Thai Chicken Meatball Soup

1 (4-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeño
2 pounds ground chicken
1 large bunch cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped, a few whole leaves reserved for serving
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil, plus more as needed
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
Steamed white or brown rice, for serving

Using the small holes of a box grater, or a Microplane, grate the ginger, garlic and jalapeño (or finely chop them by hand). Transfer half to a large bowl and set the rest aside. To the large bowl, add the chicken, finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 teaspoon salt. Use your hands or a fork to fully combine but do not overmix.

Use your hands or an ice cream scoop to form 2-inch meatballs (about 2 ounces each). In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs in a single layer and cook, flipping halfway through, until golden brown on two sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat, adding oil as needed.

Once all the meatballs are browned and out of the pot, if the oil is burned, wipe it out and add a bit more to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the reserved ginger mixture and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, coconut milk, sugar and the remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce, and bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs and any juices from the plate, and simmer until the flavors come together and the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the spinach and lime juice. Divide rice among bowls, then top with meatballs, broth and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

15-Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

2 tablespoons oil
3 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs (225g, sliced)
4 cups chicken broth (950 ml)
1 cup water (235 ml)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2/3 cup coconut milk (160 ml)
6 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles (170g)
lime wedges, sliced red onion, red chilis, cilantro, scallions (to garnish)

In a large pot over medium heat, add the oil, garlic, ginger, and Thai red curry paste. Fry for 5 minutes, until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook for a couple minutes, just until the chicken turns opaque.

Add the chicken broth, water, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. At this point, taste the broth for salt and adjust seasoning accordingly (add salt if needed, or if it’s too salty, add a bit of water). Pour the boiling soup over the dried vermicelli noodles in your serving bowls, add a squeeze of lime juice and your garnishes, and serve. The noodles will be ready to eat in a couple minutes.

(Alternatively, you can add the noodles to the boiling broth to cook them, and then divide among serving bowls).

Japanese Eggplant with Chicken and Thai Basil

8 ounces chicken breast (thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons water
5 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus 1 teaspoon for marinating the chicken)
1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 Chinese or Japanese eggplants (about 12-16 ounces/340-450g; cut on an angle into 1 1/2-inch wedges)
3 cloves garlic (sliced thinly)
3 scallions (sliced 1½ inches long on an angle, separated into white and green parts)
1 bunch Thai basil or holy basil (stems removed, about 1 cup loosely packed)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry cooking wine)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Thai thin soy sauce (or light soy sauce)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
ground white pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock (hot)

In a medium bowl, massage the chicken with 2 tablespoons of water until it is completely absorbed, and add 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch until well incorporated. Set aside.

Heat your wok over medium-high heat and coat it with 2 tablespoons of oil. Spread the eggplant out evenly in the wok, and let sear with the cover on the wok for 2 minutes. Remove the cover, turn the eggplant pieces over, and pour another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter. Cover the wok, and turn heat to medium-low for another 2 minutes until the eggplant is just tender. Next, raise the heat to high to cook the eggplant to a golden brown color–another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add 1 more tablespoon of oil to your wok and heat until just smoking. Add the marinated chicken, and spread it around the wok.

Let it sear for 30 to 60 seconds (depending upon your burner capacity) on each side. Remove from the wok and set aside.
With the wok over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil, the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the basil. Stir fry for 30 seconds, and add the eggplant and chicken.

Next, add the Shaoxing wine, and stir everything together. Add the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauces, sesame oil, and white pepper, and stir until everything is combined–about a minute. Next, add the green portion of the scallions.

Pour the chicken stock around the perimeter of the wok to deglaze it. Stir fry until everything is well-combined, and most of the liquid has been absorbed by other ingredients. Serve with steamed jasmine rice!

Tangy Pork Noodle Salad With Lime and Lots of Herbs

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon honey
Fine sea salt
4 tablespoons grapeseed or safflower oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot (1 large)
6 ounces pad Thai or other flat rice noodles
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or mashed to a paste
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated (about 2 teaspoons)
1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced and seeded if you like
1 pound ground pork (or turkey)
1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup mung or other bean sprouts (or 1 cup lettuce)
1 packed cup mint leaves
1 packed cup cilantro or basil sprigs, or a combination
2 cups shredded romaine or other crisp lettuce
Red-pepper flakes, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together lime zest and juice, orange juice, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, honey and a small pinch of salt. Pour half of the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil and the shallots. Set both mixtures aside.

