My old dear’s been cooking this Thai curry for as long as I can remember. Probably not the most authentic but bloody lovely all the same. Was trying to pin down when the recipe will be from, but it can’t be that old as ‘nam pla’ or fish sauce haven’t been that readily available to supermarket shoppers for that long.
I’ll also let you in on the secret to perfect rice, also curtesy of my old girl. Once you’ve got it nailed, you’ll never look back.
This dinner is perfect for a widweek ‘tea’ as it has been for many years in my house, and this recipe serves 2 greedy beggars.
What you’ll need:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp veg oil
Half a pack of spring onions
Half a small pack of supermarket coriander
1 green chilli
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
1 can coconut milk
150g basmati rice
First cut your chicken breasts into nice bite size pieces and place in a bowl with the juice and zest of the lime. Leave to marinate for 1 hour, it shouldn’t need much longer, as in that time the lime juice and zest will have done their job.
Cut the spring onions in half and then cut these pieces into quarters lengthways, so you have 3 inch(ish) delicate pieces, and all the layers should slip away. Set aside one quarter of this spring onion for garnish. Also finely shop your chilli. I leave the seeds in, but that’s just me. It’s your tea, so make it as spicy as you want!
After the chicken is marinated, heat a wok or large frying pan with the oil until it’s really hot. Now chuck the chicken in with all the juice and zest, but stand back! Putting liquid into hot oil means it’s likely to spit a bit. Now reduce this juice down till the chicken starts frying and browning. These crusty brown bits are what will give you a lovely depth of flavour and colour to your sauce.
Once the chicken is lightly browned, throw in the green chilli and fry lightly for a minute. I usually have to open the windows at this point, you’ll have everyone coughing and tearing up!
Turn the heat down and add your coconut milk. It is vital to scrape the bottom of the pan and up the sides to get all of those nice crusty bits – you’ll watch your sauce transform from pale to a lovely deep colour.
Roughly chop 3/4 of your coriander and add this to the pan with the spring onions. These are effectively the veg for this curry.
Once the sauce is a nice rich consistency, add the fish sauce. Start slowly with this, it’s very strong and salty. Taste as you go! It is a wonderful seasoning, but add too much and you’ll wake up tasting it the next morning!
Now just garnish with the reserved spring onions and coriander and your ready to get stuck in!!
Now for the rice!
You’ll need about 75g of uncooked basmati rice per person for this recipe and cooking it couldn’t be simpler. My mum would tell you to wash your rice, but I never have, so chuck it in a saucepan so that it gives you a nice centimetre(ish) covering over the bottom of the pan. Now simply top up the pan with cold water, so that there is an inch covering over the surface of the rice.
Now for the cooking. Bring it up to the boil and boil rapidly for 1 minute uncovered. Now put the rice on the smallest ring, on the smallest setting with a tin-foil lined lid for 9 minutes. You’ll need this tight seal on the lid to ensure no steam escapes. Once this is done simply turn the heat off and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Don’t take the lid off for a peak!
Once you pull the lid off after the 10 minutes standing time you’ll see perfectly cooked rice – fluffy and clag free. Easy!
This dinner was an absolute favourite for me growing up. When my mum told me I was having this for tea I’d absolutely leg it home from school. Once you cook it once you won’t look back.
I enjoyed it so much that I scoffed it without taking a picture, so you can’t see how bloody lovely it looked too!