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Classic Thai Dishes - Main Courses

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 5 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Classic Thai Dishes - Main Courses

A Thai meal typically tantalises the tastebuds! Its combination of sweet and sour, hot and salty is carefully balanced to stimulate the different areas of the tongue, resulting in an overall 'Mmmmmm' factor.

Although we bring you recipes as a base from which you can work, allow your own senses to fine tune them to your liking. Experiment and enjoy the taste of Thailand!

Pad Thai

  • 8 oz vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups green cabbage, very finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, cut in thin julienne strips
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, roughly chopped


  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Put noodles to soak in hot water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients and stir well. Set aside.If you don't have molasses or treacle, use dark brown sugar.

Heat the oil in a wok and stir fry the garlic, carrot and cabbage for 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan while you stir in and scramble the eggs.

Drain the noodles and add to the wok with the sauce. Stir fry for about 3 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add the spring onions and most of the bean sprouts. Stir to heat through.

Serve garnished with the remaining bean sprouts, coriander and peanuts.

Thai Green Curry

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 red peppers, cored, de-seeded and chopped
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped, for garnish


  • ½ stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds, ground
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 green chilli, cored, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1" root ginger, grated
  • 4 lime leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

First prepare the curry sauce by blending all the sauce ingredients together in a liquidiser.

Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan and fry the paste for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring. Add the chicken pieces and simmer for about 40. Add the red peppers and cook for another 20 minutes.

Taste and add more fish sauce if required. Serve sprinkled with basil.

Chicken Satay

Although not originating in Thailand, chicken with satay sauce has become identified with the Thai cuisine.

  • 4 skinless and boneless chicken fillets
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, thinly sliced
  • ½" root ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • Oil

Rinse and pat dry chicken fillets. Slice chicken into pieces about ¼" thick.

Dry roast the coriander seeds in a thick-based pan for a minute or 2, shaking all the time. Don't let them burn! Grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle.

Place in a bowl with the cumin, turmeric, onion, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, salt and sugar. Mix in the chicken pieces, making sure they're all coated and then cover and set aside for 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, soak bamboo skewers in water for about 20 minutes to stop them burning under the grill.

Thread the chicken on the skewers, brush with oil and cook until done - for 10-20 minutes depending on thickness of chicken pieces. Serve with peanut sauce.

Peanut sauce

  • 1 stick lemon grass, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 oz dry roasted peanuts
  • 1" root ginger, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, cored, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Blend all the ingredients together in a liquidiser. Tip into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or it thickens.

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