Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake

Friday, July 8, 2011

Chicken Panang Curry

Submitted by Heather

We didn't eat too many authentic ethnic foods growing up in Minnesota. We ate "ethnic" foods like stir fry, tacos and lasagna, but they were pretty Americanized.  They were delicious, comfort food type dishes, don't get me wrong.  I loved them (really, I did Mom!).  But when all the salsa in the house was from a jar and the heat factor was "mild", you know we were taking baby steps in the spice department.  I didn't even know what cilantro was!  What a crime!

I didn't discover foods with more authentic spices and heat until my husband and I moved to California.  We lived in the Bay Area, and you really can't escape the amazing array of wonderful ethnic restaurants there.  And the average grocery store is even stocked with all kinds of curries, and Asian sauces and interesting vegetables.  My husband was in heaven.  He loves spicy foods and was thrilled to finally have chances to eat them at every turn.  Not that my cooking was bland before we moved there.  Ahem.  Okay, I was a terrible cook when we first got married, but since there was a lot of room for improvement I learned a lot in California.  

This Panang Curry is the first Thai dish I learned to cook and has been a staple in our house for years.  We all love it, even down to my 6 year old (my 3 year old doesn't eat anything, so she doesn't count).  Give it a try, it's really delicious!

 Serves 6
1 & 1/2  lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly against the grain
2 T. lime juice
2 T. fish sauce (if you're feeling adventurous) or salt to taste (approx 1 tsp)
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. Mae Ploy Panang Curry Paste*
1 14 oz. can coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut)
1 red onion, sliced
2 red and or green bell peppers, sliced
1/4 C. chopped cilantro
2 T. fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
rice (I like jasmine rice)

If serving with rice, start rice cooking (a rice cooker is wonderful to have in this situation).  In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice, fish sauce or salt, and brown sugar.  Set aside.

In a skillet over medium high heat, add curry paste with 1/2 can of the coconut milk.  Stir frequently until curry paste is dissolved and mixture is bubbling.

Add the rest of the coconut milk, onions and bell pepper.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 minutes.
Add the lime juice mixture and sliced chicken.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the cilantro and the ginger.  Sometimes I leave the ginger out if I don't have any fresh ginger on hand, and it's very good without it too.  Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes more until the chicken is cooked.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

*A note about the curry paste:  I found mine at an Asian supermarket (Super H) here in the D.C. area.  When I lived in NC and needed more curry paste I tried a brand from Harris Teeter, which I did not like at all. In fact, when I first made this dish long ago, I remember looking up curry pastes to see which was the most authentic and/or delicious and Mae Ploy kept popping up in my searches.  So, if you can find it, I recommend Mae Ploy.  In fact, the dish may taste quite different with another kind of paste, but it may still be very good.

Source:  I have no idea.  I have this tattered printout from the 90's and it doesn't have the source.  Sorry!

1 comment:

  1. We've made this out of the ward cookbook and love it. We had to skip the fish sauce since Glen is allergic, but we (especially Glen and I) absolutely loved the combination of flavors in this! In fact, I still have some of that Mae Ploy Panang Curry Sauce in my fridge....I think I'll be making this again soon! :)