Green Thai Curry

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This recipe is one of my favourites, as it’s easy to make, flavourful and adaptable to different ingredients. I got it as a result of a “culinary friendship”, a relationship that developed because of a shared love of food. It is an adventurous dish if you are not used to exotic flavours or spice, but you can tone it down with less of the herbs and curry paste if you wish.

As posted, this recipe serves 2-4 people (2-3 for dinner on its own, 3-4 if you have served appies or other dishes, or will serve a rich dessert.)

2 tbsp / 30 mL grapeseed oil

1/2 – 1 packet Thai green curry paste  (**watch for how hot it is – if you have a “hot” one, try 1/4 packet for mild, 1/2 packet for more spicy, or more for blow-the-top-of-your-head-off; if it’s “mild” you can probably start with 1/2 packet. If you find it’s too hot, add more coconut milk than listed, to dilute the spice.)

1/2 lb / 250 g prawns (use 21-25 for a meaty dish) or the same amount boneless skinless chicken or pork, chopped

1/2 tsp / 7 g salt

3 tbsp / 45 g sugar

4 small garlic cloves, minced

zest of 1/2 lime

2 tbsp / 30 mL soy sauce

1-1/2 tbsp / 22 mL fish sauce

1 – 14 oz / 291 mL tin coconut milk

3 tbsp / 1 handful (1/4 bunch) fresh basil, chopped (** you can use Thai basil if it’s available; it has a more prominent licorice flavour than regular Genovese basil)

3 tbsp / 1 handful (1/4 bunch) fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup / 250 g broccoli crowns, chopped

1/4 red pepper, cut in julienne strips

1/2 cup / 125 g roasted unsalted peanuts 1 cup rice (** you can use Thai black rice – remember it takes longer to cook than white rice – or jasmine rice, a scented rice that has a delicate, slightly sweet flavour)

Prepare rice, so it’s ready with the curry.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok, at medium heat. Add curry paste and stir. Cook for 1 minute. Add garlic, sugar, and salt and cook for 1 more minute. Add shrimp and cook for about 10 minutes or until shrimp starts to caramelize. Add lime zest, soy sauce and fish sauce and cook till almost all liquid is evaporated. Add coconut milk and herbs and simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and simmer 5 minutes more. If sauce is not thick enough for your liking, add in a drizzle of cornstarch dissolved in cold water (about 1 tbsp cornstarch in 1 tsp water should do it). Toss in red pepper and stir to coat. Ensure sauce comes back to a boil, especially if you added cornstarch (this enables it to thicken).

Meanwhile, roast peanuts in a hot oven for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Serve curry over rice. Scatter some peanuts over top, or serve on the side at the table if you prefer.

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