and adjust next time if need be when you're more confident as YES it's hard always to tell - turn the heat off and just leave the pan to one side.  This does make more than you'll need for a couple of portions but it'll keep in the fridge for a week or two.

Now you need your noodles and you want them nice and unstuck.  I tend to play with mine for a bit, gently puling them apart.  You really don't want a noodle glue and you definitely don't want to be accidentally chopping them in half.  If you can start coaxing them into lovely shiny individual noodles now it's all going to be better in the pan!

So - heat your pan and when hot add quite a bit (3-4 tablespoons) oil and then add the tofu, a tablespoon of the Pad Thai sauce and the garlic and cook for a minute or so over a medium high heat stirring all the time.

Then add the noodles and a nice ladleful of the Pad Thai sauce. Stir all the time, keeping everything moving and break up the noodles so they're not in a lump. I'd turn the heat down just a touch now. Add a little water if it becomes dry or a tiny bit more sauce - if the noodle is really sticking add a touch more oil. Cook for a few minutes until the noodle is warm and lovely and perfect (taste it).

Push the noodles to one side and crack the egg straight into the pan.  Count to about 10-15 until it's setting then toss everything together to combine.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad Thai

Add the dried shrimps, raw prawns, peanuts and beansprouts and fry, stirring all the time.  Add a little more sauce if need be.  Keep it moving!

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad Thai

When the prawns are cooked - it'll only take a few minutes - take the pan off the heat and stir in the chives.

I love to serve this with the additional flavouring you add to taste just on the plate itself - so add some lime wedges and a small pile each of chopped peanuts, sugar and chilli flakes for people to add as they like.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad Thai

Confession: I not only had a mental block about MAKING pad Thai, and then about WRITING the recipe but I've also had one about POSTING it and this has been sitting here waiting for me to press publish for ages!

Well, here goes.  And I hope you like it. Please let me know.

PS. due to the mental block, there's also very few pics on this post (I'll add some more of the steps soon).

UPDATE: I've now got a couple of beautiful pics, thanks to a photographer who came to a Tiniest Thai recently - thank you Viktoria! 

www.viktoriakuti.com



LIKE THIS?  YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY THESE ...

Stir fried chicken or beef with cashews

So, my beautiful Big Niece has come to stay for a night - just overnight to break the journey to Cornwall. I wanted to get a picture of us together cooking dinner but there's just us here so it had to be a selfie.

And despite trying approx 6,742 times to get a shot we were actually both in, we only managed ones with one of us cut out or that were just too terrible to post. Here's the best of a very bad bunch of us looking blurry and 'super-excited' to be cooking this lovely stir fry (or maybe not!).

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Anyway, photography distraction over. We're making a chicken stir fry with cashews that I always think of as quite a special dish - a rich sauce, crunchy nuts, soft chicken and a bit of heat from the fried whole dried chillies.

I wanted the bigger dried red chillies ideally but only had the small ones and to be honest I used too many - next time I make this I'll use fewer (the right quantity is listed in the ingredients but the pic shows too many).  I think the big ones might be a little milder and I would have chopped them into smaller pieces after frying. The chilli issue is up to you though - use as few or as many as you like of course.

The quantity we made serves 2-4 people depending on, well, everything - hunger, greed, what else you're eating with it, etc so just adjust quantities as you wish and do taste and taste before and during adding the seasonings.

If you're serving with rice make that first and keep warm until ready.

Enough for us two as well as a portion leftover we used ...

1/2 a white onion

2 spring onions

2 cloves of garlic

2 chicken breasts

1 fresh red chilli to garnish, if using

vegetable oil, for frying

about half a cup of plain cashew nuts (not roasted or salted)

4-5 whole dried chillies (or to your taste)

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

a good glug of oyster sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

a shake of white pepper

boiled or steamed rice, to serve

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Prepare the ingredients: chop the onion into smallish chunks rather than dicing finely; slice the spring onions using as much of the green stalks as you can; mince the garlic; cut the chicken into slices; and slice the fresh red chilli if using.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Put quite a bit of oil, about 4 tablespoons, into a frying pan or wok and when hot add the cashew nuts.  Fry, stirring, over a medium heat until golden brown - this will take a few minutes. When brown remove from the oil, drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Return the pan to the heat and add the dried chillies to the hot oil and cook for around 30-60 seconds until they turn dark and crispy. Again, remove from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and set aside. If using big whole chillies, cut them into smaller pieces or crumble them with your fingers when cool.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Drain off some of the oil if necessary so around 2 tablespoons remain, let cool very slightly and then return to the heat and add the garlic, stirring straight away so it doesn't burn.

