Archive for » November 14th, 2007«

Chilli Chicken with Basil and Coconut Cream

Here is a quick and easy Thai dish that is very good without to much preparation time. I usually make this as one of the dishes I make when I do a Thai night, of course with the ingredients cut way back, as I make this with two or three other dishes to accompany it. I think I have gotten close to what would be the right amount for 4 people as one main dish.


2 Tablespoons peanut oil
4 large chicken breasts, 800-900g in weight, sliced thickly
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
3 Thai red chillies,finely chopped (I add about half the seeds to chicken mixture my family does not like spicy food although I do, This dish is not supposed to be super spicy but feel free to adjust for your personal taste.)
11/2 Tablespoons fish sauce (sounds like a lot I know, I usually use only 1-2Teaspoons in most recipes but trust me this works here.)
1/2 Teaspoon chilli powder
11/2 Teaspoons sugar
300ml coconut cream (I use kara brand I really like this one as it is way more creamier than other brands.)
100ml coconut milk (this is only extra if serving over jasmine rice. I don’t think there will be enough liquid with just the coconut cream, as it is quite a lot thicker than coconut milk.)
1 Cup fresh basil, finely shredded
1 Tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped


1. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan, add onion, chilli and garlic, cook until onion is soft.

2. Add chicken to pan stir-fry until cooked though. Add sauce, cream, chilli powder, sugar (and milk if serving over rice.) A wok gets hotter than a frying pan, you may want to cover and cook a couple of minutes if using a frying pan to make sure chicken is cooked through.

3. Add basil and coriander toss until hot, serve immediately.

To serve: Serve over jasmine rice garnish with coriander leaf.

All photo’s taken by me unless otherwise stated.

Baked Whole Fish with Tahini sauce and Tempura Vegetables

Here is a recipe for baked whole fish, some people are nervous of cooking fish whole and tend to stick more to fillets instead.

I have cooked whole fish of varies sizes from large salmon that would feed between 10-15 people to individual small fish. It is very easy and the fish comes out beautifully tender and moist and flakes easily away from the bone.

Feel free to make with fillets if you prefer, just note that the cooking time will be less. I usually make this recipe with snapper but I couldn’t get any yesterday so I bought Sea Bream instead.


4 Small whole snapper or sea bream
2 Medium whole snapper or sea bream
Per Pan
I use 2 pans for the cooking, I put the same amount of ingredients listed below per pan.
1/3 Cup lime juice
1/2 Cup dry white wine
1/2 Cup water
1 Tablespoon lemongrass, fresh chopped finely
1/4 Cup fresh coriander, chopped coarsely
1/4 Cup parsley, chopped coarsely

Tahini Sauce

3/4 Cup Tahini paste
3/4 Cup water
2 Cloves garlic, crushed
11/2 Tablespoons lime juice
11/2 Teaspoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
3/4 Teaspoons sugar


1. Combine lime juice, wine, water, lemongrass, coriander and parsley in a bowl. Place fish in baking dish and pour mixture over, repeating for second pan.

2. Cover with foil and bake at 190c for 25-30 Min’s until fish are tender and cooked through.

Tahini Sauce

1. Blend or Process Tahini ingredients until just combined about a minute.

2. Transfer to a pan and heat until sauce thickens and is heated through.

To Serve pull skin back from one side of fish and using a fork pull fish meat off from top to bottom. You will find it flakes off real easy and you shouldn’t end up with many bones in fish meat. Repeat to the other side, place fish meat neatly on plate and pour tahini sauce over. Serve with tempura vegetables with dipping sauce recipe below.

Tempura Batter

1 egg, beaten lightly
1 Cup plain flour
1 Cup cornflour
2 Cups iced soda water


You can use just about any mix of vegetables, below is just a suggestion. This is also the same way to make seafood tempura you can also make this as a starter with a mixture of seafood and vegetables.

1 Carrot, slice pieces off with a vegetable peeler
1 small red capsicum, seeded cut into squares
1 onion, cut into wedges
8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and halved
8-10 baby asparagus
2 sheets toasted seaweed (yaki-nori)
1 small sweet potato, sliced thinly
20g dried wheat noodles, cut in half for decoration

Dipping sauce

1 Cup primary dashi (you can usually buy this instant from most Asian grocery stores and just prepare according to packet directions. If not see recipe for it below.)
1/3 Cup light soy sauce
1/3 Cup mirin
3 Teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
11/2 Teaspoon sugar


1. Cut seaweed into 5cm squares, halve the sheet and cut into 2cm-wide strips. Brush strips with water and wrap tightly around noodles in the middle, reserve noodle bunches

2. Mix all the ingredients for the batter together, this should not be a smooth batter, but should have a few lumps of flour in it. It is best made just before beginning to deep fry. Always make with iced or chilled water and never leave batter to sit for to long before using.

3. Heat oil to moderately hot 170c in wok or deep pan. Dust chopped vegetables, except seaweed squares, lightly in flour. Dip seaweed squares and other ingredients into batter, drain excess batter, deep fry ingredients, in batches until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Only fry small amounts at a time to allow for oil to come back to correct temperature before next batch is added.

4 Finally deep fry noodle bunches and serve as a garnish.

5. Combine all sauce ingredients stir to mix.

6. Serve tempura immediately with individual bowls of dipping sauce.

Recipe for Dashi

If you can’t get instant dashi here is a recipe for primary dashi. The recipe makes quite a lot but if you make Japanese often it will keep in the fridge for a few days and last in the freezer for a month but it will lose some of it’s delicate flavour and aroma.

15g dried kelp (konbu)
1 litre cold water
15g large smoked dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)

1. Wipe kelp with a damp cloth, cut into 3-4 large pieces. Place kelp in a large saucepan with water, cook uncovered, about 10 Min’s or until just about to come to a boil.

2. Remove kelp, bring liquid to boil and add another 1/4 cup cold water along with bonito flakes, return just to a boil, remove from heat immediately.

3. Strain dashi through a muslin-lined sieve into another pan.

All photo’s taken by me unless otherwise stated.