Thai One On


The recipe I used for this chicken coconut dish is actually intended to be a soup, but I spooned it instead over a bed of steamed rice and it worked out just as well. It’s a joy to have fresh lemongrass from the backyard for Thai food, but the season is quickly coming to its close. I harvested most of the stems from the three large clumps I planted this year, freezing them in small batches and Ziploc freezer bags in the hopes of having them through the winter.

The lemongrass and ginger were to be cut roughly, then mashed with the back of a cleaver. Being that I’m not allowed to have a cleaver in the house, I used a meat tenderizer instead. Same end result. The coconut milk, fish sauce and a pair of red chili peppers form the basis of many Thai recipes. The chicken stock (which we didn’t have on hand) makes it soupy and rich (I substituted a vegetable stock because no one was going out to the market in the rain) and the strips of chicken turn more tender the longer you can simmer them. I didn’t have the patience for that, so when the rice was ready I spooned the soup over it and went to Thai-town.

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