Serves 3 or 4
The tangy taste of this chicken dish comes for the fresh lime juice and the fresh ginger and garlic. To soften its spiciness, reduce the number of green chilies. This recipe is adapted from one in Naomi Duguid's "Burma: Rivers of Flavor" (Artisan, 2012).
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
About 1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 to 5 green cayenne chilies, each slit lengthwise several times
1 pound boneless chicken, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, rinsed
1 cup water
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup minced scallion greens or cilantro leaves (optional)
If you have a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and ginger together to a paste with a pinch of salt. If not, smash with the blade of a knife.
Heat the oil in a heavy pot or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic-ginger paste and cook, stirring frequently, for several minutes until softened.
Add the chilies and cook a minute longer, then raise the heat to high. Add the chicken pieces and cook, turning and stirring to expose all surfaces to the hot oil, about 4 minutes.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt and stir, and then lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice.
Sprinkle on scallion greens or cilantro, if using. Serve hot or at room temperature with new potatoes or rice.