I have a fondness for ethnic food. I love Thai, sushi, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese- you name it, I want it. I love the spicy and exotic flavors! I especially love getting take-out. It reminds me of when I was working like a crazy person in restaurant kitchens and would often only get 1 solid day off a week. On those days, I would sleep in until noon and order take-out from one of my favorite spots. I parked myself on the couch and binged-watched Dexter and lazily ate the day away. However eating out adds up, and let's be real, as a personal chef, I can't exactly order take-out and drop it off at their door. If you have the time to make these dishes at home, you should try at least once or twice. You can still eat them on the couch while watching Netflix!
There is more than one way to make a spring roll. Sometimes they are made with rice paper that has been soaked in water and they are served fresh, instead of fried. Courtney loves to make those with cucumber, avocado, carrots, peppers, and a teriyaki peanut butter sauce for dipping. Those are great, but we all know the ones we crave most often are the delicious crispy-fried versions. At least I do.
1 pkg. spring/egg roll wrappers, 30 count
2-3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup sliced mushrooms (shiitake, cremini)
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup julienne red peppers
1/4 lb. ground pork or chicken
1 bu. scallions
2 TBSP. minced garlic
2 TBSP finely chopped or grated ginger
1 TBSP sesame oil
2 TBSP sherry
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch mixed with water to make a paste
I discovered a noodle recipe on a food blog years ago, and I changed the sauce to fit my taste, and to make it a more substantial salad. Feel free to experiment with the sauce and vegetables. I know it's a long list, but you don't need to have every single ingredient to enjoy this recipe. It's one of my favorite things that can be made ahead of time and tastes better the longer the noodles have time to marinate in the sauce.
1/2 lb. noodles (thin spaghetti, rice or udon noodles)
sliced snow peas, shredded carrots, julienne peppers
1 TBSP grated or finely chopped ginger
1 TBSP chopped garlic
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
3 TBSP rice vinegar
1-2 TBSP sugar as needed
2 TBSP sesame oil
1/2 cup canola oil
1-2 TBSP sambal (garlic chili sauce) or chili oil
Cook noodles according to pkg. directions. Run cold water over noodles and coat with a small amount of sesame oil to prevent sticking. Prepare veggies and add to noodles. Add all sauce ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings and add the sauce to the noodles, toss & marinate for at least an hour before eating. Serve cold or room temperature.
When I go to Thai restaurants, I almost always order curry. I've been trying to recreate the dishes at home, and mine never taste as good. I've even asked the chefs to share their recipes and they look at me like I'm crazy. I did get some experience while making noodle dishes & soups at Metro, but I'm going to keep practicing.
Chopped vegetables ( peppers, onions, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, zucchini, etc)
1 can coconut milk
1-2 TBSP sugar
1-2 TBSP fish sauce
juice of one lime
1 TBSP curry paste, more to taste
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
Noodles or rice for serving
*Note- It is common for thai basil, thai chili, lemongrass, & lime leaves to be used in curries as well. These are all wonderful ingredients and can absolutely be used if you happen to have them. Most curry pastes contain some of these ingredients already.