Monday 28 November 2011


The Cook's Broth has moved to

It's a new and improved version of this blog, focusing on Thai food.

No more posts will appear here (and this site will be shut down soon enough). 

So please head over there and have a look, I hope you'll like what you find.


Friday 26 August 2011

Secrett's Thai fest in Surrey

Quick one to say am off to a Thai festival on a farm in Surrey tomorrow...

It's in aid of an amazing cause - stopping child prostitution in Thailand through education (causes don't get much better methinks). 

See here and here

Come down, and if you can't, then perhaps have a look Mudita's website


Friday 19 August 2011


Firstly apologies for my awful lack of love for my blog of's not that i've given up on it.  

On the contrary: i'm actually in the process of pimping up my blog and website and bringing them together.  So watch this space!

Anyway, in the meantime here's something i want to bang on about a bit: I'm going to be doing The Loft Project in late September, along with a mate - Mark (the sous chef at Nahm).

It's basically a special private dining space owned by Nuno Mendes of Viajante.  Top chefs from all over the world cook - there doing multi course menus for a single table of 16 diners.  


We are doing two nights - the 23rd and 24th of Sept.  

The food will be at least 8 courses of Southeast Asian food, plus canapes and petit fours.  

We're going to be finding the best & most interesting Asian ingredients. smuggling some things from Bangkok and combining it all with some of the best British meat & seafood. 

I urge you to come! See here for more info and to book: 

We've been working on it for a few weeks already, coming up with ideas and testing dishes.

Here's our example menu:

Kanom 'taco', grilled pork, pickled ginger flower & chilli jam
Powdered trout, crispy shallots, cold watermelon
Som saa cured scallop, lemongrass, orange chilli & mint
Grilled cured pork, crisp quail egg & white turmeric salad
Duck broth, green melon & chanterelles
Red curry, harlequin squash & green papaya
Salad of Thai herbs, snake-head fruit, tamarind & sesame
Lobster, grilled coconut relish, Thai basil
Braised beef cheek, bamboo & pickled Vietnamese vegetables
Warm perfumed coconut cream, tapioca pearls, jackfruit doughnut
*Petit fours*
Mango 'gnuan', teenage coconut
Lychee, iced jasmine and pandanus syrup

Monday 18 July 2011

Final snaps from latest Thailand trip - assorted southern food

roti mataba - delicious crisp roti with ground spiced beef, accompanied by a sweet - sour ajut

gaeng tai plaa - southern, very hot, very pungent curry which involves fish innards.  served here with vegetables and kanom jeen noodles, it IS good, just in moderation!

brilliant example of khao yam - southern rice salad, including three types of rice, prawn floss, pomelo, lime leaves, toasted coconut, green mango, lemon grass...etc etc

khao yam from above, including amazing herb garnish to be picked at along side

fritters of whole shrimp - a common dish but this version - found in Trang evening market - was the best i've tried. served with a zingy nam jim. it was amazing

a lovely lady and her stand which specialises in a salad of pork skin, fermented pork and crispy rice balls.  really good.

Trang is famous for it's moo yang (grilled pork) which is in fact more a marinated and roasted whole pig, often eaten with dim sum believe it or not (legacy of chinese communities which settled there)

southern curries - yellow curry of fish and pineapple, plus southern version of the famous massaman

gaeng gari gai (indian influenced chicken curry) with roti

khao mok gai - southern Thai style rice pilaf with chicken and sweet nam jim

an amazing muslim beef soup, using dried spices, soured from lime juice and tomatoes and sprinkled with crispy shallots

Sunday 3 July 2011

More snaps - market in Chumphon, Southern Thailand

Different grades of gapi (shrimp paste)

Boiled young jackfruit & banana blossom ready to be eaten with nam priks, put in curries soups or wot not

Not too sure on this one....a type of morning glory at a guess

Young tamarind leaves, and in the background grachai

Thai fern, and a Thai lady

Asian pennywort, a Thai herb, sometimes eaten with nam prik, also made in to a refreshing drink

A very sour little number...madang I think it's called

An abundance of stunningly fresh fish

Hor moks - steamed fish curries - being wrapped in banana leaves

The steamed hor from the steamer,utterly delicious it was too

This is a lady laughing at me after seeing me eat three of these hor moks in a row

Friendly locals selling sadtor beans ('stinky' beans, which get stir fried with prawns and gapi, among other things)

Sunday 12 June 2011

Northern Thai style pork rib curry

Here's a recipe for a Northern Thai style pork curry.  It's something I've eaten in and around Chiang Mai, and, on my latest trip, had an especially good version at great restaurant a bit out of the city (where I was taken by Robyn and Dave, the v.knowledgeable and lovely people behind EatingAsia).

