We have been doing a lot of bowls lately. Seems to always work and we have been able to accomplish three things: 1) make a lot of people happy 2) pretend we are eating ethnically and 3) dumping crap out of our fridge so nothing goes to waste.
This one has a few parts to it, and they all honestly seem to matter and certainly add a lot to the finished product.
I like the name “Thai” here even though “Southeast Asian” may be a smidge more accurate. Definitely kid-friendly.
Thai Peanut Bowls
1 cup rice (or you can use farro, barley, quinoa) – prep the way the package says and set aside
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup each or whatever you want of the following (honestly any veg you want to get rid of in the fridge works here): shredded kale, shredded purple cabbage, thinly sliced cucumbers, parsley, bean sprouts, peeled and grated carrots, etc.
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
Spicy Peanut Sauce
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (don’t get hung up on this, use the peanut butter you have around)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
2-3 T water
To make the spicy peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, sambal oelek and 2-3 tablespoons water in a small bowl; set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, sambal oelek, brown sugar and lime juice; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, cornstarch and fish sauce, tossing to coat and letting the chicken absorb the cornstarch.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, shallot and ginger, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock mixture until slightly thickened, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Divide rice/farro/quinoa/barley into bowls. Top with chicken, whatever veg you are using, cilantro and peanuts.
Serve with spicy peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce, additional sambal oelek, sriracha, and maybe some limes.