Shrimp & Chicken with Chili Paste & Basil! OK, a word of warning. If you don’t like spicy food, don’t try this…or at least dial down the chili paste. My head is still sweating and if you have ever seen a bald head sprout water like the falls going over Niagara, it is not a pretty sight.
I feel like it has been forever since I have done a WOTG post, so I am sliding back into this slowly. By slowly, I mean only using the side burner of the grill. I have also been on a Thai kick as of late. The other night I cooked up shrimp, rice, and pineapple and tonight, it’s shrimp & chicken. We also had Thai takeaway twice while visiting Anne. I absolutely love Thai food…if that isn’t obvious by now. For the most part it is incredibly easy to make. The difficult part is always the preparation. Since wok cooking is hot, fast, & quick, you have to be ready. Mise en place is a must.
They say a hot work is the key to great wok cooking. I am currently bound by the lackluster 12000 BTU of my side burner. I have hope to plumb in a true wok burner some day. In the meantime, I am thinking about placing the wok in charcoal to boast the temp. Regardless of the method, it is always a fun way to cook.
One last thing. This has been my best year for herbs. I have a killer stash of basil and Thai basil. Both were the impetus for wanting to do something with basil. The pots are literally overflowing.
Shrimp & chicken with chili paste & basil
based on the recipe from Nancie McDermott’s Quick & Easy Thai3 tbls vegetable oil
1 tbls chopped garlic
1/2 lb shrimp (peeled & deveined thank you)
1/2 lb chopped chicken thighs
3 tbls chili paste (I used Sambal Oelek…seriously consider 1 tbls if heat is an issue)
2 tbls fish sauce
1/3 cup water
1 tsp sugar
1 cup fresh(!) Thai or Italian Basil
1. Heat the oil in your wok until you toss in some garlic and it sizzles. Add the rest of the garlic and toss. Try not to let it burn. Add in the shrimp & chicken and cook until the shrimp is opaque and the chicken won’t kill you (2-3 minutes).
2. Add the chili paste, fish sauce, water, sugar. Continue to cook and toss until the fish & chicken is completely cooked and covered in sauce. Add the basil leaves, toss and serve.