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Posts Tagged ‘lemon grass’

Hello everyone! I must apologize that I have missed a couple of posts, not because of anything other than laziness. I thought I had ‘banked’ enough to last me through the weekend but I hadn’t so my blog remained inactive over the weekend. Our wonderful friends Paul and T paid us a visit, arriving on Friday and going back home on Monday. We had a great time, did lots of fun stuff (yes, I’ll blog about that soon) and ate and drank excessively! Now we are recovering until next time!

I’m inspired by many of the blogs I follow, if not for the recipe, but perhaps an ingredient or even a plating, but I know when an inspiration hits me over the stuffed-up head and it resonates throughout the day with a burning desire (no, not THAT!). Kelly over at Inspired Edibles presented this soup at the beginning of the year and it stuck in my head like that song (sorry about that, peeps) and I knew I had to make it, or something like it. I adore the Asian flavours in a soup, add some rice noodles and I’m in Seventh Heaven. It turned out that I didn’t have some of the ingredients for Kelly’s soup, so I had to improvise, but let me tell you it was YUM. That’s Y. U. M. It was like a lemongrass, sweet and sour, vegetable soup, all of the things that make you happy. That’s right, the epitome of Happy Food.

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Sweet, sour, tangy, delicious

Asian Inspired Soup

Serves 1  in a large bowl (ingredients are just rough, you can use your own taste to determine your version)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Sesame oil and a splash of canola oil
  • 140 g mushrooms (about 3/4 cup), quartered
  • 100 g shrimps and scallops (3 large shrimp and 1 scallop), cleaned and sliced down the middle
  • 60 g onions, sliced finely (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 10 g garlic, roughly chopped (2-3 cloves)
  • 10 g fresh ginger, roughly chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 10 g lemongrass, roughly chopped (about 2-3 tables spoons)
  • 5 g Galangal
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 3 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 roma tomato, quartered
  • handful of rice noodles

Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion
  • pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Heat the water in your kettle until boiling. Pour over the rice noodles and allow to sit until they are totally reconstituted, 10-15 minutes. Do not over soak, you want a bit of a bite to it.
  2. In a large soup pan, heat the two oils until hot but not smoky (the sesame oil has a very low smoke point). Add the onions and stir until slightly translucent. Add the shrimp and scallop and cook lightly. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the coriander on the shrimp and onions and stir quickly until aromatic.
  3. Combine the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and galangal in an infuser (mine is like this) and put it into the soup pan. Add all of the stock and water and add the lime juice, fish sauce, and hoisin saucekafir leaves, galangal, fish sauce, lime juice, and hoisin sauce. Stir well.
  4. Bring to a very light boil and allow to simmer for about 5-6 minutes (be careful so your shrimp and scallop don’t over cook). Add the tomatoes but don’t overcook, just heat them up.
  5. Put one third of the cold noodles into a large decorative white bowl. Add ladle-fulls of the soup and garnish with the green onion and pepper flakes. Enjoy.

Cooks tips:

  • Store your fresh ginger knobs in the freezer in a resealable container; grate on a fine micro-plane grater when required, you need not peel it! Keeps indefinitely.
  • I usually buy a large quantity of lemongrass and chop them finely in my food processor, and then I freeze them in a reusable container. I can usually break off what I need.
  • If you are taking the left overs to work, I recommend storing the cooked noodles in a separate container to the soup so that they don’t absorb any more liquid. When you reheat the soup, do so to just before boiling (so the chicken doesn’t cook further) and that way when you put the chilled noodles in, they will cool it down to a palatable level.
  • Fish sauce is used in thai cooking instead of salt.
  • To save time, I have sometimes used Rosa’s Lime Cordial instead of lime juice, but you have to remember NOT to add the hoisin sauce as that is also sweet.
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Still tastes the same, just in sheeps clothing

