So apparently I started this blog post the other night after having a few drinks….
Here’s what I wrote around 12:30 am
“So here I am, sitting at a table at the Nuche (for all you folk who aren’t from Nashua-it’s a bar called Penuche’s) while all of the guys play Buckhunter. If you were to walk by, you might assume that I am bored out of my mind since I’m not drinking anymore (tonight). Anyone who assumes this is correct! What better way to utilize my “free time”?!
Per usual, I am thinking of food and the things I am in the mood to make. Last week I was on a Mexican food kick, and now I’m just craving all sorts of Asian food. One dish in particular…Gaeng Kiew Wan.
My family loves to make huge vats of this around the holidays as an alternative to the normal turkey/ham dinner. You can have it with jasmine rice or really really thin rice noodles.
The dish consists of Thai eggplant, chicken/beef/fish balls (We usually make it with chicken and fish balls. Beef and fish balls seem like a weird combo, but go ahead and give it a try. You can find them in the frozen section at your local Asian store and yes I know it sounds weird but don’t knock it till you try it. They’re pretty tasty!), green curry, coconut milk, Thai chili peppers, and Thai basil.
I’ve seen a lot of Americanized versions of this dish where people will add all sorts of vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, etc. I’ll be honest with you….I hate all these different concoctions and it’s only because I’ve been eating certain things the same way for so long.”
5 days later…..I realized this was saved in my drafts haha! I will finish the post for you so you can go on and make it!
Here’s what you will need:
- Chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs (I typically use 1 lb – 1 1/2 lbs)
- Thai eggplant (I like to use about 10-15 so the chicken and eggplant ratio is even but some people like to use more or less…completely up to you!)
- Thai Basil (if you buy this in the asian store, it comes prepackaged for you and I will usually just use the whole thing but if I know that Market Basket sells this and all the sizes are different. I love thai basil so I don’t mind using a ton of it, but make sure you’re not dumping a ton in there because the basil might take away from taste of everything else. Thai food is all about balancing the flavors! I’d say to start off with about half a cup to a full cup of the basil.)
- Thai Chili Peppers (Every time I make this dish, the amount of peppers changes. Sometimes I like it super hot and want to clear out my sinuses and sometimes I just want a tiny little bit of spice. Use your judgement and use it wisely because Thai Chili peppers are hot hot hot!)
- 3 or 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 1 can of Coconut Milk – 13.5 fl oz
- Green Curry Paste – 1 small can
- Fish Sauce – I can’t even tell you an exact measurement because I eyeball this every single time but if this is the first time you are making thing I would start off with small amounts, like 1 or 2 teaspoons at a time. If you add too much fish sauce, it’ll become super salty and overpowering.
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Jasmine Rice or these bomb ass noodles
You should prep everything first so wash all your veggies and chicken. You want to pick all the basil leaves off of the sprigs and let them soak in water. Do the same with your thai eggplant as well…I like to cut them into quarters and not like how it is shown up above, but you do it however you want to! It’s all going into the same place…your mouth and out your bum eventually so I guess it doesn’t matter how its cut up. Also, you should cook your rice before you start making the gaeng kiew wan because once it’s done and ready to eat, you’re not going to want to wait for the rice. It smells unbelievably good while you’re making it!
So, the next thing your’re going to is open up that can of curry and throw it into a pot an cook it…make sure you don’t burn it! I cook this on medium heat and let it warm up and cook a little for about 5 minutes. Then add your can of coconut milk and stir it until everything is blended evenly and you get that nice light green color. Add your kaffir lime leaves and thai chili peppers. Let all of that cook and come to a quick boil. Once it’s boiling, add your chicken and get all the chicken coated in the delicious sauce. If you think its boiling too much, you can lower the heat a little bit and let it simmer. Put the cover on top of the pot and let it cook for a few minutes. Stir it occasionally.
Once your chicken is cooked, you want to add the eggplant and let that cook for a few minutes. Don’t let it cook for too long because the eggplant will get soggy and it will fall apart just to the touch. Then add your fishsauce and thai basil and stir everything together so its evenly incorporated. The thai basil will wilt and turn dark and maybe even blackish in color…that’s totally fine and normal! After that…you’re pretty much done! Go grab a bowl of rice and pour some of the gaeng kiew wan on top and enjoy!