Friday, June 13, 2008

Thai Green Mango Salad Thai Basil Chicken with noodles

I have just made a great discovery. I am starting to gear up to the race on 21st June and thinking about increasing the carbohydrate in my diet. While searching (still in vain) for some cassava to make some sweet potato and cassava patties (a recipe from Yasmin Alhibi-Brown I want to try), I nipped into Wai Lee Hong, our local Asian supermarket and found something else I had been looking for since my holiday in Thailand - green mangoes. Green mangoes have a firmer flesh and are not as sweet as the ones we are used to eating here in the UK. Unripe mangoes are prized in many South-East Asian countries and in Thailand they are often used to make the most delicious salads. You can probably buy them quite easily in London, but this is the first time I have seen them here in Bristol, even in the Asian supermarket. I bought some immediately to make a green mango salad as a starter before our Thai basil chicken. If you have the ingredients, this meal really takes no time at all to prepare. It is fresh and healthy and provides a really good balance of carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals - great for running, great for anything really!
Green Mango Salad followed by Thai Basil Chicken with noodles - A delicious and healthy way to carbo-load...

Green Mango Salad - serves 2

Mango is one of those fruits which seem to have everything! Rich in dietary fiber and carbohydrate, it also contains antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, B vitamins, potassium, copper and amino acids. It is a pain to peel and ripe mangoes can be really very messy to eat, but it is definitely worth the effort... Don't worry too much about exact quantities, just throw it all together. if you want to make this salad more substantial, you could mix in some prawns or thin slices of roast duck or serve with a fresh tuna steak.

2 green mangoes
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp thai shrimp paste
1 tbsp finely ground roasted peanuts (you can use peanut butter or satay sauce for the sake of speed)
2 tbsp thai fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar (palm sugar or soft brown sugar)
1 tbsp chilli paste
a little finely chopped fresh ginger
bunch of mint, chopped
bunch of coriander, chopped
small fresh chilli, chopped finely
2 finely chopped spring onions
Crisp green salad leaves (Romaine or Cos for instance) to serve
  1. Peel and core the mangoes and slice very finely into thin shreds.
  2. Gently combine all the ingredients and tasted to see if you need a little more sugar, lime juice, fish sauce or chilli to balance the flavours.
  3. Serve on the salad leaves and sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Thai Basil Chicken with Noodles - serves 2

Our Asian supermarket sells two different varieties of basil - Holy Basil and Thai Sweet Basil - both are delicious and have a more aniseed flavour than the mediterranean variety. You could use either in this recipe. If you use the med. variety, you will not get an authentic flavour but it will taste nice all the same! As a vegetable, you could use green beans, or chinese greens. I used Heen Choi, which is very much like spinach.

2 tbs oil
5 tbs fresh thai sweet basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, sliced finely
1 tsp freshly chopped red chilli (add more, plus some whole chillis, if you want it hot)
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into very thin strips
4 chicken thigh fillets or 2 chicken breasts (I pefer to use thigh, as the meat is darker, more juicy and contains more iron)
1-2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar (palm sugar if you have some)
50g chopped peanuts or tbsp satay sauce
2 handfuls of green beans, cut into pieces, or a couple of bunches of chinese greens
125 g noodles - amoy bean strip is good- cooked according to pack intructions
  1. Heat in oil in a frying pan or wok. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic and fry for 20-30 seconds.
  2. Add the chicken and stir-fry for a minute or so until sealed.
  3. Stir in the sugar, satay sauce or peanuts and the fish sauce and then fry the meat until it is cooked through. Add a little water or stock if it looks a bit dry.
  4. Add the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Stir in the oyster sauce and the noodles and then add the basil leaves. Taste for seasoning. You may want to add more chilli, fish sauce, sugar
  6. Serve garnished with basil leaves and a wedge of lime.

If you are stuck for the ingredients, my local oriental supermarket has a website - - and does home delivery nationally. Take a look at the website - there are cooking tips and really useful information about all the different exotic ingreadients.

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