Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thai Chicken and Basil


Hey! Remember that time I took a cooking class in Thailand? Remember how much fun I had? It was really great! No really, look!



Ooo look at this too! I found it at the liquor store! It's yummy yummy yummy and makes everything taste way better than it probably actually does.


I have tried to make this recipe that I made in Chiang Mai several times now. I've failed. Miserably.


First, it required a trip to the Asian Supermarket. Now, I've been home for what? 8-million months and I'm just getting to the Asian market, which I might add, I pass every time I go to Catonsville to have Indian food. I do this on a pretty regular basis kids. And every time I see the Asian market I think to myself, I really really really need stop there.


I've seriously never seen so much soy sauce ever. See that aisle? It's about 75% soy sauce! It took me forever to find the fish sacue. Craziness at the Asian market!


Second fail: the chicken went bad. In my 15 or-so-years of cooking, I've never had so many issues with spoiled chicken like I have this summer. I'm not even kidding, this is like my third time. Weird. Onions and chilies chopped, go to the open the bag of chicken and ewwwww What's that smell???? Aw man! Furious amounts of grumbling in the kitchen ensues. Pizza was promptly ordered. Fail.


Third fail: I can't get the flippin' fish sauce cap open. What is wrooooong with me? Why must I have these problems in life? Why can't the top just Pop! open like all other normal tops? 15 minutes later and (luckily) all 10 fingers still intact, the lid was open. It's not pretty, but it's open dang nabbit!

 
Can we get down to business now? Seriously, let's just make some Thai food!

Thai Chicken and Basil
Serves 2

1 Chicken breast, skinless and boneless, cut into small/medium chunks
1/4 Onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
2 Chilies, the really really small red ones, deseeded and minced (add more or less depending on how hot you like things)
1c Thai basil, washed and roughly sliced
1/2 Tomato, medium sized, cut into a rough dice
1/2c Green beans, cut into 1" pieces
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1/2 tsp Sugar
2-3 tbsp Water
2 tsp Canola or vegetable oil

1. This is the type of recipe where everything must be ready to go before you start cooking, so grab several small bowls to place all the ingredients in.
2. Prepare all the ingredients. Slice the onions, crush the garlic, and deseed and mince the chilies. Place all in one bowl. Mix the oyster sauce, fish sauce, and sugar in another bowl. Dice tomato's and set aside. Slice the basil and set aside. Lastly, cut up the chicken.
3. In a wok or saucepan heat the oil till shimmering on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and chilies. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant. Add the chicken and cook through. Add the sauce and several tbsp of water. Add the tomatoes and green beans. Cook until the green beans are tender. Serve over rice.

Variations:
1. I didn't use green beans because I had a bag of broccoli that needed to be consumed. Instead, I steamed the broccoli separately.
2. I only used 2 chilies which was plenty for me, be your own judge. This is also one of the ingredients that can't really be replaced, It really must be the small chilies that you get at the Asian market.
3. Thai basil can be substituted with Sweet basil. Thai basil is much more pungent in scent and really needs to be cooked to be eaten, unlike Sweet basil.
4. I toned down the fish sauce because my fish sauce is quite fishy in taste. More than I recall from any of my cooking classes in Asia.


Enjoy!

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