Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lemongrass Chicken with Shrimp Paste

It was Thai night tonight and this dish was a resounding success! It doesn't look pretty but it was excellent! In fact, Son #2 wants to bring the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, never mind that the shrimp paste smell might scare off his classmates. :-)

I didn't really use a recipe but just improvised as a I went along. I have a bunch of kaffir lime leaves in the freezer. The leaves freeze extremely well, which works out because you only really need a few leaves at a time. I also freeze ginger slices (usually 5-6 slices in a tiny ziplock bag) so that I always have some on hand. Next time, I'm going to try freezing lemongrass and see whether the flavor holds up.

Lemongrass Chicken with Shrimp Paste

500 grams chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch strips
3 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces (white parts only)
1/2 tsp. chili flakes
6 slices ginger
1 tsp. chopped garlic
3 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch sitaw (snake/long beans), cut into 2 inch pieces
2 asian eggplants, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
3 heaping tsp. bagoong (shrimp paste) -- I used Barrio Fiesta
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
handful of whole thai basil leaves

1. Heat about 2 tbsp. oil in a pan/wok.

2. When oil is very hot, add garlic, ginger, chili flakes, green onions and lemongrass.

3. Saute for about a minute then add chicken pieces. Spread chicken over bottom of pan and don't touch for a minute or two.

4. Add in the beans and eggplant.

5. Put in kaffir lime leaves, oyster sauce and shrimp paste. Saute everything together.

6. Add water and chili sauce. Mix.

7. Cover for a 3-4 minutes to let veggies cook.

8. Remove cover. Add in basil leaves and sesame oil.

9. Stir just until everything comes together.

10. Serve with hot jasmine rice.

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