I joked on the Fat Dude Facebook page recently about how I thought green curry paste only came in jars from Trader Joe’s. But the fact that this recipe calls for making Thai green curry paste from scratch reminded me of how far I’ve come in the kitchen.
I used to rely on boxed items as side dishes and pre-marinated meats for the grill or the oven. Now, I freaking make curry paste, and dishes using ingredients I’ve never even heard of before (Thai eggplant, wut?!).
For the first meal of Week 27, Chef Brian serves up a plate of vibrant Asian comfort cooking. Here’s Week 27, Meal 1: Shrimp green curry.
The Recipe (Yield: 2 servings)
1 thai chile or 1 serrano chile, seeded, thai chile for spicy, serrano for more mild (not seeded for even more heat)
1/2 t cumin
1 t coriander
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 c basil, packed
1/2 c mint, packed
1/2 c cilantro, packed
1 pinch turmeric
1 t ginger or galangal, grated or minced (galangal is thai ginger)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 stalk lemongrass, outer parts removed, inside tender white part sliced
1 lime, juiced
2 t fish sauce
1 shallot, chopped
1 can light coconut milk
4-5 oz. sliced bamboo (canned)
2 small thai eggplant, medium diced
8 oz. shrimp, 16-20 size or similar, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked according to package directions
In a food processor or Magic Bullet, combine 1 Thai or serrano chile, 1/2 t of cumin, 1 t of coriander, 1/2 t of black pepper, 1/2 c of basil, 1/2 c of mint, 1/2 c of cilantro, 1 pinch of turmeric, 1 t of ginger or galangal, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 stalk of lemongrass, the juice of 1 lime, 2 t of fish sauce and 1 shallot (whew!). Blend until a smooth paste is achieved.
If you have a trouble getting the paste started, throw a little water in the mixer.
In a medium or large pot, heat 1 can of coconut milk and about 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the green curry paste until the liquid in the pot is flavored to your liking (I used it all). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When you achieve the flavor you like with the curry, reduce the heat to a simmer and add 4-5 oz. of sliced bamboo and 2 Thai eggplants, diced medium. Cook until the eggplant is tender (best to check by taste).
Add 8 oz. of shrimp and let it cook in the curry until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Time your rice accordingly. To cook, rinse 1/2 cup of brown rice and combine in a rice cooker with 1 cup of water or chicken stock or half and half (not the creamer, H20 and stock, lol). I’d tell you how to cook it on the stove, but I fail at it every time, hence the reason I bought the rice cooker.
To plate: Split the rice between two bowls and top with a share of the curry.
I know we’re talking Thai curry, not Indian curry, but I’m more familiar with the second, so I was very surprised at how fresh and un-Indian-curry like this dish actually was. The plump shrimp added a splash of briny ocean to the sweet and spicy liquid and the flavors so many herbs cleansed the palate with each clean, delectable bite.
The sauce was a bit tedious but overall, it was not a lot of work for a whole lot of flavor. One blender, one pot … my kind of dish!