The festive season has now past, and for me it is time to get back into some healthier eating. I have been watching my clump of lemon grass grow brilliantly in the garden and I have been feeling very guilty. Since I planted it the weather has been much to hot to cook curries so it has been totally neglected.
As I pondered what to do with this unwanted grass I searched my mind for Thai dishes which are not hot, that feature lemon grass. The only dish which came to mind was Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fishcakes) but when I checked the ingredients the fishcakes didn’t require lemon grass.
My next thought was to skewer prawns and calamari on the lemongrass for a healthy kebab to be served with salad or rice. I collected the necessary lemongrass, trimmed the stems and prepared to soak the lemongrass skewers, all the time wondering how it would be possible to thread a prawn on such a fat skewer…
I realized before I even began that it would be a huge fail. Whatever was going to be attached to my skewers was going to need to be molded around the lemongrass. That is when it hit me. I could make a Tod Mun Pla, and mould the mixture around the lemon grass.
The final step which led to the skewers being made with chicken mince instead of fish, and being barbequed instead of deep fried was my desire to keep the flavour but lose some of the fat. Whilst I love fish, Thai fishcakes really need to be deep fried the traditional way to get that gorgeous flavour and texture. The chicken I thought would be right at home with the flavour and the healthier barbequing technique.
So here is my modified Thai Fishcake recipe, “Thai Lemongrass Kebabs.”
3 tbs red curry paste
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs cornflour
1 tsp brown sugar
1 egg white
1 tbs chopped coriander root
1 tbs chopped coriander leaf
1 lime (juice only)
2 1/2 tbs finely grated ginger
5 garlic cloves
1 red chilli finely chopped
1 green chilli finely chopped
900g lean chicken mince
1 cup breadcrumbs
20gm snake beans, (trimmed an thinly sliced)
2 Kaffir Lime leaves (thinly sliced)
15 lemon grass stick soak for an hour in water
Soak the lemongrass in water for one hour.
In a food processor blend the first 13 ingredients until you had a smooth liquid. Add the chicken mince to the food processor ¼ at a time until all the chicken meat has been mixed into the spices and the mince is smooth.
Remove the mince mixture from the processor and place into a large bowl.
Chop the beans and kaffir leaves into very thin slices and add to the chicken mixture. Slowly add the breadcrumb to the mince, only use as much as necessary to achieve a tacky, stable consistency.
Mould the meat mixture around the lemon grass skewers and refrigerate for at least half on hour before cooking to firm. You will still need to be very careful with the skewers when you place them onto the hotplate.
Until the skewers have been cooked on two sides they may still fall off the lemon grass. These skewers can be cooked over a low heat on the BBQ or in a pan with oil.
If you choose to make the lemongrass shorter you could even deep fry them.
Serve the kebabs with a Thai dipping sauce or sweet chili sauce.