Asian Curry Surf 'n' Turf Chili | Wasabi Sour Cream
ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS about trying to come up with new recipes is that when I can't decide what I want to make, I can usually find a way to combine two ideas. I had such gumption last night twofold, as I was in the mood for something Asian, as well as something spicy and "homey". I was also in the frame of mind to celebrate the holiday eve with something extra special. "And so it came to pass that an East-meets-West Asian spiced chili was born, using both steak and shrimp!"

And a whole lot of other ingredients...!


I sautéed some of the sweet sausage with the sliced chuck steak in a big pot with some olive, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Then chopped scallions got tossed in, as well as soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, Madras and red curry.

I then threw in the seafood—large shrimp and Tilapia filets—and let that cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes before I throw in some strained tomatoes, sriracha sauce, chili oil, brown sugar, yellow mustard, fresh cilantro, scallions, and more salt and pepper. I turned the heat up just a little until it all starts to bubble, then turned the heat down to low, and let that chili cook slow over the next two hours, stirring about every fifteen minutes, often enough to just to keep the ingredients on the bottom of the pot from sticking/burning.

During the last fifteen minutes of chili cooking I started a regular pot of rice. After I got that going, I mixed half a jar of sour cream with a third of a jar of wasabi paste (available in the "international" aisle/section of your local supermarket), and put that in the fridge.

Once the rice was done, I turned off the heat to that as well as the chili, letting the rice to sit for a few minutes. I gave the chili one last stir and spooned a couple ladle-fuls of it into a bowl, forming a small divot in the middle. I "sushify" the rice by pour a few drops of rice vinegar over it and giving that a good stir throughout itself. I used an ice cream scooper to make a nice-sized rice ball and placed that into the chili divot.

I topped the rice with the wasabi mayo and the chili with some fresh cilantro and scallion greens, ...


...and filled a ramekin with some crispy noodles leftover from this dish. And although it wasn't really a holiday-themed meal by any traditional sense, it did kind of present itself, visually with its red and green, as something Christmas-related.



This being chili, you're supposed to just start mixing everything up, which is what I did after my umpteenth photo. I was very proud of the chili, nice and spicy, very aromatic, with some countering sweetness from the tomatoes and brown sugar. The heat came in all forms—temperature, flavor—and hit nice notes from the front of the tongue to the back of the throat and up through the nose, making me frequently blot the beads of sweat appearing like morning dew on my forehead.

Texturally, there was nice toothsome bites of steak and shrimp, which held their firm well, and pleasant notes of the ground pork and tilapia, the fish breaking into to small flakes yet permeating flavor throughout.

The rice was a great stage for this chili to play on, helping the creaming of the wasabi sour cream stick to the chili and making my mouth enjoy a little bit of everything in every bite. And the crispy noodles, resiliently crunchy and internally loud, allowed my teeth, gums, and jaw get into the fun as well

Asian Curry Surf 'n' Turf Chili

The great thing about chili is that you always have to make it in large batches, as I did. And, now I still have a whole bunch left over. Something to look forward to now, the following morning—this Christmas morning!—as I remember how chili improves over a couple of days in its chilled container.

And I'm offered the solace of knowing that, choosing to take it easy today, I can have this chili, reheated, for breakfast (with some eggs), for lunch, and/or for dinner. This chili will not only be a gift to myself that gets better over time, but that I can enjoying when I want. Again, the best of both worlds.

It's the gift that keeps giving. Just like you PHUDE fans and readers. I get to share something I love with people and people tell me how much they enjoy what I share with them. Today I am reminded how blessed I am...!

Merry Christmas, PHUDE-ies, and Bun Apple Tea!


Asian Curry Surf 'n' Turf Chili | Wasabi Sour Cream