Day 79: Thai Chicken Stir Fry with Cashew Nuts & Dried Red Chillies

Day 79: Thai Chicken Stir Fry with Cashew Nuts & Dried Red Chillies

inspired by Kin + Deum

Sometimes I feel I’m in an extreme version of Ready, Steady, Cook.

I look in the fridge, see what random mix of ingredients I have and I try to make a dinner out of it. What makes it harder is that sometimes I also need to write a blog post about it…. and that means I need to find a restaurant that also puts a dish together with similar ingredients to those I have lying around.

Not always an easy task.

Take last night for example. I’ve told myself that this week I’m eating up leftovers to save money. I am not going to the supermarket until my fridge is practically bare.

I did a Farmdrop order last week, which has given me lots of delicious food, but I can’t necessarily make a meal out of all of it. Truffle crisps, goat cheddar, clotted cream. All delicious. But just not quite the makings of a nutritious meal.

Farmdrop is basically like the online equivalent of going into a Waitrose. You have a list, you know what you need. But every time you emerge having spent a small fortune. Mainly because of all the delicious extra things you didn’t need, but simply had to have.

So seeing as I’ve spent most of my weekly shop money on tasty treats, it’s a week of living out of the freezer and eating up whatever’s left.

In my fridge I have a lemongrass stalk, a tiny bit of ginger, some Thai basil and a red pepper. Can you tell I made Thai green curry a few days ago? Sadly no kaffir lime leaves left.

I also have some leftover cooked barbecue chicken, a mix of thighs and drumsticks, from an outdoor, socially distanced, lunch with family the other day.

So my powers of deduction tell me that I’m probably making some sort of Thai stir fry. Quite possibly with chicken.

That’s half the work done. But I’ve got nothing to write about tomorrow unless I can find some restaurant inspiration to go with it.

I think about the last Thai food I ate before lockdown and have a look on their menus. Nothing that wouldn’t involve a trip to the shops.

I look at places like Kiln and Smoking Goat, both trendy London Thai restaurants that focus on barbecue and grilling. That makes sense seeing as I have leftover barbecue meat. It would be perfect. Sadly no joy.

This is ridiculous, I think. I’m getting hungry. Maybe I’ll just make dinner and do some more baking tomorrow and blog about that. I look at the pile of half eaten loaves of bread and leftover cake. I can’t make more.

Finally a lightbulb moment. Bermondsey Street. There’s a Thai restaurant on Bermondsey Street isn’t there?

Seeing as yesterday I was also writing about a restaurant on this street I find it amazing it has taken me so long to think about it.

Actually it turns out the restaurant I’m thinking of isn’t on Bermondsey Street. It’s a few steps round the corner on Crucifix Lane.

Kin + Deum is a restaurant focusing on the food from Bangkok, run by three siblings. Cooking food from home, all their dishes use homemade sauces, free range eggs and there’s no MSG or refined sugar.

Healthy, wholesome food.

Just what I need after my recent consumption of clotted cream and truffle crisps (not together, that would be weird).

On their menu is this

The Himmaparn: a nutty stir-fry of crispy chicken, golden cashew nuts, red onions, peppers and dried red chillies, a simple delight”

Finally! The only thing I don’t have on this list is a red onion. Aidan can pick one up on his way home from work!

So how to make this stir fry? A quick google and I find a recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen which sounds pretty similar. I use this as inspiration for the sauce. They use a mix of soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and water.

So I begin by mixing soy sauce (I only have one variety, not the two the recipe calls for), fish sauce and, because I have it, palm sugar in a bowl and whisk until the sugar dissolves.

The rest I make up as I go along. Lemongrass, garlic and ginger go into a pan along with some dried chillis. I’ve got small red birdseye chillis, not the longer ones that the recipe talks about. In go about eight, seeds an all. I’m not going to actually eat them. They will just flavour the sauce.

So once I’ve shredded the chicken, sliced the veg and stir fried it all together with the sauce we sit down to eat. And I try very hard to stop my eyes watering. It is quite hot.

Still a delicious dinner though. Slightly strange that every now and again I get the taste of my BBQ marinade from the chicken through all the Thai flavours.

I’m calling it fusion. Aidan doesn’t look convinced.

So there you have it. A slightly odd mix of leftovers, turned into something edible (just… definitely less chilli next time).

Thanks to Kin + Deum. I’m definitely going in search of some of their takeaway soon, so I can try what it should taste like. I’m well aware that it shouldn’t taste anything like what I created.

Perhaps I need to stop playing Extreme Ready, Steady, Cook and instead start a new game.

A game where I cook a dish from every restaurant on (and just off) Bermondsey Street. That, I think, could be quite good fun.

A quick count and I realise that I’ve ticked off five already. How many more can there be?

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