Let’s Cook: Gaeng Saparot Gai (Chicken Pineapple Curry)

My favorite genre of Thai food is curry. My favorite fruit is pineapple. Needless to say putting the two together makes for an awesome dish!

I decided that the first curry I wanted to cook would be something a little bit different. I cooked up some green curry in Chiang Mai and watched as my best friend cooked up some Panang. We also received a recipe for a basic Red Curry, which looks great. However, this whole experience is about trying new things so I decided to find a different recipe all together and give it a go. That’s where this pineapple curry came in.

I had a great time making this dish, though I will definitely do it differently next time. First and foremost, I purchased a pre-made red curry paste rather than making my own. Cash is a little tight right now being a volunteer and all and it was much cheaper just to go for the store bought brand. I look forward to making my first curry paste at home though! Still deciding which type it will be.

Additionally, I’ll do a better job preparing my ingredients. I didn’t double check my chicken supply and ended up with about half as much as I should have had. It turned out great – the veggies more than made up for it – but it would have been nice to have a bit more protein. Also, I bought my own pineapple and cut it up myself and it wasn’t the greatest. I wanted to get a pre-cut bag of fruit from a street vendor but today is “big night market” day in my town so during the middle of the afternoon they are lacking in cart options as people prepare for the evening. Finally, my grocery only had green bell peppers rather than green and red so I just used the one. It turned out just fine.

So, a few things were a bit off, but in the end all worked out well.

I’m a bit disappointed that my camera and lighting were a bit off today (cloudy and rainy) so I didn’t get any good pictures of the cooking process. However, I got one of the final dish and have shared it here. It was seriously tasty and I have tons of leftovers for tomorrow!

So, here we go with the recipe!

Gaeng Saparot Gai - Pineapple Curry with Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: intermediate

Ingredients

Pineapple Curry with Chicken made in my Thailand kitchen

Pineapple Curry with Chicken made in my Thailand kitchen

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste (see notes)
  • 2-3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk (see notes)
  • 3 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (see notes)
  • 1.5 cups sliced bamboo shoots, drained and sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 small onion, quartered and separated
  • 1 cup pineapple, cut into square chunks

Notes:

  • Coconut Milk: The recipe calls for a total of 27 ounces of coconut milk. I only used about 16 ounces. I like my curry a bit thicker rather than soupier. I also like it a bit more spicy. That’s why I omitted the extra coconut milk. It’s totally up to you how much you use, but know that less will still turn out!
  • Sugar: Some people feel the pineapple adds enough of a sugar taste, so when adding sugar add it slowly and taste before adding more. Stop adding when you hit your sweetness preference!

Preparations: as with all recipes, prep and separate all of your ingredients ahead of time!

  • Plate One: Curry paste
  • Plate Two: Meat of choice, in this case chicken.
  • Plate Three: The vegetables you will be using – onions and bell peppers.
  • Tabletop: Keep your seasonings readily available on the counter. For this recipe those are coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. Also keep the curry paste on hand in case you want to add more once it starts cooking.

Method:

  1. Add oil to pan, add curry paste and mix until curry paste is foaming slightly. Note: Foaming might not be noticeable. Just make sure the curry paste has cooked a little bit. This process opens it up and releases the flavors so you get a very rich dish.
  2. Add about 1 cup of coconut milk and chicken and let cook. When chicken is mostly cooked, add the rest of the coconut milk. Cook on medium for about three minutes. Note: This is where I omitted some milk. You can choose your consistency at this point by adding or subtracting milk.
  3. Add fish sauce, sugar, and bamboo shoots. Allow to cook for five minutes or so. Note: Taste the curry sauce and add more fish sauce and/or sugar if necessary. This is the time to do it before the other flavors are added.
  4. Mix in the red and green bell peppers and the onion. Cook until vegetables are slightly tender (to your liking).
  5. Turn off heat and add pineapples. Note: I kept the heat on when I added the pineapples to cook them slightly. This made sure they warmed all the way through and some of the pineapple taste was infused into the curry sauce.
  6. Plate with rice and enjoy!

Final Thoughts:

  • You can use any curry paste you would like. The best two choices would be a red paste or a yellow paste.
  • Watch your heat. Make sure that your pan does not get too hot or the coconut milk/curry paste mixture will start to burn.

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Categories: Blog Entry, Recipe

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