Red Chicken Curry

I never cared for Asian food when I was growing up. I tried Chinese food several times and never liked it, and then living in Dallas didn't really help the situation, as they aren't known for their stellar Asian cuisine. But now that I live in Seattle I have learned what truly good Asian food is, and this has opened up new possibilities. This is a foodie town and I have grown up. One of my favorite Asian foods is red curry and I have  finally found a recipe that tastes comparable to that at my favorite Thai restaurant. This is modified from a recipe off of http://www.allrecipes.com/.

1 Tlbs olive oil
1 Tlbs sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chicken breast, sliced very thinly (1/4" thick or less)
1 red bell pepper, sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 sweet onion, sliced 1/4" thick
14 oz can of lite coconut milk
1 Tlbs cornstarch
2 Tlbs red curry paste
2 tsp lime juice
2 Tlbs sugar
a handful of mung bean sprouts

Heat the oil (both of them) in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Toss in the garlic and saute for a minute or so. Then throw in the chicken and saute that for 2 minutes or until it is about halfway done. Then throw in the onion and pepper and saute for another 3-4 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the vegetables are crisp-tender. Meanwhile, in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, mix the coconut milk, cornstarch, red curry paste, lime juice and sugar. Put the lid on and shake thoroughly. The red curry paste will still be a little lumpy, but that's ok. When the chicken is cooked, turn the heat down slightly, and add the curry mixture, smashing out any lumps as you do. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the bean sprouts and let it cook for another minute. Serve over cooked brown rice (or plain, if you prefer).

A few notes....If you don't have sesame oil, just use olive oil, but consider getting some sesame oil. It adds a really great taste. The curry should have a fairly thin consistency, so if it is too thick and you don't have any more coconut milk, add regular milk a tiny bit at a time until it is the consistency that you want. I prefer to slice the chicken really thin because that is how they serve it in my favorite restaurant, and it cooks faster, but do what works best for you. The original recipe also called for mushrooms and zucchini, but again, I was sticking to the recipe I like, so I didn't add them. Because you have to add things fairly quickly in this recipe, I would recommend prepping everything first before you start cooking.

Rating: 5/5
Why? the first time I tried this recipe, I followed the suggestion of one of the commenters and added peanut butter, which I did NOT like. This time I left the peanut butter out and really focused on making the smell match what I remembered. It turned out great, and is a pretty quick meal, which I like a lot. It took me about 15 minutes, including prep time, to put this together (not including cooking the rice). It is hot and spicy, another plus for me, and is fairly healthy if you use the lite coconut milk and go easy on the chicken.

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