I fell in love with Thai red curry roast duck with lychee the first time I tried it in Sydney.
I thought, it would be so easy for me to kind of recreate in Hong Kong, since I could get roast duck for as little as HK$18 downstairs, stir in a pack of Thai red curry paste, throw in a box of coconut milk and a can of lychee...and I'd get an easy, yet super impressive dish.
...at least that was the plan.
Naturally, since life is so kind, and luck is my middle name...when I needed a roast duck, it was too late and the siu mei shop just below my flat's closed.
This is totally predictable.
If I could get duck when I needed duck, that would be surprising :D
Anyway, no duck (or lack thereof) shall deprive me of curry lychee, so I went for chicken instead.
A little bit more troublesome, a little less flavorful, but, it should work.
- 2 pieces of boneless chicken thigh fillet, with skin on
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, crushed
- 1 galangal, crushed
- 2 shallots, sliced thinly
- 1 pack of Thai red curry paste
- 200 ml box of coconut milk
- 1 can of lychee in syrup
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- freshly chopped corriander
Preheat oven to 200C. Season chicken fillet with salt and pepper, brown the skin and grill in the oven until it's almost cooked. Meanwhile, saute lemongrass, galangal and shallot until fragrant, throw in thai curry paste, stir in coconut milk and some syrup from the canned lychee. Keep tasting the mixture until you reach the perfect balance between sweet, sour, spicy, creamy and savoury. Add lychee pieces at the end. Take chicken out of the oven, slice and arrange chicken pieces in the curry sauce, try not to submerge the chicken skin to keep it crispy (unless you don't mind the chicken skin not being crispy anymore. Alternatively, you can also lay the sauce on a shallow plate and add the chicken pieces on the plate, but I wanted to get the chicken meat cooked in the curry sauce a bit). Garnish with freshly chopped corriander and serve with steamed rice or roti prata (I served mine with frozen roti prata, simply heated up in the oven until golden brown. Yum!)
You can also add okra/Thai eggplant/cherry tomatoes and sweet Thai basil into the curry or even make a vegetarian version of it.
PS. A cooking disaster happened when I was cooking this dish. I accidentally used the ladle I'd been using to stir the curry to stir the other dish, which was stir fried zucchini, tomatoes and beancurd sheets in oyster sauce. It was literally just a few secs of stirring, and the damage was done. The second dish was totally infused with a tinge of coconut milk and lychee flavor, it turned it inedible. I tried adding a bit of this and that, but there was no way to recover it. I had wasted a whole lot of ingredients and it broke my heart T_T
PS II. Moral of the story, look before you dip.