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Cuckoo for coconuts and Thai food

That’s right, the medley of sweet, savory, salty and spicy flavors of Thai cuisine is a roller coaster ride of sensations on the taste buds.

Cuckoo for coconuts
internet/Rus Pishnery
Cuckoo for coconuts
internet/Rus Pishnery

Thai cooking is all about balance and juggling flavors so that they hover right on the edge. No one ingredient is the star of the show, but most Thai or Asian dishes do require the fundamental rice base. Jazz up the rice like this, featuring my mistress, the coconut.

Take for example.

Thai Coconut Rice

1 Cup Jasmine Rice I’ve recently rediscovered my old tropical friend. She is sweet, exotic and sultry. She is an island beauty that add a flavor that tames the hot and spicy elements of my life.

Hold on to your nuts everybody, it’s coconut time in the kitchen.

I recently broke out the old wok and ginzu knives and invited the neighbors on the cul-de-sac over for a spread I like to call, “A Night in Bangkok”.

14 Oz. Can Coconut Milk

1/4 Cup Water

1 ½ Tsp. Sea Salt

½ Tsp. Sugar

1/2 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Dash Turmeric

1 Tsp. Finely Grated Fresh Ginger

Finely Chopped Crystallized Ginger

Sliced Toasted Almonds

Fresh Cilantro, Chopped

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, except the crystalized ginger and sliced almonds and stir well.

Cook over medium high heat, stirring until mixture comes to a low boil. Immediately reduce heat to low.

Cover and cook for about 18 minutes.

Fluff with a fork. Then cover, and let sit for 5 more minutes.

Garnish the finished rice with the candied ginger, chopped cilantro and the sliced almonds.

A word about coconut milk before we continue.

Coconut milk is very high in saturated fat. Coconut milk is merely the squeezed liquid from the pulp. The more it is squeezed the thinner it gets. Thick coconut milk is used in soups, thick milk is preferred in desserts.

Shrimp & Coconut Soup

4 Tsps. Sesame Oil

8 Oz. Med. Shrimps, Peeled & Deveined

2/1/2 Tsps. Red Curry Powder

1/4 Cup Thinly Sliced Shallot

2 Cups Chicken Stock

4 Oz.Soba Noodles, Broken into 2-inch Pieces

1 cup Fresh Sweet Corn

1 (13 1/2Oz.) Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk

2 Tbs. Fresh Chives, Chopped

Heat half the oil over medium-high heat until just simmering. Toss the shrimp with ½ teaspoon of curry powder. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes, turning once, just until lightly brown on both sides; transfer shrimp to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil, curry powder and shallots to pan; cook 30 seconds or until shallots begin to soften. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Add pasta and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir in corn, coconut milk and chives; heat through. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with chives.

So pull up a mat and let’s kluk the main event of our Thai dinner.

Thai coconut curry chicken

1Tbs. Sesame Oil

1 Tsp. Minced Fresh Ginger

2 Tsps. Red Curry Paste

1 (14Oz.) Can Coconut Milk

1/3 Cup Water

Dash Sea Salt

1 Stalk Lemongrass, first outer layer removed & cut in half

2 Tsps. Fish Sauce

1Tsp. Brown Sugar

2 Cups Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cubed

1 Cup Fresh Pineapple, Chunked

Chopped green onion

Heat the oil in a large wok, add the garlic, sauté. Add the curry, ginger and the thicker cream on top of the can of coconut milk to the wok, whisk.

Add the rest of the coconut milk in along with everything but the chicken and pineapple, whisk.

Bring to a slow boil for 7 minutes, then discard the lemongrass Add the chicken and pineapple and cook till the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 7-9 minutes.

ฉันรักมะพร้าวลูกน้อยของคุณ (You will have to look that one up to translate everybody).

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