Note: Fridays of Intestinal Fortitude is a weekly feature about food, food and more FOOD. No, I do not necessarily want to be a food blogger, but I do LOVE to talk about food prep, cooking food, eating food and making sweet love to food. Okay, maybe not the "sweet love" part. This is not meant to be some homage to 9 1/2 Weeks.
Man, I love me some garlic. LOVE ME SOME GARLIC. In the past, I simply used the jarred garlic (by the gallon) but over the years, I ratcheted my love affair with garlic up a few notches.
Doing fresh garlic does take some time - just under 4 minutes. I timed the process - from grabbing the bulb of garlic from my Franciscan Apple garlic keeper, to taking off the skins, to the chopping, to the rinsing of the peeler thingie (which yes, is a Unitasker, but one that I use nearly every day). I do chop the garlic by hand - I have a mincer, but the knife is just as easy and since I am already using the knife for other things, that translates into one less thing to clean up.
YUM. The smell of garlic hitting a pan of hot oil is out of this world.
Next, I am reconsidering my use of powdered ginger.
So, what is Your Thing when it comes to cooking? Something that you go the extra step to prepare because it is important to you.
Today's recipe is the result of a Labor of Love. Kai Kratiam (Garlic Pepper Chicken) is one of my husband's favorite dishes at our favorite Thai restaurant here in Kansas City - the Thai Place. I searched long and hard for a recipe, but just couldn't find one that replicated the restaurant's version. Then, I had a Lightbulb moment while going through some Rick Bayless recipes - he mentioned that chicken breast is a great substitute for pork and I realized that I needed to re-examine ALL of my cookbooks (Frankly, my eyes immediately glaze over when pork is mentioned in a cookbook since the extent of our pork consumption is the occasional slice of bacon and pepperoni on our pizza.) So, there it was all along in my copy of Simply Thai Cooking- Moo Kratium, the pork version of the the dish I'd been looking for. I still had to modify it a bit - adding cabbage at the end and some fish sauce in the beginning. But it is about as close as I can get to The Thai Place's version, I guess.
Also, this recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, but I have to admit I put in half a bulb of garlic.
Kai Kratiam (Thai Garlic Pepper Chicken)
1 lb chicken breast, thinly sliced strips, 2 inches long
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced strips
5 tbsp vegetable oil
Strips of red bell pepper
Fresh coriander leaves
Sweet and Sour sauce
1. In a bowl, marinate the chicken, fish sauce, soy sauce, black pepper and garlic for 5 minutes (up to 30 minutes is fine).
2. On medium-high, heat oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the chicken mixture and spread it out evenly. Fry the chicken until it is brown on one side, about 3-5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and add the sliced cabbage. Fry the other side of the chicken another 3-5 minutes while letting the cabbage sit on top.
3. Either serve this with white rice or serve it on top of a bed of lettuce. No, really!