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My friend, Barb (Profiteroles and Ponytails) went to Australia several years ago and shortly after we visited her in Vancouver; for our premier dinner she made us the Thai Coconut Soup that is so famous in restaurants and it was delicious! I had no experience cooking Thai food at home and as a gift she bought me a Thai cookbook called Australian Woman’s Weekly, Easy Thai-Style Cookery. It is really my ‘go to’ cookbook for Thai food, my favourite being Lemongrass Soup. It has great step-by-step instructions on how to with very clear photos. You really can’t go wrong. I have made this soup so often I don’t even look at the recipe anymore and basically just eyeball and taste it, so you’ll have to excuse my loosey-goosey measurements! I have served this soup at several dinner parties and I am told by some of my Thai food-lover friends that it is very delicious!

Thai cooking is about balancing salty, sweet, spicy and sour so you really have to taste, taste, taste and adjust as you go along. My Lemongrass soup is my favourite to the restaurant variety as I find some too salty and too sweet. Most restaurant versions also don’t include fettuccine-sized rice noodles (half centimetre wide) in the soup, but there was one place across from the Eaton Centre on Yonge Street that always had the noodles in the soup and I really enjoyed it, so I usually include them!

This soup comes together very quickly, the hard part is waiting for the rice noodles to soften up. You can also substitute shrimp for the chicken.

Comforting lemongrass chicken soup

I always make an extra huge batch so I can take some to work for my lunch the next day.

A mouthwatering delicious balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy; can I get you a bowl?

Thai Inspired Lemongrass Chicken Soup

Serves 3 in large bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp flavourless vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3oog boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 2 cups thinly sliced plain white mushrooms (I like a lot of mushrooms in my soup)
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger (ground is fine, fresh is better)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped lemon grass
  • 4 kafir lime leaves
  • 2 small bits of dry galangal (Thai ginger)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2-4 tbsp sugar (or I used agave nectar)
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 4-6 cup water or low sodium chicken stock (I did a mix of the two to mitigate calories)
  • a good handful of fettuccine-sized rice noodles

Garnish:

  • 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion (forgot to add for the photo)
  • 2-4 Thai basil leaves, chiffonade (did not have this, nor did I miss it)
  • handful of chopped cilantro (did not have this, but I surely missed it)

Directions:

  1. Heat the water in your kettle until boiling. Pour over the rice noodles and allow to sit until they are totally reconstituted, 10-15 minutes. Do not over soak, you want a bit of a bite to it.
  2. In a large soup pan, heat the two oils until hot but not smoky (the sesame oil has a very low smoke point). Add the onions and stir until slightly translucent. Add the chicken and brown a bit. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
  3. Mix the cumin, coriandre, ginger and lemon grass together, sprinkle on the chicken and stir until you can really smell it. Add the garlic and stir once. Add all of the chicken stock, kafir leaves, galangal, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and chili flakes. Stir well. Heat so that the chicken cooks through. Once the chicken is cooked, taste for salty, sweet, spicy and sour balance and adjust accordingly. Remove the galangal and kafir lime leaves, discard.
  4. Put one third of the cold noodles into a large decorative white bowl. Add ladle-fulls of the chicken soup with bits of chicken, onion and mushrooms. Garnish with the green onion, chopped basil leaves and cilantro leaves. Enjoy.

Cooks tips:

  • Store your fresh ginger knobs in the freezer in a resealable container; grate on a fine micro-plane grater when required, you need not peel it! Keeps indefinitely.
  • I usually buy a large quantity of lemongrass and chop them finely in my food processor, and then I freeze them in a reusable container. I can usually break off what I need.
  • If you are taking the left overs to work, I recommend storing the cooked noodles in a separate container to the soup so that they don’t absorb any more liquid. When you reheat the soup, do so to just before boiling (so the chicken doesn’t cook further) and that way when you put the chilled noodles in, they will cool it down to a palatable level.
  • Fish sauce is used in thai cooking instead of salt.
  • To save time, I have sometimes used Rosa’s Lime Cordial instead of lime juice, but you have to remember NOT to add the sugar.

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