If you haven’t had it before, I know it sounds strange to mix peanut butter with savory ingredients like ginger, garlic, and lemongrass. The addition of peanut butter to traditional Asian ingredients creates magical flavor. If you haven’t tried it, you should start with this recipe. The peanut butter takes a back seat among the other strong flavors but lends a rich, creamy, complexity to the sauce for this dish.
The sauce for this dish starts with the amazing combo of lemongrass, shallot, ginger and garlic. If you like spicy food, chopped fresno chile pepper and red pepper flakes add heat, but you can leave those out if spicy isn’t your thing. The body of the sauce is made with peanut butter, coconut milk, chicken stock or chicken powder, soy sauce, fish sauce, a touch of sugar, and lime juice.
Cubed, pan seared chicken pieces as well as sliced red bell pepper and onion are added to the delicious sauce and it is served over white rice with cilantro and scallions. I absolutely love this dish. It hits all the sweet, sour, salty, creamy notes you want in an ideal bite. It makes great leftovers too if you have any left.
Thai Peanut Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts cubed
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 2 inch piece of lemongrass or 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
- 1 red fresno chile thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper optional
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter not natural kind
- 1 can coconut milk
- 3/4 cup chicken stock or 3/4 tsp chicken powder + 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 limes juiced
- rice for serving
- chopped roasted peanuts for serving
- thinly sliced scallions for serving
- cilantro for serving
- lime wedges for serving
- Cut the chicken into cubes and toss with the cornstarch and some salt. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium. When it is hot, add the chicken and cook until well browned and mostly cooked through. Move to a plate.
- Add the shallots and red peppers and cook over medium high until starting to char a bit. Stir and cook for a few minutes to soften and caramelize.
- Add the lemongrass piece or paste to the skillet along with the fresno, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper.
- Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, chicken stock and chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Stir in the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Serve over rice with the toppings scattered on top.