Small World, Big Taste: Thai Green Curried Chicken and Vegetables

Feel free to substitute asparagus, sugar snap peas, ‘Delicata’ winter squash, or other seasonal vegetables for the vegetables called for. The key to the success of this dish is the balance between sweet coconut milk, salty fish sauce, sour lime, bitter spices, and hot chiles.

| October/November 1999

 Serves 4 

• 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
• 2 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, or 2 small Japanese eggplants
• 1 16-ounce can coconut milk
• 1 cup water
• 1 to 2 tablespoons Thai Green Curry Paste (recipe follows)
• 2 teaspoons fish sauce
• Juice of 1 lime
• 3 to 4 kaffir lime leaves

1. Place the chicken and potatoes in a skillet with the coconut milk, water, and curry paste. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes and chicken are tender. Stir in the peas, fish sauce, lime juice, and lime leaves. Simmer for 3 minutes longer or until the peas are tender; adjust the seasonings. Serve over jasmine rice.

Thai Green Curry PasteMakes 1 cup 

Many Thai ingredients are available in large supermarkets and specialty markets. Fish sauce is used in Southeast Asian cooking as soy sauce is used in Chinese cooking. Shrimp paste is a thick, salty condiment. Galangal, also known as laos, is a more pungent relative of ginger.

• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 4 large pieces dried galangal
• 1/2-inch disk fresh ginger
• 1 teaspoon coriander seed
• 1 teaspoon caraway seed
• 12 black peppercorns
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 2 stalks lemongrass, lower 3 inches minced, remainder discarded
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
• 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
• 1 teaspoon kaffir or common lime zest
• 4 to 8 whole green Thai or serrano chiles, stemmed and minced
• 1 teaspoon shrimp paste or 2 whole anchovies
• 1 teaspoon salt

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