Cooking without the equipment, Jeju, South Korea
No oven? No worries. Sweet and spicy chicken pineapple curry could be just the ticket
Story and photos by Breeana Hill
What’s for dinner? It’s a question that we ask ourselves every night. However, when you are in a new country with new surroundings, it can be a little more difficult to answer! Finding certain spices and ingredients can be a chore which will often at times turn people away from cooking. No one wants to go to a million different stores or markets trying to hunt down a specific ingredient just to make dinner.
When I first arrived on Jeju and saw that I had no oven and only a two-burner gas stove, I thought to myself, “Oh no!” I knew that I would need to start expanding my recipe collection to include meals that can be made in one skillet or in my toaster oven.
I have decided to share my sweet and spicy chicken pineapple curry recipe this month as an introduction to simple and tasty meals. This is a recipe in which all of the ingredients can be found in one place. (I bought all of them at Home Plus in Seogwipo.) While you might have to shell out some more cash for the spices (approximately 4,000 won/bottle), they are worth having on hand because they are common spices that many recipes use. I also try to use fresh produce such as onions, garlic and ginger. I find that the freshness gives the dish more flavor and complexity. The coconut milk is what gives the curry its sweetness. Adding more or less of the chili sauce will control the heat factor the curry has. For those of you looking to kick it up a notch, simply add fresh chilies to your curry. One last note: curry always tastes better after it has set for a while. So, you might be surprised at how yummy it is the day after you make it. Good luck and good cooking!
Sweet & Spicy Chicken Pineapple Curry
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 inches of fresh ginger root, minced
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 package of mild curry powder mix
3 tablespoons of chili sauce or chili powder
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 cup of water
1 cup of coconut milk
1 can of stewed or chopped tomatoes
2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1-1 1/2 cups of fresh pineapple cut into chunks
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion. Sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add in the garlic and ginger, and cook them for 1 minute.
Add in the stewed tomatoes. Wait 2 minutes, and then add the curry powder mix and 1/2 cup of water. Stir it together, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. It should be a thick paste.
Pour the skillet mixture into a blender. Add the other 1/2 cup of water. Blend it on high. Return the mixture to the skillet on medium-low heat. Add in the chicken and pineapple. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Finish the dish with coconut milk. This can be completely stirred in or swirled for a more artsy look.
*Note you can substitute other meats and add vegetables for a chunkier curry. Also curry tends to taste better the next day, so enjoy your leftovers!