Our family loves a good stir fry and this Thai inspired one is on the ‘MUST make again’ list because EVERYONE loved it! This recipe originates from my friend Payal over at Don’t Give a Fork – how fun is that blog name?!? She lives in India and has some great travel stories on her blog as well as many amazing recipes. She cooks for her and her husband, after her day job. You can read her full story on her site, I highly recommend doing so. Her recipes are ethnic to us here in the U.S. so if you are looking for the real deal in Thai, Greek, or Shi Lankan food, her food blog is a definite bookmark site for you!
The recipe had a little prep to it, but nothing more than normal and was super quick to make once everything was prepped. I had a little trouble finding one or two items but just made substitutions. And I had to improvised on the mortar and pestle because I don’t own one. I’ve noted my substitutions below. It’s all about being adaptable when you find a recipe you love but aren’t sure you can find all the ingredients or have all the gizmos to make it, there is always another way – get creative! I made this on a school night so I also left out the garnish because of time constraints – I would definitely do the garnish for a dinner party or a fun meal on the weekend.
Stir Fried Chicken with Lemon Grass & Black Pepper
125 grams (4) boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced and chunked
2 TBSP Vegetable/ Safflower oil
4 TBSP Chicken stock
3-4 Coriander Stems, finely chopped (cilantro)
1 Kaffir Lime Leaf, finely chopped (I couldn’t find this so I used 1 tsp of lime zest)
Paste (Mortar & Pestle part)
2 Cloves of garlic
1/2 stem lemon grass
1 Coriander Root (I couldn’t find this, it was available in the summer, I used just the bottom stems of the cilantro and chopped it up super fine)
1 tsp finely ground black pepper
*The original recipe said to mix together the garlic, coriander root, lemon grass and black pepper and pound it into a paste with a mortar and pastel. I smashed and chopped the garlic, grated the lemon grass on the microplane, finely chopped the coriander stems and added the pepper to the mixture, and set it aside.
Seasoning (for adding to chicken once cooked)
1 TBSP Oyster or Mushroom Sauce
1 tsp brown or regular sugar (I used honey)
1/2 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp Chinese Whisky or white wine
*Combine all these ingredients and set aside.
1/2 stem crushed lemon grass, pounded with juices squeezed out, use paper towels to dry. Lightly coat in flour, then deep fry it until it turns golden brown – set it aside.
Heat a wok or frying pan to medium/high heat and add the oil and the ‘paste’. Watch carefully so you don’t burn the garlic. This smells so wonderful! Once it starts to let off a good aroma you know you are ready to toss the chicken into the pan! You want to keep the chicken moving around the pan and cook until it turns opaque. Add the stock and lime leaves at this point. Keep cooking the chicken until it is done. Add the ‘seasoning’ to the pan and make sure the pan is on high. You want to be sure to cook down all the sauce so it turns into more of a glaze than a runny sauce. Once it’s done, you can add the cilantro leaves to the dish, plate it and add the garnish.