Thai chicken can be prepared in a variety of manners but this quick version relies on red curry paste to flavor noodles, broth and bird. It is a spicy dish, but not full of overly strong flavors like Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings at Pok Pok in Portland. I love those wings, but they require hours of marinating and can be too much for someone unfamiliar with fish sauce. This is an easy recipe to get you slurping curry noodles and chowing down on Thai chicken quickly.
Why Not Try Thai Chicken
This recipe doesn’t use lemongrass as an ingredient because that flavor shines so well without curry in lemongrass soup. The spice level will depend on what type of curry paste you use and I recommend a hot one like a red curry paste. Green curry pastes and Masaman curry pastes are milder. Don’t leave out the umami-rich fish sauce because southeast Asian cuisine like this needs a balance of hot, sour, salty and sweet flavors to approach a semblance of authenticity.
The amount of noodles you use will also determine if this is more soup-like or noodle-dominant. I have tried it both ways and found the soupy version will really tickle your throat if you are sensitive to spicy food.
Choice of Chicken
This method of cooking chicken breasts in a flavorful broth keeps it from drying out but there is no reason you couldn’t swap it out for moister dark meat. The recipe also calls for shredding the cooked chicken but if you are impatient/hungry you can just slice up the chicken breast once it is cooked through.
It Slices, It Dices!
For broths like this one, I like the garlic and ginger to be freshly grated, rather than minced, so that it is well-distributed throughout the liquid. For those tasks, I like to use a garlic press and a ceramic grater even though it means a few more items to clean up later.
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, finely grated or minced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon red curry paste
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 8 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
- Thai basil, cilantro, scallions, peppers for garnish
- Heat oil in a medium sized pot over medium high heat until shimmering then add ginger and garlic. Saute for 1 minute then add curry paste and saute an additional minute.
- Add chicken stock and stir, scaping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add chicken breasts. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Simmer 20 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken measures 165°F. Add fish sauce, brown sugar, and soy sauce.
- Remove chicken from pot and shred using two forks. Add chicken shreds back to broth.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions and add to individual serving bowls. Ladle broth and chicken on top of noodles and garnish with choice of Thai basil, cilantro, scallions, or peppers.