Sour chicken and eggplant stew

Sour chicken and eggplant stew

By
From
East
Serves
4
Photographer
Leanne Kitchen

Sour stews, called samlor, are popular in Cambodia and are based around a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, fish, chicken and beef. They are spiked with plenty of herbs and spices as well as prahok (fermented fish paste), one of the country’s defining flavours. Serve with steamed rice.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons prahok (fermented fish paste)
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
190ml water, boiling
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus extra to serve
1 1/2 tablespoons shaved palm sugar
625ml Chicken stock
6 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
1/4 cabbage, trimmed, leaves cut into 5 cm pieces
1 bunch snake beans, trimmed and cut into 3 cm chunks
5 apple eggplants, trimmed and thinly sliced
400g boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1.5 cm thick slices
thai basil leaves, to serve

Paste

Quantity Ingredient
2.5 cm piece fresh galangal, chopped
3 large brown shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh turmeric
or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 lemongrass stems, chopped, white part only

Method

  1. For the paste, combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until a coarse paste forms, adding a little water if necessary. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.
  2. Combine the prahok and 250 ml water in a saucepan over medium–low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then strain the mixture, pressing down on the solids in the sieve with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  3. Combine the tamarind pulp with the boiling water in a bowl and stand for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve, using your fingers to press down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the paste in the oil, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the prahok liquid, tamarind liquid, fish sauce, palm sugar, stock and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage, cover and cook for 3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the beans, eggplant and chicken, cover and cook over low heat for 8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little (the eggplant should not be completely soft) and the chicken is cooked through – do not let the mixture simmer too fast or the chicken will be dry. Season well with freshly ground black pepper and extra fish sauce to taste. Serve with the Thai basil on the side for scattering over.
Tags:
east
Leanne
Kitchen
Antony
Suvalko
asian
south
east
southeast
south-east
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