You know who I’m talking about. It’s not enough that you distractedly clicked through 239 of their photos on facebook, but they insist on coming over so they can show you the EXTENDED iPhoto album plus their Photoshopped favorites. All the while bragging about all the completely “un-touristy” shit they did.
“We went to the Full Moon party, but it was too touristy. So we found this, like, totally remote island. NO ONE knows about it and like we just swam with all these tropical fish and hung out with all the locals.”
“There was this, like, totally ancient temple. It’s not even in the Lonely Planet! We spent the whole afternoon there just meditating and then watched the sunrise with all the locals.”
“There was this tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant. We were the ONLY WHITE PEOPLE THERE!!!!! It was the most authentic Thai food we ever had. We got really bad diarrhea after but it was worth it cause we totally got to bond with all the locals!”
You’ve been friends with this person for way too long to totally blow them off. So instead, you’re going to cook them a meal that seems thoughtful but in reality you’re being a sneaky bitch. This meal is totally inauthentic, stereotypical, and basically “Thai inspired”. And you’re just going to irritate the hell out of your friend by pretending like this is real Thai food. Truth is, this shit is so delicious that they won’t have time to complain while they’re shoving the food in their face. I promise you. Who knows, they might even forget about their photos altogether. (BONUS!)
Here’s what you’re going to make:
- Curry-Lime Chicken Skewers with a Coconut Cashew Satay Sauce
- A Fresh and Fiery Noodle Salad
- Vanilla Cupcakes with a Lime and Coconut Marscapone Frosting
What you’ll need:
(This is a list of what you’ll need to make everything. First have a look in the pantry to see what you’ve already got, nothing worse than buying a massive soya sauce only to discover you’ve already got one at home.)
- A couple medium sized tomatoes
- A couple medium sized red onion
- A healthy chunk of ginger
- About 3 cloves of garlic
- Long green onions (scallions)
- A big bunch of coriander
- Some red chili peppers
- Plenty of limes
Spices and Condiments
- Curry powder
- Soya Sauce
- Sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Chili powder
- Crushed chili flakes
- Peanut butter
- 2-4 chicken breasts
- Coconut cream (this is usually found in a small box right near the canned coconut milk—if you cant find the cream just use the milk)
- Shredded coconut
- Vanilla cupcake mix (you don’t have the time nor the motivation to make vanilla cupcakes from scratch. For realz)
- 1 container of Marscapone cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Cashew nuts
- 1 package of Asian noodles (rice noodles, vermicelli, egg noodles—you pick!)
What to do:
Cut your chicken breasts into long strips. You should get about 4 strips per breast (approximately). In a bowl or a large zip lock bag, marinate the chicken in some sesame oil, curry powder and the juice from one or two limes. You want the chicken to take on a subtle yellow flavor from the curry.
Now on to the sauce…
Chop up the tomatoes, red onion, ginger and garlic. In a small saucepan, heat up some oil and add the tomatoes and onion, warming for about 5 minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic and warm on medium for about another 10 minutes or until everything is soft and fragrant.
Transfer everything into a blender or food processor and puree (you could also do this with an immersion blender). Pour the puree back into your saucepan and add your coconut cream, a couple large tablespoons of peanut butter, some soya sauce, curry powder and some chili powder. Got a bit of Sriracha sauce on hand? Add that too!
Stir everything well, lower the heat and keep the sauce covered and warm until you’re ready to serve.
For the noodle salad…
First cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse from cold water and allow them to cool off. Once they’ve cooled a bit, put them in a large pretty bowl.
Get your cashew nuts and either using a mortar and pestle or a dishcloth and rolling pin (or whatever) bash the cashews until they’re slightly crumbled.
In a frying pan, toast the cashews over medium heat, adding some crushed chili flakes and a drizzle of honey. After a few minutes, remove the cashews from the pan and pour over the (now cooled) noodles. Leave some aside to garnish the chicken.
Chop your red chilies and your green and red onions and sauté only slightly in a frying pan..You want to remove their raw taste but you still want them to have some bite. (Also, leave some chopped green onions aside for chicken garnish as well).
Chop up your coriander, (leaving a little bit aside) and add the onions, chili and coriander to the bowl of noodles and cashews.
To dress the salad feel free to get creative. I like to use lime juice, soya sauce, plenty of honey, some rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and of course salt and pepper. Combine everything well—you might even find the best way to do this is with your hands, I say go for it!
Next, make the cupcakes according to package instructions (seriously you do not want to make them from scratch).
While the cupcakes are baking, pull out the package of mascarpone cheese out of the fridge. In a small bowl combine the cheese with some lime juice, lime zest and at least a quarter cup of powdered sugar. Taste, and add more sugar if you want it to be sweeter.
In a small frying pan, toast the shredded coconut for a few minutes, shaking the pan constantly so it doesn’t burn. Pour the coconut into a little bowl.
When the cupcakes are ready, wait for them to cool off and then ice them with your lime marscapone frosting. Then, tip the cupcake over and dip in the coconut to create a lovely topping.
Okay you’re all ready to go!
On a BBQ or George Foreman grill, grill the chicken until its cooked (no pink on the inside!). I like to cook my chicken on skewers but they’re really not necessary.
To serve, plate the chicken and pour some of the satay sauce on top, make a bowl available on the table for everyone to add as much extra sauce as you like. Garnish with cashews, green onions and a bit of fresh coriander. Serve the salad on the side.
If your friend makes a comment about how this isn’t really “authentic Thai food” then ignore them. Make sure to ply them with lots of beer. (NOT SINGHA!)
By the time you’ve made it to the cupcakes I’m assuming your friend will have already forgotten about Thailand altogether. At this point you two will be planning your trip down to Rio for the 2014 World Cup! FUN!
**For more ideas of “Asian” inspired recipes, check out: