MARK DEWOLF: Thai recipes you're bound to love | SaltWire

MARK DEWOLF: Thai recipes you’re bound to love | SaltWire

I love Thai food for its balance: the flavours are sweet, sour, spicy and fragrant all at once. I can think of few other cuisines that deliver as much flavour while simultaneously being light and fresh.

When making my interpretations of Thai food, I am relying on a staple list of ingredients that allow me to explore in different directions but maintain a core Thai character. For me, Thai red chilis (either fresh or converted into chili paste) along with fish sauce (made from fermented fish such as anchovy) delivers the characteristic flavours of the cuisine. From these two ingredients, you can let your culinary creativity explore.

10 essential Thai ingredients from your grocery store

1. Coconut milk

2. Fish sauce (Nam Pla)

3. Thai chilis and Thai chili paste

10. Noodles (thin and wide rice noodles, egg noodles)

5 suggested drink pairings

1. Off-Dry Riesling such as Domaine de Grand Pre from Nova Scotia (NSLC, $22.49) or Vineland Estates from Ontario (PEILCC, $24.99)

2. Chenin Blanc such as KWV Vinecrafter (NSLC, $10.99, NLC, $12.98) or Kleine Zalze from South Africa (PEILCC, $15.99, NLC, NSLC)

3. Fruity Pinot Noir such as Kim Crawford from New Zealand (NSLC, $24.99, PEILCC, $24.99, NLC, $24.98)

4 servings

Directions: Rinse rice under cold water until water runs clear. Place rice, coconut milk, water, salt, sugar and green tea in a pot. Bring to a boil. When it begins to boil reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. At same time, place a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil. Add the chicken and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. Add wine to deglaze the pan. Add the curry paste, ginger and garlic. Sauté until fragrant (30 seconds). Add the coconut milk, lime juice, zest and fish sauce. Reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Simmer for another 5 minutes until chicken is warm. Serve curry with the rice, fresh cilantro for garnish and cucumber salad.

*If you can’t find massaman curry paste combine 4 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste (found in the international aisle of most grocery stores) with a pinch each of ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander and nutmeg.

Cucumber salad

4 servings

Directions: Place vinegar and sugar in a pot. Bring to a quick bowl. When sugar dissolves remove from heat. Pour over onions slices to pickle. Using a vegetable peeler, slice cucumber into long ribbons leaving the seeds. Place the cucumber ribbons in a bowl. Make the dressing by sugar, chilies, lime zest, ginger, honey, lime juice, fish sauce and oil in a bowl. Combine using an immersion blender. Strain the vinaigrette to remove solids such as seeds. Add enough to coat the cucumber ribbons and gently toss. Top salad with cashews and pickled red onions.

Thai meatballs

4 servings

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine pork, onions, chilies, fish sauce, ginger and peanut butter in a bowl. Form into small balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Serve warm garnished with fresh mint or cilantro.

Thai ceviche

4 servings

Ingredients (Thai salsa)

Directions: Place scallops in a non-reactive bowl. Add the lime juice, lime zest, ginger and chilies. Place in a refrigerator for 1 hour. Add coconut milk and marinade for another 2 hours. In another bowl combine the salsa ingredients. Mix well. To serve scallop ceviche in a bowl and then top with Thai salsa.

Mark DeWolf is a connoisseur of all things food and drink. He’s a creative director with SaltWire and local fare is his specialty. You can subscribe to his Follow a Foodie newsletter here.

This content was originally published here.

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