One of my very favorite things to do is host themed dinner parties. Since I can’t seem to ever get enough Thai food, I’m always looking for an excuse to invite some friends over and put together a Thai feast!
Rather than just leave you with a few recipes and wish you the best of luck, I’ve listed out the recipe steps and organized them into time segments.
This Thai feast should feed 6-8 hungry people.
Asian Foods Aisle
- 1 small bottle fish sauce
- 1 small jar red curry paste
- 1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 small bottle oyster sauce
- 1 small bottle soy sauce
- 3 cups uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 small jar chili-garlic sauce (sambal oelek)
- Palm or brown sugar
- White sugar
- Peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 quart low sodium chicken broth
- 1 pint half-and-half (cream)
Meat, Poultry & Seafood
- 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ pound de-veined shrimp
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 4 bird’s eye chilies
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 3 limes
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 small bunch Thai basil leaves
- 4″ ginger root
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 (3″) stalks lemongrass
- ½ pound white mushrooms
Look for these items in an import supermarket or order online:
- 8 wild lime leaves (optional)
- 4 tablespoons Thai Iced Tea Mix (available for ordering online)
- 1″ galangal root (or substitute more ginger)
- If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen and are proficient in knife skills, you should be able to complete all the prep work in about 15-20 minutes. If you’re a bit rusty, consider doing as much prep work as possible ahead of time. You can slice the chicken and keep it refrigerated in a zipper-close bag until ready to use. Similarly, try cutting up all of the produce in advance.
- This is going to be a fast-paced hour. Don’t expect to get this done while pouring drinks for your guests or chatting on the phone with your sister. FOCUS is the name of the game!
- As with any time you’re making dinner for guests, it’s best to try recipes ahead of time to make sure you understand them and are comfortable with the techniques. These six recipes are pretty simple, and if you’re used to spending a lot of time in the kitchen you should be just fine.
- If you don’t finish up with all of the prep work in the first fifteen minutes (“1 hour until dinner”), just keep working on it as you move through the other steps. As long as you get it all done by minute 40 (“20 minutes until dinner”), you’ll be just fine!
- If you tend to get distracted or lose track of time, set timers on your phone so you know when to move along to the next step. If you’re running behind and guests start to arrive, put them to work! Or do as I do and have cocktails ready and waiting.
On the Menu:
1 hour before serving:
- Prepare the Thai Iced Tea base. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.
- Gather all of the ingredients you will need. Place one large serving bowl (for the soup) and one medium serving bowl (for the tomato salad) on the counter.
- Remove the stems and seeds from 4 bird’s eye chilies. Slice two of the chilies, then mince the remaining two. Place the sliced chilies in the medium serving bowl and the minced chilies in the large serving bowl. Wash hands thoroughly.
- Chop ½ cup of cilantro leaves; place half in the large serving bowl and half in the medium serving bowl.
- Slice three limes in half. Juice two of them into the medium serving bowl, and one of them into the large serving bowl.
- Cut the large tomatoes into wedges and slice the cherry tomatoes in half. Place the wedges in the medium serving bowl. Set the cherry tomatoes aside.
- Slice up the scallions and divide into two equal piles.
- Chop the bell pepper, pineapple, and yellow onion. Set aside.
- Wash and quarter the mushrooms.
- Chop the basil leaves.
- Slice the ginger into matchsticks.
- Slice the galangal root (or additional ginger, if using) into discs
- Chop the garlic.
- Slice the chicken breasts and separate into bowls; two-thirds into a medium bowl for the Chicken with Ginger and one-third into a small bowl for the Chicken Curry. Pour a tablespoon of fish sauce into the medium bowl for the Chicken with Ginger and toss well to coat the chicken pieces.
45 minutes before serving:
- Jasmine Rice: Start the rice by combining 3 cups rinsed jasmine rice with 4 cups water in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Tomato Salad: Add ⅛ cup fish sauce and ⅛ cup water to the tomato wedge mixture in the medium serving bowl. Toss well, cover, and let rest at room temperature.
- Chicken with Ginger: Stir together the sauce ingredients.
35 minutes before serving:
- Jasmine Rice: Once water level has dipped below surface of the rice, turn the heat to low, cover, and set a timer for 15 minutes.
20 minutes before serving:
- Jasmine Rice: Turn the heat off. Keep covered an additional ten minutes.
- Tom Yum Soup: Bring the chicken broth along with two cups of water to a boil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass, galangal (or ginger) root, and lime leaves (if using). Turn the heat down to medium low. Keep covered until 10 minutes before serving.
- Chicken Curry: Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick wok or skillet. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped peppers and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped scallions and red curry paste to the pan and fry for 1 minute, using a wooden spoon to mash the curry paste into the oil. Add the coconut milk, ½ cup water, and the wild lime leaves (if using) to the pan and turn the heat down to medium.
15 minutes before serving:
- Chicken Curry: Allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium heat, then add the chicken pieces and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the wild lime leaves from the pan. Stir in the pineapple and basil. Turn off the heat, then stir in the sugar and fish sauce. Taste and add more sugar or fish sauce as needed.
- Chicken with Ginger: Heat a wok over high heat for 5 minutes. Swirl in one tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces are all separated and lightly browned (about 2 minutes).
10 minutes before serving:
- Chicken with Ginger: Add the onion and stir-fry for another 2 minutes until golden. Transfer the scallions, ginger, and garlic to the pan. Stir fry for 60 seconds, until garlic begins to brown. Stir the sauce and pour it into the pan. Let it bubble up and boil until thick, about 60-90 seconds. Turn off the heat.
- Tom Yum Soup: Add the tomatoes and mushrooms to the simmering broth and cook for 3 minutes.
- Thai Iced Tea: Set a tall glass filled with ice at each table setting. Place the prepared Thai Iced Tea base and a small pitcher of cream on the table.
5 minutes before serving:
- Tom Yum Soup: Add the shrimp to the broth. Cook for 60 seconds or until opaque. Transfer soup to the large serving bowl.
- Chicken with Ginger: Transfer to a large serving platter.
- Chicken Curry: Transfer to a large bowl or deep dish.
- Jasmine Rice: Fluff with a fork. Transfer to a serving dish.
- Tomato Salad: Uncover and place on the table along with a slotted spoon.
- Call everyone to the table!
Well, there you have it! I hope you and your loved ones enjoy this Thai Feast!