Thai Chicken Meatballs in Lemongrass Green Curry Broth

DSC07611 (3) otm@tk.jpg

Spicy, tangy, and deeply savory, this dish channels my favorite things about Thai food. Traditionally made with chicken thighs, chicken breast was used for the meatballs making them feel light in calories and well  balanced with the broth.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1  1/2 pound ground chicken breast meat
1  1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1  1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1  1/2 teaspoon crushed dried cilantro
1  1/2 teaspoon crushed dried Thai basil
Kosher salt, to taste
1  1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemongrass
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup well-shaken canned coconut milk
1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs, more for garnish
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves, more for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 1/2 cups julienne carrots

 Directions:
Add the  chicken cumin, coriander, and  salt, a to a large mixing bowl and mix well.  To form the meatballs, set a small bowl of cold water nearby and, occasionally moistening your hands, gently roll 1  1/2-ounce portions of the meat between your palms into balls; you should get 16.

Over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or a heavy bottom pot, heat the oil until shimmering.  Add half of the meatballs, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, and repeat with the remaining meatballs.

Add the shallots, jalapeño, lemongrass and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the pot; cook, stirring, until the shallots soften, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Stir in half of the cilantro and the basil, and remove from the heat. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, purée the mixture. Return to the pot if using a regular blender. Add the meatballs, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs cook through (165°F), 15 to 20 minutes, adding the carrots during the last minute or two to cook until crisp-tender.

Divide the meatballs, carrots, and broth among bowls. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and basil leaves and serve.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

Protected by Copyscape


Tom Kha Gai ( Thai Chicken Coconut Soup) ต้มข่าไก่

tom-kha-gai-chicken-coconut-soup.jpg

 

“A soothing that calms the soul”, is how my friend described what Tom Kha Gai is like, as he reminisced about his childhood memories and so graciously shared his mother’s recipe with me.

Tom Kha Gai is a soup made of chicken (Gai) cooked (Tom) in coconut milk which has been infused with galangal (Kha), lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.This dish is simple and easy to prepare and most of the  ingredients can be easily found at your local Asian specialty market. They usually sell them in quantities greater than what you will need, but know that these ingredients  freeze really well and can be readily available for the next time you want to  make soup or a curry. If you cannot find galangal at a store near you, you can use ginger as a substitute.  Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the kaffir lime leaves.

tom kha gai recipe

 

Galangal (kha ข่า) is one of the most important ingredients in any tom kha gai recipe (ต้มข่าไก่).

 

It has an earthy spice flavor, and many people compare the taste to ginger. Galangal is included in many Thai curries and soups, and when used in small quantities, it provides a subtle kick of flavor. You don’t normally eat the actual pieces of galangal, but instead it’s boiled in the soup and releases its wonderful essence.

 

Serves 6

Ingredients:
One 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and cut into paper thin, coin sized pieces
10 kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tablespoon lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces oyster mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
5-6 Thai red chilies (more or less, depending on your heat preference)
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 teaspoon palm sugar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
Cilantro leaves with tender stems, lime wedges, steamed jasmine rice, for serving
Chili oil, for serving (optional)

Directions:
Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, galamgal, lime leaves, and  chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

Add chicken to the strained broth and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, throw in the smashed chilies and remove the pot from heat immediately. Mix  in the  coconut milk,  lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir in the cilantro leaves and taste. Add more lime juice and fish sauce, if necessary.

Divide soup among bowls. Serve with lime wedges and teamed jasmine rice as an entree.

 

 

Cook’s Notes:
One pound of deviened and shelled shrimp can be substituted for the the chicken.

You can also use white button, cremini, and oyster mushrooms. Any meaty, mild-flavored mushrooms will do. Portobello mushrooms are fine flavor- and texture-wise, but even with the gills carefully scraped off they still turn the broth into an unappetizing shade of gray. Do not use shiitake; the flavor is way too strong for this. Also, DO NOT use any kind of dried mushrooms because they will change the flavor profile of this dish quite drastically, and not in a good way.

 


Pepper Jelly Clams

c6b276563aeea1c333f74a71794f6a96_XL

Photo by Brenda Maitland

Have you ever been to a restaurant and had a dish so delicious, that you could not wait to get back home and attempt to cook your version of it yourself?

Well, that was just one my experiences recent  upon a visit to one of my favorite citnola-mopho-2014ies in whole wide world…….New Orleans. The restaurant was, “MoPho’s” , which is a little slice of heaven where the soul Vietnamese cuisine meets the melange of food that is the heart of Louisiana, is located in  Mid-City at 514 City Park Avenue.Everything on the menu is great and affordable. Trust me,you will love it!

If you ever spent any time in the Crescent City, then “you know what it means, to miss New Orleans”……the people, the music, and the food…..sigh, but I digress.

Between Spring and Summer, I just cannot get enough of fresh seafood. And MoPhos’s Pepper Jelly Clams by Chef Michael Gulotta fits the bill. This dish is the epitome of the meeting of two cultures: Southeast Asia and the American South.  Besides sharing a similar climate, Southeast Asian countries and New Orleans  also have river deltas where brackish water flows into clean clear waters, that sweet spot where you can find some of the best seafood during a given season.

Chef Gulotta uses little neck clams from Cedar Key Florida, but the stars of this dish are the Thai inspired ingredients, that make it spectacular.

At the restaurant, the dish is served with annatto beignets for dipping, but warm, crusty bread is just as satisfying. I opted for a Southern favorite cornbread to be served along side my version of this dish……

Adapted from Executive Chef-Partner Michael Gulotta of MoPho Restaurant.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

84 clams (rinsed well under cold running water to remove grit)
1/2 cup coconut oil or neutral oil
2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons shallots, minced
2 teaspoons Thai chili paste
2 cups white wine
2 cups sweet cooking mirin
1/2 stalk lemongrass, crushed
2 cups coconut milk
3 Tablespoons butter
2 cups pepper jelly
Juice and zest of one lime
10 leaves of mint, torn
Kosher salt , to taste

To garnish:
12 strips prosciutto
Fresh mint leaves

 

Directions:
In a large braising pan set over medium-high heat, lightly toast the ginger, garlic, shallot, and Thai chili paste in the coconut oil. When the aromatics become golden brown, add in the rinsed clams followed by the white wine, mirin, and lemongrass stalk. Cover the pan and let the clams simmer until they open, about seven minutes.

Once the clams open, remove the cover and add in the coconut milk, butter, and one cup of the pepper jelly. Simmer the clams for an additional minute and then add the lime juice, zest, and torn mint leaves. Season with salt to taste.

To serve, remove the lemongrass stalk and portion the clams into six warmed bowls and garnish with fresh mint leaves, shaved prosciutto, and a few dollops of the remaining pepper jelly.

You can find the original recipe here.