Tom Ka Gai
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
A couple of cloves garlic, crushed or - if you've read Kitchen Confidential - finely sliced like they did in Goodfellows
1 onion, finely chopped - sometimes I leave it coarse for texture.
A couple of stalks of lemon grass, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
A chunk of Red Curry Paste (I prefer Panang)
2 red chilies, finely sliced (optional)
A few kaffir lime leaves (available in Thai/Asian markets. Do not substitute regular lime leaves)
2 one-inch pieces fresh/frozen/dried Galangal (Kha) (available in Thai/Asian markets)
3 cups water
4 or 6 (depending on how much of a glutton you feel) boneless chicken thighs, chopped into chunks
coconut milk - this is a very emotional issue with me. I try and only use the small (green) tins of Ayam Coconut cream - 3 or 4. Once you've found a source of this you'll never look back. Good supermarkets sometimes have it - hence when I see it I get heaps - makes all the difference.
1 can straw mushrooms, drained. Sometimes I get those variety packs of frilly mushrooms and substitute or combine.
1/4 cup fish sauce - 1/8 cup fresh lime juice. This is the basic ratio I started with, but sometimes I use equal parts of lime to fish sauce.
NB Fish sauce is like salt. Too much and you're stuffed.
Heaps of fresh coriander, chopped. A whole plant is not to much - save some for garnish.
Put the oil in a wok (or large frypan) and stir-fry the garlic, onion, lemon grass, pepper, curry paste, green chilies, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal for approximately 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to just below a boil. Add the chicken and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for approximately 5-8 minutes. Add the coconut milk, mushrooms, fish sauce, lime juice, and simmer for about 2 more minutes. Toss in coriander and serve.
This is a living recipe that changes every time I make it - but these are the basics.
( RG1755 )
Tom Ka Gai
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