A Thai Spa Thanksgiving: No Turkey Required! Cook Along at Golden Door

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Thanksgiving is like 10 days away! Yikes. Let’s whip up a turkey free Thanksgiving spa fish recipe with the Golden Door’s Head Chef Curtis Cooke*:  Pan Seared Kala Snapper with Thai Vegetable and Red Curry Chowder.  And it serves 12 – 14 folks if you’ve got company coming! Yum!

*chef at the time of this taping

Cook along with us!  Recorded live in the kitchen of the world famous Golden Door Spa. He’ll even show klutzy me how to rock a knife!

In fact, he shared so many great tips that we will be cooking dessert as part two of this series in a few weeks.


Chills.  That’s the only way to describe walking through the Golden Doors (yes they actually exist), across the bridge and onto the grounds of the Golden Door Spa in Escondido, California.  A place where Hollywood goes to unwind and a place I have fantasized about since I was a child.  Yes here I was where stars like Barbara Streisand have been!

And the food! You’d never guess it’s healthy it’s so delish. They even have a cookbook, click the image below and check it on Amazon:

Grab these ingredients, turn on the audio and let’s get cooking:  (note the recipe Serves 12-14 and is perfect for a crowd but cut ingredients in half if you’re cooking for a smaller crew!)

3 Large filets of Kala Snapper, (Escolar, Butter Fish or Tuna work well, whatever is freshest)
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled and sliced into 4 pieces
1 TB minced garlic
1 TB minced lemongrass (use coffee grinder to mince)
2 Kaffir lime leaves
1 TB chili garlic sauce
2 TB plain tomato sauce
3 TB fish sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
2 ea 13 oz cans unsweetened light coconut milk
2 C chicken stock
1 large potato, peeled and medium diced
1 yam, peeled, cut in half and sliced into ½ moons
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 C green beans, cut in half
2 ea carrots, peel and sliced into rounds
1 red bell pepper, medium diced
3 TB fresh Basil, chopped

  1. Lightly mist a large sauce pot and heat over a medium-high flame. Add the ginger, lemon grass and garlic and sauté until they begin to release their scents, 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add in the chili sauce, fish sauce, cumin, tomato sauce, lime leaves, coconut milk, stock, potato and yam. Stir to incorporate. Cover with a lid and simmer for 35 minutes.
  3. Remove the slices of ginger and lime leaves from the pan. Add in all the remaining vegetables. Cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until the curry has thickened and all the vegetables are cooked. Throw in basil at the last minute.

Note: Garnish with lime wedge.

See more of the Golden Door, check out our recent Style Holladay episode for my travelogue. . . it’s on youtube here.

See ya next week. . . Candy