It was not easy for us to begin to appreciate and enjoy different cuisines and tastes in the beginning. Embarrassingly, during our international trips we’ve been to awful lot number of Mc Donald’s – it was a safe haven for our stomachs. Particularly, eastern cuisine was really hardcore for us. (Sometimes, still is.)
But, as we’ve become more and more citizens of one world, our stomachs had to be globalized too. Plus, being conservative about different tastes was at odds with me becoming a food lover and kitchen addict. So, we whipped up our taste buds and reeducated our stomachs. Now, we have eastern dine-outs, and we even cook some at home.
This, for example, something we cook often. (It gives me heartburn sometimes but still I like it a lot.) Despite the name it is only slightly chili. So, break the cycle and give this a try. You won’t hear “Chicken, again?” again!
Thai Style Chicken in Sweet Chili Sauce
(Adapted from Jaden Hair’s The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner)
Cornstarch slurry; 2 teaspoons soy sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 lb (500 g) boneless chicken, sliced into thin, pinky sized pieces
1 tablespoon high-heat cooking oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 fresh kaffir lime leaves, sliced into thin slivers (optional) — I didn’t use them
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup (65 ml) sweet chili sauce
1 small handful fresh Thai basil or sweet Italian basil leaves (1/4 cup or 12 g)
In a large bowl, make the cornstarch slurry by stirring together 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and cornstarch until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. Marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Set a wok or large frying pan over high heat. When a bead of water sizzles and evaporates upon contact, add the oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken slices in one layer and cook for 2 minutes, flipping halfway. Remove the chicken from the wok, keeping as much oil in the pan as possible. The interior of the chicken will still be raw (it will get added back into the wok to finish cooking).
Lower the heat to medium and add the shallots, kaffir lime leaves and garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the red and yellow bell peppers and stir fry for 1 minute, until the peppers are softened, but still have a nice crunch in them. Pour in the fish sauce, soy sauce and sweet chili sauce and stir well. Add the chicken pieces back to the pan and let the entire thing simmer for 2 minutes. The chicken should have finished cooking (cut into a piece and check), and the sauce should be glossy and thickened. Turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.