Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chicken with Red Curry Paste - Gai Pad Prik King

This is a wonderfully flavorful dish that can be easily prepared in a pinch. If you cannot find the kaffir lime leaf, omit it (although it adds nice flavor). You can also use standard string beans instead of the long beans. Make sure to cook the dish on as high a heat as possible so that the chicken sears quickly and doesn't dribble out all its juices in the pan. I recommend cooking only 1 lb of chicken at a time so you don't overcrowd the pan. My recipe is based off of the one here at Eating Thai Food.


1 lb chicken breast, cut into 3/4" slices
1/2 c. Chinese long beans, cut into 1/4" slices (or string beans)
3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
2 Tbsp. peanut oil

Heat a flat bottomed wok on medium high and then add the oil. Add the curry paste and stir/chop with a wok spoon or spatula so that it sizzles and softens for 30 seconds. Ensure it does not burn.

Add the chicken, fish sauce, and sugar and toss over high heat for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is mostly cooked through. Add in the lime leaf and long beans and continue to toss and cook an additional 3-4 minutes. The beans will be crisp in texture.

Serve with jasmine rice and a fried egg. In Thailand the eggs are traditionally fried in a wok so the edges are crispy and the yolks are cooked through. Enjoy!

Yellow summer squash curry

This recipe is a perfect one for summer - it uses yellow summer squash which is always in abundance and ends up tasting very light.  It takes very little time to cook, and there's not really very much prep. The hardest part is getting the spices together, but overall there's not that much chopping or cooking. It was meant to be sort of a one-off recipe, but as soon as we tasted how well it turned out, I started writing it down to keep from forgetting it.

Ingredients

1 tsp whole fennel
4 cloves
1 tsp whole coriander

4 green cardamom pods, lightly smashed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want it spicy)
1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 heaping tsp black mustard seeds

2 medium yellow squash cut into thin circles or half circles
1 can coconut milk
1/3 c. chicken broth (i.e. one muffin tin cube's worth, optional)

1 chicken breast cut into thin pieces

Preparation

Toast the fennel, cloves and coriander in a high sided skillet on medium heat until fragrant. Pour into a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind. Combine with the cardamom pods, tumeric, cayenne and pepper, set aside.

Sautee onion in the same pan with a Tbsp of oil on medium high, cook until the edges are start to brown. Add garlic, ginger, cumin and mustard seeds. Cook until everything is getting browner. Add the other spices. Stir for 30 seconds, then add squash, stir for 30 seconds or so and add coconut milk (and optionally chicken broth). Stir until everything is mixed, then add chicken and simmer until just cooked (should not take long). 

Serve over rice.