My obsession with Thai food came in college. Though I had eaten it before, college was the time when I fell in love with Thai curries. I am particularly fond of coconut curries. I love the way the coconut milk handles the spice of the chilies.
In college, I remember groups of us gathering at the Thai restaurant in the next town over ordering all different types of curries. Pushing tables together, kicking back, eating good food, staying longer than we should have. It was just like the holidays with the family. We were so far from home it was nice to get away from the pressures of school. Nice to sit with friends and hang out and laugh.
I’ve made this dish several times and never the same way. But I’ve found a mixture I really like. Before adding the chicken to the thai red curry paste, I season the chicken with salt, pepper, coriander and ginger. Because of my background in history (and lots of geography lessons) I know how influential the spice islands were when it came to Asian cuisine. One ingredient I didn’t think about was sugar. But I realized many Thai recipes have a bit of sweet and spicy so a little sugar was necessary. The Thai Curry Paste adds the spice and the sugar with the ginger adds a hint of tangy and sweet.
As always, I’m interested in including as many vegetables as possible (gotta get the littles their vitamins and minerals) so in addition to my bag of Asian vegetables, I’m adding snow peas and baby corn. I’ll add a little extra heat to my plate with some chili peppers. Of course, one of the reasons I like this dish is because the whole meal (including rice) takes about 30 mins and the other is because everyone can get what they want. Heat or no heat. Lot’s of sauce or no sauce. It’s versatile.
Thai Coconut Curry Chicken
Makes 6 servings
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 1 tablespoon of Thai Red Curry paste
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 small onion (sliced)
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/2 tablespoon coriander
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- frozen bag of Asian vegetables (optional)
- 1 chili pepper (jalapeño) diced (optional)
- cilantro for garnish
Note: If you want to reduce the heat in this dish, omit the chili pepper.
- Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper and coriander.
- Heat oil in a pot over medium high heat, then add Thai curry paste.
- Once paste is hot (it will pop), add chicken and cook for 3 to 5 minutes
- Stir in onions and peppers.
- Then stir in Asian vegetables (if you are using snow peas wait until the end to add those to the dish).
- Add garlic, coconut milk, fresh ginger, fish sauce, sugar and diced chili pepper (optional).
- Bring mixture to a boil, allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Remove 2 tablespoon of liquid and mix with cornstarch.
- Add cornstarch mixture back into coconut curry sauce.
- Cook and stir until mixture begins to thicken.
Enjoy over rice and garnish with cilantro if you please.