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Monday, July 23, 2007

Anatomy of a recipe adaptation: Southern Vietnamese Chicken Curry


Maybe you've been eyeing that Vietnamese cookbook on the shelf. Maybe you have some of the ingredients on hand, but not all of them. Maybe you have a craving for broccoli.

I tweaked a curry recipe from Cafe Vietnam, by Annabel Jackson. My "edits" are in italics below.

2 medium-sized potatoes, cut into chunks
Nah, too much starch. Let's do broccoli instead.
vegetable oil for frying
8 shallots, minced
Don't have 'em, so skip 'em.
4 stalks fresh lemon grass, minced Oops, only have two. Oh well. Pound and tie instead of mincing -- I like to remove my lemon grass after cooking.
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh hot red chilies, minced
Omit, since we're feeding Jasper as well.
2 tablespoons mild Indian curry powder
1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 coconut milk
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
fresh Thai basil leaves (optional)

1. Shallow-fry the potato pieces in hot oil until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Hah, don't have to do this step now.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan and saute the shallots with the lemon grass, garlic, and chilies until soft. Awkward with the whole lemon grass, so add that at next stage. I did add some fresh ginger at this stage, though, just for fun. Add the currypowder and stir for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it is opaque.

3. Add the potatoes, salt, coconut milk, and chicken stock. I added broccoli at this point, but I should have waited even longer and added it after 15 minutes or so. I also threw in some chopped red bell pepper the last five minutes. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. Garnish with Thai basil leaves, if using.

Ahh, exactly what I wanted.

1 comment:

Luisa Perkins said...

Yummage! What an instructive outline--I love it.

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