The version we had contained young jackfruit, which, when cooked until tender, is an absolutely delicious artichoke-like vegetable addition and works really well with the pork in this dish.

It's a red curry in that the paste is deep red due to the dried long red chillies pounded into it, but it's not like the red curry most people will be familiar with.  Why? Well mainly because a) there's no coconut cream used, and b) the paste has much fewer ingredients in and is boiled, not fried.

So if you're craving that classic ubiquitous style of Thai red curry then this isn't it. 

But if you want to try something different i.e a slightly spicy, pork and vegetable curry with clean flavours and a richness of good dried chilli, then give this one a go.  To me it's a great introduction to the style of some Northern Thai dishes.

The day I made this wasn't a great shopping day for SEAsian ingredients in London; no young jackfruit nor cha-om (a slightly stinky herb that works really well in this dish).  The veggies I used instead where: red shallots, bamboo, apple aubergine and cherry tomatoes, it still worked out pretty tasty and satisfying.

Ingredients (makes enough curry for 4):
  • 400g of good quality pork ribs, cut through the bone into chunks
  • 3-4 apple aubergines, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 5 or 6 small Asian shallots, peeled
  • 100g of bamboo shoots or boiled heart of bamboo, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 10 - 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Seasoning: sea salt and perhaps a splash of fish sauce, plus possibly a pinch of white sugar
  • 5-6 long dried red chillies, de-seeded & soaked in water for 20mins
  • 2 sticks of lemon grass, sliced (save the trims)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped galangal
  • 3 small Asian shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 good teaspoon of gapi (shrimp paste)


  1. Make the paste by pounding the ingredients one by one in a pestle and mortar until fairly smooth (tips here are: start with a pinch of sea salt and the hardest ingredients - like galangal & lemongrass - first, and before pounding the dried chillies be sure to squeeze them dry and chop them up a bit).
  2. Give your pork ribs a rinse and then put them in a pot with enough water or chicken stock to cover plus an inch or so.  Add the shallots, plus a piece or two of lemongrass or galangal trimm and a good pinch of salt.  Bring this to a gentle simmer and cook until the pork is tender (30 - 40 mins), skimming any scum so you have a nice clear broth.
  3. Now fish out any trims of what not you've put in, turn up the heat to a boil and dissolve two generous tablespoons of the paste in boiling stock. Boil for a minute or so then turn back down to a simmer and add your apple aubergine, bamboo and cherry tomatoes.  Season with sea salt and optionally a splash of fish sauce too, plus a pinch of white sugar if it needs it. 
  4. You're ready to serve once your tomatoes and aubergine are tender.
Eat with rice, and ideally as part of a Thai meal.

p.s if you dont like the idea of pork ribs then use chicken thighs or something (though on the bone is definitely better for the taste of the broth), other veg such as pumpkin or banana blossoms or green beans could also be used.  Herbs you could use: cha-om, coriander, betel leaves or long leaf coriander (pak chii farang).

Sunday 5 June 2011

Food pics from my latest Thailand trip: Bangkok

Well, I'm now back safe and sound from my SEAsia trip.  I've actually been working part time back at Nahm London, in between private catering and other stuff, has been great.

So here's some long overdue snaps from eating my way around Thailand.  More instalments to come.

These are a sample from Bangkok, I'll do some from down south, up north and around in subsequent posts...

Night time 'khao man gai' (poached chicken rice) seller, Chinatown

Huge fresh water prawns for sale 'Or Tor Kor' market

A dry red curry cooked with a crispy catfish 'pad prik king pla dook foo' - 'Or Tor Kor' market
'Thai berries' a type of tender, non-sour tamarind eaten raw (especially in Isarn) - 'Or Tor Kor' market

'Pad kee mao' ('drunk man's stir-fry'), Chinatown

'Kanom jeen nam prik' special rice noodles served with a sweet spicy & fragrant sauce, plus herbs, eggs and crispy fish skin accompaniments

Poached bananas with young coconut sorbet, MBK shopping mall

'Dtom Klong pla grop' (a herbal, smokey hot n sour soup with crisp fish), plus in the background: wing bean salad - Chote Chitr, Banglamphu 
MBK food hall, hundreds of dishes, some good some not so good - 6th floor of MBK mall
'Pad si ew' a smokey stir fry with wide rice noodles and pork @ Nay Lao

Late night eating & drinking session with some friendsd at an Isarn food stall - don't ask me where we were!