Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thai-Style Chili

This Asian-influenced chili is a mashup of a bean-based chili con carne married with the flavors of Thai-style Tom Kha Gai, the popular coconut and lime flavored soup (for another riff on Tom Kha Gai, see Tom Khaliflower Soup).

There are no tomatoes in this dish, but there's still plenty of flavor from the garlic, ginger, lime and fish sauce (an ingredient which should not be omitted and that does not result in giving the soup a fishy taste). A little peanut butter adds some nice depth in place of the smoky ingredients I'd normally put in chili.

Thai-Style Chili

1 lb. ground pork
1 sweet onion, diced
3-4 carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of ginger root peeled and minced)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
2 15 oz. cans of cannellini beans
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. fish sauce
Juice from 2 limes
Fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, about 1/2 cup

1. Heat a large Dutch oven or deep-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add pork and cook until browned. Remove from pan and drain off fat, leaving about a tablespoon. Add onion and carrots and sauté until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and jalapeño, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant, about 3 more minutes.

2. Add beans, coconut milk, peanut butter, chicken broth and fish sauce to pot. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Service in bowls topped with chopped cilantro.


  1. Yum! I can testify to the fact that the fish sauce doesn't give this soup fishy flavors.

  2. Wow this looks good !

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