Germaine’s Thai Basil Chicken, above. Germaine’s was a beloved Washington restaurant. Even if you never had a chance to dine there, you’ll appreciate this quick and simple stir-fry, which emphasizes the fish sauce flavor. You can soak up all the sauce with rice, but I especially enjoyed the dish served over rice noodles.
Spicy Lemongrass Soup (Tom Yum Gai). This soup comes together in a flash but is nonetheless packed with flavor. Even if you can’t find some of the specialty ingredients, I’ve provided for a few more commonplace substitutions.
Pad Thai With Shrimp. You’ll be blown away by how much your homemade pad thai will resemble — or surpass — what you get at your neighborhood takeout. Like the soup above, the recipe is amenable to your choice of protein and you can still make a very good rendition even without a few of the harder to find ingredients.
Stir-Fried Glass Noodles With Pork and Chinese Broccoli (Phat Si Ew Wun Sen). Glass noodles make for an appealing twist on this dish usually made with wide rice noodles. Once you do the prep work — about 20 minutes — the finished product is done in mere minutes in a wok. The recipe comes from Andy Ricker of Pok Pok fame.
Thai Red Curry With Lentils and Tofu. While it’s not something you’d necessarily find in Thailand, this recipe is a good example of how you can stretch a dish with the inclusion of some different ingredients — in this case, lentils. If you find Thai curries a bit on the rich side, you’ll appreciate the slimmed-down approach.
Spring Green Curry Paste. A jar of curry paste puts improvised dinners well within reach when you can use whatever protein or vegetables you have on hand, along with some coconut milk. Of course, there’s store-bought, which we turn to frequently, but this version is especially bright and fresh.
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