Simple Green Chicken Curry

Thai_Green_Curry_2

Not too long ago I went to a Thai restaurant and ordered a curry for the first time. I was never too big of a fan of coconut milk in the past so I would never order the curries. But, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and I’m so happy I did. Ever since then, I have been obsessed with Thai curries and have been constantly making them because they are so simple to make, so fully packed with flavour, and are perfect for leftovers & reheating!

This is a recipe where you can definitely replace the protein with Tofu for the dish to become fully vegan, and it’ll still hold all of the flavour! I’ll fully disclose that this is not an authentic recipe, but merely my interpretation of the curries I have had at restaurants with my personal twists!

When it comes to the Thai curries, red is the most spicy, yellow is the most mild, and green is great middle ground so it quickly became my favourite. I get my curry paste in Chinatown because you can usually huge jar for a fraction of what you pay for at general grocery stores. However, if you want the recipe to be vegan, definitely read the ingredients in the curry paste because shrimp paste is usually a main ingredient. If it isn’t in the ingredient list for the paste, you’re in the clear!

This is the one I used:

Green_Curry_Paste

The vegetables you add in can be according to your preference. I added in my favourites. Adding in mushrooms would work really well too!


INGREDIENTS & COSTS for 2 generous servings:

1 Chicken Breasts($2.33)
1 Tsp Corn Starch ($0.01)
1/2 Medium sized onion ($0.10)
2 garlic cloves ($0.04)
2 Tsp Ginger ($0.02)
2 1/2 Tbs Green Curry Paste ($0.09)
2 Bay leaves ($0.04)
3 Tbs Canola Oil ($0.15)
1 Carrot ($0.16)
3/4 cup chopped Broccoli ($0.38)
1/2 Bell Pepper (I used both orange and green) ($0.52)
1/2 can Coconut Milk ($0.49)
1/2 a Chicken Bouillon cube dissolved in 1 1/2 cup of hot water ($0.09)
Fresh Basil (Thai Basil if you can find it!) to garnish ($0.25)
Cilantro to Garnish ($0.08)
1 Thai Chili (optional) ($0.05)

Takes 30 minutes

Total Cost = $4.80!*

Compared to the $16-$20 at restaurants! EACH! So double that number.

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

Prepare your vegetables:

Mince the ginger, garlic, onions, and optional Thai Chili. Then slice your peppers, carrots, broccoli, basil, cilantro, and any other veggies you want to add to your curry!

Green_Curry_Chicken_Vegetables

Next, cut up your chicken. I chose to cube it, but in the end I think maybe slicing the chicken might have made it a better consistency. Oh well, if you don’t learn from your own recipes you’re doing it wrong amirite? I then dusted some corn starch on the chicken just to have a bit of crispiness on the meat. If you choose to swap in some firm tofu it would be perfectly fine and dusting it with some corn starch would help with an outer crunch as well!

Thai_Curry_Chicken - Chicken

Once everything is ready to go in, put a pot or wok on the stove at medium-high heat. Pour in the canola oil once the pan is hot to avoid sticking, and once it’s hot throw in your garlic, ginger, onions, and (completely optional!) Thai chili.

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Once it starts to get a bit golden, throw in the green curry paste. Make sure to stir quickly as it may stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does a bit too much, just lower the heat!

Thai_Green_Curry_Paste

After the curry paste gets infused with the onions and garlic, add in your choice of protein and the bay leafs. Stir until the chicken looks crispy and well cooked through.

Thai_Green_Curry_Chicken

Almost done! Now pour in your coconut milk and hot chicken broth. Note! That not all coconut milks are made equal. Some are thicker than others and it can change the consistency of your curry. The can I bought was fairly thick so I used a bit less than half the can. I also just always use bouillon cubes instead of boxed chicken broth – it’s cheaper and lighter to carry from the grocery store so it works for me! Let the coconut milk and broth boil for about 5 minutes to get the curry to thicken.

