Recipe boxes are all the rage at the moment, with examples on offer from established operators who have a nationwide footprint as well as smaller concerns servicing their local customer bases and everything in between. I’ve tried a good number of these over the years and rarely been disappointed by the mixture of convenience and indulgence, with them entering my consciousness more and more over the last 12 months for rather obvious reasons. Thinking back to the beginnings of the UK’s experience of this pandemic, one of the most timely responses was from Zaap Thai who produced a whole range of restaurant standard ready meals in impressively short order. Their latest offering under the at-home banner is the Ban’s Kitchen recipe kit, designed to help you to produce your own Thai masterpieces.
My experiences of the Zaap Thai branch in York have been very good but the standard of the ready meals really impressed me, particularly given the abbreviated timeframe in which they were introduced, so their entry into the recipe box market was intriguing. The Ban’s Kitchen recipe kit boxes are each designed to offer a particular Thai dish and clock in between £19 and £26 plus shipping. I plumped for the Massaman kit and looked forward to getting cooking. The kit includes the majority of the fresh ingredients you need, though you need to add your own protein, garnishes, stock and rice. It’s noteworthy that the quantity of the dry ingredients delivered are far, far in excess of what’s needed for one meal though, which comfortably compensates for the slightly curious absence of rice.
The instructions included with the Ban’s Kitchen recipe box are durable enough to last a good few cooking sessions worth of spills and easy enough to follow without the need to extend one’s mental facilities too far. I augmented the included potato, carrot and onion with some chicken breast and after a very manageable amount of chopping, stirring, cooking and simmering I was ready to dish up and garnish with generous amounts of coriander (I’ll hear nothing against the stuff). The results lived up to the promise of enabling us to “cook the perfect Massaman curry at home” with the mild balance of sweet, salty and tangy well achieved and comfortably competing with takeaways or restaurant dishes. I was even compelled to ponce the rice into a bit of a shape to serve.
In all honesty ‘recipe kit’ is something of a misnomer here. While it includes some of the fresh ingredients needed to bring the meal to the table, the quantity of the dry ingredients will let you cook the same dish repeatedly with the addition of onions, potatoes, carrots and your choice of protein. The building blocks of curry paste, fish sauce, palm sugar and star anise will envelope many more than the included coconut milk. It’s almost more appropriate to describe this as a ‘Thai store cupboard in a box’ with a convenient recipe thrown in. I’ve made Massaman from this on more occasions than I can bring to mind now, it suiting leftover turkey particularly well, and absolutely recommend trying it for yourself if you’re missing Thai meals out at the moment.
Disclaimer: PR Sample with no charge.