Thai Curry of Chicken with Sataw

Thai Chicken Curry (Photo by darren131/flickr)
Thai Chicken Curry (Photo by darren131/flickr)

Serves 4-6


500 g/1 lb chicken thigh fillets
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
6 tablespoons chopped coriander,
(roots, stems and leaves)
small piece fresh turmeric root
or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons finely sliced lemon grass
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chillies
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 small can petai or sataw, drained
1 tablespoon fish sauce
375 ml/12 fl oz/1 1/2 cups coconut milk
sweet basil leaves and coriander leaves


Trim any excess fat from the chicken and cut into thin slices. Using a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, peppercorns, coriander, turmeric and lemon grass to a paste (or blend with a small amount of water). Combine with shrimp paste and chopped chillies. Marinate chicken in this spice mix for 1 hour.

Heat a wok, add oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the chicken and stir-fry on high heat until chicken is no longer pink. Add sataw, fish sauce and coconut milk, stir until it comes to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Turn off heat, sprinkle with basil or coriander leaves and serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)