On our recent trip to Seattle, the Husband and I found a hard time finding somewhere to get something to eat past 10 PM. It was a vast difference from when we lived in Thailand and we could find food at 2 or 3 AM from a street vendor selling noodles or meat skewers and sticky rice. Meat skewers and sticky rice quickly became one of my favorite snacks while living abroad. I am often reminded of my time in Thailand and miss it terribly but I can relive my memories through the food I cook.
I decided to make some marinated grilled chicken skewers with some sticky rice for dinner. Though it takes a little prep, it is a very simple and delicious dish to make. Not to mention, the marinade options are almost endless.
What you will need:
4 chicken thighs, remove the skin and bone and cut into 1/2 inch strips
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 inch knob of ginger, grated
3 caps of shaoxing rice wine
1 T dark soy sauce
2 T light soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T brown sugar
3 T sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Cilantro and green onions for garnish
Sticky Rice (see below for recipe)
What you will do:
1. In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the marinade: garlic, ginger, shaoxing rice wine, dark and light soy, rice vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar and sriracha. Mix well and set aside.
2. Cut chicken thighs into 1/2 inch pieces, trimming any excess fat, and add to marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours but overnight is best.
3. After chicken has been bathing in the marinade, thread onto skewers and set aside. If you are grilling inside, warm up your grill pan over high heat. If you are grilling over charcoal, you should be getting your coals warm. Depending on the thickness of your skewers you will want to grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through (chicken is recommended to be 165 F).
4. Transfer cooked skewers to serving tray and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions and serve with sticky rice.
Before moving to Thailand, I thought sticky rice was just steamed rice that stuck together, you know the opposite of Uncle Ben’s. Now, I know much better. Sticky rice, or Khao Neow, is a sweet glutinous rice that is soaked and steamed in a bamboo steamer basket. In Thailand, I would go to the local dalaat (outdoor market) to get my rice but here I like the Three Ladies brand for my jasmine or sticky rice.
To make sticky rice:
1. Soak sweet glutinous rice in a bowl for at least 20 minutes or over night. Drain rice and add to basket (see below), fill pot with about 3 inches of water, bring to the boil, add basket, cover and steam for 20 minutes or until rice becomes sticky and translucent.
TIP: I like to use cheese cloth to line my basket when cooking sticky rice. It helps with easy cleanup.
TIP: For those who may not know, when grilling outside be sure to soak your skewers for about 20 minutes so they don’t burn over the grill. When doing inside there is no need to soak them.
I honestly do not know what to call the pot you use to steam the sticky rice but its shape holds the basket perfectly. For the most part you can find the pot and baskets at most Asian/ethnic supermarkets. Just soak the basket in water before you use for the first time.
Since I can’t return to Thailand for the delicious street food anytime soon, I will settle for the next best thing…making the food myself and remembering those warm tropical days and nights eating truly authentic Thai food for less than 1 USD.
Cheers and happy eating!
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