STIR-FRIES

Thai lime-pepper chicken stir-fry

Thai lime-pepper chicken stir-fry

Long before chilies (a New World food) were introduced to Thailand, pepper was the favored way to add heat and pungency to food. And although chilies have now become an integral part of Thai cuisine, pepper is still used in many Thai dishes.

This vibrantly-flavored Thai stir-fry combines chicken and a selection of colorful vegetables with black pepper, lime, basil and other traditional seasonings. It’s simple to put together, so it makes a great weeknight meal — especially if you’re in the mood for something a bit more exotic.

If you want to make this dish super authentic you can use Thai basil. But we find that regular basil works just as well. There are also a number of other ways you can vary this dish. You can use lemon juice and rind instead of lime (or even fresh lemongrass). Instead of chicken you can use shrimp, scallops, squid, or tofu. Other vegetables that go well with this dish include green beans, bean sprouts, broccoli, canned bamboo shoots, or carrots. And if you want to add some extra crunch, cashews or chopped peanuts are ideal.

We also usually mix this stir-fry with rice noodles, but it tastes just as good served over rice (particularly Thai Jasmine rice).

Thai lime-pepper chicken stir-fry
serves 2
This vibrantly-flavored Thai stir-fry combines chicken and a selection of colorful vegetables with black pepper, lime, basil and other traditional seasonings.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3½ oz (100g) rice stick noodles
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
12 oz (340g) raw skinless chicken breast fillets — cut into bite size pieces
1 red pepper — deseeded and cut into strips
5 button mushrooms — quartered
12 snow peas — ends trimmed, and left whole
1 clove garlic — minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped lime zest
1 scallion — thinly sliced on diagonal
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
MIX together the soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, water and pepper in a small bowl until combined. PLACE the rice stick noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 8 minutes, then rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside. HEAT a wok or large skillet over a high heat then add 1 tablespoon of the oil. STIR-FRY the chicken for 3 minutes then remove from the wok and set aside on a plate. ADD the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the hot wok and stir-fry the pepper for 3 minutes. ADD the mushrooms and snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. ADD the garlic and lime zest and cook a minute. ADD the cooked chicken, noodles and sauce mixture, and stir-fry for 1 minute to heat through and combine thoroughly. STIR through the scallion, basil and lime juice and serve.

Variations: Instead of chicken you can use shrimp, scallops, squid, or tofu. Other vegetables that go well with this dish include green beans, bean sprouts, broccoli, canned bamboo shoots, or carrots. And if you want to add some extra crunch, cashews or chopped peanuts are ideal.