Posts Tagged ‘Recipe’

Wicked Thai Soup

One of my favourite things to do when Dave Sawchuk used to work at the Zone was hit Fairways and hope… HOPE that Wicked Thai soup was on the burner.

Dave is gone, and my day is filled with a void.  I still wander to Fairways, and sure…its nice when Wicked Thai is being served…but its not the same.  Dave one time was so fired up on the Thai soup, he bought every single bowl and sold them out of it, to teach them a lesson!  WTF?  Then he brought it back to the Zone and served it up to all the workers.

He often talked of opening a soup stand on Quadra just outside Fairways, that sold ONLY Wicked Thai soup.

Our holy grail of cooking was to find a delicious  replica that we could make at home and take the power back from Fairways.

I am happy to report that today, Coral found the recipe.

Wicked Thai Soup

Wicked Thai Chicken Soup


2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms (a standard size tray package)
4 cups chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, cut into small dice
2 Tbsp. Gourmet Garden™ Lemon Grass herb paste (the stuff in the tube or the real thing, if you can find it)
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup half and half (10%) cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili paste (or Sriracha, as an alternative but you may need less)
2-3 Tbsp. tomato paste (to taste)
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups cooked rice (long grain white or brown rice or try a mix of long grain with wild rice for some added texture)
Fresh cilantro, parsley or basil leaves shredded for garnish


Cook rice and set aside (or use left-over cooked rice).

Heat large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil. When hot, add mushrooms and cook until golden and tender. Remove to a plate. In same pot, add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat. Add onion, red pepper, and saute just until softened. Return mushrooms to pot. Add broth and chicken and heat through. Add lemon grass paste, fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce and simmer 5 minutes. Add milk, turn heat to low, then cover and simmer 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, add curry paste, Sambal Oelek, tomato paste, 2 Tbsp. water and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Stir into soup until combined and heat until soup simmers, thickens very slightly and has a velvety appearance. Add cooked rice, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. (You can also add more curry paste, tomato paste and/or Sambal Oelek to taste at this point, as well).

Pour soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro, parsley or basil leaves and serve with additional Sambal Oelek for those who prefer a hotter soup.

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 2 hours 20 min
Yield: 6-8 servings

Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe


We cooked it up tonight and yeah… pretty rad.  I couldn’t track down the lemongrass paste.  Fairways was out of red curry paste so I used green… and we had no cornstarch.  But it still worked out amazing.

Thought I better find you a song to go with your Wicked Thai Soup.  Now the track that popped into my head right away was the Alex Chilton jam, “Bangkok.”  Listening right now, I realize, this song is a little racist.

It is from 1978 when you could sing bizarrely inaccurate racial generalizations… and the dude has since shuffled off the mortal coil, so we might have to forgive the transgression and jump into the song.

Alex Chilton – “Bangkok”

Go with yourself.

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Last weekend, the rained stopped just long enough to allow Cassie, Chef Chris and myself the opportunity to head out to Sooke and take part in the Sooke Lions’ 4th Annual Great Chili Challenge.

Their esteemed judges handed out only ONE 3rd Place Trophy and I am so happy to say that team Zone claimed the honour.

SWAG'd from Cassie's Facebook

The chili challenge was a ton of work and would not have been possible without the hard work of Team Zone’s Cassie Price and Veneto Lounge’s sous chef Chris Thrift.

Also Graham Caddy from 100.3 The Q! helped shovel chili in waiting bowels and Justin “Fresh-Pots” was there to fetch me pop and came in clutch wrangling up a can-opener when our first one crapped out.

Tindy from the Q! and Boitano from The Zone both put together our supplies for the booth and Zone Ranger Cuervo-Loren brought out a tent to Sooke and set it up for us.  Thank you guys.

The Veneto’s head chef Tod Bosense lent us his propane stove and also pilfer through the kitchen for food and supplies.

