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October 2017

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Cogito Ergo Nom

Curries!

Yesterday Marilyn came over and I made Thai green curry with chicken, Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli) and dried black fungus (cloud ear, rough-hair-tree-jellyfish, black fungus, wood ear fungus, or tree ear fungus, an allusion to its rubbery ear-shaped growth). This is my favorite dried mushroom. It has the flavor and texture I always hope that sea lettuce will have but doesn't. This package of Black Fungus had whole pieces that expanded tremendously when I poured hot water over them. Next time I will use less. But I really like this mushroom and it was great with the Thai curry.

Thai Curry with Black Fungus and Gai Lan
Ingredients
1 pkg dried black fungus
Boiling water
2 chicken breasts
Sesame oil
Canola oil
Onion
Thai Curry Paste
Chili garlic sauce
Brown Sugar
1 can of coconut milk
1 lb Gai Lan
1 Tbsp cornstarch
cold water

Instructions
Boil some water. Put the dried black fungus in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Wait a couple of minutes. Toss the fungus and add more water as necessary.
Put a tablespoon of sesame oil and a tablespoon of canola oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. And heat it up.
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Saute the chicken in the oil.
Chop up a medium onion and add it to the chicken.
Add a teaspoon of chili garlic sauce (if you like a little heat).
Add the 2 tablespoons of Thai Curry Paste. Heat and stir.
Add 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.
Add coconut milk.
Simmer.
Wash the Gai Lan. Remove the leaves. Chop the stems into bite sized pieces. Add the chopped pieces to the pan.
Chop the leaves. Add the leaves to the pan.
Chop the hydrated mushrooms. Add them to the pan.
Mix the cornstarch with cold water then stir it into the pan
Stir everything together. Make sure it is heated through and the cornstarch has thickened.
Serve.
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Today I made Thai Red Curry with chicken, green bell pepper, coconut, pineapple, and green beans.

I thought that the Thai curries wold taste good with pineapple and coconut. So I used bell pepper like I do with my sweet and sour chicken. I think a red bell pepper would add a dash of color and look better. The coconut tastes good but I only had Indian Coconut "flour" (which is a grated coconut meal, not a fine flour). I think coconut flakes or chips would work better. I was worried about the green beans. I don't associate green beans with curry. But they are fine. Not amazing. But I will have no trouble eating them. I was going to use frozen broccoli but I only had green beans in the freezer.

Sweet and Sour Thai Curry
Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
Sesame oil
Canola oil
Onion
Thai Curry Paste
Chili garlic sauce
Brown Sugar
1 can of coconut milk
bell pepper
1 can of pineapple tidbits
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
cold water

Instructions
Put a tablespoon of sesame oil and a tablespoon of canola oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. And heat it up.
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Saute the chicken in the oil.
Chop up a medium onion and add it to the chicken.
Add a teaspoon of chili garlic sauce (if you like a little heat).
Add the 2 tablespoons of Thai Curry Paste. Heat and stir.
Add 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.
Add coconut milk.
Simmer.
Seed and chop the bell pepper. Add it to the pan.
Add about 1/2 cup of coconut flakes
Add one package of frozen green beans and heat.
Add one can of pineapple
Add the cider vinegar
Mix the cornstarch with cold water, then stir it into the pan.
Stir everything together. Make sure it is heated through and the cornstarch has thickened.
Serve.

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