Vietnamese Chicken with Mint – my best Asian dish to date?

If you don’t like to eat chicken breast cause they’re bland and tough, this recipe might change your mind. I got this recipe from Chef Wan’s book, “Simply Sedap!”. It’s one of my favourite recipe books! The instructions are clear and the flavours are always bang-on.

Anyway, I made slight changes in the recipe but they didn’t ruin the recipe so if you have Chef Wan’s book, you may find a slight disparity between what’s posted here and in his book.

This dish was so good that the BF claimed that it’s my best Asian dish to date. That allegation kind of threw me off a little (because I’m certain I’ve made Asian dishes that are comparably good!!!) but I had to agree with him that it was beautifully fragrant and every morsel was juicy, succulent and full of flavour.

# – Vietnamese chicken with mint.

Despite having 10 large red chillies in this dish, it was surprisingly mild! What can I say, the all the ingredients in this recipe really managed to balance one another out brilliantly!

The marinade, finely ground:

  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • The spice paste, finely ground:

  • 10 large red chillies
  • 1 tablespoon of shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of ginger
  • Other ingredients:

  • 500 grams of chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 3 lemon grass, sliced thinly
  • 60 ml of cooking oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & sugar to taste
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • # – First, throw all the ingredients for marinade into a food processor and blitz till oblivion.

    # – Now throw in the chicken slices into the marinade and mix till they’re evenly coated.

    # – Cover and stick in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I left them overnight though :)

    # – When ready to cook, chuck all the ingredients for spice paste into a food processor and blitz till oblivion, again.

    # – Set the spice paste aside while you continue with other tasks.

    # – Heat up the oil in a pan and then throw in the sliced lemongrass.

    # – Next, throw in the spice paste and cook till fragrant. Cook for a little while more till the mixture looks like it’s excreting some oil.

    # – Now, throw in the marinaded chicken slices.

    # – When the chicken slices have cooked through, season with salt and sugar to your taste.

    # – Then, stir in the lime juice.

    # – Turn off the heat, throw in the mint leaves and stir.

    # – Vietnamese chicken with mint, DONE!

    As this is a Vietnamese recipe, I am convinced that the original version of this dish may actually contain pork…and that’s exactly what I’d do next hehehe.

    So…my best Asian dish to date? After 10 months of cooking actively? Guess I have to cook more and practise more!

    Malaysian devil chicken curry recipe.

    Contrary to what the name of the dish suggests…, it’s not evil. It does however, pack some heat.

    By some, I mean LOADS. Be warned you should only make this if you’re a lover of spicy food. That said, I imagine you could reduce the amount of dry chillies and substitute with more shallots for something with less heat.

    # – Malaysian devil chicken curry.

    For the curry paste:

    • 30 shallots
    • 30 dried chillies, seeded and soaked for 15 minutes
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons of tumeric powder
    • 1 inch length of galangal, chopped
    • 2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon of brown mustard seeds, soaked for 5 minutes

    The other ingredients:

    • 2 onions, quartered
    • 2 inches of ginger, sliced
    • 5 cloves of garlic, sliced
    • 2 red chillies, seeded & halved lengthwise
    • 2 teaspoons of salt
    • 1 teaspoon of light soya sauce
    • 4 tablespoons of sugar
    • 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
    • 3 chicken thighs with bone, skin removed & chopped into serving pieces
    • 125 ml of white vinegar
    • 1 litre of water

    # – Seed, soak, peel whatever you need to do for the curry paste (refer to ingredients list above).

    # – Chuck them all in a blender or food processor and blitz.

    # – Add some oil while at it to smoothen the paste. I’d say about 2 – 3 tablespoons.

    # – Set the curry paste aside. By the way, you’re working with tumeric here and that stuff stains everything! So becareful.

    # – Heat up some oil in a pan and fry up the quartered onions, sliced ginger, sliced garlic and halved chillies.

    # – Remove from heat and set aside when they’ve browned & wilted slightly.

    # – Now heat up about 4 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan and chuck the curry paste in. Fry for about 3 minutes.

    # – Add 2 teaspoons of salt.

    # – Followed by a teaspoon of light soya sauce.

    # – And 4 tablespoons of sugar. Stir.

    # – Now throw in the chicken.

    # – Don’t forget the potatoes. Stir till everything’s coated by the curry paste.

    # – Pour the white vinegar in..

    # – And then the 1 litre of water.

    # – Stir till combined and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or when liquid has reduced by half.

    # – When the liquid has reduced by half, throw in the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies fried earlier. Stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

    # – Malaysian devil chicken curry, DONE!

    # – Serve with piping hot plain rice. Yums!

    It’s also very helpful if you’ve got a helper to seed 30 dry chillies for it’s not a very pleasant task. My hands were still tingling 5 hours later. I found it much easier and faster to seed the chillies after they’ve been soaked in water and softened up. With a pair of kitchen scissors, do it under running water to quickly flush away the seeds.

    Really, if you want to make this, make sure you’ve prepared the ingredients earlier on otherwise you may find your poor back on the verge of breaking by the end of it all. But…it’s all worth it. Because it’s interesting! It’s complex! It’s mind-bogglingly delicious!

    The curry tasted better too after a day. The BF ate it with bread. He ate it all. He didn’t leave me any -_-