Well, after a long absence G has returned. He came home from Korea yesterday afternoon. I was in the kitchen for hours on Sunday preparing some homecoming food for him- he always gets a grand meal whenever he has been away from home for too long. It is a tradition that started a few years ago, when it seemed he spent more time away from home than at home. His mom would always cook a few favorites when he was due back to the nest: Simmered Beef tongue, Yellow Rice, Leg of Lamb, or Chicken Briyani.
This time I decided to make two dishes for G that I know he loves. Both of these recipes came from Monsoon Restaurant in Toronto, On. where I worked in 2001. The Spicy Thai salad was one of the first things I ever prepared for G. I've haven't been the Thailand (yet), but according to others, this salad is very reminiscent of Thai street food. It's spicy, sweet and refreshing. The Monsoon Fried chicken is garlicky and salty- it is perfect in a sandwich or mixed up with noodles. G loves it all on it's own... in fact it is so good, that back in the restaurant the cooks always stole it from my fridge.. I actually had to hide it in order to have enough for service! It has been compared to crack cocaine for it's addictiveness.
Spicy Thai Salad
For the dressing:
measurements are flexible. Please taste and change to your palate.
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground fresh lemongrass
1/4 cup lime juice
zest of three limes
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
For the salad:
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup cilantro leaves
2 cups julienned red and yellow peppers
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup crunchy noodles*
1/4 cup dressing
1. Combine and serve immediately. Serves 2-4.
Monsoon Fried Chicken
ingredients & Method:
8 boneless chicken thighs
1/2 cup oyster sauce
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tb white or black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Marinate the chicken in the oyster sauce for 10-30 minutes.
2. Mix together the flour, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
3. Using a pair of tongs, remove the chicken one piece at a time and drege well in the flour mixture. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before frying- this ensures a nice crust.
4. Heat the oil to 320 degrees. Be sure to use enough to submerge the chicken, about 3 inches.
5. Fry the chicken one or two pieces at a time, about 6 minutes each or until a thermometer inserted in the fleshiest part reads above 170 degrees.
6. Remove from the oil and drain on a cookie cooling rack, or a mesh rack until cool. Transfer to a paper towel.
These are the crunchy noodles that I like to use (when I can find them!):