Jun 29, 2009

thai chicken san choy bau



Sometimes I can't wait to try new elaborate recipes that have lots of ingredients and many steps to keep one busy in the kitchen for several hours. Other times I want to try something new, but I want it to be quick and easy.

Last week thumbing through Off the Shelf, a cookbook by Donna Hay, I found this recipe, which looked both easy and flavorful. If you've never checked out a Donna Hay book I would highly recommend it. Just looking at the pictures makes your mouth water, and every recipe has a picture, I love that.

Making this chicken also took me back to Thailand where Matt and I took our first trip to Southeast Asia last November. I loved walking through the markets and checking out stalls brimming with vegetables or fresh curries. One day, while in Northern Thailand, we took a cooking class to learn more about traditional cooking. After a trip to a local market with our instructor, the class took our positions at the school to make everything from spring rolls to fresh curry paste using a mortar and pestle. I was amazed at how easy it was to use a few ingredients from the market to pull together wonderfully tasty dishes easy enough for both novice and experienced cooks.

Cooking up this chicken and then adding in a little short grain brown rice a flavorful dinner came together in less than 30 minutes.

Recipe for Thai Chicken San Choy Bau
Adapted from Off the Shelf by Donna Hay


2 red or green chilies, medium dice

1 pound chicken, minced

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons soy sauce*

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped

baby lettuce leaves**


Fry chilies and minced chicken in peanut oil in a hot frying pan until golden. Add lemon juice and soy sauce and cook for about a minute. Remove from the heat and stir through chopped cilantro and mint. Spoon into baby lettuce leaves and serve.


Short Grain Rice - Cooking via the absorption method: Combine 1 cup short grain rice for every 1 and 1/2 cups water and then for each additional cup of rice add just 1 additional cup of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the water.


Local Ingredients:

Lemon's from the Farmer's Market

Cilantro, mint, and lettuce leaves from our garden


Alison's Notes:

*Because we don't cook fish, Matt is allergic, I try to find substitutes for ingredients that include fish, including fish sauce. This recipe originally called for 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. However, I substituted in 2 extra tablespoons of soy sauce and took out the fish sauce.


**I used Winter Density lettuce from the garden. I think any lettuce with a nice cup to hold a bit of the chicken mix would work well.


This should serve approximately 4 people for a main dish and with the rice it makes a nice easy meal.



(photography by: alison clayshulte)


2 comments:

MHC said...

Hey Allison--is there a subsitute for cilantro in this dish? Or is it ok just to leave it out w/o tampering with the flavor too much?

Alison said...

Hi MHC,
My suggestion is to just leave it out, or think about replacing it with some fresh thai basil. Then you'll get a couple different flavors in there. Let me know how it turns out.

Alison