Angkor Wat

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Angkor Wat in Cambodia
the world's largest religious monument built in the 12th century
now a world heritage site
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Samlor Ktih Sach Moann
Chicken Coconut

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Chicken Coconut

If you have a busy schedule and are looking for something simple and easy to make with relatively few ingredients, this recipe is the one.

I created this chicken dish when I was living in a remote corner of Africa where only limited local ingredients were available let alone exotic foods (which had to be imported). This creation was triggered by a friend who used to work for the United Nations in Cambodia and stayed with us during his mission there. He loved Khmer chicken curry. So, with some of the Asian ingredients I had in the cupboard, I improvised this dish for him. He loved it. Now ‘Chicken coconut’ has become a legend amongst my family and friends.

Did you know … 

Eating chicken will assist in strengthening the immune system of the body. It is also reputed to be a very good source of protein which is believed to be important in reducing bone loss in older people as well as protecting against Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive decline.

 

Serves: 4 

Ingredients:

Chicken breast1 800g (1¾ lb) – cut into bite size chunks
Vegetable oil 2 Tbsp – for shallow frying
Large onion 1, peeled and finely chopped
Garlic 2 cloves – peeled and finely chopped
Red sweet pepper (bell pepper) 1 – deseeded and roughly chopped
Medium potatoes 2 – peeled and cut into bite size chunks
Coconut cream 1 tin x 400 ml
Chicken stock 2 cups (alternatively, use 1 chicken stock cube mixed with 2 cups of boiling water)
Coriander (cilantro) leaves a few sprigs for garnish

For seasoning
Turmeric 1 tsp
Tomato purée 3 Tbsp
Fish sauce 2 Tbsp
Sugar 2 Tbsp
Salt 1 tsp or to taste 

Method: 

1 - In a wok or skillet, heat the oil until very hot. Add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Then stir in the red pepper, turmeric, tomato purée, fish sauce, sugar, and salt. Stir-fry for 1 minute to mix. Add the chicken and continue stir-frying for a further 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle some more oil if it looks dry.  

2 - Add in the potato chunks, coconut cream and chicken stock. Bring to the boil. Then lower the heat to simmer for 25-30 minutes until the sauce thickens whilst stirring occasionally to prevent burning. 

3 - Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with coriander leaves, and serve with steamed rice, French baguette, pasta or noodles. 

Tips:

1Traditionally, the Khmers like to use all parts of the chicken with the bones on for this dish or any other chicken dishes because it is more flavourful. I sometimes substitute tiger prawns for chicken; but the prawns are not added until the end (see recipe).

Note: You may use this recipe as a vegetarian dish by substituting chicken with fresh tofu (availaI ble at Asian grocery stores) or with the ‘Mori-nu’ long-life firm tofu (349g) which is available in most supermarkets. Remember to use soy sauce instead of fish sauce.