Sheet Pan Thai Chicken Salad with Red Curry Butternut Squash

For the roasted butternut squash and chicken:
1 medium butternut squash, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (feel free to substitute sweet potato or any other kind of winter squash like kabocha, acorn, etc.)
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
About half of a 4-ounce can of Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
About 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper to sprinkle over the squash and the chicken

For the salad:
1 handful torn mint
1 handful torn cilantro
Baby kale and baby mesclun greens
1 small red onion, sliced very thinly
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or light olive oil
Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spread the butternut squash on the pan, leaving space for 2 chicken breasts in the center.
Mix 2 ounces of Thai red curry paste with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Spoon a little less than half over the chicken breasts and spread evenly all over the chicken. Pour the rest over the butternut squash and toss to coat.
Roast the butternut squash for 30 min. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees F. Place the marinated chicken breasts on the pan with the squash and continue to roast for 35 min (the internal temperature should read 165F).
When the cooking time is almost complete, assemble the salad. Toss some torn mint, cilantro, and your preferred salad mix into a bowl with 1 small thinly sliced red onion.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the juice of 1 lime, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 minced garlic clove, and ? cup mild-flavored oil until it’s emulsified into a salad dressing. Season with salt to taste.
Shred the chicken, and toss it with butternut squash, greens, and dressing for a warm Thai chicken salad.
You can also simply enjoy the butternut squash and chicken with some hearty sauteed fall greens like kale or collards on the side!

Red Curry Chicken with Pineapple

1 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces (or start with about 2 cups of leftover cooked and cubed chicken )
1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks
1 medium red pepper cored and cut into matchsticks
1/2 small onion cut into thin slices
1/4 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 heaping Tbsp red curry paste
14 oz can full fat coconut milk – about 1 3/4 cups
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce, for vegetarian
1/3 cup canned bamboo shoots cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup canned pineapple chunks each chunk cut into 2 or 3 pieces
2 cups baby spinach or other greens such as chopped baby bok choy leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Chopped basil or cilantro leaves and lime quarters, for juicing over finished dish

Start your rice cooking.

(Skip if you are starting with pre-cooked chicken) Heat 1/2 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add uncooked chicken pieces and cook, stirring, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and bamboo shoots, cutting all into matchsticks of equal length (about 2-inches long). Assemble your other ingredients.

When the chicken is cooked, remove to a bowl and set aside.

Heat remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil in skillet and raise heat to medium high. Add carrots first, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two.

Add red peppers and onion and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, but carrots and red peppers are just tender crisp.

Add the ginger, red curry paste and a tablespoon of the cream from the top of the coconut milk to the skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the rest of the can of coconut milk, the lime juice, brown sugar and fish sauce.

Return the cooked chicken to the pan (or add cooked chicken, if you are starting with pre-cooked chicken).

Add the bamboo shoots and pineapple. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat, until chicken is heated through and carrots are softened a bit more, about 3-5 minutes.

*Note: Thai curries have a sauce that’s very soup-like, so the sauce won’t be thick. The curry is typically served in bowls, to be spooned over hot rice.

Taste sauce and season with a bit of salt and pepper, as needed. You can also add a bit more curry paste at this point, if you feel it needs more.

Remove skillet from heat. Scatter spinach (or other chopped greens) overtop. Let stand 30 seconds, then stir in to curry until greens have wilted.

Serve with jasmine or basmati rice, garnished with chopped basil or cilantro and lime wedges for drizzling.

Crying Tiger

For the marinade
4 pieces sirloin
3 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Black pepper

For the sauce
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
Juice of a lime
2 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 prik chee fah pepper
1 (½-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
1 stalk lemongrass
A few Thai basil leaves
1 bunch cilantro
1 Thai scallion , chopped

For the toasted rice
1 cup Thai rice

For the marinade, mix the soy sauce and honey.
Marinate the beef for 2 hours in the sauce at room temperature. Cover the dish with plastic wrap.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce:

Squeeze the lime. Press the garlic, cut the pepper into thin slices.

Mix water, sugar, and lemon juice. Add nuoc mam, soy sauce and tamarind paste.

Chop the garlic, chili, basil, cilantro and lemongrass. Grate the fresh ginger. Mix all the sauce and let stand for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.

