Food - Drink
Khua Kling Gai: Southern Thailand's Dry Chicken Curry
By TALIN VARTANIAN
Khua kling gài is a Thai dry curry made of meat and Thai chiles stir-fried together, resulting in a spicy, well-balanced, and fresh entree that pairs well with rice, Thai omelets, Panang curries, and vegetables. The dish is popular in southern Thailand and can be made using any kind of meat, though chicken is most common.
Besides meat, fresh Thai chile peppers, and southern Thai curry paste, other ingredients often included in khua kling gài are vegetable oil, sugar, fish sauce, lemongrass, and makrut lime leaves. The fish sauce and sugar make this dish well-balanced, since fish sauce is fishy, umami, and salty, combining well with sweet sugar.
The fresh and herbal flavors of khua kling gài come from lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, and chiles. Thai chili peppers are hotter than cayenne and jalapeño peppers, but the dish also gets some spice from the curry paste, made from dried Thai chiles, fresh red Thai chiles, Thai shrimp paste, and other spices and seasonings.
To make this curry, mince boneless, skinless chicken thighs and slice the makrut lime leaves, lemongrass, and fresh Thai chile peppers. Add the curry paste to a hot wok with vegetable oil, cook and mix for 30 seconds, add the chicken and cook through, then finish it off with sugar and fish sauce, lemongrass, lime leaves, and chilis.