Cook noodles in salted water and according to package directions. Rinse under running water to remove any excess starch, then drain well and add to bowl with shallots, tossing well. Set aside while preparing remaining ingredients.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and chile, and cook until lightly golden and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add pork and stir, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook without stirring too often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Pour in lime juice mixture from the small bowl. Simmer gently until most of the liquid is evaporated, stirring to coat pork in the glaze, another 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Add pork, cucumbers, scallions, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts and herbs to the noodles and toss well to combine. Taste and add more fish sauce, lime juice or both. Just before serving, toss in lettuce, and serve sprinkled with red-pepper flakes with lime wedges on the side.

Herbed Tomato Salad With Tamarind-Maple Dressing

2 pounds mixed tomatoes, such as cherry, heirloom, Sungold or beefsteak
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves picked and stalks finely chopped
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Thai
12 perilla, shiso or mint leaves, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely sliced

3/4 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable
4 shallots, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
Sea salt

4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt

Start the salad: Cut the tomatoes into different shapes — this creates different textures and visual interest — and place them in a colander. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, and set in the sink to drain as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place a strainer over a heatproof bowl. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.

Prepare the fried shallots: Add the oil and shallots to a medium saucepan, and place over low heat. Bring the oil to a simmer, stirring the shallots with a fork to separate the rings. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the shallots are light golden brown, watching them closely, as they will brown quickly toward the end of their cooking. (Don’t let the shallots brown too much, as they will continue to cook after you take them out of the oil.)

Remove the shallots to the strainer to drain, then transfer them to the paper towels. Season with salt and allow to cool. Reserve the oil. Shallots can be fried 5 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Prepare the dressing: Whisk together all the ingredients.

Assemble the salad: Combine the tomatoes, two-thirds of the herbs and scallions, and half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. To finish, top with the remaining dressing, a drizzle of the shallot cooking oil and the rest of the herbs and scallions, then finally with the fried shallots. (Reserve remaining shallot oil for other uses, like vinaigrettes, stir-fries and soups.)

Tomato Salad With Cucumber and Ginger

3 Persian cucumbers
Kosher salt
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime zest plus 3 tablespoons juice (from 2 limes)
4 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut oil or canola oil
1 tablespoon very thinly sliced green serrano chile (about 1/2 large chile)
1 garlic clove, finely grated
12 ounces multicolored cherry tomatoes and small tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 cup small sprigs cilantro
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Create stripes on the exterior of the cucumbers by running the tines of a fork along the length of the skin. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to a colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, fish sauce, coconut oil, chile, garlic and the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.

Just before serving, add the tomatoes, basil, cilantro, red onion, ginger, cucumbers and half the nuts to the dressing; toss to coat. Transfer to a bowl or platter, top with remaining nuts and serve immediately.

Asian Cucumber Salad (with Variations)

1 1/2 pounds Turkish, Persian or English cucumbers (about 5 cups sliced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4–5 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey, or sugar)
1 teaspoon red chili paste (or sriracha, both optional) more to taste
1–2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Using the tines of a fork, score the cucumbers lengthwise- this will help the dressing cling to the cucumber. (Feel free to skip if in a hurry.)

Slice the cucumbers thinly. Place in a bowl and toss with the salt to help them release water. Let this stand while you gather the remaining ingredients.

Strain the cucumbers, place them in a large bowl and add the scallions, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, optional red chili paste and toasted sesame seeds. Mix to combine.

Taste and adjust salt to your liking. Add more chili paste if you like.
Refigerate until ready to serve. This is best served the same day but will keep up to 3 days.

Optional Additions: to go with a more Thai theme you could add fish sauce, lime juice, Thai Basil, and crushed peanuts. To give it more of a Korean twist and add Gochujang. Leave out the chili paste and garlic to give it more of a Japanese spin. You get the idea.

