Monday, June 6, 2016

Stir Fried Chicken and Vegetables with Thai Basil

Years ago, my husband and I visited Thailand. One of the most exciting days of our visit was the day spent in a cooking class with the main chef at The Boathouse Inn on Phuket Island. Three students learned Thai cooking techniques under his expert tutelage, then we used our new skills (with the help of several sous chefs) to create a delicious lunch. This recipe is my version of my favorite dish.


1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. pink peppercorns, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
3 Thai chilies
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 cup long beans, cut into 1-1/2 inch length
1 can baby corn
1 cup wood ear mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Thai basil, chopped
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. fish sauce
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

cooked rice, brown or jasmine

Directions: Think of this dish as a stir fry. Prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time, and have them near the cooking pan. Once started, this dish comes together quickly. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the peppercorns, garlic, chilies, and red pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds, just until the garlic begins to give off a pungent aroma. Add the chicken, cooking for about 2 minutes, until the chicken is browned on both sides. Add the vegetables, along with the chicken stock and just 1/4 cup of the basil, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, and the vegetables are tender. Add the remaining basil, along with the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper. Taste for seasoning, correcting by adding more fish sauce (for saltiness) or pepper, if needed. Serve with a side of cooked rice.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Do make an effort to find Thai basil, as it is more pungent than regular basil. Long beans are longer, though less bean-y tasting than regular green beans. Wood ear mushrooms, are dark mushrooms, with a unique taste. You can find these items at most markets that stock Asian foods. If you can't find them, substitute regular basil for the Thai basil, French haricot verts for the long beans, and shiitake mushrooms for the wood ear mushrooms.  Whatever kind of vegetables and herbs you use, I think you'll enjoy the balance of flavors in this rendition of Thai cooking. 

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