"Walking the streets of Jakarta, I came across a stall with a cook behind a wok who looked around 12 years old, but was working the wok like a pro – so I just had to try his cooking. He whipped up a dish within minutes with wonderful sweet aromas of chilli wafting through the streets. I was very impressed with his skills and the simplicity of his dish." Luke Nguyen, Luke Nguyen's Street Food Asia
- 3 red Asian shallots, diced
- 300 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 5 tbsp chilli paste with soya bean oil (see Note)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- pinch of salt
- 100 g snake beans, cut into 5 cm lengths, blanched
- 1 long fresh red chilli, sliced
- 2 long dried red chillies, soaked in water for 10 minutes, sliced into 2 cm lengths
- 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
- 2 coriander sprigs
- steamed jasmine rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium heat. Sauté the garlic and red shallot for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, then add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the chilli paste, soy sauce and salt and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Add the snake beans, sliced fresh and dried chili and spring onion, then stir-fry for another minute. Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed jasmine rice.
• Chilli paste in soya bean oil is readily available in jars from Asian markets. I prefer the Pantai brand.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok.