For a lighter preparation of this colorful one-bowl meal, omit the coconut milk and increase the water to 3 3/4 cups (30 fl. oz./940 ml) for cooking the rice. Or, if you prefer more coconut flavor, add 1/2 tsp. coconut extract to the rice along with the coconut milk and water.
Thai Chicken Bowl with Green Beans, Eggplant and Coconut Rice
For the chicken:
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) soy sauce
- 2 Tbs. sesame oil
- 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 lb./1.25 kg total)
For the coconut rice:
- 2 cups (7 oz./220 g) jasmine rice
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) coconut milk
- Kosher salt
For the vegetables:
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) sesame oil
- 10 oz. (310 g) green beans, trimmed
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 Asian eggplant, cut into 3-inch (7.5-cm) strips
- 3-inch (7.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. Asian fish sauce (optional)
- 2 red chiles, sliced
- Thinly sliced green onions for garnish
- Lime wedges for serving
1. To make the chicken, in a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. While the chicken marinates, make the coconut rice. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the rice, coconut milk, 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) water and 1/4 tsp. salt and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, cover and set aside.
3. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade, and place on a baking sheet. Roast until the skin is caramelized, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into strips. Set aside.
4. To prepare the vegetables, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the sesame oil. Add the green beans in a single layer and cook without stirring until blistered, about 4 minutes. Flip the green beans and cook 4 minutes longer. Add the soy sauce and cook 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a plate and cover with foil.
5. Add the eggplant to the pan and cook, stirring often, until most of the oil has been absorbed, about 3 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is tender and the ginger and garlic are browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and fish sauce. Transfer the eggplant mixture to a separate plate and cover with foil. Add the chiles to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and tender, about 5 minutes.
6. Divide the rice among 4 bowls. Top with the chicken, eggplant mixture and green beans. Garnish with the chiles and green onions. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.
Find more fresh and satisfying recipes for meals that pack a lot of punch in a single bowl in our One Bowl Meals, by Brigit Binns.