Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday night Thai night


I've got my groove back and the taste for Thai was calling.....

So last night Chicken and Cashew Nut was on the menu - the LOML's all-time favourite (after the special omelette from Skala in Bangkok!).

This one is very easy yet tastes like it should be an ordeal to produce.  
I have a tendency to add veggies to recipes like these - I have to have some greens and not just a meal of all meat!  But I think it works well and there are never any complaints!

I cook using a $15 steel wok that I got from the Asian grocery store not long after we got back from our big trip last year.  My brother made up the trivet for it to sit on while I'm cooking (it was a test early on to do everything one-handed while using the other hand to keep the wok level on the burner!).  My brother's a boilermaker/ metal worker and whipped up the heaviest trivet I have ever come across using leftover bits of steel from his work!  What a champion!  I paid him in Thai dinners!
Anyway, here is the recipe I follow for Chicken and Cashew Nut.  I use the term 'follow' very loosely as I am a guestimator - I rarely measure!  This makes enough for the LOML and I, sometimes with leftovers for his lunch the next day.  If I need it to feed more people, I increase the amount of chicken and veggies, and then add a bit more water to extend the sauce.  I also serve it with lots more rice to make it go further!

Chicken & Cashew Nut
1 chicken breast (cut into 3 lengthwise, then slice into bite size morsels)
2 tablespoons oil (I use rice bran oil because it has a high smoke point)
4 dried chillies, cut in half (use less if you don't like chilli heat)
1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 onion, quartered
1 cup vegetables, cut into bite size pieces (eg beans, brocolli, capsicum)  * optional *
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon white/light soy sauce
1 teaspoon black/dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar (I use brown sugar)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cornflour mixed with a little water to form a paste

1 cup shallots/green onions, cut into 2cm lengths
1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashew nuts

1.  Heat the oil in the wok and fry the chicken for about 5 mins.
2.  Add the chillies, garlic and onion to the pan and fry until onion starts to soften.
3.  Add vegetables and stir to combine.
4.  Add oyster sauce, soy sauces, sugar and water and stir-fry until heated through.
5.  Add cornflour/water mix, green onions and cashew nuts.
6.  Stir until sauce thickens and green onions wilt.
7.  Serve with steamed rice.

Note:  I don't recommend actually eating the chillies in the finished dish.  They taste a little like a dried leather shoe and if you are unlucky enough to bite into a chilli seed, well, you can imagine the burn!  


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