My Citizens, this delectable Thai dish is near and dear to your beloved Leader’s revolutionary heart! I have posted a version of this classic garlic/pepper dish using pork in the past, but this one is adapted specifically to complement breast meat chicken – in Thai, it is gai pad gratiem prik thai.
Thai cuisine (Thai: อาหารไทย, RTGS: Ahan Thai) is, of course, the national cuisine of Thailand. Balance, detail, and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs.
Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. Thai chef McDang characterises Thai food as demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor”, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context.
Australian chef David Thompson, an expert on Thai food, observes that unlike many other cuisines, Thai cooking rejects simplicity and is about “the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish”.
In 2017, seven of Thailand’s popular dishes appeared on the list of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers’ Pick)”— a worldwide online poll of 35,000 people by CNN Travel. Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country. They were: tom yam goong (4th), pad Thai (5th), som tam (6th), massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and moo nam tok (36th).
Thai meals typically consist of rice (khao in Thai) with many complementary dishes shared by all. The dishes are all served at the same time, including the soups, and it is also customary to provide more dishes than there are guests at a table. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods.
Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal. Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon.
The other elements would include a clear soup (perhaps a spicy tom yam or a mellow tom chuet), a curry or stew (essentially any dish identified with the kaeng prefix), a deep-fried dish and a stir fried dish of meat, fish, seafood, or vegetables.
In most Thai restaurants, diners will have access to a selection of Thai sauces (nam chim) and condiments, either brought to the table by wait staff or present at the table in small containers. These may include: phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, Sriracha sauce, and even sugar.
With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition to the sour chili sauce. Cucumber is sometimes eaten to cool the mouth with particularly spicy dishes. They often feature as a garnish, especially with one-dish meals. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy Thai curry or stir fry, tends to counteract the spiciness.
This particular dish is a renowned ‘hangover’ dish, though TFD strongly endorses eating it any time, Citizens! I’ve made the usual tweaks to the recipe to bring it to succulent, spicy perfection for my palate, including the eccentric but delicious (and optional) use of a bit of Sichuan peppercorn oil for an extra kick.
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
The Hirshon Thai Garlic Pepper Chicken – ไก่ผัดกระเทียม
- Total Time: 0 hours
- 8 ounces chicken breast, partially frozen and sliced into thin bite-sized pieces
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Dark mushroom-flavored soy sauce, as needed for color, about 1 tsp.
- 3/4 tsp palm sugar
- 3/4 tsp freshly-ground white pepper (preferred) or freshly-ground black pepper or more to taste
- 1 tsp Nam Pla (fish sauce) – TFD strongly prefers Red Boat 40° brand
- 1 tsp. oyster sauce – Lee Kum Kee makes a good product
- 2 tbsp peanut oil or more as needed
- 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn oil (highly optional – this is not traditional at all, but TFD enjoys it in this recipe. If you want the original, omit)
- 3 tbsp homemade chicken stock (preferred) or water
- Cilantro leaves and stems, to garnish
- Mix chicken with oyster sauce, soy sauce, palm sugar, fish sauce, and white pepper. Set aside while you fry garlic.
- In a small pot or wok, add the garlic, then add just enough peanut oil to cover the garlic.
- Fry garlic over low heat (gentle bubbling) until the garlic turns golden brown and the bubbling has mostly stopped, about 5 minutes. Drain garlic from oil, reserving the oil.
- In a wok, add about 2 Tbsp of the garlic oil and heat over high heat. Pour a tablespoon or so of the remaining garlic oil into the marinated chicken and stir. Add chicken to hot wok.
- Cook until the meat is done (about 5 minutes); if the meat begins to stick add a little chicken stock or water about 2 tbsp at a time. Add Sichuan peppercorn oil (if using) and more water, if needed and stir to combine.
- Stir thoroughly, allow to heat through then serve on a bed of rice, garnished with the coriander.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Category: Recipes
- Calories: 183.43 kcal
- Sugar: 0.83 g
- Sodium: 211.68 mg
- Fat: 13.3 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.78 g
- Trans Fat: 0.06 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.17 g
- Fiber: 0.25 g
- Protein: 12.58 g
- Cholesterol: 36.62 mg
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