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing

4 Cups shredded Cabbage
1 Cup shredded (or matchstick) Carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1–2 Cups veggies of your choice- sliced cucumber, radish, matchstick kohlrabi , matchstick jicama, snap peas, grated turnips, or shredded green papaya, or sliced mango.
1 cup chopped fresh herbs- mint, basil, or cilantro ( a combo is nice)
1/2 – 3/4 C sliced scallions ( or chives) sliced on the diagonal ( or sub thinly sliced red onion)
1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts (or cashews)

Peanut Ginger Dressing

1 Orange, zest and juice
1 lime, juice
1/3 Cup honey (or agave)
2 Garlic cloves
3 Thin sliced disks of Ginger ( about 1 ½ T)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or Braggs Liquid Amino Acids ( GF)
1 tsp sambal ( red chicle paste) or sriracha sauce
3–4 T roasted peanuts, or use peanut butter

Place cabbage, veggies, scallions and herbs ( save a tablespoon for garnish) in a large bowl. Add peanuts, saving some for the top (or add right before serving).

Make dressing: Zest the orange, set aside, then juice the orange into a ½ cup measuring cup. Juice the lime into the same measuring cup. You should have roughly 1/3 to 1/2 Cup of fresh citrus juice. Add the juice, zest and all the rest of the ingredients except the peanuts (or peanut butter) into a blender. Blend until smooth. Finally add 3 tablespoons peanuts ( or peanut butter) blend again, adding more to desired thickness.

Dress the salad with some or half of the dressing- you may not need all – tossing as you go, adding more if necessary.

Refrigerate the salad –it likes to be nice and cold.

Garnish with remaining herbs and peanuts. Serve with the optional Sambal Chicken or Baked Ginger Sesame Tofu.

Grilled Tofu

1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, sliced crosswise into eight equal slices (about 1/2-inch thick)
2 tablespoons safflower or canola oil, plus more for greasing grates
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped scallions

Arrange sliced tofu in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate. Press top with more paper towels to remove excess water. Arrange tofu in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, or any shallow dish that can hold the tofu in one layer.
In a small saucepan, combine oil, garlic and ginger over medium; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, sugar, pepper and 1/4 cup water, and cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, about 2 minutes.

Pour hot marinade over tofu. Gently turn tofu slices to evenly coat, then cover dish tightly with plastic wrap to seal in heat. Refrigerate for 6 hours (or up to 8 hours), flipping tofu slices halfway through.

Heat grill to medium and grease grates well (or heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium and lightly grease). Grill tofu over direct heat until golden and caramelized, about 3 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, transfer marinade to a small saucepan over medium and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in scallions.

Transfer tofu to a serving plate and spoon over the sauce. Serve warm.

Easiest Lemon Curd (with Variations)

1/2 cup/113 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup/240 milliliters freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 4 to 6 lemons)
3/4 cup to 1 cup/150 grams to 200 grams granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt

Put the butter in a large (at least 6 cup) microwave-safe glass bowl or measuring cup. Set your microwave on 50 percent power and melt the butter, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.

Pour butter into a blender and add lemon zest, juice, sugar, eggs, egg yolk and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture into the same glass bowl you melted the butter in. (You don’t need to wash it.)

Microwave the curd mixture, on full power, in 1-minute intervals for 5 minutes. Whisk furiously between intervals, especially around the edges of the bowl. It should start to thicken. (If it looks like it’s starting to thicken before 5 minutes, stop and continue to the next step; microwaves can vary.)

Reduce power to 70 percent and continue to microwave for another 1 to 2 minutes, whisking every 30 seconds, until the curd thickens enough to coat a spoon, and looks slightly puffed and spongy. (It will continue to thicken as it chills.) An instant-read thermometer should register 180 degrees.

Whisk well and inspect the curd. If you think there are any coagulated bits of egg, strain curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Or if it looks smooth, you can leave it in its current bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and let the curd cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

Grapefruit-Campari Curd: Reduce the lemon juice to 2/3 cup, the lemon zest to 1 teaspoon and the sugar to 3/4 cup. Add 3 tablespoons each freshly squeezed grapefruit juice and Campari, and 1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest.

Makrut Lime Curd: Substitute lime juice and zest for lemon juice and zest. Once the ingredients are blended in Step 2, add 1/3 cup finely slivered makrut lime leaves to the glass bowl, along with the blended mixture. (Don’t blend the lime leaves.) Strain the lime leaves out in Step 5.

