Alice’s Asian Style Basil and Coconut Curry Chicken (or Shrimp) with Asparagus


Serves 4

TOTAL TIME:         Approximately  1 ½ hours. 

                 1 hour 10 minutes (prep); 20 minutes (cook).



·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

·         1/2 teaspoon cumin

·         1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

·         1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

·         1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·         1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

·         1/4 teaspoon turmeric

·         2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

·         1 large red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

·         5 cloves garlic, minced (Hint: I always keep minced garlic in the frig.  This equals about 2 tablespoons.)

·         2 small (or 1 large) jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced

·         1 14-oz can reduced fat coconut milk (Hint: I use trader Joe’s)

·         2 teaspoons cornstarch

·         1 ½ cups of frozen asparagus stalks, broken into 1 inch pieces

·         3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped

·         2 cups of hot cooked brown rice


1)       In a small bowl, mix together the salt, ground coriander, cumin, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground cardamom, black pepper, chipotle powder, and turmeric.  Set aside.

2)       Rinse chicken, pat dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Put the chicken into a bowl and sprinkle the spice mix over all the pieces. Stir the meat, so that all the pieces are well coated with the spices. 

3)       Place the chicken in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, to season the meat.

4)       De-stem and de-seed the jalapeños, then place them in a small food processor. 

5)       Peel and quarter the onion. Add the onions to the jalapeños in the small food processor and finely mince both.

6)       In a very large (non stick) skillet heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the minced onions and jalapeños and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for and 1-2 minutes more. (Items should be carmelized.)

7)       Add the chicken pieces to the pan, spreading them out on the pan so they are not crowded. Brown for a few minutes on each side. HINT:  The chicken pieces are cooked through when no pink remains.

8)       Add the coconut milk, minus a couple tablespoons, to the skillet.

9)       In a small bowl, mix the remaining coconut with the corn starch to dissolve the corn starch. Add the corn starch mixture back to the skillet with the coconut milk. Cook on medium heat and stir till thick and bubbly.

10)   Mix in the asparagus and basil. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes more to ensure the veggies have been cooked through.

11)   Serve over brown rice.


Note:  This recipe also works well with peeled and deveined shrimp, too.  Adjust (lower) cooking time accordingly.


Copyright 2012, Alice C. Dames,  All rights reserved.

This recipe cannot be published elsewhere without express permission.