I have to admit that despite having been to Thailand a couple of times I’d never actually heard of Thai iced coffee until I moved out here. I suspect that this is because the only things I’ve ever drunk in Thailand have been water, beer and once (regrettably) an excess of Sangsom and red bull.
I actually find the flavour of this a little bit reminiscent of the Camp coffee that there always seemed to be a bottle of in my Grandmas kitchen cupboard, this might be why I love it so much. I’ve been a fan of coffee and cardamom together since I made some little chocolate pots flavoured with the same combination. (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/coffee-and-cardomon-chocolate-pots/) This ice cream is sweet, creamy and fragrant with just a hint of bitterness from the coffee. Utterly delicious.
It’s a no-churn recipe too which means that you can have a batch in the freezer in double-quick time.
175g condensed milk
300ml double cream
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp hot water
Combine the spices with the coffee and mix this with the hot water, vanilla and almond extract. Leave this to cool.
Beat together the cream and condensed milk in a large bowl using an electric mixer until it is thick and fluffy. Add the cooled coffee mixture and beat again for a further 30 seconds to a minute, until you have a uniform pale coffee colour.
Transfer the ice cream mixture to a freezable container and freeze until firm.
Chinese new year got me thinking about dim-sum. As a general rule I’m not a big fan of Chinese food, my taste buds are firmly anchored in Southern Asia. Having said that though, I do love dim-sum, ever since we ate ‘proper’ dim-sum in Hong-Kong. Anything where you can experience so many tastes and textures in one meal is a winner as far as I’m concerned.
Since moving to America I have discovered something called crab Rangoon, crab and cream cheese deep-fried in wonton wrappers. Not in any way authentic but so good and quite obviously so bad too.
Because I love Thai food so much I added some curry paste to the filling and I also baked mine rather than frying them, in a (probably vain) attempt to make them a bit less bad for me.
Make sure that you don’t let the wonton wrappers dry out, keep them under a damp tea towel, whilst you’re working. Don’t be tempted to overfill them either or they will only burst open in the oven.
You can fold them anyway that you like but I’ve tried to explain the way that I did it as well as I can. You can also add more curry paste if you like them a bit more spicy.
24 wonton wrappers
100g cream cheese
100g white crab meat
1 tsp red or yellow curry Thai paste
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp dark soy sauce
zest of 1 lime
2 tsp chopped coriander
Pre-heat the oven to 220°c.
Give the cream cheese a good stir to soften it up before blending in everything but the coriander and crab.
Carefully fold these through.
One at a time, take a wonton wrapper, put one teaspoon of the filling in the middle off it. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a finger dipped in water and fold the wrapper in half diagonally, firmly pressing the edges together to seal it.
Moisten the corners and fold them across each other and give them a little pinch together.
Brush both sides with melted butter and lay them out on a baking tray.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are nicely browned. I serve mine with a dipping sauce made from a 50/50 mix of soy and sweet chili sauces.
Whilst I was back in the UK over Christmas my friend treated me to lunch at a great place in Cirencester called Made by Bob. I ate a soup that was so delicious I was genuinely a little bit sad when the bottom of the bowl became visible.
I’ve done my best to recreate it here. It’s not quite as sublimely silky but the flavours aren’t far off. It’s so easy to make and uses things that I always have in my pantry. It is the kind of thing that I’ll keep making and it’ll probably evolve over time.
I’ve listed palm sugar, lime juice and soy sauce to taste because it’s really down to personal preference. As a guide I use one teaspoon of palm sugar and soy sauce and the juice of half a lime but you might like it slightly saltier or a bit more sour.
1 medium onion
700g butternut squash
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
250ml coconut milk
palm sugar, lime juice and soy sauce to taste
Peel and dice the onion. Peel the squash and cut it into cubes.
Sweat the onion in a large saucepan using a little oil. Once it’s soft but not brown add the butternut squash and fry for a minute or two before mixing in the paste. Pour in the water, cover and simmer until the squash is really soft and tender.
Remove from the heat and blend until smooth. Return to the hob, add the coconut milk and seasonings (palm sugar, lime juice and soy sauce) to taste. Bring back up to a gentle simmer before serving.
I really like this with a couple of slices of griddled firm tofu to make a substantial supper.
Many many years ago I took my first trip to Thailand, travelling around the country for three weeks with a friend.
One of the best things we did was spending a day being introduced to the art of Thai cookery in Chang Mai. We started our education with a trip to the local markets to buy ingredients. However I missed out on large chunk of this when one of our fellow students fainted in the heat and I aided in their recovery by standing with their ankles propped up on my shoulder whilst they lay on a kindly stall holders empty table.
This isn’t actually one of the recipes that we made that day but I’ve adapted it from the fishcake recipe in the book that we took away with us. If you can get kaffir lime leaves then be sure to use them instead of the lime juice that I’ve used here. The juice tends to make the mixture a little loose so you have to use extra cornflour in the recipe which can give the cooked patties a slightly floury mouth-feel. Unfortunately I was unable to find kaffir lime leaves when I made this so I had to improvise. Annoyingly I tracked some down just a few days later!
makes about 16
200g firm tofu
1 spring onion
1 medium red chili (de-seeded)
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp palm sugar
pinch of shredded kaffir lime leaves or juice and zest of 1/2 a lime
sprig fresh coriander
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp (approx) cornflour
Lightly beat the egg with the curry paste, soy sauce and palm sugar.
Finely slice the spring onion and chop the chili and the coriander. Mix these and the lime (leaves or zest and juice) into the egg mixture. Add in the baking powder and them crumble in the tofu.
Fold it all together and then sprinkle in enough of the cornflour to bind the mixture together. Be careful not to be too liberal with the cornflour or, as I mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to taste it in the finished product.
Shape the mixture into little patties or drop spoons of it onto a tray or chopping board covered in clingfilm (to prevent staining.) Place these in the fridge to firm up for a couple of hours.
Fry in a little oil for a minute or two on each side until golden brown. Serve with your favourite Asian dipping sauce, mine is a mix of soy and sweet chili sauce that a lady at our local Korean supermarket told me to serve with tofu. Very tasty it is too.
Note: If you aren’t of the veggie/vegan ilk then these can be made with firm white fish instead of tofu but you’ll need to cook them for a little longer.