In a non-stick pan, dry roast the rice over medium heat. Stir constantly so it does not burn.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Mix the rice in a food processor to obtain a very fine powder.
Pan-roast the beef a few minutes per side. Ideally, the meat should be just seared. Cut into strips. Lay on a bed of salad.

Pour the sauce on top of the beef and sprinkle with toasted rice.

Thai Pork Fried Rice

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon white sugar
4 cups cooked and chilled jasmine rice
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced, reserved separately
1 large shallot, minced (4 tablespoons)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Sliced cucumber and lime wedges, to serve

In a bowl, stir together the fish sauce, soy sauce, water and sugar. Set aside. Use your hands to break up the rice so no clumps remain. Set aside.

Heat a wok over medium-high until a drop of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the oil, then pour in the eggs. Cook, stirring, until just set. Transfer the eggs to a plate. Add the pancetta to the wok and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the plate with the eggs.

Return the wok to medium-high until just smoking. Add the scallion whites, shallot and garlic, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry until softened, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Stir the fish sauce mixture to recombine, then pour in a thin stream along the sides of the wok. Stir-fry until well mixed. Stir in the pancetta, egg (breaking up the egg) and cilantro. Transfer to a large platter and sprinkle with scallion greens. Serve with cucumber and lime wedges.

Singapore Chili Sauce

2 or 3 large red chiles, such as Fresno, cayenne, or long chile, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 hot Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon hot chicken poaching broth

Put all of the ingredients into a small electric mini chopper and process to a semi-coarse sauce. Transfer to a dipping sauce dish.

Thai Grilled Chicken (Gai Yang)

3 1/2 pounds chicken leg-and-thigh quarters

Marinade
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems
1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons light palm sugar or light brown sugar
5 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 to 3/4 cup Thai Sweet Chile Sauce

Trim excess fat and skin from the chicken. Put into a baking dish or bowl. Set aside.

Use a mini food processor to grind the cilantro stems, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar to a coarse texture. Add the fish sauce and pulse to emulsify. Taste and season with salt, pepper, or sugar to create a marinade with a slightly intense savory-sweet bite.

Pour the marinade over the chicken. Use your hands to massage it into the chicken, making sure you get some between the skin and flesh too. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Or, refrigerate for several hours, letting the chicken sit out for 45 minutes before grilling.

Preheat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire to medium heat. Grill the chicken for 25 to 35 minutes, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer to a platter. Brush on the sweet chile sauce or serve it on the side for guests to help themselves.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems and roots
2 cups water
3 to 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
4 ounces Fresno chiles, mostly seeded and coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
About 2 cups distilled white vinegar
1 1/3 cups sugar

Put the cilantro stems and water into a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover. Let steep for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, use an electric mini chopper to grind the garlic, chiles, and salt to a coarse texture. Set aside.

Strain the cilantro liquid through a mesh strainer. Measure the liquid. You should have about 1 3/4 cups. Transfer to a saucepan. Add the same quantity of vinegar as you had of the cilantro liquid. Add the sugar and chiles and garlic mixture. Stir.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat to simmer. Let simmer until the volume has reduced by half. (How much time this takes depends on the size of your saucepan. Use a shallow, wide pan to hasten the process.) The resulting sauce should be slightly thick.

Remove from the heat and set aside, uncovered, to cool completely. Expect the sauce to thicken further and concentrate in flavor.

Thai Turmeric Grilled Chicken (Kai Yang Khamin)

1 teaspoon white peppercorns or ground white pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seeds or ground coriander
1 packed tablespoon light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
5 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro stems
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 pounds (600 to 675g) boneless chicken thighs (with or without skin)
1 lime, quartered (optional)

Grind the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a small food processor to a coarse texture. Add the sugar to grind it a little finer. Visible bits remaining are okay. Add the turmeric, garlic, cilantro, fish sauce, and oyster sauce. Process into a relatively smooth marinade.

Transfer to a bowl. Add the chicken and use your fingers to rub the marinade into the chicken, getting some under the skin if you kept it on the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.

About 30 minutes before heating, remove the chicken from the fridge and let sit at room temperature to remove the chill.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or light a charcoal fire, leaving one side free of coals. The grill is ready when you can hold your hand 6 inches (15 cm) over the grill for 4 to 5 seconds.

