As spicy as you dare! This is one of my “go to” dishes! (Sounds more complicated than it is. Some prep, then a one-pot meal.)
Chicken Strips- 1 to 2 pouches
Eggplant- 1 to 2, medium cut in 1-2 in. pieces
Pineapple- chunk, lg. can, in syrup if possible, or in juice, drain liquid into a cup
Coconut Milk- 1 can (not coconut cream)
Coconut Powder- for thickening, might not be needed, but better to have it (you’ll see!)
Thai Red Curry Paste- either in a package or container
Bamboo Shoots- 1 can, drained
Basil or Thai Basil- chopped
Anisette- if using regular basil
Fish Sauce or salt
Coconut Oil or regular oil*
Put eggplant in a colander and salt lightly. Toss eggplant so all pieces are salted. The salt pulls out water and bitterness. Let drain for 30 mins – hour. Rinse and drain thoroughly. Sauté eggplant in oil until soft. If continuing, put eggplant in a bowl. (After sautéing, can be refrigerated when cool, and left to finish the next day. Heat and continue at that point.)
Add a bit of oil to the pan, add chicken strips, and brown. Browning helps keep the strips intact. Add chicken to bowl. Add a bit of oil and the Thai Red Curry Paste. Its SPICY. I use a big tablespoon. You might want to use a big teaspoon. Stir for a minute so curry paste disperses throughout oil. Do not burn!
Add coconut milk. Stir. Add eggplant and chicken and mix thoroughly. Add pineapple and bamboo shoots. Stir.
Add some fish sauce (smells terrible alone but delicious), or salt. Add basil. If using regular basil, add a shot of Anisette. (Thai basil has a licorice flavor. I usually use regular basil and a shot of Anisette.) Add honey.
Taste as you go along and determine what else the mixture needs. Does it need to be thicker, or have more of a coconut flavor? Sprinkle in some coconut powder. Sweeter? More honey. Thinner? Add some of the pineapple juice.
Simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors combine, and serve over rice. Spicy and delicious.
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