This one is for when you really fancy something with a thai curry vibe but without the calories and fat of coconut milk which is very high in both of these things but particularly saturated fat (shame!). The recipe is an adaptation of a mango chicken recipe I saw the wonderful Mary Berry making on TV a while back, a dish which was flavoured with peppadew peppers (a store cupboard favourite) and chinese five spice. Here I’ve gone for more thai flavours; fish sauce, red curry paste and lime juice. Chicken makes an excellent low fat starting point and the recipe also includes low fat yogurt and nutritious, fresh mango and pepper. Both the pepper and the mango are excellent sources of Vitamin C and beta-carotene but are most definitely not indigenous to the UK in February and will have been imported from somewhere far away and sunny. Food miles is a complex issue but my take on it is that reducing the overall mileage of your shopping basket is almost certainly a better plan than trying to become fully local then giving up in frustration. It would be great to only buy local, seasonal produce but for the moment in the winter months I’m happy with buying the odd imported ingredient, particularly when it is something very nutritious (or fairtrade chocolate). You can find out about stockists of fairtrade certified mangoes and chocolate on the Fairtrade Foundation Website.
We ate our chicken with boiled rice and edamame because I was keen to try out the new frozen edamame which have recently become available in the shops here. I had forgotten from my many visits to Wagamama that edamame have much more of a nutty taste than their fresh green exterior seems to hint at; I think if it was making this again I would go for something with a cleaner, springier taste (sugar snap peas perhaps, or even frozen peas for convenience). The sauce is surprisingly rich tasting given how low fat it is so something crunchy and fresh on the side would go pleasantly well.
I imagine that this sauce would go well with salmon, though I must admit that I haven’t tried this out myself yet. If you want to give it a go I would suggest that you cook it slightly differently to stop the fish falling apart into flakes. How about making the sauce as outlined below but including the honey/palm sugar, then pouring the sauce over the raw cubed fish and heating the two together under the grill in a heatproof dish until the fish is cooked?
Recipe for Quick Thai Mango Chicken
As always with thai curry paste recipes you’ll need to adjust depending on how fiesty your paste is and how fiery you like your food. For most pastes half a teaspoon should give you a relatively mild starting point from which you can add more to taste.
2 small chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, and seasoned with black pepper
2 tbsp natural low-fat yogurt
Half a ripe mango, diced
1 red or yellow pepper, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp mango chutney
0.5 tsp thai fish sauce
2 tsp lime juice
0.5 tbsp palm sugar (or honey)
0.5 tsp thai red curry paste
2 tsp mild flavoured oil (such as vegetable oil, groundnut oil or a mild olive oil)
This is an exceptionally quick recipe once you have gathered your ingredients and done the chopping so if you are having rice with it put your rice on as soon as you have all your ingredients prepped.
Put aside about one third of the diced mango and one third of the sliced pepper to sprinkle over the finished dish.
Combine the yogurt, mango chutney, thai fish sauce, lime juice, red curry paste and remaining mango in a mini food processor and blitz until smooth (a hand blend would work – don’t worry if there are some lumps left).
Heat the oil in a small frying pan and add the chicken strips. Fry for three minutes then add the palm sugar and chopped peppers. Continue to fry until the chicken is cooked; with thin strips this will only be a few minutes more. The chicken will go a darker colour than normal because of the sugar. Pour the blended sauce over the cooked chicken and peppers and heat through.
Serve with boiled rice and a crispy vegetable, sprinkling the remaining uncooked mango and chopped pepper over just before you eat.