ThaiCurry

The recipe below is one of our favorites. It is easy to prepare but is wonderfully delicious and very good for entertaining guests. The curry can be cooked in either a wok or a large saucepan. All of the ingredients for this dish can be purchased at the 99 Ranch Market.. It's a good idea to read through the entire recipe to get a sense of the variations possible.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts sliced 1/4 in thin in medium sized pieces.
  • 2 tablespoons penut or corn oil
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk or cream
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1-4 tablespoons of Aroy-D curry paste (Green or Panang)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoons of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of bamboo shoots
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of baby corn
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of straw mushrooms
  • 1/3 pound frozen peas
  • 1/2 pound sliced green beans
  • 1/3 pound sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Tender sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 3 cups water

Preparation:

  1. Start cooking the rice first in a rice cooker or in a pot. Jasmine rice requires slightly less water than American long-grain rice.
  2. Sauté the chicken in the oil on medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ginger and the optional fish sauce. Uncooked fish sauce is very aromatic (fishy) before it is fully cooked, don't worry about this as it tempers down during cooking.
  4. Cook the chicken until it is fully cooked, but only very lightly browned.
  5. Add the curry paste (adjusting for your tolerance for chilies), mix well and cook for another minute or so. Both green curry paste (hotter) and Panang curry paste (sweeter) work well with chicken. Try both (but not in the same dish!) You can also substitute firm white fish (like cod) or shrimp for the chicken.
  6. The lemongrass and lime leaves are optional but they really do impart wonderful flavors to the dish. Cut off or peel the dried out parts of the lemongrass stalk and then mutilate it with a kitchen hammer or the back side of a cleaver. Break the lemongrass in one or more places so that the flavors infuse the curry. Please note that the lemongrass and the kaffir lime leaves are for flavoring the curry; it is not recommended that you eat them!
  7. Add the coconut milk or cream to the sauce pan or wok. Coconut milk yields a thinner sauce; many restaurants use coconut cream to create a very thick sauce.
  8. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and simmer softly until all the carrots are tender, but not over-cooked. I often use frozen French-cut green bean instead of fresh. Asian eggplants and potatoes also work well in this recipe, but if you use them you must be very careful not to overcook them.

Serve over rice, garnished with small tender sprigs of cilantro.

Thai Cucumber Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber, either diced small or sliced thin
  • 1-4 hot Thai chilies, sliced very thin
  • 1/4 of a medium onion, or 4-5 scallions sliced very thin
  • 1 cup rice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Heat vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Let liquid cool to room temperature or cool in refrigerator.
  3. Mix the sliced cucumbers, chilies and onions in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Pour vinegar into the bowl until it is half the depth of the ingredients.
  5. Add water to the point that the ingredients are just covered.
  6. Add sugar and salt and mix well. This salad gets hotter (be careful!) the longer it sits and the cucumbers get increasingly tender as they "pickle". The acidity, saltiness and sweetness of this salad really balances the "thickness" of the curry recipe above.

Recipe by T. Johnston-O'Neill
Photo by Shari K. Johnston-O'Neill

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