Cook the chicken for 12 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until cooked through. Check for doneness by nicking with the tip of a knife. Transfer to a plate and serve with lime wedges.

Thai Watermelon Salad

3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons packed light palm sugar or brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice
2 Thai or Serrano chiles, minced with seeds intact for fun
1 tablespoon finely chopped kaffir lime leaf (remove the midrib)
1/3 cup (90 ml) dried shrimp, briefly rinsed to soften and finely chopped
1/2 cup (120ml) roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
A volleyball-size seedless watermelo

For the dressing, combine the garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lime leaf, dried shrimp, and peanuts. Set aside for 15 minutes, then revisit the dressing for a taste test. Add extra lime juice, sugar, or fish sauce as needed to balance the flavors. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 days; return to room temperature before using.

Cut the watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Pile them into individual bowls, on a dramatic platter or in a shallow bowl. Top with the dressing and serve.

Thai Spicy Chicken and Holy Basil Fried Rice

1/2 lb. boneless chicken, cut into small bite-size pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 shallots, thinly sliced (or substitute with a small onion)
2-3 cups young Asian broccoli
2 jalapeno, serrano or fresno hot chilli peppers
4 cups cold cooked leftover rice
3-4 Tbs. peanut oil
2 tsp. black soy sauce – the semi-sweet kind (or substitute with regular soy plus sugar)
2 Tbs. fish sauce (nahm bplah), or to desired saltiness
1+ cups basil leaves and flowers
Liberal sprinkling of powdered white pepper
1 lime, cut into four wedges

Prepare the ingredients where instructed above. For the Asian broccoli, cut the stem ends at a very slanted angle into thin strips about 1 1/2 inches long and the leafy portion in segments about the same length. Keep the stemy pieces separate from the leafy pieces.

Slice the chilli peppers into half circles or short slivers; do not remove the seeds if you wish a spicier fried rice (skip if you don’t want your fried rice to be spicy).

Crumble and break up the cold leftover rice so that the grains are no longer stuck together in big chunks. (If you do not have leftover rice, cook rice earlier in the day and cool completely before frying. Freshly cooked rice makes mushy fried rice if used when it is still warm.) Set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Swirl in the oil to coat its surface and wait a few seconds for the oil to heat.

Add the chopped garlic, followed a few seconds later with the chicken. Stir-fry half a minute, or until the chicken begins to lose its raw pink color.

Toss in the sliced shallots and chillies. Stir and follow 15 seconds later with the broccoli stems. Stir-fry another 20 seconds before adding the leaves. Toss until leaves are partially wilted, then add the rice and toss well with all the ingredients in the wok.

Continue to stir-fry until the rice is well coated with the oil and has softened and begun to brown. Sprinkle evenly with some black soy sauce, enough to lightly color the grains. Stir some more, then sprinkle with fish sauce to the desired saltiness. Stir-fry until the broccoli is cooked to your liking, preferably still crisp and a vibrant green color.

Toss in the basil and stir quickly for a few seconds to wilt and mix in with the rice. Sprinkle with white pepper. Stir well and transfer to serving plate(s).

Serve with a wedge of fresh lime for each serving. Squeeze the juice over the rice, as desired, before eating. Serves 2-3 as a one-dish meal.

Roast Duck and Pumpkin Curry

approximately 1 1/2-lb. kabocha or other winter squash
4-5 cups coconut milk (use two 19-oz cans of the Mae Ploy brand)
4-6 Tbs. red curry paste
1 1/2 to 2 Tbs. palm or coconut sugar
Fish sauce (nahm bplah) as needed to desired saltiness
2 1/2 to 3 lb. roast duck, chopped through the bone into small chunks
2-4 red hot chillies, cut into thin slivers with seeds (optional)
2 cups Thai basil leaves and flower buds
Basil sprig(s) for garnish

Cut the kabocha in half, scoop out the seeds and pith. Placing the cut ends flat on a surface for balance, peel and discard the greenish skin. Then cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks.

