Sunday, 26 August 2012

laab gai

Fresh back from a recent family break in Phuket, Thailand ... a popular holiday destination for Hong Kongers with it being just a hop, skip and jump away . . I felt inspired to develop a Thai favourite of ours for the Thermomix. I just love Thailand. I have travelled through most of the country on various trips over the years. I love, it's natural beauty as well as the hustle and bustle of it's capital (and the shopping of course), it's people and culture .... but most of all it's food :)

So far I have discovered that the thermie is very well suited to make our favourite Thai curries and to blend Thai-style dressings for salads, but this has been the extent of my Thai cooking using the thermomix so far.  Indeed I plan to do a lot more!

I picked up some dried galangal (pronounced 'kah' in Thai) and dried chillies while in Phuket to make this dish. 
This dish calls for charring them in a pan, then grinding them into a powder, which really adds to this recipe's authenticity and depth of flavour . . . yum!

Laab Gai

2 tbsp white rice
2 sml pieces dried galangal
a handful of dried Thai chillies (or chilli powder)
600g chicken breast or thigh fillet, skinless, chopped roughly
20g coconut oil
6 cloves garlic
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 2cm lengths
1 shallot
2 spring onions, cut into 2cm lengths 
a good handful fresh mint leaves
3-4 tbsp fish sauce
juice 2-3 limes
1/2 -1 tsp raw caster sugar, to balance flavours

1. Dry roast the white rice at varoma temp on speed 1 for 12-15 minutes, or until the rice has a golden tinge to it. Remove TM bowl from it's base and allow to cool. Any white rice will do. I used basmati . . . for authenticity use Thai glutinous rice.  

2. While the rice is cooling, add the dried galangal pieces to a small pan (preferably cast iron) or a wok on medium heat until the pieces are darkened and slightly charred. Allow to cool, then add to the TM bowl with the roasted rice and grind into a fine powder on speed 9 for about 30 seconds. Decant and set aside.
Dried galangal & Thai chillies
3. Now roast a handful of Thai dried chillies in the same pan, turning frequently until they are darkened and slightly charred. Allow to cool, then add to the TM bowl and grind into a fine powder on speed 9 for about 30 seconds

4. Add the chicken to the TM bowl and pulse with the turbo button 3-4 times into mince. Add coconut oil and cook for 5-6 minutes at 100°C on reverse + speed soft, or until all of the chicken mince is cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken and set aside. 

5. Add the garlic cloves, lemon grass, shallot, spring onions and mint to the TM bowl and chop on speed 6 for 5 seconds, or until finely chopped. 

6. Return to chicken to the TM bowl and add the fish sauce, lime juice, ground roasted rice and galangal, plus 1/2 - 2 tsp of the ground dried Thai chilli powder (or to taste). Combine on reverse, speed 3 for 10 seconds

7. Taste and adjust flavours to desired sourness, hotness and saltiness. Add sugar only as needed to pull the flavours together. Serve at room temperature in a lettuce leaf cup on a plate with assorted vegetables such as lightly steamed green beans, cucumber sticks, a wedge of cabbage and fresh herbs such as Thai basil and mint.

no thermomix?
  • Roast the white rice in a hot dry pan (cast iron is best) or wok over low-medium heat until golden brown for about 12 minutes. Stirring constantly so that it doesn't burn.
  • Grind the rice, galangal and dried chilli using a coffee grinder. 
  • Use chicken mince and cook on the stovetop.

recipe adapted for the Thermomix from Temple of Thai

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