Saturday was gloomy which actually was a good day to work in the garden, more so had it rained. While they predicted it would for a couple of hours in the morning, it didn’t materialize but under the shade of the clouds it was a good time to chill in the garden and later do the much needed weeding and clearing the overgrown Rose of Sharon.
In between I spent my breaks taking photos of the vegetables and harvested a huge zucchini. In my FB page I captioned that it would go to a zucchini pasta and one thing led to another. Friends came over for dinner to enjoy the harvest.
To augment the pasta I also cooked the above Thai dish. Instead of using ground pork or chicken I used two king fish steaks from the freezer utilizing the holy Thai basil from the garden. I have planted them from seeds and it is amazing to see a very fine dot grow into this lush herb.
I’ve always wanted to explore Thai recipes using their extensive array of greens but there are so many that I am overwhelmed. I am not very familiar with their numerous variety of basil and didn’t know for what dish to use them.
But one day I saw an easy recipe featured at The Wall Street Journal. It was for Gkai Pad Gkaprow or Spicy Basil Chicken. It looked easy and simple enough to recreate and it calls for holy basil.
That’s how I got the idea of growing them. While researching I found that the recipe is very versatile, that one could use ground pork, chicken or fish. The inspiration was a Basil Salmon but I had two large king fish steaks in the freezer.
2 lbs. of fish fillet, cut into cubes
2-3 tbs. peanut oil for stir-frying
10-12 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 medium size onion or 2-3 shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 tbsp. black soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbs. fish sauce or to taste
1 cup fresh holy basil
Dash of ground pepper
Prepare the ingredients as instructed.
Heat a wok until its surface is smoking hot. Swirl in the oil to coat the wok then add the garlic and before it turns brown add the shallots (or onions).
Once shallots are wilted and caramelized, add the fish and stir gently for 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and oyster sauce, followed by the sugar. Season with fish sauce but at this point, it might not be necessary. Once the fish is cooked, add the basil and stir until it is wilted. Add a dash of ground pepper, preferably white pepper before serving.
I like this dish. It is very tasty. I think next time I will add kaffir lime leaves but they are hard to find here in the Midwest so I will just use shredded lime rind.
If you want it spicy, which actually was how it is cooked in Thailand, add hot peppers.
I can’t wait to try this with ground pork or with fish again.
For the pasta dish, I used this recipe here. We don’t have chicken sausage so I used ham.
365 Project: Day 201