Coconut-Braised Chicken with Turmeric and Peppers

2 tablespoons coconut oil or neutral oil
2 teaspoons ground coriander
Kosher salt and black pepper
6 bone-in, skin-on thighs or 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken legs (about 2 1/4 pounds total)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh lemongrass (cut from the tender centers of 2 stalks)
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
4 fresh makrut lime leaves (optional)
1 cup chicken stock
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
5 ounces mini sweet peppers (about 7 peppers), trimmed and thinly sliced (or 1 bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped)
Fresh cilantro (small sprigs and chopped leaves) or basil (sliced), for serving
Cooked jasmine rice

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium. In a small bowl, combine the coriander with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels, then rub the seasoning all over the chicken. Add the chicken to the skillet, skin-side down, and cook until starting to heat through on one side, 10 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, without flipping, until skin is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, browned-side up.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the scallions, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, turmeric and lime leaves, if using, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil over high. Add the chicken, browned-side up, and cook over medium-low until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes for thighs or 30 to 35 minutes for legs. (Chicken is cooked through when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees, or the juices run clear without a trace of pink when chicken is pierced with a knife.)

Transfer the chicken to a plate, browned-side up. Whisk the sauce in the skillet to emulsify, season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the sliced peppers and cook over medium just until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet, browned-side up, and add a few small sprigs cilantro on top of the sauce, for garnish.

Serve with rice or noodles, and pass bowls of cilantro at the table, for seasoning to taste.

Spicy Coconut Mussels with Lemongrass

2 tablespoons coconut or safflower oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed (outer layers removed) and finely chopped
1/2 to 1 small hot chile (like Thai bird, Serrano, Scotch bonnet or jalapeño), seeded and finely chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 pounds fresh mussels, rinsed well
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Asian fish sauce, or to taste
1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves
1 or 2 croissants, split in half

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pot until hot. Add the shallot, garlic, lemongrass and chile. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and mussels. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the mussels have opened, 5 to 7 minutes (discard any mussels that remained closed). Remove from heat, and use a slotted spoon to transfer the mussels to a large bowl, leaving the liquid in the pot. Stir the lemon zest and juice, fish sauce and cilantro into the pot. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or lemon juice if needed (fish sauce provides the salt).

As the mussels cook, heat the broiler. Place the croissants, cut side up, on a small baking sheet. Run under the broiler until just golden. Put the mussels in two wide, shallow bowls. Ladle the broth over them and serve with the croissants.

Coconut-Poached Fish with Bok Choy

4 (6-ounce) cod fillets or other flaky white fish
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
1 fresh Thai or Serrano chile, thinly sliced
2 (13 1/2-ounce) cans coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
About 7 ounces baby bok choy, ends trimmed and stalks separated
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens
Lime wedges (from 1 lime), for serving
Flaky salt (optional)

Season fish well with salt. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic, ginger and chile, and cook, stirring often until they become translucent, about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Add coconut milk, fish sauce and brown sugar, and whisk together until combined and sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer. Add cod fillets and turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook until cod is just cooked through and opaque, about 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully remove the fish and plate in bowls.

Add bok choy to the coconut milk broth and turn heat to medium-low. Cook bok choy until leaves are wilted and stems are tender, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide bok choy evenly alongside the fish and ladle the coconut milk broth over each portion. Top with cilantro, scallions and a good squeeze of lime, and serve with remaining wedges on the side. Garnish with flaky salt, if desired.

Butternut Squash and Green Curry Soup

4 tablespoons coconut oil or neutral-tasting oil
3 medium shallots, diced
1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 3-inch pieces
Kosher salt
2 medium butternut squashes (about 4 pounds), peeled, seeded and cut into about 3/4-inch cubes
2 (13 1/2-ounce) cans coconut milk
6 to 8 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, or to taste
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 to 4 cups water or chicken stock, preferably homemade

Miang kham topping to garnish (see related recipe)

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Melt oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add shallots, ginger, lemongrass and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are tender and just starting to brown, about 18 minutes.

Add squash, coconut milk, curry paste, 3 tablespoons fish sauce and 3 cups water or stock. Increase heat to high. When liquid comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook the soup covered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Remove lemongrass stalks from pot. Use a hand blender to purée soup. Alternatively, transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor and purée. Taste and adjust for salt and curry paste. Add water or stock to thin soup to the desired consistency.

Serve soup hot with garnishes.

