If I had to pick my favourite cuisine ever, it would hands down be Thai. I love the flavours, ingredients and what is done with them; for me the dishes are just perfect combinations, every time. As is the way with dishes that become popular around the world, they sometimes get butchered into almost unrecognizable versions of the original, think Chinese/Indian/Thai take away. I can assure you the food I ate whilst in China and Thailand bore little resemblance to the quicker take away versions I have eaten in the UK. That being said, I’m a sucker for take out but they are something different from the real deal. This recipe is one of those quick and easy cheats, a take out for the home, but it does the job. It has those key Thai ingredients, a hint of spice and a whole big serving of satisfaction. It was what this Friday night called for, as we packed for our week holiday. It is a cheat because I use a store bought paste; as much as one day I’d really like to make my own Thai curry paste, life is busy and sometimes you just gotta buy a jar. I’ve cooked this dish a lot and never blogged it because it is a bit of a cheat but then I remembered there are people out there who are equally, if not busier than me who might be looking for a quick recipe too. This one is based on the recipe I’ve been faithful to for the last few years.
The recipe says it serves 4, and it would if you were just making it with chicken for 4 people, however I like to have lots of vegetables in mine as I don’t have rice with it. In this case the sauce is enough to serve 2.
- 1 tbsp of oil, for frying, I like to use rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp of Thai green curry paste (add more paste or a small, chopped chilli if you want it hot hot hot)
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar/coconut palm sugar
- 1-2 stalks of lemongrass, or 1-2 tsp of lemongrass paste. If using fresh, bash the ends with a rolling pin/meat tenderizer
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped (can also use chicken thighs, 2 per person)
- 2-3 cups of vegetables of your choice (optional, add 2 more chicken breasts instead to make a curry for 4)
- 1 tsp of kaffir lime powder or 6-8 kaffir lime leaves, torn, or the zest of 1 lime
- 1 tsp of Thai basil leaves (from a jar) or a few fresh (optional)
- 1 (400 ml) tin of coconut milk (coconut fat is so good for you, please use full fat)
- A shake of fish sauce (~2 tsp) (use soy sauce as an alternative)
- A handful of fresh coriander (optional but very much recommended, sadly I didn’t have any this time)
- The juice of a lime
- Heat the oil in a frying pan.
- Add the curry paste, sugar, lemongrass paste (wait, if using fresh) and Thai basil paste (if using) to the pan and cook for a minute or two.
- Add the chicken to the pan and make sure it gets well coated with the paste.
- Add the lime powder/leaves/zest, stir.
- Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk.
- Add the fish sauce.
- If using fresh lemongrass, use the stalks to stir the mixture and then drop them into the pan.
- If using vegetables, add these now.
- Let it simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove the lemongrass stalks, if used.
- Top with fresh coriander and lime juice, serve and most importantly, enjoy!