Preparation / Directions:
Thinly cut chicken into 2-inch strips. (If doing vegetable version, cut vegetables into thin strips.) Grind together red chili peppers, lemon grass, and kaffir lime leaves in a food processor or pound in a mortar. Heat oil to medium-high and saute pepper mixture for 3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and cook for 2 minutes. Add chicken (or vegetables) and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked (same time for veggies). Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in fish sauce (if using), salt, and basil. Serve on a bed of chopped cabbage.
Note: For mixed vegetables, choose from among bell peppers, string beans, water chestnuts, tomatoes (small cherry tomatoes are best), bamboo shoots, miniature corn, asparagus, cucumbers, zucchini, Japanese eggplant, and mushrooms. I particularly like string beans or asparagus, a few cherry tomatoes, shredded (rather than sliced) bamboo shoots, miniature corn, and some straw mushrooms or slender (Japanese) eggplant.