Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yellow Thai Curry


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp yellow curry paste
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2 tbsp minced lemongrass
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced
2 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
1 cup yams, peeled and chopped into large chunks
2 lime leaves
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp mild soy sauce (Thai preferable)
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp sugar
1 or 2 bird's eye chillies (optional)

1) Heat oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat.
2) Saute curry paste and onion together, until onions are beginning to get soft ( about 2 minutes). Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and sliced chicken. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken begins to colour (another 3 minutes).
3) Add all remaining ingredients to the pot, stir to combine, and bring to the boiling point. Reduce heat to medium low, and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
4) Adjust seasoning.
5) Serve hot over rice, with a wedge of lime on the side.

Lemongrass can be found at Chinese supermarkets. To prepare lemongrass, first bruise the lower 3 inches of the stalk by smashing it with the broad side of your sturdy kitchen knife. Then carefully, but with force, slice into pieces. The chop away, or blend in a spice mill. Remember that only the purplish part inside the bottom 2 or 3 inches contains any flavour. So don't waste your time with rest, unless you instead to make stock! Or, you do what I do, and travel over to the freezer section of the supermarket and pick up a little plastic container of pre-minced lemongrass.

Thai soy sauce has a lighter flavour and is less salty than it Chinese or Japanese counterparts. The brand I usually buy is called "Golden Mountain" and it is also a terrific marinade for beef or chicken.

If you cannot find lime leaves (check the freezer section!) then 1 tbsp of lime zest is perfectly good alternative.

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