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Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. Seur Rong Hai (Crying Tiger)

  2. Yield: Makes 6 servings

  3. 2 teaspoons dried green peppercorns

  4. 1 tablespoon Big Four Paste

  5. 10 cloves garlic,

  6. 5 minced,

  7. 5 unpeeled, lightly crushed

  8. 3 to 20 fresh bird chiles or 2 to 15 serrano chiles, minced

  9. 1 pound boneless, skinless large chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry

  10. 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  11. 1 teaspoon fish sauce (nam pla)

  12. 1 tablespoon sugar

  13. Water as needed

  14. 2 tablespoons crispy pork rinds, crushed to the consistency of coarse cornmeal

  15. 20 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped

  16. In a small skillet, dry-roast the green peppercorns over medium

  17. heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Put the

  18. Big Four Paste and the minced garlic in a mortar and pound until

  19. blended into a paste. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and pound until

  20. the garlic and peels are blended into the paste. Do not worry if

  21. the membrane is separated from the cloves. (You may want to remove

  22. the peel; I encourage you to try it the authentic Thai way. It may

  23. seem unusual, but the reward is the wonderful texture and added

  24. taste of crispy garlic peel.) Add the chiles and continue pounding.

  25. Add the green peppercorns and, instead of pounding, crush them by

  26. pressing them against the side of the mortar in a circular motion.

  27. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and set aside. The paste will

  28. keep well in a jar with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

  29. Trim any fat from the chicken breast. Cut the breast in half. Working

  30. with one half breast at a time, slice horizontally almost but not

  31. quite in half. Open the meat up into a butterfly shape. Put your

  32. hand firmly on top of the meat and press down on it to flatten it.

  33. Using a very sharp knife, held at a 75-degree angle to the work

  34. 2 to 3 long pieces.

  35. Try to keep the pieces the same size and thickness. Set aside on a

  36. plate.

  37. Arrange the ingredients near the stove in the order they will go

  38. into the skillet: oil, chile paste, chicken, fish sauce, sugar, and a small cup of water.

  39. 12-inch skillet over high heat for 2 minutes, or until when

  40. you put your hand an inch or so above it, you can feel the heat.

  41. Add the oil, then add the chile paste, stirring it quickly, until

  42. 2 to 3 minutes. Add the

  43. chicken, lower the heat to medium, and sprinkle a bit of water into the pan to prevent the paste from burning. Try to keep the chicken

  44. pieces flat as you saute them to ensure even cooking. When the

  45. chicken is browned, push it to one side of the skillet and add the

  46. fish sauce and sugar to the center of the skillet. Stir and blend

  47. until the mixture bubbles, then push the chicken pieces into it

  48. while you continue to stir until the chicken is coated. If needed,

  49. sprinkle a bit more water to prevent sticking. Transfer the chicken

  50. to a serving platter, garnish with the crushed pork rind and cilantro,

  51. and serve hot.

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