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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Kaeng khiao wan (Green curry with chicken) (Thai)

One of the best dishes you could possibly try from Thai cuisine and from Asian cuisine in general. It's also the most easy to find in most take-aways and the easiest to cook with the aid of prepared jars of green curry sauce, which you can now find in most supermarkets. But the good news is that this curry is actually so easy to make from scratch (and so much better), that once you try the method described below, you won't go back to the jar ever again. Ok, only if you're in a hurry. And the recipe is good for the pre-made sauce too. Just do it :).
Recipe source(s): here and here

Last year: Pignoli (pine nut cookies) (Italian).
Two years ago: Arancini carbonara (Fried risotto balls in carbonara style) (Italian).
Three years ago: Chicken liver parfait with sage and red wine.

Ingredients (serves 2):

For the green curry paste:
  • 4 small green Thai chilies, OR 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 cup shallot OR purple onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated (ginger is easier to find)
  • 1 stalk fresh minced lemongrass OR 3 Tbsp. frozen or bottled prepared lemongrass
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 1 (loose) cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper 
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
For the curry:
  • 700 g boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into chunks
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. grated lime zest (or 4 kaffir lime leaves)
  • 1/2 of red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
  • 100 g peas
  • 100 g corn kernels
  • Generous handful fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)

First, make the paste by blending all of the ingredients together until very even. Yes, it's that simple :). (Or, optionally, you can use 3-4 tablespoons of pre-made green curry paste.)
Then, heat the coconut oil into a deep pan. Add the chicken chunks and fry them on all sides until done through and even a bit golden. Then, add the coconut milk, the lime zest and the green curry paste. Stir well.

Cook for 5-10 more minutes on low-medium heat. Add the peas, corn and bell pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the chopped basil and remove from the heat. Serve over rice (I used a mix of wild rice and white Jasmine rice). It's done, dig in! :)

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