Green_Curry_Chicken_Coconut_milk

If you feel like there isn’t enough liquid in your curry, just add water, the taste won’t change much since most of it comes from the curry paste. Once it thickens, add in the rest of your vegetables and stir for about 3 minutes for them to soften.

Thai_Green_Chicken_Curry

Finally, turn off the heat and throw in your basil & cilantro. Stir it in and you should immediately smell the difference in your curry.

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And voila you’re done making a delicious and simple green curry! Serve warm with some jasmine rice.

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INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website, and a local Chinese grocery store


Pack of 4 Chicken Breasts – $9.33
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
1 Orange Bell Pepper ($1.02)
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
75 g Red Hot Thai Chili Peppers ($3.99)
1 Broccoli crown ($0.99)
1 bunch of Cilantro ($2.49)
3 Lbs of Yellow onions ($2.00)
400 g Mae Ploy Thai Green Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
3 Lbs Carrots – $2.00
1 can of Coconut Milk – $0.99
900ml Chicken Broth – $1.49
Aurora Chicken Bouillon Mix – $1.19
20 g of Dried Bay Leaves – $4.49

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Veggie-Packed Noodle Bowl with Tofu Steaks and Peanut Sauce

I’m an omnivore in every sense, but I aim to have vegetarian meal days twice a week as a preference. Doing this not only allows me to eat a larger variety of vegetables, but also is cheaper than eating meat, is more sustainable, and forces me to learn how to make meals that don’t use meat as a crutch. This veggie noodle bowl does just that.

Inspired by a local vegetarian restaurant, this noodle bowl packs in so much flavour, incorporates a large variety of vegetables, and is my go-to meal since it’s one of the easiest and fastest meals anyone can make. This recipe can also be vegan and/or gluten free if you substitute a few ingredients with others (I’ll be highlighting those substitutes). This is an incredibly dynamic dish as you can pick and choose what vegetables you want to add depending on your preference, almost any leafy green works!

The protein of the recipe is the sweet soy sauce marinated tofu, with an addition of the All Purpose Peanut Sauce recipe I posted earlier this week! If you wish to add meat to the bowl, you absolutely can by just substituting the tofu and keeping the marinade the same!


INGREDIENTS & COSTS FOR 1 LARGE BOWL
Takes approx. 15 minutes to make

Marinated Tofu:
1/4 block of Firm Tofu ($0.62)
1/2 Tsp of Corn Starch ($0.006)
1 Tsp of Dark Soy Sauce (regular works fine if you don’t have dark, this just has a richer flavour) ($0.01) – Can be substituted to be GF
1/2 Tsp of Cumin ($0.02)
1/4 Tsp of ground Szechuan Peppercorn (you can use regular pepper, but I highly recommend a trip to Chinatown to get this peppercorn!)
1 Tsp Sesame Oil ($0.07)
1 Tsp Honey (or Maple Syrup if you want a vegan recipe) ($0.05)

The Bowl:
1/3 – 1/2 of a sheet of Thai Vermicelli (rice) noodles depending on appetite! Each package usually comes with 3 sheets ($0.20)
1/3 cup Broccoli (or Chinese Broccoli) ($0.19)
2 heads of Baby Bok Choy (and/or Nappa Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, the list goes on!) ($0.50)
1/4 cup Zucchini ($0.19)
1/3 a Bell Pepper (Green, Orange, Red, Yellow – pick your preference!) ($0.70)
1/3 cup of Thai Peanut Sauce ($0.46)
1 Green Onion to garnish ($0.09)
Cilantro to garnish ($0.08)

Total Cost: $3.18

Compared to the restaurant cost of $19 per bowl!

