Apr 24, 2015

Give It An Asian Flair - Creamy Coconut Chicken and Veggie Stew

The Indonesian lady taught my mom a simple coconut stew recipe. Basically you sear the shallots with some salt, add in the protein along with other veggies, and then finish the dish with some coconut milk. The seasonings used were pretty simple, mainly salt and perhaps a few dashes of fish sauce for extra flavor.

I adapted the concept and added a few more spices to give this creamy stew an aromatic kick. 

Creamy coconut chicken and veggie stew -


  • 1 big can/2 cups coconut milk (thicker kind)
  • 1 chicken thigh steak (skin on, deboned)
  • 1 Asian eggplant (the long and thin kind)
  • 1 small broccoli
  • 1/2 small cabbage
  • 1 big shallot
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground fennel seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Tiny pinch white pepper powder
  • Some homemade chili sauce (optional)


Cut the chicken into large bite size pieces. Discard the eggplant stem and slice the remaining diagonally, about 2 mm thickness. Break the broccoli into smaller pieces, remove the tough fibrous layer if any. Chop the cabbage into large pieces. Discard the chili stems and finely chop the remaining. Peel and slice the shallot. 

Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil to a big pot and turn to medium high heat. Once it heats up, add in the chicken pieces, skin side down. Sear till the skin turns slightly browned, flip to the other side and sear for 1 minute. Scoop out the chicken and set aside for later use.

No need to add more oil to the pot since the skin fat has been rendered. Add in chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon of salt. 

Cook till the shallot turns translucent then add in the chilies. Add 1 teaspoon of fish sauce first if the pot needs to be deglazed to help in scraping out the browned bits on the bottom.

Add in the broccoli and give it a quick stir, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cabbage over and cook till the leaves have been wilted down by half.

It actually works well that the tougher broccoli is lying on the bottom while waiting for the above cabbage to be cooked through. The broccoli gets more heat and better help in softened the texture. 

Add in 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice and mix a little. Add in the eggplant slices. 

Season with ground fennel seeds, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and white pepper. Mix well.

Add the chicken back to the pot then pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to keep the stew at a slight bubble. Cover with lid and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or till the veggies reach preferred texture.

Drizzle some homemade chili sauce if desired. Serve with steamed white rice or French bread. 

Other Asian stew recipes:


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  2. What a great chicken and vegetables all-in-one dish uplifted by the fragrance of coconut milk!