Friday 5 September 2014

Thai Turmeric Chicken Stir Fry

While in Melbourne, we went to the Cookie restaurant and beer hall on a recommendation from a good friend.  I can tell you that it did not disappoint.  The atmosphere was electric and the food and drinks were divine.  I had the chicken and corn dumplings in thai green curry, while the Dragon had the stir fried turmeric chicken, wild ginger, kaffir lime and holy basil meal.  Both were delicious.  I decided to try my hand at making a meal similar to the Dragon's, as it is the healthier of the two options.  This is not a copycat recipe (trying to exactly replicate a meal) per se, as I have changed some of the vegetables to suit my own taste, but I think it will taste great nonetheless.  Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, is good for heart health and I've heard rumours that it may also have some benefits for the skin - don't quote me on this though, it is all based on pseudo-science ;)

Onwards to healthy tasty Thai stir fry goodness!


  • 500g chicken thighs, chopped thinly on the diagonal
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, sliced
  • 1 bunch of Thai basil, leaves picked and ripped
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 2 bunches of bok choy, core removed from the very bottom and sliced into thin diagonal strips (including the leaves)
  • 1 red and 1 green chilli, sliced diagonally
  • 2 shallots, chopped into 1 inch diagonal chunks
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 cloves of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic 
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/8 cup chicken stock (I used 1/4 cup but found it was a bit too much)
  • 4 serves basmati rice, plus 1 tsp turmeric for the rice water.

Potential Spins

Change up the veggies to whatever you like to eat. I usually use bok choy in stir fries because it has both a crunchy component and green leafy goodness.  I was aiming for maximum veg.  Use real grated ginger from a ginger root, which you could combine in the mortar and pestle.  I just use minced ginger from a jar at present, so I can't give you the amount of ginger root to use.  In time I'd like to progress to real ginger root.  Serve on soba or other noodles rather than rice, or on brown rice if you are being uber healthy.  We had run out of basmati against my knowledge so we used brown rice.


  1. Cook the rice first to ensure that it is ready in time for the stir fry, which won't take long.  
  2. Combine the garlic, ginger, half the chillis, and the turmeric in a mortar and pestle.  It is not the end of the world if you don't own one - if so then just skip to the next step.
  3. Add rice bran oil to your wok.  Stir fry half the mix above in a hot wok until fragrant.  
  4. Add chicken, stir fry until sealed.
  5. Add the oyster, soy and fish sauces and the chicken stock, briefly toss through.
  6. Add the rest of the chilli, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, bok choy and broccoli
    You can see the excess water? This is why I reduced the amount of chicken stock for the ingredients list above.
  7. Continue to stir fry until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are cooked to stir fried perfection.  Stir through the Thai basil.

  8. Serve on a bed of rice.

Our Take Aways

Beautiful.  The dragon thought that the flavour profile was even better than the restaurant meal, but that is subjective.  We used a different ratio of vegetables to chicken.  We were going for higher vegetable content, while theirs was heavier on the chicken.  They also used green beans, while we used bok choy, shallots and broccoli instead.  This had a different flavour profile than what we usually cook, so both cooking and eating were fun.  Often stir fries do not reheat well, so we were happy that it actually reheated fine the next night.

Would make again.

Have you used these kind of flavours before?  If so, what did you do?

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