Saturday night  for our Freckin’ dinner we made pho. Well, it was maybe a loose interpretation of pho. I’d always wanted to make it and then voila! the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived with a recipe for Curry Coconut Soup and Basil Lime Chicken. It suggested that you put the chicken in the soup and then garnish much like pho so…maybe I should call it faux pho or pho-esque. Pho-ish? Pho-near?

Regardless, it was pho-tastic. Served with basil and cucumbers, additional condiments to choose from included Sriracha, lemon wedges, bean sprouts, cilantro, and green onions. We also made lettuce wraps with beef for the boys and mushrooms for the girls.

Pho sho.

Beef lettuce wraps. Forgot to photograph the shrooms.

Both were delicious. I couldn’t find yellow curry and so used the red. I wasn’t really sure of the difference but we didn’t notice any in taste. I would also use bibb lettuce instead of iceberg. The subbing of the mushrooms for beef for a vegetarian option was my idea, and Jay cooked them both up using the exact same ingredients for the rest of the recipe.

Also, I couldn’t find the thicker rice noodles so I used the thin ones, they also tasted great, but I can’t say I’d know the difference since I’d never made them before. I think next time I would break them up a bit before cooking as well.

Since these recipes are hot off the presses and not online yet, here you go:

Chicken with Basil and Lime:

This lime-and-soy marinated chicken is delicious added to the coconut-curry soup, but it can also be served on its own. (Double the recipe if you want each person to have a full serving of chicken.)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon safflower or peanut oil (I used canola)

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 large shallot, thinly sliced into rings

Course salt

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to an even thickness (Oh, what do you know, I am reading this part for the first time–I did not pound my chicken)

1 cup basil leaves

1. Stir together 1 tablespoon lime juice, the oil, soy sauce, sugar, shallot, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in an 8-inch square baking dish. Add chicken; toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat broiler. Arrange chicken on top of shallots in dish. Broil 8 inches from heat source until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Flip chicken, arranging shallots around sides. Broil until chicken is cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let stand for 5 minutes. Slice chicken crosswise. Reserve the pan juices.

3. Transfer chicken and reserved pan juices to a bowl. Toss with basil and remaining tablespoon lime juice.

* You can marinade chicken for up to 1 day.

Coconut-Curry Noodle Soup

Inspired by Malaysian laksa, a traditional dish of noodles in hot spicy broth, this easy-to-prepare soup gets its complex flavor foundation from store-bought curry paste. It can be topped with cooked chicken, seafood, or tofu. Try other traditional garnishes, such as scallions, cilantro, chiles, peanuts, or hard-cooked eggs.

10 ounces Chinese wheat noodles (mein), or rice noodles

1 tablespoon safflower or peanut oil (I used canola)

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Thai yellow curry paste (from 4-oz jar or can)

1 (14 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk

1 lemon

Garnish: fresh basil and 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced.

1. Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil.

2. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook curry paste, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in stock. Raise heat, and bring to a boil. Whisk in coconut milk. Cook until just simmering (do not boil).

3. Cut lemon in half, and squeeze 1 half into saucepan. Cut remaining half into 4 wedges. Divide noodles and soup among 4 bowls. Garnish with basil, cucumber, and lemon wedges.

* Noodles can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Bring to room temp before using.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

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