Wow! I was not confident this experiment would pan out, but I am happy to report it was a great success. Last week I assisted with the Thai Two On class at Hipcooks and was inspired to try my own variation of Thai chicken. Our instructor, Tristan said the easiest way to create a Thai tasting dish is to marinate some meat in garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce. And away I went!
Thai Ginger Chicken and Coconut Rice
Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
- 2 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tbs brown sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 inch grated ginger
- 2-3 minced garlic
- 1 chicken breast (this marinade also does really well with thinly sliced pork)
- 2 tbs vegetable oil, divided (sesame oil works very nicely as well)
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 15 oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- salt to taste
- cilantro for garnish
- lime wedge
Before we get started, I have a very important disclaimer that the marinade was done completely by taste, and the ingredient amounts are estimates, so you may need to play around a bit with proportions. Also, the chicken and rice independent of each other are not much to write home about, but when their powers combine, they make a delightful dinner! Now that that’s out of the way…
Whisk together the garlic, ginger, brown sugar and fish sauce. (I personally can’t stand the smell of fish sauce on its own, but find it much more tolerable when added in after other ingredients. Take that for what it’s worth.) Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and marinate in the sauce for between 20-45 minutes. While the chicken in prepping for the main event, you can start on the coconut rice.
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat, then add in the brown rice and stir for 1-2 minutes, just long enough to start to crispen the rice. Add in coconut milk, water and salt, then let cook with the lid on for approximately 30 minutes. Check periodically and remove from heat when all the liquid is absorbed. A fun discovery I made after the rice finished cooking was the uncanny resemblance the flavor had to popcorn. Crazy weird, but a delightful surprise (I promise it doesn’t taste so popcorny when combined with the chicken).
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable or sesame oil over medium, then add in the marinated chicken and keep in motion until the chicken is cooked through. Place chicken over rice and add a splash of lime juice and extra cilantro to garnish the dish.
Do you like to experiment with recipes? I’m always looking for ways to improve my ideas, so let me know if you tried this out, what changes you made and what you think!