Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Recipe: Thai Green Curry

Wow, I am so behind! It seems like a lifetime ago I made this curry. Have you ever seen a curry leaf? I have never seen one. I even trekked to the Asian food market a few weeks ago in search of them so I could try making curry from scratch, rather than using a dubious, unknown paste. But they had none, so dubious green paste it was! I will say, this turned out to be far and away the best curry I've ever made. The lemongrass really cinched it. It was my first time using lemongrass, and I'm really unfamiliar with it. It's pretty fibrous, so I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to eat it. Anyone know anything different? I ended up bruising it (breaking the stock with my fingers), and putting it in whole, and then I fished it out at the end. Unfortunately, it broke up during cooking, so fishing it out was kind of a pain. I think I need to find a better way.

I served this curry over brown rice I had cooked up with some of the first dashi I had left over from my miso soup, and also added some chicken I had cut into pieces, tossed in egg wash and corn starch, and then pan fried. I had got it into my head that 5 pounds of chicken was a good amount for Husband and I for the whole week. What can I say? I was tired of Husband gobbling up all the food before the week was done. I then got it in my head that I would cut, coat, and fry all 5 pounds of chicken, and split it between the curry and an orange chicken dish I also made. It took, I kid you not, hours. At one point I was on the verge of tears because it was getting so late and all I had accomplished was frying a few pounds of chicken, with a few pounds still left to go! I will never do it again, in such mass quantity anyway. It actually turned out delicious. But it was definitely one of my more bone-head moves. Time management is not my strong suit by any means!

It's worth noting that green curry paste is rather spicy, however the flavor does mellow a bit. When Husband and I tried the curry while it was cooking, I held off on adding more curry paste because we both agreed it was pretty darn spicy (a little too much for me), but the next day the flavors had married and the heat had dissipated (just a little bit). I still found it had a kick, but it was not longer a kick in the face. You might want to keep that in mind when deciding whether to add more curry paste to the dish. Husband was a little disappointed, but he still liked the dish either way.

Really this recipe could be modified for a super-easy weeknight meal. Keep the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass, but for the rest of the veggies, you could always just use a frozen medley. They are already cooked, so there's a much shorter cook time. Just throw everything in the pan, add the coconut milk and curry paste and simmer for a few minutes. For some protein, you could pan-sear some tofu and throw that in. Just don't forget the lime and basil and the end. They really brighten the dish! For me, it's all about the water chestnuts. I love them (so moist and crunchy!), but for some reason never cook with them. Oh ho ho, is that going to change.

Thai Green Curry

makes about 8 servings

1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
10 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 stock lemongrass, bruised (break the stocks between your fingers)
2 TB ginger, minced or grated
1 cup frozen peas
1 can water chestnuts
1 can coconut milk
1 TB green curry paste
juice from 1 lime
1 handful basil leaves (preferably Thai basil), cut into ribbons
salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the carrot, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, ginger, and lemongrass, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and water chestnuts.
  2. Add the coconut milk and curry paste, and stir to incorporate. Add more or less curry paste to taste, it's quite spicy, so go slow. Simmer mixture for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit.
  3. Stir in lime juice and basil. I served mine over brown rice with some diced chicken.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really testy green curry. i want to green curry