Garlic, chilli, shallots, tamarind and shrimp paste are just some of the umami ingredients in Thai chilli paste/jam (nam prik pao), an essential taste in Thai soups, sauces and stir-fries. Find jars of it online or visit your local Asian shop. Mixed with a little soy and fish sauce, it makes a swift but magical stir-fry sauce.
To make the chilli jam sauce, in a small bowl mix together all the ingredients and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch the baby corn for 2 minutes, then drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.
Heat a large wok until very hot and add half the oil. Cut the chicken into
Heat the remaining oil in the wok. Add the garlic and chilli and keep the heat on medium so they don’t burn. Stir-fry for 1 minute or so until golden. Cut the capsicums into thick pieces and then add with the onion, cashews and baby corn. Heat for 1 minute, then pour in the chilli jam sauce and add the chicken. Stir-fry until everything is heated through and the chilli jam sauce is thick.
Serve the stir-fry with steamed rice and basil sprinkled over.
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