It says a lot about a restaurant when they can start selling their own sauces, and even more when said sauces start bringing home Great Taste Gold Awards. Coconut Kitchen has certainly come along way since its beginnings as a trailer van and today its founders, Preechaya and Paul, are the proud owners of a successful 40-seater open plan restaurant in Abersoch, North Wales.
Born in Pak Chong (two hours from Bangkok), Head Chef Preechaya grew up surrounded by food and her skills in the kitchen must, in some part at least, be credited to her mother and her experience working in the family farm and restaurant. It is customary in Thailand for family meals to be served with a selection of dips or ‘Nam jim’. This tradition is evident in Coconut Kitchen’s own range of in-house sauces which have been inspired by Preechaya’s childhood and all come with a recipe attached to help achieve those classic Thai dishes we all know and love, but often fear cooking ourselves.
From the Pad Prig Pao stir-fry and Thailand’s most popular noodle dish, Pad Thai, to the easy-cook Thai and Massaman curry pastes that earnt Coconut Kitchen a place in the Top 50 Products in this year’s Great Taste Awards, there really is a dip and dish to suit every palette with prices ranging from £4.40 – £4.55 online (individual stockists may vary). As you would expect from a product that has undergone hours of blind taste testing by the Guild of Fine Food, the award-winning Thai Green Curry Paste has all the right balance of heat and fresh ingredients to deliver mouthful upon mouthful of moreish flavour. It’s also as easy as it’s made out to be. I followed the recipe as instructed, simply adding the paste to 400ml of coconut milk before stirring in some leftover cooked chicken and frozen peas. For a five-minute meal the finished result was extremely impressive and I only wished the rice would take less time to cook so I could boast of my ability to knock up a restaurant-quality dinner quicker than a ready-meal in a microwave.
Providing even more instant gratification are the sauces. The Pak Chong Hot Chilli Sauce and Sweet Chilli & Garlic Sauce have both now had to be angled into my fridge (tall bottles, smallish fridge) to allow for easy everyday use – the sweet pineapple flavour of the Hot Chilli softening the heat into a sweet, pleasant warmth, while the Sweet Chilli & Garlic Sauce is so good it’s difficult to resist swallowing by the spoonful. I daren’t think about the amount of sugar needed to make chilli sauces this easygoing, but they’re so full of flavour you really need little else to transform some leftover meat and veg into a true Thai feast.
Coconut Kitchen Recipe: Kwei Tiaw Gai.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 500g of dried egg noodles(cooked)
- 2 chicken breasts (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ½ onion (sliced)
- any other vegetables of choice (carrots, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, broccoli or peppers are good)
- fresh coriander
- 50ml light soy sauce
Cook the noodles as per instructions but leave them al dente. Fry the garlic and onions until lightly coloured. Add the chicken, then the vegetables. Add 125ml of CK Sweet Chilli & Garlic Sauce, the soy sauce and 100ml of water. Finally add the half cooked noodles into the wok and stirfry until the noodles and chicken are cooked. Add a drop more water if needed. To give added Thai flavour add a dash of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.
Click here to download the full Coconut Kitchen Recipe Booklet.
Click here for the Coconut Kitchen website and information about stockists.