Serves 6 as a main dish
120g (1 cup) cashew nuts
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp shrimp paste (optional)
1-2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
2 tbsp turmeric powder
2 sticks of lemon grass, finely chopped
2cm (1”) chunk galangal (Thai ginger) or fresh ginger, finely chopped
For the main dish:
Approximately 6-8 tbsp coconut oil
500g minced chicken
2 tbsp palm sugar or honey
Approximately 300g French green beans
5 shallots, finely sliced
2 red onions, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1-2 Birdseye chillies, deseeded and chopped (leave out if you prefer less spicy heat)
Approximately 100g grated fresh coconut (or 60g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut if you can’t get fresh)
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
In a pestle and mortar, pound all the spice paste ingredients together until they form a rough paste. The paste can be made in advance and either frozen or kept in the fridge for up to a week. A quick alternative is to roughly chop the lemon grass and galangal (or ginger) and blend in a food processor.
In a large bowl mix together the spice paste, chicken mince and palm sugar until well combined.
Heat 2-3 tbsp of the coconut oil in the wok and stir fry the chicken mixture until cooked through. Set the chicken aside to cool, if necessary refrigerate until needed.
While the chicken is cooking, set a large pan of salted water on to boil. Wash and trim the green beans and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes, be careful not to over cook. Drain and rinse the beans under cold water until they are cold. Cut the beans into pieces, approximately 2cm (1”) in length, and set aside them aside.
When ready to eat, Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a wok over a high heat and fry the shallots until crispy, then transfer to absorbent paper to soak up the excess oil. Reheat the wok with a little more oil, if necessary, and stir fry the onions, garlic and chilli until soft. Now add in the cooked chicken and green beans and fry until heated through. Tip the hot chicken into a serving dish and scatter over the grated coconut. Lastly, create a dressing with the lime juice and fish sauce, pour over the dish and serve.