Do not shake the cans of coconut milk before opening. Spoon 2/3 cup of the thickest cream off the top of a can into a large pot placed over medium-high heat. Reduce cream until thick and bubbly (about 3 minutes), then add the curry paste. Stir and mush the paste into the coconut cream and fry for a few minutes until it is very aromatic and darkened in color. Then pour in the remaining milk from both cans, stirring well to dissolve the paste to make a smooth rich sauce.

Add 1 1/2 Tbs. of palm or coconut sugar, stirring well to blend into the curry sauce. Taste and add fish sauce only as necessary to salt to the desired saltiness (may not be necessary with some brands of curry paste which are already highly salted).

Add the kabocha chunks and duck pieces. Stir well into the sauce. If there is not enough curry sauce to cover most of the duck and squash pieces, add more coconut milk; or if the sauce already looks plenty rich, add 1/2 cup of water instead, as the squash and duck will thicken and enrich the sauce even more when they are cooked.

Return to a boil, then lower heat to medium, or just enough to boil the sauce gently. Cook partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, or cooked to your liking (15-20 minutes or more). Taste the sauce and adjust as needed with fish sauce and palm sugar to the desired salty-sweet combination. If more hotness is desired, stir in the slivered chillies.

If a lot of fat has cooked out from the duck, skim out the oil floating on top of the curry sauce. Then stir in the basil until it wilts to a bright green color. Turn off heat and spoon curry into a serving dish. Garnish top with basil sprig(s).

Sweet and Tangy Thai Dipping Sauce

10-15 dried whole red hot chillies
4-6 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white vinegar
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
3 or more tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
1/3 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, to desired sweetness
A few cilantro leaves and/or a 1-inch section of green onion, chopped (optional)

Cut the stem tip off the dried chillies and place in a bowl. Add tap water to cover. Soak until softened (about 1/2 to 1 hour) and then chop.

Reduce the garlic with a mortar and pestle to a paste.

Add the chopped softened chillies. Pound well to blend.

Then add the vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar.

Adjust flavors so that the sauce has the blending of salty, sweet and sour taste to your liking. Let sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to blend and mingle.

Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and/or green onion if you wish.

Note: Sauce may be made a day or more ahead of time- it keeps up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Thai Barbecue Chicken

1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro roots (or substitute with bottom stems)
8 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp white peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tbsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
2 tsp yellow curry powder
2-3 tbsp fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
1-2 tsp sugar, to taste
1 large roasting chicken, cut into smaller sections (or see note below), or half a dozen leg-thigh pieces

Coconut milk for basting chicken while grilling (about 1/2 cup)
Using a heavy mortar and pestle, pound cilantro roots, garlic and shallots to a paste. Add the freshly ground white pepper, coriander and curry powder. Stir and pound to blend the dry and wet ingredients. Add the fish sauce and sugar. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.

Trim off excess fat around the edges of chicken pieces, leaving the skin on. Rub paste onto the surface of the chicken and under the skin. Marinate two hours or up to overnight.

Grill over medium-hot charcoals (preferably mesquite or other wood coals). Turn frequently to prevent charring and burning. Add about 1/2 cup coconut milk to the bowl with the remaining marinate. Stir to mix and use this coconut milk mixture to baste pieces after each turning. Grill until cooked through. Serve with Sweet and Tangy Dipping Sauce (see below).

Serves 6-8 with other dishes and rice in a shared family-style meal.

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Thai chile, stemmed and minced

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with 1?2 cup water and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and chile, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool completely before serving. Store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Thai Pork (or Chicken) Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay Ingredients

1/2 lb (500 grams) pork or chicken, cut
into thin slices about 1″ wide and 3″ long
2 tsp. yellow curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. soy sauce
30 bamboo sticks

Peanut Sauce Ingredients

2 tbsp. red curry paste
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. peanuts
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. tamarind juice
2 tbsp. coconut cream

Marinate pork or chicken for 30 minutes with all the satay ingredients.

To prepare the peanut sauce, heat coconut cream over medium heat and add curry paste mix well and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until thick and sauce-like.

Skewer the marinated pork or chicken onto the bamboo sticks. Grill over hot coals until cooked.

Serve with dipping sauce and cucumber salad.

