When he was 16 years old, Austin Szu realized that his calling was culinary. After receiving his BA in Business Administration from UC Riverside, he went on to attend culinary school in Pasadena. Along the way, Szu did stints on the 2004 World Pastry Team Championship in Las Vegas; at Mirabeau French Bistro in Dana Point; Zov's Cafe in Tustin; Scott's Seafood Grill in Costa Mesa; and Westside Tavern.
Now the native Angelo is out on his own. Szu started his catering company — Austio's Catering — in 2006, where he makes meals for anywhere from 10 to 100 people. So we asked him for a recipe. Turn the page for Szu's coconut curry with chicken and pork belly.
Coconut Curry with Chicken and Pork Belly
From: Austin Szu of Austio's Catering
Makes: 4 servings
1 pound dark meat chicken, boneless and skinless
1/2 pound sliced pork belly
5 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, julienne or diced
1 green bell pepper, julienne or diced
1 small or 1/2 medium yellow onion, julienne or diced
3 Tablespoons curry powder
1 cup bamboo shoots
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup pineapple
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a dry pan on high heat and, in a single layer, brown the pork belly on both sides and drain it on a paper towel. Set aside. Using the fat from the pork belly, brown the chicken on both sides, set aside.
2. In a medium or large pot on high heat, sweat the onions and bell peppers. Add the curry powder and quickly stir and saute until the vegetables are well coated with the curry powder. Do not let sit too long as curry powder can burn.
3. Add the coconut milk and broth, stirring until the curry powder is dissolved. Turn down heat to medium and simmer. Add the basil leaves and stir until wilted. Cut the pineapple into 1-inch pieces and add. Slice the pork belly into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the curry. Simmer 20-30 minutes. Dice the chicken and add to the curry. Simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice.