Tom Kha Gai – literally, Chicken Galangal Soup – is a coconut-based Thai soup famed for its subtle sweet and sour flavour profile. Though usually eaten as a curry – spooned onto rice – tom kha gai also works well as a noodle soup; the form it takes in the recipe below.
As far as root vegetables go, celeriac performs rather admirably as a base ingredient for soup – its creamy texture makes for a very satisfying spoonful, while its strong flavour pairs favourably with all manner of foods. The robust flavourings of Thai cuisine, in particular, combine remarkably well with this enlarged hypocotyl (celeriac isn’t actually a root, though it does have them) – hence this particular recipe.
Asparagus is probably the most popular spring-time vegetable. However, as one might imagine, there are other vegetables coming into season at this time of the year. After all, we don’t live exclusively on asparagus in the way that the Irish in the nineteenth-century lived, almost comically so, on a diet composed almost entirely of potatoes. The subject of this post, purple sprouting broccoli, is one of the most interesting of the current seasonal treats. This rather attractive vegetable, or brassica to be more precise, is beautiful both inside and out. In my opinion, purple sprouting broccoli is a far more interesting ingredient than asparagus in both its taste and appearance. This variety of broccoli is also, as it happens, far cheaper than asparagus. Indeed, it works out at a little less than half the price.
One thing really does lead to another in this world of bloggery. A few tit-bits seem to lead to the inevitable deluge of information. However, one might well suppose that it is always best to leave one’s readers wanting more – you shan’t get too much out of me, avid followers. If you wish to know more about what instrument I play you may visit the ‘about me’ section – sleuths you lot are not. In reply to the other questions asked: I am spending time with my girlfriend, Katherine, next week and; if I could be any superhero I would be Desperate Dan, since he gets to eat all the pie. As you can see, I intend not to wash away any carefully formed imaginations about myself quite yet – intrigue is rather underrated. More tit-bits will follow, but you shall be forced to practice restraint.
Does anyone else feel that sweet chilli sauce has become so popular it has all but entered the realm occupied by ketchup, mayonnaise and brown sauce?
To be honest, up to this point I’d never been the biggest fan of sweet chilli sauce, but after making it the reason soon became clear. Homemade sweet chilli sauce simply has masses more flavour that the relatively insipid, oddly coloured tat you can purchase in one’s local supermarket.
It’s also rather ironic that making your own sweet chilli sauce takes around the same length of time as it takes to visit a local shop – it really is that quick. Indeed, from beginning to end, this recipe probably took between ten and fifteen minutes – no time at all.
It really is testament to how lazy the general populous has become when it comes to cooking. Please buck the trend, as I have, and make your own sweet chilli sauce. I shall make it worth your while tomorrow, with yet another gastronomic wonder.
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
Makes 1 small bottle, the recipe is easily scalable
• 250ml water
• 2 red chillies, seeds are optional depending on individual taste
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp corn flour (starch)
1. First, you’ll want to blend the water, chillies, garlic and sugar together in a food processor. Transfer the resultant mixture, which should be a little chunky, into a saucepan and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened a little season it and add the corn flour which should be mixed with a tiny little water to make a roux. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes before allowing to cool. Once cool transfer the sauce to a jar or bottle and refrigerate. If the sauce turns to a jelly simply add a little more water without heating.
Cost: Sweet chilli sauce, like most sauces, is rather over-priced in general. A bottle of this sauce, as made by the market leader, costs £1.29. One might think that price fairly reasonable, however this sauce when made at home should set one back a mere 15-20p for roughly the same amount. Everything is relative, my friends.