Thai Basil Chicken

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Why are fat people fat?

The finger has pointed at sugar, carbs, fat, high-fructose corn syrup, metabolic rate, genes, not having breakfast, having a heavy dinner, having a late dinner, some virus (!), fast food, packaged food, soft drinks, portion sizes, depression, boredom, childhood obesity, hormones, mixing with other fat people, lack of information, lack of education, lack of exercise, lack of will power, etc, etc.

Anything and everything under the sun that can be blamed has been.

The most bizarre reason cited for obesity, I think, is poverty. Poor people can't afford foods which are not fattening and hence, they have to eat foods which make them fat. To me, this argument is utter rubbish. It's not difficult to eat well and eat cheaply. Fruits and vegetables can be dirt cheap. It depends on which ones you go for. So are chicken and pork, especially if you buy frozen. Eggs cost next to nothing. A piece of beef tenderloin may be expensive, but certainly not minced beef.

Good, nutritious ingredients are much cheaper than the fast, convenient crap that poor people get fat on.

So why don't they go for the healthier and cheaper option?

This is where the fat-and-poor brigade wheel out their second argument. They say they have to work all the time – they're poor, remember? – so they have no time to cook. Never mind that poor people in the past cooked all the time.

Modern, "economically disadvantaged" folks are too busy to turn ingredients into something edible. Again, utter rubbish.

The recipe I'm sharing today, Thai Basil Chicken, takes three minutes to prep and cook. THREE MINUTES! Queuing at a burger joint or hawker centre takes longer than three minutes around meal time! Hang on, just getting there takes longer than three minutes! I would have cooked, eaten and washed up whilst the poverty stricken, oh-so-busy fat slob is still waiting for his greasy grub.

Eaten with rice, Thai Basil Chicken isn't a balanced meal but neither is a cheeseburger or chicken rice. It's cheaper though, besides having a lot less fat, and no chemical additives or msg. And it's lip smacking good, or aroy mak mak in Thai.

To turn the three-minute job into a balanced meal, all that's needed is some veggies. Which would take another five minutes, blanched or stir fried. A cheap, healthy, balanced meal in eight minutes. How often do you get served in eight minutes when you eat out?

(Recipe for 4 persons)

1½ tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, peel and mince
4 chilli padis, rinse and chop roughly
350 g coarsely minced chicken legs
4 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp dark soya sauce
50 g Thai holy (krapow) or sweet (horapa) basil, rinsed

Make sure windows in your kitchen are open! Heat wok till very hot. Add oil and heat till almost smoking. Add garlic and chillies. Stir till garlic is lightly golden over high heat. Add chicken. Stir till colour changes and chicken is cooked. Add fish sauce and dark soya sauce. Mix well and stir till fish sauce is fragrant. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Add basil leaves. Stir till leaves are wilted. Turn off heat. Plate and serve.

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