This is Thursday dinner feature is definitely a little bit out of the ordinary. I am by no means a connoisseur of Thai food – in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my first experience with it. Although not being an expert, I’m not sure if these are all the ingredients that make a dish qualified to be of Thai origin.
But nonetheless, the stir fry recipe I chose to follow for dinner had one ingredient in it that I had never experienced before.
I’m pretty sure you agree with me, it sounds disgusting. My America’s Test Kitchen cookbook describes Fish Sauce as “a salty, amber-colored liquid made from fermented fish. It is used as an ingredient and condiment in certain Asian cuisines, most commonly in the foods of Southeast Asia. In very small amounts, it adds a well-rounded, salty flavor to sauces, soups, and marinades. Fish sauce will keep indefinitely without refrigeration.”
This recipe ALMOST lost me when I read “fermented fish”. Because frankly, FRESH fish doesn’t exactly appeal to me most days.
However, I decided to give it a whirl, since fish sauce isn’t at all expensive to buy and if I don’t like it…it’s just a meal. Gotta squeeze the adventure into a mundane life somehow!
Otherwise, this recipe has all the makings of your average stir fry. Here’s how it goes.
(recipe courtesy of Real Simple magazine)
Thai Chicken Stir-Fry
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 carrot, peeled, cut into thin strips
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 cup sliced shiitake or button mushrooms
- 1 small red chili, minced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 2- to 2 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken, meat sliced
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, quartered
Cook the rice according to the package directions.
Heat the oil in a wok or a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the carrot, bell pepper, onion, snow peas, mushrooms, chili, and garlic.
Cook, tossing, until the vegetables are just tender, 4 to 7 minutes.
Add the chicken, soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, and scallions and cook, tossing, until heated through. Serve with the rice, cilantro, and lime wedges.
- As always, I used brown rice. It’s one of those things where my taste buds have gotten so used to brown rice that I highly prefer it over white rice. Plus it’s so much better for you, so it’s win-win as far as I’m concerned.
- We are not a spicy-food household, so we completely omitted the red chili pepper and didn’t miss it, although I could see how the spice would make it a lot jazzier of a recipe.
- I didn’t feel like picking at a chicken, so I just cooked up 2 pounds of chicken breasts and chopped them. Worked just fine, and probably lower fat and less expensive.