Coconut is consumed in various forms and in large quantities in Thailand as it has many benefits in addition to its rich taste. Coconut contains a substance (lauric acid), which protects the body against viruses and bacteria by acting as an anti-microbial. Coconut in its various forms finds its way as an ingredient in most Thai dishes.
Here are a few simple dishes you can cook with coconut being the knight in shining armor.
COCONUT ICE CREAM
• 8 oz whipping cream or heavy cream
• 6 oz cream of coconut
• 1/2 can sweetened flaked coconut
1.Chill a large mixing bowl and the beaters of an electric mixer in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
2. Pour the whipping cream into the chilled bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
3. Add in the sweetened coconut and cream of coconut.
Freeze in a freezer safe container for about 4 hours or overnight.
THAI ICED TEA
• 4 cups (960ml) water
• 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
• 4 organic black tea bags
• 2 anise stars
• 2 whole cloves
• 1 green cardamom pod, smashed
• ½ cup (120ml) Coconut milk
• ½ cup (120ml) whole milk/sweetened condensed milk
1.Boil water with the tea bags, sugar, anise starts, cardamom pod and cloves. Stir the mixture until all the sugar is dissolved.
2. Bring the tea to a boil and remove from the heat.
3. Allow the tea to cool for about 30 minutes. The Thai tea tastes better with more concentrated flavour. For maximum flavour you could allow the tea bags to seep for about 2 hours.
4. Remove the tea bags and spoon out the anise starts, cardamom pod and cloves.
5. Fill glasses with ice and pour in organic Thai tea leaving enough room to fill in your coconut and whole/condesnsed milk.
TOM KHA GAI
• 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
• 1 can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth / Vegetable broth
• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
• 1 teaspoon Thai chili paste
• 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, cut in 1-in. pieces
• 6 quarter-size slices fresh Galangal
• 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla) [Optional]
• 1 pound boned, skinned chicken breast or thighs / Tofu; cut into 1-in. chunk
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1.Combine the coconut milk, broth, ginger, and lemongrass in a medium saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
3. To that, add fish sauce, chicken/tofu, sugar, mushrooms, chili paste and lime juice.
4. Over low heat simmer for 5-10 minutes until chicken/tofu is cooked.
5. Remove the lemongrass from the soup and garnish with cilantro and basil leaves.
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 cloves of garlic chopped
• 6 tablespoons Panang curry paste
• 2 fresh red chili peppers sliced
• 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed
• 2 cans coconut milk
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 6 leaves dried kaffir lime whole
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
• a good handful of fresh coriander chopped
• leaves a good handful fresh Thai or regular basil chopped
1.In a large skillet/wok over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry the garlic and the chili peppers and cook about 30 seconds. Then add the curry paste frying it until fragrant.
2. Add the chicken and fry for around 3 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk into the curry paste bringing it to a boil.
4. Cook and stir until the chicken is nearly cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes.
5. To the mixture, add sugar, fish sauce, and lime leaves; simmer for another 5 minutes.
6. For saltiness, add salt/fish sauce as per taste.
7. Garnish with basil and coriander before serving.
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