Monday, November 6, 2017

Sukhothai: Authentic Thai Cuisine on Wellington

It all started on an elephant, hence the logo. Chef Nuit Regular and her husband Jeff are celebrated for bringing the distinct flavour of Northern Thai cuisine and hospitality to Toronto with their restaurants Sukhothai, Pai Northern Thai Kitchen and Sabai Sabai. The popularity of their restaurants all began with the opening of the humble Curry Shack in the small town of Pai, in Northern Thailand. Having learned to cook in her mother’s kitchen, Chef Nuit left her career as a nurse in Thailand to share her passion and life experiences through family recipes, street market dishes, and creative collaborations. With a focus on classic Northern Thai cooking, Sukhothai's Green Curry with bamboo shoots, kaffir lime leaves, basil leaves, green peppers and coconut milk served with steamed Jasmine sticky rice, is so close to the sensational curries we enjoyed in Bangkok, the flavours take us right back to Thailand. Sukhothia's menu includes sensational spring rolls, creamy coconut soups, rice, curries and noodles dishes, which are served with varying degrees of spiciness: mild, hot, spicy hot and Thai hot — just be sure to order a tall frosty Singha beer which pairs well with the hot curries and keeps you cool, as you experience the most deliciously authentic Thai cuisine in the city.

Chef Nuit Regular 

The short but fabulous menu of authentic Northern Thai dishes at Sukhothai on Wellington

Crispy Shrimp Rolls tied with fried noodle bows on a nest of crispy noodles with sweet chili sauce

Spicy shrimp Gaen Kiaw Wa with Thai Holy basil and bamboo shoots

A mound of steamed Jasmine sticky rice for the Shrimp Green Curry

Chef Nuit Regular with platter of Deep fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls filled with mushrooms, 
glass noodles, carrots and sprouts

Nua Gra Teaum: Stir-Fried Garlic Beef with a Fried Egg

Pad Thai with Bean Sprouts, Egg, Shallots, Peanuts & Shrimp

Chicken Khao Soi "Golden Bowl"
Serves 6
Recipe courtesy of chef Nuit Regular

Khao Soi Paste:
7 dried red chilies, coarsely crumbled
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp thinly sliced lemon grass
2 tbsp sliced shallots
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 inch fresh turmeric root, coarsely chopped
4 thin slices fresh galangal, coarsely chopped
4 thin slices fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp shrimp paste

Thai Chicken Stock:
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
5 coriander roots, crushed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, halved
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt

Chili Oil:
3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
Pinch brown sugar and salt

Chicken Khao Soi:
1 33.8 oz carton Aroy-D brand 100 per cent coconut milk, unshaken
2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
1 tbsp tapioca flour
3 tbsp sunflower oil
4 tsp curry powder
4 tsp packed palm or brown sugar
Thin, flat Chinese egg noodles, cooked
Deep-fried noodles
Chopped green onions and cilantro, for garnish
Light soy sauce for garnish, optional

For the khao soi paste, soak the chilies in hot water until pliable, then drain. Toast the coriander seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, until fragrant, then using a small food processor, grind the seeds into a powder. Add the chilies and remaining ingredients, except the shrimp paste, and grind until finely chopped. Then add the shrimp paste and grind again. 

Simmer the chicken stock ingredients uncovered, for 30 minutes, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. 

For the chili oil, heat the sunflower oil in a small skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in the remaining ingredients and remove from the heat. Stir before using. 

For the Chicken Khao Soi, start by freezing the carton of coconut milk for 15 minutes. Cut top off the top of the carton and spoon out 1 cup of the thick milk from the top and reserve. Toss the chicken in the tapioca flour with 1 tablespoon of oil until well coated. In a wok or large, deep skillet, warm the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the khao soi paste and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the chicken, curry powder and palm sugar and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until the chicken loses its raw colour. Add the thick coconut milk and stir-fry for 2 minutes, until the surface of the sauce takes on an oily sheen. Add the remaining coconut milk and 2 cups of the Thai chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. To serve, divide the noodles among 6 bowls and spoon the chicken and broth over top. Garnish with the fried noodles, green onions and cilantro. Drizzle with the chili oil to taste and serve with lime wedges and a little light soy sauce.

Thai Pork Jowl Bun With Sweet & Sour Tamarind Sauce
Serves 2
Recipe courtesy of chef Nuit Regular

3 oz pork jowl
1 tbsp fish sauce

Nam Jimh Jaew Sour and Sweet Tamarind Dressing:

3 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp ground coarse roasted rice
1 tbsp chopped Thai coriander
1/2 tbsp thinly sliced lime leaves
1/2 tbsp chopped sawtooth coriander
Roasted dried chilli powder to taste

In a large bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients, then chill for 48 hours. Grill the pork jowl over medium high heat until it is well-done. Once cooked, slice thinly, add the fish sauce and then add the dressing. Serve in your favourite store-bought steamed bun, available at Asian grocery stores, or alongside steamed rice. 

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