After perhaps half a minute - but sooner if the garlic is turning colour - add the chicken and keep stirring, first to seal quickly and then to cook through. This will probably take 4-5 minutes.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Add the onions, cashews and chillies and stir fry for a couple of minutes until the onions are translucent but still with a bite to them.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and spring onions and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Add the sesame oil and a shake of white pepper, stir in and remove from the heat.

Serve topped with slices of fresh red chilli if liked and with plain rice.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

This is very good with beef too as the sauce is lovely and rich - but it needs cooking slightly differently as the beef doesn't take long to cook. Slice the steak into thin slices and dredge with approx half a tablespoon of plain/all purpose flour.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Then after cooking the cashew and the dried chillies fry the beef in the same hot oil and again drain on kitchen paper.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews

Cook the garlic, then the onions (I used red as didn't have white) and I added some red pepper too.  Then add the beef along with the cooked dried chillies, cashews, seasoning sauces and spring onion.

I think I actually prefer the beef to the chicken version but both are very good.

This is a really nice easy special dinner.  Let me know what you think ....

 
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder stir fry with cashews
 

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...

Pad krapow gai - spicy stir fried chicken with Thai basil

This is my favourite food of all time, my I-could-eat-this-every-day, my oh-I-did-eat-it-everyday-for-about-a-year food - and I still eat it around once a week. It's a perfect breakfast, especially in bright hot sunshine with an iced coffee, it's great with a kai dow (fried egg) on top of the rice. It's good with prawns, pork or squid but I like it best with chicken. There isn't an occasion it doesn't suit, and it cures headaches, hangovers and heartbreak too. Honestly!

It might not be my last-supper dish but I'm not sure ... contenders on that list wouldn't pass the could-I-eat-it-every-day criteria for favourite food.  What's your favourite food? What's your last supper food? My last supper could be a seafood platter or perhaps rack of lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and a green salad with mustardy dressing. Or a pad krapow.  Anyway ...

There's just one admission to make .... and that's that I'm not actually cooking a pad krapow at all.

There are two types of basil used in Thailand, both different to our Mediterranean basil. Thai sweet basil, horapha, is a bit aniseed-y and is used in Thai curries and - I learnt today from the ladies at Tawana supermarket  - can be used in a pad keemao (drunken noodles) where I  thought you could only use krapow.

Ah, krapowKrapow is the other Thai basil, holy basil, and it gives this dish it's name - literally 'stir fried with holy basil'. It's really peppery and unique. It's also really hard to grow in our climate and it's even hard for the Thai supermarkets to get hold of.

I really wanted my favourite food today so I went to one of my favourite places, Tawana supermarket on Chepstow Road, W2. It's a total treasure trove of delights plus I get to practice my Thai as well. And it soothes the soul.  Here's just a selection of the treats in store ...

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Tawana supermarket
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Tawana supermarket
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Tawana supermarket
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Tawana supermarket

And here's the goodies I brought home ... including packets of holy basil seasoning I'll use for another, lazy, day.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder Tawana supermarket

But the sad news is they had no krapow. Again. So I bought horapha and therefore what I'm actually cooking is pad horapha gai. It is still so good.  If you can get krapow then do! If you can't but you can get horapha, great! And it you can get neither, just make it without. Without is how I have it most weeks (pad krapow sans krapow) and still I love it.

It's a really spicy dish but you bash the chillies into pieces big enough to flavour the dish but not to eat unless you want to.  When I was taught to make this it was with the chicken alone - I've added the chopped pepper and mushrooms so do add veg or not as you wish.

Here's how I'm making my favourite dish ever tonight. Cook your rice first and then assemble the ingredients - as always, it cooks quickly.

