When I take my kids to their afternoon extra-curricular activities, I take the opportunity to read through old issues of Delicious and Donna Hay magazines. Just in case I missed a really good recipe in the past! I stumbled across this in an old spring edition of Donna Hay and thought it would make a delicious, light and easy midweek meal. I was right! With a few emmalicious additions and a bit of tweaking so that I can claim that it was “inspired” and not “copied”, the whole family enjoyed this simple, flavour packed and budget friendly Asian delight.
It will appear that their are a lot of elements to this dish, but honestly it takes very little effort to make. The nam jim is blitzed in a processor and the rice is the usual method with the exception of a few blanched veggies thrown in!
Prep time: 30 Minutes Cooking time: 30 Minutes $ Low Budget
4 x 200gm chicken breast fillets, lightly scored diagonally
500ml of chicken stock
2 cups of water
2 spring onions, white part only and root ends trimmed (use the green part sliced diagonally for garnish)
2 garlic cloves, bruised
3cm piece of ginger, sliced
3 Kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk of lemon grass, bruised
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of shaoxing wine*
Coriander sprigs and sliced spring onions for garnish
For the Nam Jim:
4 large red chillies, deseeded and sliced
5 coriander roots, washed well
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 level tbs of palm sugar (I buy it in block form, so 2 blocks)
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbs of fish sauce
For the Ginger & Mixed Pea Rice:
2 tsp of grated ginger
11/2 cups of jasmine rice
11/2 cups of chicken stock
11/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of frozen peas
A handful of snow peas, ends trimmed and sliced diagonally
A handful of sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
2 spring onions, finely sliced
To make the Nam Jim place the chilli, ginger, garlic and coriander root in a processor and blitz until it has a pesto like consistency. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar and blitz until well combined and the sugar has dissolved. Have a taste and adjust the lime, fish sauce or sugar if needed. It should be the perfect balance of hot, salty, sweet and sour!
In a deep frypan place the stock, water, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, lime leaves, spring onions, shaoxing wine and soy sauce. Bring to a low simmer with a lid on and allow all the flavours to infuse for 5 minutes. Place the chicken breasts in the stock, pop the lid back on and allow to simmer (on a very low heat) for 25 minutes, turning the breasts over half way through. Turn off the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
To make the rice place the rice, stock, water and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to break up the rice. Once boiling, turn the heat to very low and place a lid on. Allow the rice to absorb the liquid for 12 minutes then remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes. Don’t lift the lid!
In a small bowl, pour boiling water over the peas, snow peas and sugar snaps and cover with a tea towel for 5 minutes. When the rice has rested, drain the peas and add them and the sliced spring onion to the rice. Stir to combine.
To serve the dish, divide the rice between four serving plates. Remove the chicken from the broth and slice a breast per plate diagonally and arrange on top of the rice. Use a soup ladle to spoon over one ladle full of stock. Spoon the Nam Jim over the top of the chicken and top with coriander leaves and sliced spring onion.
I strained the leftover stock into a sandwich size zip lock bag and froze it. It would be handy for any asian style soup…..
*Shaoxing wine is available at most supermarkets in the Asian section