Thai Chicken Souffles

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Adapted from The Blue Elephant Cookbook


  • banana leaves
  • 40 leaves Thai basil (or substitute Italian or sweet basil)
  • 7 oz boneless chicken (1 small boneless breast half)
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime zest (kaffir limes if you can find them)
  • krachai (fingerroot) fingers totalling 6", or substitute a 3"x1"x1" piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 good-sized coriander (cilantro) plants, roots and stems only (or substitute just stems in a larger quantity—see comments here)
  • 1 1/2 oz shallot, chopped
  • generous pinch ground white pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 2 pairs kaffir lime leaves, minced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 Tbsp cream of coconut milk, for garnish
  • 2 small red chilies, for garnish
  • lettuce, to serve on


Make 8 cups about 3 inches across out of the banana leaves, using toothpicks to hold them together.

Cut 1 1/2 oz of the chicken into very thin slices. Line the bottom of each banana cup with a layer of sliced chicken and a layer of basil.

Puree remaining chicken with other ingredients (except lettuce and garnishes). Spoon into cups, and top with a bit of cream of coconut milk and a few thin slices of chili.

Steam for 12-15 minutes in a stand-alone steamer or in bamboo steamers.

Serve on a lettuce-lined plate.


Banana leaves are available in the freezer section of some east Asian and southeast Asian markets. They come in packages of several long leaves, folded to about 10"x12". One package will be far more than you need for this recipe.

See also our comments on acquiring Thai groceries in the Boston area.

We could not find krachai and did in fact substitute ginger.