Thai Made by Kirk

We had Alex and Sonja over for dinner two weekends ago. Kirk did all the cooking! He did an amazing job and made a Thai feast. In doing so, we realized that we hadn’t made Thai food for a long time, which is strange since it used to be our most frequent ethnic cuisine. Cooking for Alex and Sonja gave us a chance to try a bunch of new dishes, too.

First course – tom kha soup. The soup is a coconut milk base with mushrooms, cilantro, lemon grass, ginger, lime, chiles, and other spices. This is one of our favorite dishes, but we added some new twists for our dinner guests. Normally we make this with chicken (tom kha gai) and chicken stock, but to keep it veg-friendly, we used vegetable stock and added many more mushrooms. Usually the soup looks whiter and less brown, but the vegetable stock really darkened the color.4347426005_0816ee8557

Next we served a salad of shredded Chinese white cabbage, carrots, celery, and cucumber. It was served with a homemade peanut dressing that was spectacular (but not pictured, since it wasn’t nearly as pretty as the undressed salad). We had never used that type of cabbage in our kitchen (and Kirk usually isn’t a big cabbage fan), but it had a great flavor and we really liked it. 

The third course was mussels in a coconut cream sauce. These were so simple and yummy. We have really enjoyed eating mussels more at home.

For our main course we had a curry dish that I think we’ll just call “Kirk curry.” We are big fans of Penang curry, but we really appreciate all types of Thai curries (green, red yellow, Massaman). We had never made a curry from scratch before, instead using a pre-made curry paste and starting from there. Kirk wanted to do it all though, but after looking through dozens of curry recipes, couldn’t find one that satisfied him. So he created his own. The base of the paste was fairly complex but included most of your Thai spice standards, including green and red chiles. For the complete dish, we served it with shrimp, green beans, and red bell pepper. While simmering the curry we added our last Thai makrud lime leaves, which is the secret touch that is hard to do at home (these specific type of lime leaves have to be special ordered), but make all the difference.


For dessert we made sweet sticky rice using even more coconut milk (every dish we made had at least a little coconut milk in it) and served it with diced mango. So simple yet so delicious. We love making sticky rice, too, since we get to bring out our Thai bamboo steamer.

The only thing I wish we had added would have been Thai iced coffee, but after a meal like that, we really didn’t need more sweetened condensed milk in our bellies!

For more pictures see Alex and Sonja's Flickr page.

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