This is, without doubt, the most authentic Thai dish I have created. By tasting and re-tasting each step of the way I think I have come up with a recipe that tastes really genuine and using fresh lemongrass made all the difference.
Lemongrass seems quite tough even when you have taken off the outer layer, but I read that if you chop it into fine slices and then process it in a food processor (my thanks go to http://www.thespruce.com for this information) it will add a great flavor and also be edible.
It is important to use good rice noodles that don’t go too soggy (I use Annie Chung’s brand). You can cook this recipe with either small pieces of chicken or tofu.
1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and white pepper
1 medium onion – finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves – grated
1 ‘thumb’ of ginger (measured from base of thumbnail to bottom joint) – grated
1 x 6 inch piece of lemongrass – peeled and chopped
1 x 13.5 oz lite coconut milk
16.2 fl. oz. chicken broth
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2tsp. fish sauce
8 oz. chicken tenders – cut into small bite size pieces
1 tbsp. cilantro – finely chopped
2 handfuls of frozen peas
4 oz. rice noodles
Heat the oil seasoned with salt and white pepper in a cast iron Dutch oven and when sizzling add the onion and let brown a little before adding the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two until you can smell the flavors.
Place the chopped lemongrass in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk and whizz together then add to the onion mixture along with the rest of the coconut milk, chicken broth, lime juice, fish sauce, chicken tenders and cilantro.
Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes before adding the peas and rice noodles.
Cook for another 5 minutes or so until noodles are tender and serve immediately.