In celebration of Thai New Year, CD-Traveller has teamed up with TV chef Gordon Ramsay to bring you some mouth-watering meals from the east. Today the notoriously hot-headed chef shares his recipe for Chicken in spicy coconut broth, followed by a Mango, lime and coconut rice pudding
CHICKEN IN SPICY COCONUT BROTH
This wonderfully aromatic soup, called tom ka gai, is one of my favourite Thai starters. It is incredibly easy to make and cooks in next to no time. For a quick midweek supper, serve larger bowls – tossing in some blanched rice noodles and a handful of bean sprouts and coriander leaves. Simple and delicious.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 250g sea salt and black pepper
400ml tin reduced-fat coconut milk
3cm knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half (or pared zest of 1 lime)
1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and halved lengthways
2 red chillies, halved lengthways and deseeded
1 tbsp palm sugar (or soft light brown sugar)
2 tbsp lime juice, or to taste
100g button mushrooms, cleaned
handful of coriander leaves, to garnish
Thinly slice the chicken breasts, cutting across the grain, into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl, season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan, then add the 600ml water, using the tin as a measure (i.e. 1.5 tins). Add the ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, chillies, sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
Add the mushrooms to the broth and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken, stir well and simmer until cooked through; this will only take 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to.
Serve the soup in warm bowls, discarding the ginger, lemongrass, chillies and lime leaves if you wish; traditionally, these aromatics are left in the soup but not eaten. Garnish each bowl with some coriander leaves and serve immediately.
MANGO, LIME AND COCONUT RICE PUDDING
A lovely fragrant rice pudding that can be served hot or chilled if you prefer. If you decide to chill it, hold off preparing and adding the mango until you are ready to serve.
250g jasmine rice
400ml tin coconut milk (reduced- fat, if preferred)
80g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, slit in half lengthways
2-3 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 ripe mango
150ml double cream
handful of pistachio nuts, chopped
1 lime, for zesting
Put the rice, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla pod into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, then cover the pan and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the coconut in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until golden brown, shaking the pan frequently. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool. Peel the mango and cut the flesh into chunks, away from the stone.
When the rice is ready, remove the pan from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Stir in the toasted coconut, double cream and mango pieces until evenly combined. Cover again and allow to stand for 2-3 minutes.
Divide the rice pudding between serving bowls and scatter the chopped pistachios on top. Lightly grate over some lime zest and serve.
Recipe taken from Gordon Ramsay’s World Kitchen: Recipes from the F Word (Quadrille Publishing, £20). For Gordon’s take on other Thai dishes like Red snapper with chilli, tamarind and lime sauce don’t forget to log on to CD Traveller tomorrow.