8 slices galangal, peeled
1 1-inch piece fresh turmeric
4 shallots, rough chop
4 Thai bird or serrano chilies, rough chop with seeds*
1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, rough chop
1 1/2 tablespoons shrimp paste
3 to 4 tablespoons water
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 1/2 pounds of chicken legs and thighs, separated
10 ounces Chinese long beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
*Remove seeds if you prefer less heat.
1. Prepare the spice paste: In a blender or food processor combine the galangal, turmeric, shallots, chilies, lemongrass and shrimp paste. Puree, adding water, until a paste is formed.
2. In a large wok or stockpot over medium-high heat, add the spice paste and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the beans and continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Check for seasoning and add the sugar and salt to taste.
3. Serve over steamed jasmine rice, if desired.