Thai Chicken "Shrapnel" Stir Fry is so easy, healthy, and balanced in the sweet/sour spicy/salty elements Thai food is known for"
The making of Thai Chicken "Shrapnel" Stir Fry
This recipe for Thai Chicken "Shrapnel" Sir Fry came from two events.
At the end of our food tour of the North Mississippi district of Portland, we were asked: "What was your favorite dish?" While everything was delicious, having enjoyed many different flavors, textures, I chose the dishes presented at our first stop "Meesen Thai Eatery. Why you might ask. Because the dishes had a perfect balance of all the elements of a properly prepared Thai dish. Sweet/sour, spicy/salty.
Yum Woon Sen (Noodle) from Meesen Thai
It was delicious.
This part of the story has little to do with the making of, more about the reason for
Anyone who is from or has ever been to California might be familiar with Highway 5. As my husband writes in his OOO "Known for sweeping visits of dead earth and the frequent overpass to break up the tedium, I-5 has the distinction of being the only US highway that touches two international borders and has enough fast-food restaurants to feed the entire cast and crew of Honey Boo-Boo-- well into the next millennium. In all seriousness, I-5 bisects the “grocery basket" of America; the Central Valley produces more than 230 crops accounting for 8 % of the country’s agricultural output…when it has water."
And yet, there is no place to eat. I mean of course; no good, healthy, places to eat.
You have your ever-present McDonalds, Taco Bell, Subway, Jack, and then there's Harris Ranch, which is fancy fast food with better meat, a longer wait, and higher prices.
We had to make that trip this past Labor Day weekend, as my son was required to show up for orientation at Cal-Poly where he is enrolled as an incoming Junior in their hospitality program. (Yes, I am so proud.)
We don't usually travel on Holiday weekends. We especially don't usually travel on holiday weekends when the Bay Bridge, a major east/west artery linking San Francisco from all points west, is closed to get it ready for its official grand re-opening, bad bolts and all.
So after three days of fast food, including *two visits to Der Wienerschnitzel, some decent Italian, along with some good old fashion southern California Mexican food, when we got home from our horrendous ten-hour journey home, in what should have been a six and a half hour trip thanks to the above-mentioned closure, I was tired but wanted something healthy, light and easy for dinner. And I didn't want to go out.
This is how Thai Chicken Shrapnel Stir Fry came to be.
BB came up with the name chicken shrapnel because I coarsely chop the chicken breast in the food processor so it's more hamburger-like but still has some texture. Thinking back to that perfect Thai balance, I decided to put some of the seasonings into the meat as well as the sauce. Out to the garden and I find the green beans are continuing to do very well, and I have two small zucchini. I have some red and yellow bell pepper in the refrigerator, a fresh green one in my garden, and some beautiful jalapeño growing right next to it. I'm cruising towards a wonderful, healthy, low-fat, delicious Thai Chicken Shrapnel Stir Fry.
BB's presentation of Thai Chicken Shrapnel Stir Fry
Lindy's presentation of Thai Chicken Shrapnel Stir Fry
As I pull out my wok I realize I bought it at the Los Angeles County Fair back in 1975. The same fair that was opening, August 27, 2013, as we were pulling out of the Sheraton Fairplex parking lot, with my son, who was now enrolled in college.
Life goes full circle.
*Yes, that was correct. We made two visits to Der Wienerschnitzel this time. Trevor's girlfriend Danielle had never been to one before, even though she and her mother are Disney fanatics. They drive down often, but it's a Bonzai run down the 5, to Disneyland and that's all there is to it. They are at the park, from open, to close. So after seeing a commercial for the "Der" she wanted to give them a try. As she said, "Hot dog, chili, cheese? You got me right there!". So we had to go the second time.
I'm sure you all understand.
If you can't make it to Der Wienerschnitzel in person, here is my Der sauce for you to make at home!
Thai Chicken "Shrapnel" Stir Fry
- For the Shrapnel
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger divided
- 2 tablespoons minced green onion white and green parts, divided
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce fish sauce is very stinky on the nose, but adds such a nice salty element that you just can't replicate with anything else
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- For the Sauce
- 10 ounces light coconut milk you could use whole fat if you want and can afford the extra fat and calories
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon green Thai curry paste such as Thai Kitchen
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 juicy lime cut into quarters
- The Rest
- 1 cup or more, sliced or diced bell pepper, use a variety
- 1 cup cut fresh green beans cut them into bite-sized pieces, steam or blanch for 5 minutes, then rinse under cold water until cool
- 2 small zucchini cut laterally into quarters and then sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers thinly sliced - seeds in if you like it hot, seeds removed if not
- Grapeseed rice or coconut oil, as needed
- 20 Thai basil leaves or small basil leaves, or torn basil leaves (about ½ cup)
- Place the chicken pieces in the work bowl of a food processor along with 1 tablespoon of the ginger and onion, the minced jalapeño, fish sauce, and lime juice. Pulse, using on and off pulses until coarsely ground, slightly larger than ground beef. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients, except the lime, together. Set-aside.
- Heat your Wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil, when hot, add the chicken mixture; sauté until the chicken is white.
- Add the bell peppers, jalapeño slices along with the remaining ginger and green onions; sauté for 5 minutes, then add the green beans and zucchini; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the sauce. Rapidly simmer (this is just under a full boil, but more than a gentle simmer) for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring often until slightly reduced and hot. Add the basil; squeeze in the juice from the lime, stir, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve.