Thai cuisine to me infers beautiful fresh tasty food. Thai cuisine blends different flavours (sweet, sour, salty bitter and spicy) and uses fresh ingredients (chillies, herbs) rather than dried. Some of the commonly used ingredients are lime, garlic, noûc mam (fish sauce), chiles, Thai basil, coriander, coconut milk qnd lemon grass.
I have two memories of Thai food from Toronto - Pad Thai from ‘The Bamboo’ (I loved that restaurant on Queen St. West with its Jamaican theme and live music nights) and Thai soup (a spicy broth with tomatoes, lemon grass and shrimp) from the tiny take out restaurant near my house at the corner of Queen and Coxwell.
In Paris I had the good fortune to go to Blue Elephant http://www.blueelephant.com for a work dinner. We ordered the tasting menu and everything was amazing. Blue Elephant has restaurants in several cities now and more to come. In Bangkok, they have a cooking school in addition to the restaurant. Some of the Blue Elephant products (high quality prepared dishes and sauces) are available at some of Paris’ grocery stores like Monoprix and La Grande Épicerie.
Try this spicy chicken dish. Please take care when handling hot chiles – protect your hands or be careful wash your hands afterward and not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas.
Thai Sautéed Chicken with Chiles and Coconut Cream
500 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
30 mL (2 Tbsp) vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
10 mL (2 tsp) small red chile pepper, finely sliced 60 g (2 oz) fresh basil leaves, cut in strips
30 mL (2 Tbsp) nuöc mám (Thai fish sauce)
5 mL (1 tsp) fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
7.5 mL (1-1/2 tsp) sugar
250 mL (1 cup) coconut cream
Remove any fat and sinew from the chicken; cut into strips.
Heat oil in a wok, add onion and chile pepper; cook stirring until onion is tender but not coloured. Turn element to high, add chicken; cook, stirring from time to time, until done. Add the basil, nuöc mám, cilantro and sugar. Cook 1 minute longer. Pour in the coconut cream and stir until heated through. Serve with a bowl of jasmine or basmati rice.