This dish turned out so delicious that I had to post it!
As I was going through my fridge this weekend trying to figure out what to make (as I hadn't made any major grocery shopping this week) I found some asian/chinese eggplant which I bought the week before but hadn't used it yet. They were still good and I didn't want them to go to waste. Funny thing is, I couldn't remember why I had bought these in the first place. It was probably an item that was on "special"that week. But that's unlike me, as I usually buy food that I need and use. Anyhow, when I found some frozen chicken breast in the freezer, coconut milk in the pantry and fresh lime in the fridge, I didn't have to search anymore. My chef's hat was on, my sleeves were rolled up and I was ready to improvise.
That's the joy of cooking. For those who love eating but feel inept in the kitchen, I have 3 major rules (my rules) to share with you:
Experiment - trial and error, practice makes perfect
Abandon yourself - don't be shy to let yourself go in your creativity
Taste - cook to your "own" taste and listen to your taste buds. You'll know what's good.
Recipe "au pif":
3/4lb chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 large asian/chinese eggplant (local asian grocery store), thinly sliced
1 cup chopped scallions
1 tsp Thai yellow curry paste
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black ground pepper
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water (optional)
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp canola oil for cooking
Let chicken marinate in salt, pepper and sesame oil for half an hour, at room temperature.
Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in wok, on high heat. Throw in the sliced eggplant and stir-fry until eggplant is golden brown and soft. Add more oil if necessary, as eggplant tends to absorb oil very quickly. Put aside eggplant.
Heat remaining tbsp of canola oil in the same wok, on high heat. Throw in the Thai curry paste, scallions and fish sauce. The wok will be smokey, so stir ingredients quickly so that it doesn't burn. Immediately throw in the chicken and stir fry until the chicken starts to brown but the meat is not entirely cooked (still pink in the middle - later on, the sauce will cook the chicken until tender).
While stirring the chicken, add in the sugar and the coconut milk. Stir until bubbly and add in the water if you want a thinner sauce (coconut milk tends to thicken when cooked with other ingredients). Throw in the eggplants and stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add in the lime juice, turn off the heat and mix for about 2 minutes. The lime will lighten up the taste (from the heaviness of the cream and the greasiness of the fried eggplant).
Serve with steamed white jasmine or basmati rice.
Makes 4 servings.