Thai Stir Fried Vegetables

Approx. 2 cups of cut up green vegetables (i.e. water spinach, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, etc. cut 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inch pieces)
2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of a cleaver or knife
3 tblsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 tblsp of fish sauce (Golden Boy brand is preferred)
2 tblsp of Thai soy sauce (Healthy Boy brand is preferred)
2 tblsp of Thai oyster sauce or yellow bean sauce
1/3 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water

Heat oil until hot, over medium-high heat (not smoking though). Add the garlic. Immediately, add the cut up vegetables. Cook, stirring constantly until cooked slightly, approximately 2 minutes, depending on the vegetable.

Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Add water and sugar.

Continue to stir fry until the vegetable is cooked through. Approximately another 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, so the vegetable is still somewh

Ginger Chicken (Gai Paht Khing)

1/2 cup peeled and julienned fresh ginger
2 small mild red chili peppers (fresno or serrano) or sweet red peppers, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small white onion, peeled and cut into small sections
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 spring onions, cut into 1 inch pieces (discard tops)
1/2 lb (200 grams) chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Tbsp cooking oil (e.g. palm, soybean, or corn)
1 Tbsp Thai Yellow Soybean Paste
1 Tbsp Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce
1 Tbsp Thai Fish Sauce (Golden Boy brand is recommended)
2 Tbsp sugar

Wash and peel about 3-4 inches of ginger root. Julienne into thin 1 1/2 inch long pieces. Set aside.

Cut red peppers diagonally into attractive approximate half-inch pieces.

Peel and cut white onion in half and then into smaller sections lengthwise. Set aside.

Peel and mince the garlic (or simply smash the cloves with a side of a cleaver if you prefer and add whole to your stir-fry).

Cut spring onion into approx. 1 inch pieces, discarding the tops.

Wash chicken and pat dry. Cut into bite-size pieces, approx 1 1/2 inch length, 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick.

Heat wok over high heat. Add cooking oil, heat quickly (10 seconds), add garlic, stirring. Add chicken and cook until opaque and no longer pink.

Add ginger and white onion, stir-frying briefly.

Add soybean paste, Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, fish sauce and sugar, stir-frying to combine and cook for another 1-2 minutes until thoroughly combined. The vegetables should still be somewhat firm, not soft.

Add spring onion, red chili peppers, quickly stir to combine and transfer to a serving plate.

Serve hot for best taste.

Roasted Duck Curry

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup coconut cream, reserve 2 tablespoons (30ml) for garnish
2 1/4 cup coconut milk
6 oz (200g) roast duck, thinly sliced
1.76 oz (50g) red curry paste
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon (20g) palm sugar
3 kaffir lime leaves: 2 torn into pieces, discarding the stem and 1 finely shredded (for garnish)
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces
1 1/2 cup (5oz, 150g) fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces (1 inch x 1.5 inch)
6 small cherry tomatoes (4 oz, 100 grams)
10 seedless grapes (optional)
3/4 cup (1 oz, 30g) sweet basil leaves (reserve some for garnish)

Pour the coconut cream into a wok or sauce pan and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the coconut oil begins to separate out.

Add the curry paste, fish sauce, palm sugar and torn kaffir lime leaves. Simmer for 2 more minutes.

Add the duck and eggplant. Bring to a boil. Then add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the pineapple and cherry tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes. Then add the grapes (if using) and sweet basil leaves. Turn off the heat and serve garnished with the remaining kaffir lime leaves, sweet basil and a few spoonfuls of thick coconut milk.

Lemongrass Chicken (Gai Tod Takrai)

2 stalks fresh lemongrass
1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless is preferred; wash thoroughly and cut thighs in half)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground Thai chili (prik haeng)
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
4 tbsp peanut oil

Cut off the woody tops and bottoms of the lemon grass. Remove the outer 2-3 layers of the stalk and cut the tender middle section into 1 inch lengths. Bruise the lemongrass by hitting it with the back of a Chinese cleaver or pound it in a mortar and pestle.

Combine bruised lemon grass, chicken thighs, garlic, black pepper, ground Thai chili, palm sugar, salt, and fish sauce in a bowl. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil, swirling to coat the entire surface. Heat the oil for 1 minute and add the marinated chicken mixture. Stir-fry for 15 minutes (the chicken and sauce will thicken and become caramelized). Remove from heat and serve with cold cucumber slices, lettuce, and jasmine rice or sticky rice.