This was a little experiment I had going on in my head for a couple of days. I wanted a stir fry but not the Chinese kind and I just love Thai flavours and the crunchy toppings that accompany a good laksa. I decided to combine the two cooking methods and the result was mighty fine! Tender breast fillet pieces marinated in red curry paste with a relatively dry sauce of a little coconut cream and the standard aromatics of chilli, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass. Topped with a fresh salad of sprouts, deliciously sweet toasted coconut and punchy coriander leaves this was a fusion of two of my favourite Asian cuisines. A classic Em’s Food creation.
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking time: 20 Minutes $ Low Budget
Peanut oil for frying (canola, rice bran etc is fine)
3 breast fillets, sliced into thin (0.5cm) strips
1 tbs of peanut oil
2 tbs of red curry paste
2cm piece of ginger, finely chopped or grated
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk of lemon grass, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed if you like it less spicy)
3 kaffir lime leaves, rolled up tightly and very finely sliced
1 brown onion, peeled, halved and sliced top to bottom
200gm of fresh beans, ends removed and sliced in half diagonally
270ml of coconut cream
1 tbs of fish sauce
1 tbs of brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 a bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Steamed rice to serve
For the topping:
3 handfuls of fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cup of shredded coconut, toasted in a dry pan until golden (keep it moving to avoid burning)
1/2 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
To speed up the process of finely chopping the aromatics, place them in a small food processor or turbo chef.
Mix the red curry paste, half the lemon juice and the oil together in a large bowl and toss the chicken pieces in. Give it a good mix to make sure that the chicken is evenly coated. You could do this step early and allow the chicken to marinate for as long as you like but if you are in a rush it won’t lack in flavour if cooked immediately.
Place a little oil in a large wok and heat until nice and hot. Fry the chicken in batches until almost cooked through and browned on both sides. Set aside.
In the same wok use a little more oil if needed and add the onion. Stir fry for a few minutes until just starting to soften and then add the chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and shredded lime leaves. Fry for another minute or two until aromatic. Pour in the coconut cream, remaining lemon juice and fish sauce and then pop the sugar in, giving it a really good mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add the chicken back to the wok along with the beans and stir and toss continually like you would a normal stir fry.
In a small bowl combine 2/3 of the toasted coconut, all of the bean sprouts and chopped coriander. Toss well with your finger tips to combine.
When the beans are lovely and bright green, stir through the coriander leaves.
To serve, place steamed rice in four bowls and divide the stir fry between them. Top with a generous handful of the crunchy salad mix and sprinkle over the remaining coconut. If you are not feeding 3 large men then the leftovers are awesome for lunch!