Despite being worked like a dog I remained loyal to Articuleat and squeezed in a cheeky recipe at work. This is quite an intricate dish to pull off but well worth the effort. I have always liked the idea of a hot and cold stir-fried salad, so I created this dish with a little inspiration from this thought.
In Thailand there are two types of chilli jam that are commonly eaten; grilled or deep-fried. For this dish I have chosen the latter, as it works as a rich base for this amazing salad.
Deep-fried chilli jam is an amazing product, it can be let down with stock or coconut cream to create rich salad dressings, glazes and sauces – however, it is not the easiest thing to make. It involves a lengthy, yet simple process of slicing, frying, drying and then combining with palm sugar, tamarind and fish sauce. To get the best results you need to cook the deep-fries individually as each vegetable cooks at a different rate.
The key to making an excellent deep-fried chilli jam comes in the consistency of the deep-fried ingredients. Every ingredient needs to be sliced wafer thin in order for them to cook at an even rate. A light golden crisp on the garlic, shallots, ginger, chillies and prawns comes together to create a rich, smoky, spicy base for the chilli jam. It is incredibly important to have a sharp knife in order to slice these ingredients thin enough. Slicing and cooking deep fries is a difficult game to get right as each stage takes a long time. Bear in mind that it can also go epically wrong at any moment if the oil gets too hot. – The last thing that you want is to burn your deep-fries (or fry your hands).
Although it takes a little effort to get the chilli jam made, you will certainly be pleased to have it in the kitchen. The palm sugar and oil act as a preservative, giving the jam a longer shelf life.
Many of the strange ingredients that are included in this recipe can be sourced from oriental supermarkets. The majority can also be found in most large supermarkets. Here at Articuleat I like to keep you on your toes, trust me once you have tried this dish you will run a marathon to have it on your plate again.
Anyway that’s enough from me for today and I hope you enjoy the recipe.
(Serves 2, takes 1 ½ hours, with plenty of spare jam)
(For the chilli jam)
-200g banana shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
-200g garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
-1 knob of ginger, peeled and julienned
-100g dried long red chillies
-50g, dried prawns
-2 tspn gapi paste (fermented shrimp paste), roasted in tin foil on low heat until smelly
-60g palm sugar, roughly chopped
-100ml fish sauce
-100ml tamarind water (buy in packs and soak yourself)
-1 litre cooking oil
(For the stir-fry salad)
-2 chicken breasts, roughly chopped
-40g green beans, topped & tailed, halfed
-40g basil, washed and picked
-40g green mango, peeled and julienned
-40g ong choi (morning glory), roughly chopped
-2 pinch deep-fried garlic
-2 pinch deep-fried shallot
-20g coriander, washed and picked
-200ml chicken stock
-1 fresh long red chilli, thinly sliced into chilli’os
-1 pinch caster sugar
-1 pinch ground white peppercorns
- Begin by deep-frying your chilli jam ingredients. Begin with the shallots as these have the highest moister content and therefore take the longest to complete. To do this, heat the oil to a high heat in a large wok (to test that the oil is hot enough for frying drop a few shallots into the oil – if they float and bubble it is ready). Using a fork stir the shallots in the oil making sure they cook evenly. When they are golden brown remove from the hot oil and drain on kitchen paper. To ensure no deep-fries are stuck together, pick them apart using two forks. Repeat this process with the garlic, ginger, dried prawns and the dried red chillies (bare in mind that the red chillies and prawns take less time as they have a low moister content).
- Once all the deep-fries are cooked take a pinch of crispy garlic and shallots and put them to one side for a garnish later. Using a food processor combine all the deep-fried ingredients with half the oil that was used for cooking (be sure to let the oil cool before using). Once combined place on a low heat and add the palm sugar and fish sauce. Keep stirring until the sugar caramelises, causing the jam to thicken and clump together. Lastly remove and add the tamarind water – the mixture should be sweet, salty, sour and hot, the magic is in the balance.
- Now that the chilli jam is made its time for the easy bit, making the stir-fry. In a hot wok heat a little of the excess oil from deep-frying (this can be kept as fragrant oil to cook with in the future). Throw in the chicken and wok until browned and hot throughout. Next throw in the green beans and morning glory and toss in the juices, then add the chicken stock. Once hot, add a heaped tablespoon of the fried chilli jam and toss – once combined, this will create a thick, flavoursome sauce that coats the stir-fry. Finish by adding the caster sugar and white pepper, then remove from the heat.
- Now for the cold ingredients. Toss through the basil, coriander and fresh red chilli and place on a plate. Finally garnish with the green mango, a little deep-fried shallot and garlic, then enjoy.
Thanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.
See you next time,