Thai Green Curry Chicken with Sticky Rice

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Published on: October 16, 2011
 

I have to admit, I’ve not had much Thai food.  It’s one of those cuisines that I’ve just never gotten around to properly exploring.  I should make a bigger effort because most Thai dishes that I’ve tried have been really good.  Pineapple rice (served in half a pineapple) has got to be one of the best ways to do fried rice!  At some point I’m going to have to come up with my own recipe for that – it’s just too good not to try.

When most people think of Thai food they usually think of the really spicy stuff.  Tom Yam probably being the most common.  But I’ve found that Thai cuisine has quite a good balance of flavours.  It’s got its own style but you can tell it has been influenced by nearby countries like China and Malaysia.  When I think of Thai food I always think of Lemongrass, Fish Sauce and little Thai Chilies.  Sour, salty and spicy, add in one of the local fruits and you have a really nice balance of flavours.  I think that’s what makes something so simple like Pineapple rice so tasty.

Today I’m going to try out a Green Curry.  It too has that mix of ingredients that I think makes Thai food so great.  It’s got Lemongrass, Chilies, Fish Sauce and Coconut.  It should make the perfect base for a curry, no packet paste is required, everything is fresh.  One thing I would add is that getting the specific Thai ingredients can be a little difficult, so you can substitute it with more common local ingredients instead.  Thai ginger (Galangal), Thai shallots and Kaffir limes are not very common in my area but they are easily replaced.

 

Ingredients:

500g Chicken (Thigh or Breast)

250ml Chicken Stock

1 Can Coconut Milk

4 Thai Shallots

40g Thai Ginger

4 Sticks of Lemongrass

2 Kaffir Limes (Juice and Zest)

2 Kaffir Lime leaves

3 Cloves of Garlic

5 Green Birds Eye Chilies

3 Large Green Chilies

3 tbsp Fish Sauce

1 tbsp Black Peppercorns

Large bunch of Coriander (stalks separated from leaves)

 

Rice:

Thai Jasmine Rice

Dash of Coconut Milk

 

Method:

1. Brunoise the ginger and garlic then finely slice two sticks of lemongrass (setting aside the thick white root) and one of the large chilies into a mortar and pestle.  Add the peppercorns, the coriander stalks and a few of the leaves, the lime zest and a squeeze of the lime juice along with a torn up lime leaf and pound to a paste.

2.  Cut the chicken into strips removing any bone or skin.  Heat a saute pan with a little vegetable oil on high.

3.  Finely slice the shallots and add to the pan with the Chicken, fry until the Chicken starts to brown.

4.  Next add the paste to the pan, mixing well, ensuring the chicken is coated by it.

5.  Pour in the chicken stock, add the fish sauce and stir well.

6.  Finely slice the large chilies, remaining lemongrass (again keeping the thick root aside) and add to the pan with the lime leaf, lime juice, whole birds eye chilies and the coriander leaves.

7.  Take two of the white Lemongrass roots and bash them in the mortar and pestle or with a rolling-pin.  Make a few small cuts on the sides and add them to the stock.  The other two can be used in a soup or another dish.

8.  Reduce the heat to medium, lowering the stock to a simmer and allow it to reduce by about a quarter.

9.  Stir in the Coconut Milk and gently simmer for another 10mins or so.  Take out the Lemongrass roots, garnish with a few coriander leaves and serve over a bed of Sticky Rice.

 

Rice:

1.  Cook the rice as directed (or as normal) but add a little extra water.

2.  When the rice is almost cooked add a dash of Coconut milk and stir in, this will make the rice extra sticky.

 

Tips:

Thai Green Curries should be a little more soup like than a typical Indian curry.  Don’t be tempted to add cornflour or any other thickener.

Thai Green curry isn’t meant to be very hot, it’s actually quite mild.  But if you want it spicy, chop up the Birds eye chilies before adding them to the pan and/or increase the amount.

I suggest you brunoise the ginger and garlic before mashing it into a paste because otherwise you will end up with stringy bits in your curry.

 

Drinks Matching:

Cocktail: Malibu (coconut rum) based cocktail.  I can’t be more specific because I don’t have many Malibu cocktails, but I will update this when I do.  I would say a sweeter cocktail is going to work well, pineapple juice is a common mixer with the coconut of Malibu.

Regular Drink: White Wine – Gewurztraminer OR Sake. Yes, a wine with spicy asian food.  It’s a rare mix but I’m not brave enough to suggest a red wine!  The Gewurz is capable of pairing well with spicy thai food, light spice and sweet enough to stand up to the chilli in this green curry. Sake is a safer option, I would recommend a sweet Sake to be paired with this Thai curry.

Non-Alcoholic: Kit-Chai Ping. Never heard of Kit-Chai?  It’s a drink local to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia (I believe it is available over most of Malaysia these days). If you don’t fancy the trek to go buy one, you can make one at home.  It uses Calamansi Limes, but they can be replaced with regular limes. The rest is just a simple syrup, water and a dry Chinese salted sour plum (available in most Chinese supermarkets).  Ping is just the iced version, perfect with a Thai curry!  I will cover it as a recipe later.



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