Monday, November 22, 2010

Delicious Thai-Inspired Stir-Fry

I don't know what to call this one. It's really just a good stir-fry, based on one they made on America's Test Kitchen. You can use any meat, really, and any vegetables, so it's hard to pin down. Here's how I made this batch. I used chicken thighs, but the original recipe was for beef (something lean, like top round).

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (~2 lbs.)
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper

2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
1 red pepper
1 red onion or 3-4 shallots
3 hot chilies
3 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/4 c. chicken broth (or water)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Chili Garlic Sauce
1 Tbsp. corn starch

Begin by boiling a pot of water for blanching the broccoli. Meanwhile, slice the meat into small pieces and then toss them with the coriander, white pepper, salt, brown sugar, and fish sauce. When the water boils, blanch the broccoli for 1 minute, then cool immediately with cold water and drain.

Slice the peppers and onions into bite-sized pieces, and mince the garlic and hot chilis. Mix together the remaining ingredients to form a sauce, and taste to check flavor. Adjust as necessary (should be pretty salty since it will be diluted by the remaining ingredients).

STIR-FRYING WORKS BEST IF YOU ARE CAREFUL AND METHODICAL AND DO NOT CROWD THE PAN.

Begin by heating some oil in your stir fry pan over high until it is almost smoking. Add half of the garlic and hot peppers. They will begin to brown almost immediately. Add 1/3 of the meat and cook until the edges are crisp and brown, but cook it quickly so that the inside part isn't fully cooked. Cook in batches, replenishing oil as needed, until all the meat is cooked. Set aside in a bowl.

Add more oil and the remaining garlic and chilies. Making sure the pan is very hot again, add the onion and stir. Then add the red peppers. The edges should get some browning but the vegetables should remain crisp.

Add the cooked broccoli and the meat, including the meat juice from the bowl. Reduce the heat to medium and toss ingredients to combine. Add the sauce, which should immediately begin to thicken, and stir to coat. Check flavors and add salt or sugar as needed.

Serve piping hot with fresh jasmine rice.

Obviously you can make this with any ingredients you like. Make sure to blanch anything large and chunky like broccoli.

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