Cassie has been getting some requests for the recipe so I will try to re-create it here:

The Zone @ 91-3 #11 Chili

* 2 pound(s)  boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
* 2 pound(s) boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
* 2 teaspoon(s) vegetable oil
* 20-ish clove(s) (garlic) crushed into a paste
* 2 medium onions, chopped
* 1 tablespoon(s) ground coriander
* 1 tablespoon(s) cumin
* 1 tablespoon(s) paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) chipotle chile paste
* 1/2 tablespoon(s) ground cinnamon
* 3 can(s) (15 to 19 ounces each) pink beans and/or red kidney beans
* 1 can(s) (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
* 1 can(s) concentrated tomato
* 1 cup(s) water
* 2 packets of hot chocolate powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
* pepper
* 1 pineapple
* Corn tortillas, (optional), warmed
* Shredded unsweetened chocolate and fresh cilantro chopped to sprinkle on top.


Brown the meat in the oil…add salt and pepper… add the onion… add the tomato… let that stew together for a bit.  then add the spices.  Little at a time, constantly taste and season. Add the garlic. Add the hot chocolate powder.  If it doesn’t taste right, it needs more salt.

Add the chipotle paste till you get the heat you need. Tabasco will help with the heat too.  Be BRAVE… let this yummy concoction stew for a bit.  You can serve it when its all hot… but it excels at delicious if you let the meat get nice and tender.  Right before serving, add the chopped pineapple.

To garnish… shave some rich, dark chocolate on top and hit of fresh chopped cilantro.  Prepare to come in third place!

Madelyn got her fingers all over my camera so it wouldn’t take pictures and needs a cleaning.  So this evidence comes from Cassie’s facebook.

Cassie is so silly.

Justin Fresh-Pots and Me.

Chef Chris doing his thing and Cassie choppiong the pineapple.

These two giant pots of chili were not enough. We head a steady line all afternoon. Many second helpings.

So busy out in Sooke.

Chef Chris and I adding the "sex" right at the end.

Go with yourself.

My camera

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Coral is getting ready to hop on a jet plane and take her life on an adventure in Paris and London with one of her best friends.

Last year Coral was either pregnant or looking after our little baby rampage.  While this life changing event was going down in her world, three of her best friends all moved to London at the same time.

Wow right?  Coral went through a huge life experience with her best friends thousands of kilometers away.  Now our baby is almost a year old and Coral’s mat leave is ending and the chance has come for her to take a little trip with Alix to Paris and then to London.  It has been a herculean challenge for us to try and scrounge, borrow, beg and squeeze the dollars needed to jet off to London AND make sure the mortgage gets paid and the baby is fed, but somehow we managed.  BUT it still depleted our credit and our wedding savings reserve so we needed to make some changes.  For the past month our eating out has declined fairly substantially, and this month, if the cafe doesn’t have the words “value” and “menu” printed somewhere near the till we don’t eat there.  Problem.  Coral got a massive lust for Japanese Village.  Actually, she NEEDED the steak sauce.  Unfortunately, that would be like a $50 or $60 bill if we packed up our little family so we tried to make it at home.  And it was a triumph.

Coral found a recipe online and off the cuff, I mentioned it on the radio today.  By some act of God or perhaps a divine intervention by a pantheon of Gods, a Zoner who happened to be close personal friend of a chef at Japanese Village called to correct my recipe.  Here it is.  This sauce will make ANY bland home cooked meal completely destroy and will have you questioning the value and quality of a restaurant meal when the power my friends, lies inside of you… and your blender.

A Japanese Village Type Steak Sauce
makes a bunch, so consider halving the recipe

1 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 1/3 cup Vegetable oil
1 cup low sodium Soy Sauce
1/3 chopped white onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

The Zoner was very specific on a couple points.

01) It MUST be vegetable oil.  She not get into the reasoning, only that you shouldn’t deviate form vegetable oil
02) the low sodium soy sauce.  Regular soy sauce will make your sauce too salty.  sad Fugee face 😦

Coral and I took the toasted sesame seeds and put them in our coffee grinder first.  That turned them into a fine pulp type mixture.