*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

First the tofu. This is the main marinade I use for the majority of meals I make with tofu, mainly because it gives it a great crunchy crust but still keeps the salty and sweet taste of the soy sauce and honey. First cut 1/4 of the block for 1 bowl (I got greedy and cut 1/3rd and had left over tofu!).

tofu_1

Take the left over tofu, fill a container with water, and store it away for other meals! Next, slice the tofu to be about 1cm thick, and then cut again diagonally.

tofu_3

Use 2 pieces of paper towels and squeeze excess water out of the tofu by pressing down on it on both sides. This allows the tofu to soak up more of the marinade. After drying, take a small bowl and combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, honey (or maple syrup), cornstarch,  Szechuan pepper, and cumin. Stir it all together, put the tofu in a different container, and pour the mix on top of the tofu. Now mix! Or shake! Whatever floats. While doing this, put a pot of water on boil.

marinated_tofu2

Let the tofu marinate for a bit. You can chop up your veggies now! The great thing about this bowl is that you can really add in anything you want! Any leafy green works perfectly, or anything you would put in a salad. I decided to cut up bok choy, Chinese broccoli, orange peppers, and zucchini. Chop up the scallions and cilantro as well to act as your garnish. I don’t recommend you skip on this step, the two herbs really tie the dish together.

veggie_bowl_vegetables

By this time your tofu should be marinated enough, put a tablespoon of canola oil in a pan and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, use a pair of tongs and fry the tofu on each side for about 30 seconds to make sure its nice and crispy. Once the tofu’s skin is well cooked, take another paper towel and transfer the tofu from the pan onto the towel to let it collect excess oil. Keep the leftover oil in the pan for our next step!

marinated_tofu

Time to boil the noodles! By now the water should be boiling. Break off a piece of the rice noodles, I’ve made the mistake of cooking 1/2 a package for 2 people too many times – trust me it’s definitively going to be MORE than what you expect!

rice_noodles_gluten_free

Read the instructions on the package, but they should be ready within 3-5 minutes. Feel free to check after 3 to see if it’s soft to your own liking.

Once the noodles start to cook, toss all your vegetables in the pan you cooked the tofu in (except the garnish!) on medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and wait for it to get hot. When the vegetables start to steam, take the lid off and splash a teaspoon of soy sauce on and stir for about 15 seconds. Take the pan off the heat.

By this time your noodles should be cooked! Drain the noodles, quickly rinse them in cold water, and place them in a bowl. Now you can assemble your veggie bowl! Add in the tofu and the veggies.

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Now pour on peanut sauce and you have a delicious healthy, vegetable-packed, gluten free noodle bowl even a carnivore would enjoy. And all for under $3.25 compared to the restaurant cost of $19!

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I’d love to hear feedback (good or bad) or any tips! Don’t hesitate to comment! Enjoy! 🙂


INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) receipt, weekly flyer, and their website.

1 block (420 g) of Rooster Tofu ($2.49)
500 g No Name 100% Pure Corn Starch ($2.29) – $0.46/100g
500 ml Rootster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
400 g Suraj Cumin ($3.49) – $0.87/100g
443 ml LKK Pure Sesame Oil ($6.99) – $1.59/100ml
500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
454 Rice Stick Vermicelli Noodles, small ($2.29) – $0.50/100g
1 Broccoli crown ($0.99)
1 bag of Baby Bok Choy ($1.99)
1 Zucchini ($0.79)
1 Orange Bell Pepper ($2.10)
1 cup of homemade peanut sauce ($1.39)
1 bunch of green onions ($0.79)
1 bunch of Cilantro ($2.49)

All Purpose Thai Peanut Sauce

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I was never too keen on peanut sauces in the past, then I started getting into Thai and Vietnamese food while in University so evidently my peanut sauce intake grew exponentially. I had tried to make multiple batches of peanut sauces from recipes I saw online and they constantly turned out.. well.. bland.  They never had that extra kick of acidity the ones in the restaurants had.

The thing with the majority of Asian sauces is that they usually contain a lot of ingredients that may be hard to come by (not everyone is able to get palm sugar and tamarind paste at their local grocery store!) So I tried to make this sauce to have the ingredients that are a bit more easy to access without looking to hard! To do this I decided to play around with the flavours and ask some lovely local Thai restaurant owners what the sauce actually consists of.

