The reality is this week our curry will be made with leftover Turkey (since the child decided to whip up Turkey dinner last week!) and since our Thai Basil are sweet tiny wee seedlings, we will substitute with Italian Basil. If I pair this with Corn Fritters (Tod Man Khao Pod), the child might eat dinner with us. So, as usual, this is a recipe in a recipe in a recipe. That’s how I roll.
It seems as if this doesn’t focus on foods that are in season right now, but for us – we are at the tail end of Winter and just at the beginnings of real Spring for us so a lot of of we still are eating up is the stuff in the freezer (like last Summer’s Corn and Green Beans) but the herbs are coming up (Cilantro, some Basils, etc), we have young onions, and various veggies to add to the Curry (or to even replace any meat options – just add more veg like julienned Carrot or roasted Cauliflower, and right now our CSA is giving us Bok Choy which is nice and meaty, and you could add Mango or Pineapple chunks to this if you want to mix the sweet/salty and add more vegetation). This is great served with Flatbreads, Cauliflower Rice, or Lime-Cilantro Brown Rice.
If you find that most of your big ingredients are frozen/uncooked, you can also thaw the meat then add Curry ingredients to a Slow Cooker (Cook on High for 15 min, then Low for 6 or so, removing Chicken halfway through to shred and return to cooker, add Cornstarch or Arrowroot to thicken if desired), adding the herbs in the last hour. If, like me, you have a lot of these things on hand (and since my leftover Turkey is already cooked/shredded), I will do this on the stovetop. I do tell you here how to whip up a Thai Powder Curry, but the Red Curry Paste recommended in the Fritters is for you to either whip up on your own (brave soul) or find packaged (Thrive Market has a nice spicy one), and to make Lime-Cilantro Brown Rice just stir in 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro to 4 cups cooked Brown Rice while it’s warm, and Lime juice to taste – for us, generally 3/4 of a Lime, and just a bit of Sea Salt.
May your tastebuds be tickled.
Thai Basil Chicken Curry (inspired by Closet Cooking)
Servings: 6 (with rice/fritters)
2 pound boneless/skinless Chicken fillets (or Turkey, Firm White Fish, or more Veg)
2 (13.5 oz) can Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Curry Powder, or to taste [see Note]
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce (or Soy Sauce)
2 Tbsp Lime juice (or Rice Vinegar)
2 Tbsp Coconut/Palm/Organic Cane Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil/Olive Oil or Ghee
1 Large Red Onion, diced (or Sweet Vidalia)
1 Jalapeno, diced (or preferred Chili)
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp Ginger, grated
1/3 cup Cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Basil, chopped
3 Kaffir Lime Leaves (optional)
Sea Salt to taste
Saute Onion in 2 Tbsp Oil until translucent, then add Garlic, Ginger, Jalapeno, Curry Powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Add Chicken, spooning spices and veg over top until coated and browning up – if too dry, or when it gets dry, add Coconut Milk, Fish Sauce, Lime Juice, and Sugar, mixing thoroughly. Partially cover and cook on Medium until Chicken is cooked. Remove Chicken and shred, then add back to pan, stirring into gravy. Add Cilantro, Basil, and (Kaffir leaves, if using) Sea Salt to taste. At this point if you find the gravy is not thick enough, cook longer a little higher or add Cornstarch/Arrowroot slurry (2 tsp of powder to 1/4 warm water, stirred thoroughly and added to Curry – cook for 2-4 minutes after adding). Serve over Lime-Cilantro Brown Rice (see in description above in blog).
Note: Thai Curry Powder (Makes about 1/2 cup) (from Spruce Eats)
- 3 Tbsp Coriander, whole or ground
- 2 Tbsp Cumin seed, whole or ground
- 1 Tbsp ground Turmeric
- 2 tsp ground Ginger
- 1 to 3 tsp Chili flakes (or Cayenne), depending on how spicy you want it
- 1 tsp White Pepper, whole or ground
- 3 Bay leaves
- 1 whole Clove (or a pinch of ground)
If using whole spices, toast for a few minutes in a saute pan until fragrant (if using ground, add to onions above while sauteeing, or warm through until fragrant – careful not to burn), then grind in mortar with pestle or in spice grinder [tip: to clean spices/coffee from grinder, pulse plain rice until powdered, then wipe with cloth]. Keep in a lidded jar after cool.
Tod Man Khao Pod (Corn & Bean Fritters) (from Food52)
2 ears of Corn (2 1/2 cups kernels)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour (or GF Flour Mix, I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup Cornmeal
1/2 cup Green Beans (or similar bean), diced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
1/4 cup Canola Oil
Chili Vinegar Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Thai Chili, sliced
- To make dipping sauce, combine Vinegar, Sugar, and Salt in saucepan over medium heat. Stir and remove from heat once Sugar and Salt dissolved. Add the Chili and set aside to cool.
- Remove Corn kernels from cobs. Discard cobs. Place Corn kernels in food processor. Pulse 5 times just to create a paste where most kernels are whole and some are broken up/smooth.
- Whisk Egg with Soy Sauce in large bowl. Add Corn kernel paste, Flour, Cornmeal, Curry Paste, and Beans to Egg mixture. Mix to combine. The mixture may seem a little thin. That’s OK! It’ll cook up fine.
- Heat Oil in pan over medium-high heat. When Oil is hot and working in batches, drop golf ball (about 2 tablespoons) sized amount of batter into pan. The batter should flatten out as you drop it. If not, feel free to press the tops of the fritters as they are cooking to form a patty shape. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Repeat until all of the fritters are cooked. Enjoy with the Chili Vinegar sauce or with store-bought Sweet Chili sauce.
Happy Thai Dinner!