Then we dumped that mess into our blender with the chopped onion, soy sauce, oil and we didn’t have any Dijon mustard so we used English hot mustard.

Blend blend blend.

Coral opened the blender and took one smell.  She turned to me with a grin that went ear-to-ear.  We did it.

Fried up some pan steaks, some minute rice and mushrooms, sprouts, peppers, zucchini and voila… Japanese Village in front of the LCD screen showing Blair looking all hot and bothered on Gossip Girl.


How bizarre. I have had a pretty lax holiday season all told.  I worked erratically over Christmas and New Years and even managed to string 6 days off in a row!

FINALLY today is back to grind, the Monday to Friday and I brimming with creative energy and I wake up sick!  BWOAR!  AND Madelyn is sick too.  Poor little monkey.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than a sick baby.  Well Marely & Me was pretty sad… but a sick baby is like, high on my list of sad things.

Not the end of the world.  I put on my big boy pants and went into the Zone to lay down Capital Rock City #39.  It is all done and tomorrow I will work with Webmeister Bud on the infrastructure needed to distribute the show over the net.

CRC #38, where we last left off, was way back in June of 2006 if you can believe it.  I got a nice phone call from a Zone back in November wonder whatever happened to Capital Rock City.  I didn’t really have an answer.  For 38 weeks at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006 I delivered an episode of the local music show, Capital Rock City and then one Tuesday I just stopped.

I was organizing my iTunes a few weeks ago and I saw that I had new podcasts in my Itunes thingy.  I hadn’t listened to any podcasts since I lived downtown and walked to work everyday and I had never listened to any Capital Rock City’s since… 2006.  And there the final episode sat, unlistened to in my podcast folder.

So I punched it up.  And I liked it.  I didn’t recognize myself.  It had been so long since I had had that conversation that it was like listening to another radio DJ.  I remember that summer as being a challenge.  I was still with Alex but our relationship was on the outs and we had been separated for 7 months by then.  I lived by myself in my shitty apartment in Fernwood and was uninspired by the pace of growth for Capital Rock City.  I was tired and worn out and one day, I just stopped making them.

But when I listened back, I didn’t hear that.  The show sounded fun… so whatever was going with me personally at the time I couldn’t hear.  Just some great local music and a few stories.

On top of that, since 2006 I have learned more, grown and challenged my definition of success.  The few hundred downloads that for whatever fucked reason was not good enough in 2006 is exactly something I would be very happy to generate today.  That is a lot of people listening to local music.  and 38 half hours every week is by far NOT enough time to build any sort of audience.  If the show is to gain widespread acceptance, then that is a project that gets built over time.  Every week.

Tomorrow I will post the link for Capital Rock City on this blog and I hope you take the time to download the show.  If you dig it, you’d be helping me spread the word by sharing the show.

The other thing I could use your help on is just some basic feedback on the formatics of the show.  It is still made like a linear “radio show.”  I am conflicted as to whether I like that or not (I’m a radio guy at heart and like making radio shows).  Is there a better way to present the show?

If I had the skills and finances I’d prefer to have the entire Zone dot f-m be an audio extravaganza.  something like the CBC 3 where you can explore and listen to bands and create your own playlists.  When you need help or guidance, I or another Zone jock would be there to curate.  You could listen to not only great Victoria and Island music, but also all the modern rock we play on the Zone from our playlist PLUS all the great music that you *might* like but isn’t on the Zone.  But that is more ambitious than I can tackle right now.  So it will need to be a downloadable show with music that has rights I can clear.

Ok, good talk.

I need to finish voting for the Juno Awards (I am judge for best Children’s album… SWA?), drink my hot chocolate, fire up the Frightened Rabbits on the iPod and if I don’t pass out, try and finish Tribes.

Go with yourself.

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