It seemed the main missing ingredients so many peanut sauce recipes were rice vinegar, coconut milk, and Thai red pepper curry paste. I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk, so I decided to omit it and add water instead (you can absolutely use coconut milk). Once I added in the other ingredients(as well as a hint of sriracha because obviously), my peanut sauce took on a whole new flavour and mirrored those in my favourite restaurants.

Use this sauce for spring rolls, summer rolls, stir fries, meat satay, noodle bowels, or just about anything! Once you start making your own, it’ll be almost be painful to eat the prepared and preserved bottles you can purchase from the grocery store. 1 cup of the sauce can be used for 2 – 3 dishes or noodle bowls (depending on how saucy you like your meals). Adding a little extra water if its a bit thick won’t alter the taste too much.


INGREDIENTS for 1 CUP OF PEANUT SAUCE & COSTS
(Prep time 5-10 minutes)

1/2 cup of All Natural unsalted creamy Peanut Butter ($0.59)
1 1/2 Tsp of Red Curry Paste ($0.13)
1 1/2 Tbs of Rice Vinegar ($0.28)
1 Tsp Soy Sauce ($0.02)
1/2 cup of water (or coconut milk if you want a sweeter taste) + 1/4 cup for preference – Free (I hope!)
1 Tbs of Honey (or 1 1/2 Tbs of brown sugar if you want a vegan recipe) – ($0.21)
1 Tsp or clove of garlic (minced) – ($0.02)
1 Tsp of ginger (minced) – ($0.01)
1 Tbs of Canola Oil – ($0.05)
1 1/2 Tsp of Lime juice or juice of a quarter of Lime ($0.05)
Sriracha to taste if you like it to be spicy! (Optional)
Crushed peanuts (Optional)

Total Cost = $1.36*

Compare that to the bland, preservative filled $5.00 peanut sauces you find in grocery stores!
*Depending the cost of the ingredients in your area, the cost may be more or less. I live in a fairly inflated part of town, so chances are your cost will be less.

Need the proof? Head down to the bottom of this page!


DIRECTIONS

Finely mince the ginger and the garlic (as fine as you can!) Pour the oil in a sauce pan or small pot and place it on the stove at medium-low heat. Throw in the minced garlic and ginger and wait for it to get aromatic. Once you begin to smell it cooking, toss in the red pepper curry paste and mix. Make sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t catch (no one wants burnt sauce). peanut_sauce_red_pepper_curry

Once the curry paste is well mixed in with the garlic and ginger, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and honey. Continue to stir! It should look something like this.

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Once it starts to bubble, its time to throw in that peanut butter!

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Stir stir stir! Now add in the half cup of water and stir some more! Within a minute, your sauce is almost ready and should look something like this!

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Now for the final touches, squeeze in the lime juice and add in some sriracha if you want it to have some heat! (I highly recommend you do) Once it bubbles a little bit, you’ll notice the sauce get thicker. If you want it to be a but more runny, I advise you add in another 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer for 30 seconds before taking it off the heat.

And voila! Within 5 minutes, you have your very own homemade all purpose peanut sauce for 3 servings, and all under $1.50! You can store this sauce in an air-tight container or jar for up to 1 1/2 weeks in your fridge!

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I hope you enjoy this protein packed, super simple, sauce! I’m happy to take any feedback (good or bad) or questions!


INGREDIENT COSTS

I’m referring to a Loblaws (a generic grocery chain in Canada) weekly flyer and their website.

750 g President’s Choice Just Peanuts Smooth Peanut Butter ($3.99)  – $0.53/100g
400 g Cock Brand Red Curry Paste ($2.49) – $0.62/100g
355 ml Seasoned Rice Vinegar ($4.59) – $1.29/100ml
500 ml Rooster Superior Dark Soy Sauce ($1.99) – $0.40/100ml
500 g Farm Boy™ Pure Ontario Honey ($4.99) – $0.99/100g
Garlic – $0.88/100g
Ginger – $0.43/100g
946 ml No Name Brand Canola Oil ($4.19) – $0.44/100ml
125 ml Realime Single Strength Lime Juice ($0.99) – $0.79/100ml