It’s funny how at times I cook dinner and forget to include it in my blogs, like tonight’s dish. This is a Vietnamese dish, and is most probably Australianised, but it is one we cook regularly, and have for years. Tonight I felt really tired (Tom was suggesting take away) and then I got the urge to cook this meal. It’s not difficult, and in about 20 mins you can have something delicious on the table.
I first had this meal at a friends house in New Zealand. My work colleague Maria was married to David, who was both a foodie and also leacutred in vituculture (wine making) at the local university. I am not a wino (ie I can taste what’s nice and what’s not), but aside from that, I would have no idea what to serve with what, and when I smell or taste a wine, can’t tell you if there is a hint of ‘something’ in there, or if it was grown in sandy-clayey-loamy soil. You get my drift… Also, I can handle about two glasses of wine before I notice my toes feeling numb.
So when I used to go to Maria and David’s for dinner, he would print out a menu (I kid you not), and have an entree, main and dessert, each with a matching wine. I can’t recall much of what he cooked as I had usually drunk more by the end of entree than in a whole week, but it was always so delicious that I lost all sense of normal social etiquette and would go and start licking the pots and pans in the kitchen.
So, here’s the recipe they cooked that I just HAD to have. I have used chicken, fish or even tofu in this recipe and it still tastes amazing.
- 500 gms chicken thigh (this tastes yummier than breast)
- 1-2 stalks of lemongrass – thinly sliced
- 8-9 stalks of spring onion – thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- large pinch of pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 fresh red chilli – seeded and shredded (I use a homegrown one which is a tad on the hot side, but doesn’t over power this dish)
- 1 red capsicum – thinly sliced (0ptional)
- snow peas (also optional – I throw these in if I have them)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
What you will need
- A wok
- Served with steamed rice
What to do
- Cut the chicken into pieces
- Add the lemon grass, chilli, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes to let the flavours infuse
- Heat the oil in a wok. Saute the chicken until it starts to brown
- Add the sugar and allow to caramelise for a few mins
- Add the spring onions, capsicum, snow peas and cook until the colours become vibrant
- Add the fish sauce
- Just before serving, add the peanuts and heat
- Serve over steamed rice.