This authentic Thai recipe comes from the north of Thailand where it is eaten either with plain or sticky rice. The wonderfully flavorful taste of this dish represents some of the best of Thai street food. Combining chicken and fresh tomatoes with a simple lemongrass-based stir-fry sauce that is topped with fresh herbs, this Thai dish is simply brimming with real Thai flavors and aromatic notes. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- SERVES 2-3 as a Main Entree
- approx. 1 lb. (.500 kg) chicken, sliced thinly for stir-frying (Note: this dish works equally well with pork loin)
- 3-4 tomatoes, sliced or chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 Tbsp. Golden Mountain Sauce (available in Asian food stores)
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- handful of fresh coriander
- optional: 2 kaffir lime leaves (available fresh or frozen at Asian stores)
- SPICE PASTE:
- 2 shallots (or substitute 1/4 cup purple onion), sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 red chili, OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp. fresh minced lemongrass OR prepared frozen lemongrass (available at Asian stores)
- 2 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian stores)
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1+1/2 to 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
For instructions on using fresh lemongrass,
see:All About Lemongrass: Your Guide to Buying, Preparing, and Cooking with Lemongrass.
Place all spice paste ingredients together in a mini-chopper or food processor. (Tip: don't skimp too much on the shrimp paste - you might think it smells bad, but this ingredient is what gives this stir-fry its flavor base!) Bliz well to create an authentic Thai spice paste. (Note: You can also create this paste using a pestle & mortar.)
Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil and swirl around, then add the spice paste plus kaffir limes leaves and 2-3 Tbsp. water. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, releasing the fragrance of the spices.
Add the chicken (or pork). Stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until meat is nearly cooked. (Add a touch more water if wok/pan becomes dry)
Add the chopped tomatoes and gently stir-fry 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium and add the Golden Mountain Sauce. Stir-fry/simmer until the tomatoes have softened (2-3 minutes). (Tip: The tomatoes should still retain most of their form. Don't over-cook them, or you'll end up with tomato sauce!).
Remove from heat and taste-test the dish. Note that it should taste on the salty side (the plain rice will balance out this saltiness and make for a perfect dish). Also, you want it quite spicy, and not too sour. Add up to 1 Tbsp. fish sauce instead of salt, and add more chili to raise the spice level (if desired). Add more sugar if too sour. If too salty or sweet, add another squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
Just before serving, chop up the fresh basil and fold into the hot dish. Then top with fresh coriander and serve with plenty of plain jasmine-scented rice. This dish is also traditionally served with Thai Sticky Rice (how to make it) . (OR see: Thai Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker recipe ).