Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In Too Much of a Hurry to Make Curry?

Ya'll know I'm a big stir-frier. It's the fastest type of food I know how to make and requires little more than an onion and meat (or tofu). Of course, I like to spruce it up and curry pastes do just that.

Chicken Curry Stir-fry
  • 4-5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks (or 2 breasts, 1 block firm tofu or about half a pork tenderloin)
  • 1 carrot, diagonally sliced
  • 1 cup green bean, cut into 1 inch segments
  • ½ large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 1 tbs Thai curry paste (red (hot), green (medium) or yellow (relatively mild))
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • handful basil leaves

In a small bowl, combine the curry paste, fish sauce, sugar and lime leaves. Mix well and set aside.

In a very hot wok over high heat, add 1-2 tbs oil. Add the curry mixture and garlic and fry for about 20-30 seconds. Don't let it burn. Hopefully your wok is well seasoned so it won't stick either. Add the vegetables and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, tossing well to insure the veggies are coated with curry sauce. Add the chicken and continue to stir-fry for about 2 minutes. Add the oyster sauce, basil and 2 tbs water. Stir-fry until the chicken is done. Adjust seasonings with fish sauce, if necessary. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

This dish reminds me of the classic Thai stir-fried pork with Chinese green beans, which is made with red curry paste and no basil. Different options include using other veggies (baby corn, asparagus, green onions), substituting 1 stalk lemon grass (whites only, finely sliced) for the kaffir lime leaves, or adding fresh chopped ginger.