Vegetable oil

Half to one chicken breast

Approx 6-10 small chillies (depending on size and how spicy you like it)

Approx four garlic cloves (or eight if you have small Thai garlic cloves)

Sliced red pepper and mushroom, or other sliced veg, if using

1/2 knorr chicken stock cube

Thick soy bean sauce or rich soy sauce

Oyster sauce

A good pinch of sugar

A handful of holy basil or sweet basil leaves, if using

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Tear the basil leaves from the stalks, if using, and discard the stalks, and chop the vegetables into small pieces, if using.  Mince the chicken breast by chopping very very finely, as small as you can. I know some restaurants serve this dish with the meat in bite-sized pieces but I much prefer it minced as I was shown.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Peel the garlic - the quickest way is to squash the garlic with the flat side of a knife - and remove the stalks from the chillies and then place in a plastic sandwich / freezer bag.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Bash with a rolling pin until the chillies and garlic are all in small-ish pieces. If the bag splits don't worry just fold it and keep bashing!

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Now put a frying pan or wok over a medium heat and when hot add a good glug of cooking oil. When hot add the chicken, and stir. When starting to seal tip in the garlic and chillies and cook until the chicken is completely sealed.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Add the vegetables if using and stir fry for another couple of minutes.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Add a splash of water, crumble in half a stock cube, a good dash of bean/soy sauce and a couple of dashes of oyster sauce plus a good pinch of sugar and stir it all in.  Here's a pic because I forgot to include the oyster sauce at the start.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Cook for another couple of minutes then throw in the basil and remove from the heat immediately.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai

Stir in the basil until it wilts and serve with the rice. Best dinner ever. Do you agree?

 
The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder pad krapow gai
 

PS. Yes, I did make a huge portion. I love it!

PPS.  If you like pad krapow, you'll also like pad keemao  … give it a try :)



YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ... 

Spicy stir-fried squid

In my mind I'm at the fishing port of Ban Phe, whiling away the time before the ferry to Koh Samet by having a a very spicy squid dish and squinting in the sun.  An afternoon on beautiful Samet can't really be beaten - silver sand, perfect sea, a cold beer and a Thai massage on the beach under the trees before the speedboat back to the mainland.  Day dreams.

In reality, it's been a really hectic day and I haven't had time to go to the shops so need a store-cupboard dinner - and I want it fast too! Frozen squid rings are a store-cupboard staple for me as they defrost quickly in a bowl of water, changed a couple of times as the ice comes off them, and are then also so quick to cook.

This easy recipe uses the nam prik pao (chilli paste in oil) recipe as well as fresh chillies, just to layer up the heat.  You could make it without the chilli paste too, just add more chopped fresh chillies. You can of course make it with less, but I like this dish fiery hot.

Don't leave out the fresh mint and coriander - they make this simple dish something much more special.

Cook your rice first so that it's ready, as the squid cooks so fast. To save both time and washing up, I just threw some chopped green beans and broccoli in with the rice for the last few minutes' cooking time rather than cooking the veg separately.

Quantities for this dish are really up to you, but to serve two I used:

cooking oil

two cloves of garlic, chopped

one large milder red chilli and two birds eye red chillies, sliced

a 300g bag of frozen squid rings, defrosted

a tablespoon of  nam prik pao chilli paste

a teaspoon of sugar

half - one tablespoon fish sauce to taste

two spring onions, sliced

a handful each of coriander and mint leaves

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid

Chop and slice the garlic, chillies and spring onions, and tear the leaves of the herbs into small pieces so that everything's ready to go.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid

Heat a wok or frying pan and add the cooking oil, swirling to cover and when hot add the garlic and chopped chillies and cook for about 30 seconds over a fairly high heat.

Add the squid rings and cook, stirring, for a minute then add the chilli paste and cook for a further minute.

Turn the heat down a little to medium and add the sugar, fish sauce and spring onions - and cook, still stirring, for another minute until the sugar dissolves.

Take off the heat and stir in the mint and coriander leaves, and serve immediately with rice and green vegetables.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid

Let me know if you make this and if you liked it!

Update:

I just made this again without chilli paste but with another couple of fresh birds eye chillies and it was much hotter with just fresh chillies! My eyes are watering and I'm a chilli freak. I also used a mix of prawns and squid and yes it was hot but it was also super tasty - the mint makes it really interesting. This is a very good dinner.

The Tiniest Thai Rachel Walder spicy stir fried squid


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE ...