Today I did a little demonstration for some friends and made Green Curry Chicken for lunch. I know for me, there is a world of difference between watching someone cook and trying to figure it out from a written recipe. I'm assuming that's the reason that the Food Network is wildly popular - most people prefer visual learning. But even with those shows, the measurements and cook times are vague or glossed over.
Luckily for us, vague is the best way to cook Thai food....you do it by taste, trying to find the right balance between the 4 S's -- salty, sweet, sour and spicy. Once you have the ingredients and understand their strengths, it is easy to do. For blog's sake, I've written out a recipe with precise ingredients for a guideline, but it's up to you what your palate prefers. Some people like spicier and others like sweeter. Make up your own veggie combination too...green beans, sweet potatoes, and summer squash are all fine additions. I've put my favorite brands in there too, in case you were curious.
Thank you to my enthusiastic tasters too....it was a fun afternoon!
Thai Green Curry with Chicken
1 lb. chicken breast tender, cut into bite-sized chunks
2-3 tbs. green curry paste (Mae Ploy brand)
1 can coconut milk (Mae Ploy or Chaokoh brand)
3 kaffir lime leaves, split and thinly sliced
¼ to ½ cup chicken broth (optional)
1 tsp. fish sauce or to taste (Golden Boy or Three Crabs brand)
1 tbs. brown sugar or to taste
1 cup eggplant, cut in bite sized pieces
1 sliced red bell pepper
½ sliced onion
3 sliced carrots
½ cup Thai basil leaves
1. Saute the chicken until just done, set aside.*
2. Do not shake the coconut milk before using, so that the cream stays on top. Scoop out ½ cup coconut cream into a pan over medium high heat until bubbly and the oil surfaces (3 mins). Add curry paste and fry it in the cream until fragrant (3 mins)
3. Add the remaining coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce. Add broth until you get a consistency and richness that you like. (If you like it super-rich, skip the broth.) Bring to a boil.
4. Add the veggies and simmer uncovered until they are tender (7-10 mins.)
5. Add the chicken back in and bring back to a simmer. Add the basil. Squeeze the lime juice in. Stir and remove from the heat. Serve over rice.
*You could add the raw chicken in at the end of step 2, but after having a few batches curdle on me, I’ve decided it’s better just to sauté the chicken before.