Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thai favorites Bento


Thai, who doesn't like a good curry? Coconut milk, fresh ingredients and simple preparation makes Thai food an easy favorite to include as a theme. To make things even easier I even had a sous chef and taste tester to help things along. Ok, running short on time so no more yammering.


Panang Curry. Thai curries all have a start point of the basic curry paste, whether that be green, sour, red, massaman, yellow, or panang. They all have the same thing in common, a lot of work on a mortar and pestle. Savvy cooks and restaurants know that the best bet is to use some canned curry paste as a base. Yes I've made my share of homemade paste and I have the giant mortar and pestle to prove it, but a good canned paste is the home cook's best friend. The curry is pretty simple, I fried up the paste in some coconut cream and added the rest of the ingredients. And you can put pretty much anything in, I went with beef and bell pepper, but I've seen onion, bamboo shoots and baby corn. I served this over some fragrant jasmine rice.



Pad Thai a very common dish and a fan favorite for anyone that's been to a Thai restaurant. Most restaurant versions I've encountered seemed to be a lot more oily, I think they use that so that the noodles don't stick together after the soak in the water and first enter the wok, but careful cooking and diligent mixing can help you reduce the fat and focus on flavors.





Tom Kha is another favorite for most restaurant patrons. This is possibly the easiest dish to put together, you're heating up some chicken broth, coconut milk, adding some basic aromatics and finally adding what you want for filling. The aromatics come in the form of galanga (Thai ginger) and lemongrass. This again is a soup that I've seen different restaurants add different stuff in this case my Tom Kha is a Tom Kha Gai (for chicken) but you can have seafood, mushroom etc.



Bubor Pulot Hitam or black rice pudding is a dessert I've done in the past but not for this audience. The "forbidden rice" is so named because once upon a time the emperor of China was the only one allowed the luxury of black rice. It's high in fiber and low in starch. The dessert is cooked with galanga for flavor and a bit of sugar (brown and white) and finished with coconut milk to give it a hint of richness. The dessert has a very nutty flavor, and the "soup" has a light sweetness to it, and the texture is brown rice like.

A very tasty effort I hope my diners agree with me. I may have a break next week, I got family coming in and it's hard to do a bento when my house has been invaded.

Box Contents
  • Panang Curry
  • Pad Thai
  • Tom Kha Gai
  • Bubor Pulot Hitam



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