Saturday, January 03, 2009

Chicken in Mushroom Gravy (Kao Nha Gai)

Save for the typical Asian marinade ingredients, I think that this tastes the most Western of the Thai dishes that I have eaten, a mushroom gravy with chicken. This is a good lunch and fairly easy to make (save for the half hour marinade time, it would be a quick lunch). You can also make a sauce from deseeded sliced red chilis and fish sauce; sprinkle over to give the dish a little kick.

Chicken in Mushroom Gravy (Kao Nha Gai)
150 g boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, sliced thinly
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp light soya sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp dark soya sauce, for colour
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp red sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
5-7 white peppercorns
1 coriander root
1/2 medium onion
3 button mushrooms
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup chicken or mushroom broth
1 Tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce, if desired
sliced cucumbers, for garnish
sliced coriander leaves, for garnish
sliced tomatoes, for garnish

Mix sesame oil, light and dark soya sauces, oyster sauce and milk and place over chicken. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.

Grind garlic, peppercorns, coriander root together in mortar and pestle. Slice onion thinly. Slice button mushrooms thinly. Dissolve the tapioca flour in water; set aside.

Heat heavy-bottomed pan on medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add garlic mixture and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add onion and stir-fry until translucent. Add chicken and marinade and cook until the chicken is no longer pink inside, 5-6 minutes. Add the mushroom and mix together, stir-fry for another minute. Add the chicken broth. Stir the dissolved tapioca flour again, then add into the pan; mix well to distribute. Cook until sauce thickens.

Taste, adjust seasoning. For more salty taste, add fish sauce; for more sweet, add more red sugar.

Serve over hot fragrant rice, with cucumbers and coriander leaves and tomatoes on the side.

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