Thanksgiving turkey leftovers aren’t something Colombians in general are troubled with. However, Facebook reminds me that many of my friends in the USA are facing the challenge. The recipe I am going to share actually calls for left over chicken, but I’m particularly fond of substituting ingredients.
Another “T” word: tamarind. Perhaps you’ve seen it in the Mexican food section of your grocery store, ordered a tamarind drink at your favorite Mexican restaurant, or picked up a bottle of Jarritos brand tamarind pop. But tamarind isn’t only found in the obvious places. Did you know that this ingredient is sometimes included in Pad Thai? Also, it is an important ingredient in Worchestershire sauce (along with, yes it’s true, anchovies).
Tamarind: if everything Wikipedia claims about this plant is true, I’m surprised that the health-food community hasn’t taken a stronger hold on it. I encourage you to do a short study on the plant. It could be a fruitful (no pun intended) study for people with various interests (culinary, medicinal, geographical, etc.).
Now, where is that recipe I was talking about? I’ll cut and paste it here, in case BBC gets rid of their publication, but the original site is here.
Thai chicken noodle soup
- 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken stock
- 150g/5oz thin rice noodles or mung bean thread vermicelli
- 200ml/7fl oz coconut milk
- 1 x 3-4cm/1-1½in piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly, then cut into skinny strips
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 fresh long red chilli, de-seeded and cut into strips
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ready-made tamarind paste
- 1 tsp soft brown sugar
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- approx. 150g/5oz leftover cooked chicken, shredded
- 250g/9oz tender-shoot stir-fry (a mixture of pak choi, bok choi, spindly asparagus, Chinese kale, peanut shoots and Chinese chives), or other assorted vegetables
- 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, to serve
- Put the chicken stock in a good-sized pan to heat up.
- Put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over (or cook as instructed on the packet).
- Add the remaining ingredients, except the tender-shoot stir-fry, to the pan and bring to the boil.
- When the chicken is piping hot, add the tender-shoot stir-fry and when the vegetables are tender – a minute or two should be plenty if you’re using the tender shoots – add the drained noodles. (Or simply divide the noodles between bowls and pour the soup over them.)
- Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh coriander.