How to Cook Phanaeng Kai

How to Cook Phanaeng Kai

Serves: 3

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 50 mins

Ingredients needed to make Phanaeng Kai:

For the spice blend:

  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • ½ tbsp kaffir lime rind
  • 1o garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 shallots
  • 5 small dried chillies
  • 1 tsp lemongrass
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander root
  • 1 tsp galangal
  • 1 tsp salt

For the curry:

  • 300 gms chicken, boneless
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 250 gms grated coconut
  • 2 stems sweet basil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Cooking instructions for Phanaeng Kai:

  • Dump all the ingredients for the spice blend into a mortar and bash them hard with the pestle until they ground into a smooth paste.
  • Place the grated coconut in a bowl and pour in ½ cup water.
  • Squeeze the coconut to extract as much coconut milk as possible and pass it through a fine mesh sieve to strain into a bowl; measure 1 cup of it and set aside until necessary.
  • Slice the chicken into long strips and toss them into a hot skillet, greased earlier with a lashing of oil.
  • Stir fry them until they are cooked through and brown evenly.
  • Transfer them into a bowl and set aside.
  • Pour rest of the oil and scrape out the spice mixture into it.
  • Fry it for 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly, until it gives out a zesty aroma and beat in the coconut milk before the fried spice blend tends to dry out.
  • Cook the mixture over slow flame for 8-10 minutes or until the oil separates from the curry and accumulates around the sides of the pan.
  • Return the cooked chicken back into the pan, followed by the kaffir lime leaves and sprinkle the sugar into it.
  • Pour in a splash of fish sauce and stir them all together to mix well.
  • Pour in more coconut milk to thin it out and bring it to a simmer.
  • Continue to simmer over slow flame for next 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the curry reduces considerably to appear thicker.
  • Stir in the basil leaves ad turn off the heat.
  • Tip the chicken curry into a large serving bowl and sprinkle more sweet basil on top to garnish.
  • Serve hot alongside steamed white rice.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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