The final dish that my friend Mary and I recreated from our Thai cooking class was Red Curry Chicken with Thai Eggplant and Bamboo Shoots.
These are Thai eggplants. They're in the tomato family. Aren't they pretty?
Red is my favorite type of curry, so of course I loved this. I was quite impressed that we were able to pull off such an authentic-tasting recreation! A word of caution: the recipe calls for 2 to 3 tablespoons of curry paste. We likey spicy, so we used 3, which was H-O-T, and we even forgot to buy the chilies! It was the perfect amount of spicy for me, but actually rendered it inedible for a few of our friends (sorry, girls!). So, unless everyone you're cooking for is really into burn-your-mouth-off spicy, I'd err on the side of caution and use 2 tablespoons rather than 3.
That concludes this little series on Thai cooking! We had so much fun that we decided to make these international cooking nights a regular thing. Our new motto: "Pack your bags and open your mouth!" Next stop, Italy!
Red Curry Chicken with Thai Eggplant and Bamboo Shoots
Adapted from Niddy
1 cup boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
1 cup bamboo shoots
5-7 Thai eggplants, stems removed and cut into 4-6 wedges (do this as late in the prep process as possible so they don't brown)
20-25 leaves Thai sweet basil
3-5 Thai chilies, stemmed and halved
4-6 leaves Kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cups coconut milk, divided (don't shake the can or give it to your friend's 2 year old to play with! You'll need 1 cup of the creamy stuff at the top of the can and 1 cup of the thin liquid at the bottom), plus more as needed
2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
White rice for serving
1. Heat 1 cup of creamy coconut milk in a wok or pan on medium-high heat.
2. Once the creamy coconut milk boils and the coconut oil starts to separate, add red curry paste. Keep stirring and flipping so that it does not get burned. Add more creamy coconut milk 3-4 tablespoons at a time if the paste starts to stick to the cooking spoon and pan. Cook until fragrant, about 4-6 minutes.
3. Add chicken. Stir chicken to prevent burning on medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes or until cooked. If the coconut milk is drying up, keep adding the creamy coconut milk 3-4 tablespoons at a time.
4. Add sugar and fish sauce. Stir well.
5. Add the 1 cup of thin coconut milk. Bring to a rapid boil and add bamboo shoots, eggplant, basil, lime leaves, and chilies. Boil for 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over steamed white rice.