Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Red Thai Chicken Curry ~ Handwritten Recipe on Napkin, Jasmine Thai Restaurant, NYC

Red Thai Chicken Curry

In the late 90's my sister and I lived and worked in Manhattan. On Thursday evenings we'd often meet up after work to exchange boss stories and sip chardonnay. Inevitably, we ended up at Jasmine Thai Restaurant on the Upper East Side.

No matter how many times we scoured their menu...admired all the deliciously sounding entrees and 'flirted' with the idea of ordering Pad Thai...it came down to one decision, "we'll have TWO orders of red Thai chicken curry with a side of jasmine rice."  The next few minutes were spent anxiously awaiting our food while commenting on all the beautiful dishes being paraded past our table. We acted as if maybe next time...we'd stray.  But who were we kidding?

One particular Thursday night a mutual friend decided to join us.  As the three of us were escorted to our table, our guest suggested we all order different entrees so to "share and compare" our dinners. 


The mere thought of someone else's chopsticks awkwardly reaching across the dimly lit table to fumble with my curry...sent shivers up my spine! I was certain my sister felt exactly the same! 

Somehow...we talked our way out of it!  After all...we weren't there to, "try new things" or "expand our culinary palates"...we were there for the curry!  From that night on any possible 'third parties' were carefully scrutinized and unknowingly subjected to a rigorous ten-point checklist...all to determine their "joining us out for Thai food eligibility."  

Sadly...it was often just the two of us.

One night we mustered up the strength to ask for the recipe. After a few painful attempts at some type of meaningful dialog with our waiter (as we were preparing to leave) he graciously returned with a napkin.  There were words on it... mostly in English...some symbols in Thai.  We did our best to translate.

Here's the DELICIOUS Red Thai Chicken Curry recipe we've been enjoying ever since! Thanks Jasmine!

You'll need a spoon AND chopsticks for this!

Jasmine Thai Restaurant, NYC, late 90's recipe on napkin, or as close as we could get!

2 cans of coconut milk
1/2 can water* (we use chicken stock)
1 jar of red curry (You don't have to use the whole jar!  Depending on the brand you use...use as much or as little as your taste determines. 2 heaping teaspoons is usually good for very spicy if using Thai Kitchen Brand, which is widely available.)
2 tablespoons of sugar (we use brown sugar)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1/2-1 cup of fresh, chopped basil (prefer Thai basil but any will do)
1 red, green and/or yellow pepper (sliced into strips)
1 small -medium size eggplant (optional) (sliced into strips)
1 onion (sliced into strips)
4 to 5 chicken breasts (sliced into strips) (we like to salt and pepper our chicken before cooking)
Olive oil

Saute the chicken strips in approx. 2 tablespoons of olive oil until lightly browned (par cooked). Set aside. In same pan, add the vegetables and continue to saute in olive oil (add more if necessary) until slightly softened, but not limp. Set aside.

In a large pot, combine coconut milk, water*, curry, fish sauce and sugar and whisk together. Simmer until combined. (Taste and add more curry if looking for more heat.) Add chicken and veggie mixture and allow to heat together for a few minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in basil right before serving. Serve over jasmine** rice.

**We buy jasmine rice at the grocery store (Carolina Brand is easy to find and very good) or Asian market and often cook in the microwave. According to the Carolina brand rice recipe cook: 1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cup water. Cover and place in microwave on high for 5 mins. Reduce power setting to 50% and cook an additional 10 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes and it's ready! Simple way to prepare and perfect every time!

2-4 servings. (Not shown in photos: side of Jasmine rice - but don't you FORGET it!)


Courtney said...

I love this story! Your posts are always so entertaining. The curry dish looks fab - how fun that it was written on a napkin! :)

Unknown said...

Thanks Courtney - some of it was on the napkin! Mainly the ingredients...we did the rest! It's SO good and very forgiving :) LOOOOVED it tonight!

chow and chatter said...

love that they shared the recipe looks great yUM

Katerina said...

I will definitely try this when the weather becomes cooler. I put it in my top priority recipes. hanks for sharing this and your funny story.

laurie said...

What a fun story! Glad you were able to get the recipe and SHARE!

Cindy Ellison said...

About 20 mins before I read your post, I got one of my favorite recipes, "Red Curried Chicken", down from the cabinet so I could check the ingredients. I am going to make it today.

Then there is your wonderful "Red Thai Chicken Curry" recipe. I can't wait to make your dish.

We both are thinking of curry at the same time, never a bad idea!

Thank You!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Great story! I absolutely love trying to recreate restaurant favorites at home. Based on the recipe and the gorgeous photos I'm guessing you nailed it!

Clint said...

I know what you mean about going to a favorite restaurant and always lying to yourself about getting something different. Ha.

My wife is the worst. We have a favorite Mexican restaurant. I experiment with new dishes---they never disappoint. But she just can't pull the trigger---got to have her stuffed poblano peppers.

Great blog!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

I love your story of sharing food with your sister. How fun. This chicken curry sounds divine.

The Food Hound said...

Oh oh oh I love Thai curry!! Booze Hound hates it, so getting it when we go out is a must :) We had some amazing curries in Honolulu, as you can imagine! I, too, have places where I only order certain things, and if I dare stray from my favorites... I'm usually disappointed! You don't always have to try new things... you can wait for someone else to order it and have a bite :) Very non-committal :) Will definitely make this when the BH is traveling!

Joanne said...

Is this place still open? If so I'm going to have to go check out this red curry firsthand! I love thai food...never fails to hit the spot. i hate the idea of people's chopsticks reaching into my curry as well. I'm spoiled that way.

Caitlin said...

Hi just found your blog (not sure how...:) but this recipe looks delicious, I just love Thai food. The spicier the better. Love the story too!

Simply Life said...

oh that looks amazing!

Megan said...

Maybe its becuase I am reading this right before lunch. Or maybe it is the fact that this looks ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! Sounds great and I love the story. I too frequent restaraunts that have my tried and true favorites. It drives me crazy when my husband eats off of my plate. But, oh well. ;)

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

oh this looks so good. I never tried this version before. thank you for sharing.

Nirmala said...

I can't wait to try this recipe. I love the story about you and your sister in NYC. That's awesome you had that bonding time. Also, loving the skirt steak below.

Rambling Tart said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment on my photo at Tomatoes on the Vine. :-) I love this curry story and I'm SO glad you got the recipe! It sounds marvelous. :-)

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

OMG, this looks SOOOOO GOOD!

Erin said...

So, I attempted this last night and the flavors were great. Mine definitely wasn't as pretty though. I don't think I cut the meat and veggies small enough. Next time you cook this, can you share a picture of the pre-cooked cut food? :) Thank you for inspiring me to cook outside my comfort zone!

Erin said...

So, I attempted this last night and the flavors were great. Mine definitely wasn't as pretty though. I don't think I cut the meat and veggies small enough. Next time you cook this, can you share a picture of the pre-cooked cut food? :) Thank you for inspiring me to cook outside my comfort zone!