Miang Kham Topping

3/4 cup raw peanuts
3/4 cup unsweetened raw coconut flakes
2 tablespoons fish sauce
8 small dried red chiles, such as Japones or chiles de árbol, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon neutral-tasting or melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
1 teaspoon sugar
10 lime leaves, thinly sliced (optional)
Handful of Thai or Italian basil leaves
2 to 3 limes, quartered

In a medium mixing bowl, toss together peanuts, coconut flakes, fish sauce, chiles, 1 tablespoon oil, the minced lemongrass, the sugar and the lime leaves, if using.

Spread mixture out onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes after the first 10 minutes. Remove from oven when coconut is deep golden brown, and pour mixture immediately into a bowl to prevent overcooking. Stir to combine.

Thinly slice the basil leaves and arrange on a small plate or platter, along with lime wedges and peanut mixture. Use as a topping for soups (see butternut squash soup recipe) or other Thai dishes.

Thai Chicken with Cilantro Sauce

2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed
4 cloves garlic, 2 smashed, 2 minced
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems, plus 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
6 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
1 1/2 tablespoons water

Light the grill or heat the broiler. In a blender or food processor, puree the jalapeños, smashed garlic cloves, the 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems, the fish sauce, cooking oil, sesame oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Put the chicken in a shallow dish and coat it with the cilantro puree.

Grill the chicken over moderately high heat or broil it for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until just done, about 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, in a small stainless-steel saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer, stirring. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour the liquid into a small glass or stainless-steel bowl and let cool. Add the minced garlic, the 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, the red-pepper flakes, and water. Serve each chicken breast with a small bowl of the dipping sauce alongside.

Coconut Rice (Savory or Sweet)

1 cup long-grain white rice, such as jasmine
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 scant tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
3/4 cup water

Rinse the rice a few times, until the water that drains away runs almost completely clear.

Put in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat with coconut milk, water, sugar and salt. When the liquid comes up to a boil, give it a good stir, scraping the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low.

Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes. Mix gently with a flexible rubber spatula. Taste, season with salt and serve.

This becomes a meal if you serve it with a fried egg, finely sliced pickled chiles with a little of the pickling liquid and some crushed peanuts. And if you wanted to turn it into dessert, serving it with ripe fruit like cut mango on top, you could stick to the recipe below, but bump the sugar up to 2 tablespoons.

Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1 red chile, such as Fresno or serrano, halved, seeds and ribs removed, then minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 (4- to 5-ounce) bag baby spinach
1/2 lime, juiced
Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Toasted unsweetened coconut

In a Dutch oven or pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the browned sweet potatoes to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot and set the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the curry paste, garlic, ginger, chile and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the lentils, stock, salt and browned sweet potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the lentils are creamy and falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and season with salt to taste.

Divide among shallow bowls and top with cilantro and coconut flakes, if using.

Peanut Sauce

1/3 cup (86 g) Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup (62.5 g) hot water
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) White Vinegar
1 (1 ) lime, juiced
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Minced Ginger
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Garlic
1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) Ground Black Pepper

Place all ingredients into a blender and whirl until smooth.

Serve with vegetables, leftover cooked chicken, or as a salad dressing in your favorite salad.

Quick Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

1 Brooklyn Delhi Golden Coconut Curry Simmer Sauce
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
2 cups mild vegetable stock
2 lbs chopped veggies of choice (i.e. carrots, broccoli, sturdy greens like kale)
2 tablespoons of mild-flavored oil such as sunflower
12 ounces tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes or triangles
salt to taste

For Serving
8 ounces noodles of choice (such as rice, soba or ramen)
oil for tossing the noodles (such as sunflower)
coconut chips, optional
Brooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar, for heat

In a large wok, 2 tablespoons oil in a wide skillet over medium heat (preferably nonstick) until it shimmers. Add the tofu in a single layer and cook until golden on the bottom, 2-4 minutes. Flip each piece and cook on a second side until golden.

Add the Golden Coconut Curry simmer sauce, coconut milks and stock. Add your veggies with salt. Increase the heat to bring the curry to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, drain, rinse with cool water to prevent sticking, and toss with a bit of oil.

To serve, place a nest of noodles in a bowl and top with the veggies and soup, tofu, a good squeeze of lime, and a sprinkling of optional coconut chips. Serve with Tomato Achaar for heat.