Photo by Jun Pang
Lets not forget about the vegos hey!!
it seems that there are more vegos out there in the world. I don’t know why and hey, it’s not a bad way of eating, it’s just that the world doesn’t really accommodate for them as easily as we would expect. I’m not a vego but I can sympathize for them though. So many times I’ve been out at a restaurant and the choices for vegos are very limited. I like to change that as much as I can in the restaurant, I mean why wouldn’t you do it, there’s so many fresh indgredients grown from the ground that it would be sacrilege not to use them.
If you’re not vego, turn this into a chicken Thai green curry by adding a little gupi or Thai shrimp paste into the curry paste. Use chicken stock instead of water for that added flavour and season with fish sauce instead of salt. With these flavours, you cannot get any closer to the original thing.
There is nothing like making curries, it is by far my favourite thing to cook. The thing that gets me all the time is the balancing act in all the layers of flavours that are in the curry like salty, sweet and hot. This alone is a skill in its self. The right amount of palm sugar versus the right amount of fish sauce and cut with enough lime for acidity. It really was how I learnt to look for, balance and describe flavours I am tasting.
The paste can be frozen so you can make double the paste and you can freeze half for later use. The green comes from the all the green ingredients like green chillies and coriander roots. The oils will turn bright green when you saute the paste, this is a good indication that the paste is ready for the addition of the other ingredients.
Vegetarian Thai Green Curry with Coconut and Pandan Jasmine rice
For the Curry
4 Brown Onions – peeled and quartered
2 Bulbs of Garlic – peeled
60gr Galangal – outer husks removed
60gr Ginger – outer husks removed
¼ Cup Green Scud Chillies – use large green chillies for alternative
1 bunch Coriander with roots – roots washed – leaves reserved
2 Bunches Lemon Grass – outer husks and tops removed
2 Tblspn Ground Coriander
4 Lime Leaves
4 Tins Coconut Milk – refrigerated overnight
60gr Palm Sugar
1 Eggplant – cut into 2cm cubes
1 small Packet Mung Bean Sprouts
1 Packet Oyster Mushrooms – ripped into smaller pieces
1 Bunch Bok Choy – quartered
1 Packet Fried Puffy Tofu – halved
1 Packet Golf ball Eggplant – halved
1 Packet Pea Eggplant – strip off the stalks
For the Rice
1 Cup of Jasmine Rice
1 Pandan Leaf
1 tin Coconut Milk
¼ Cup of Boiling Water
For the Curry
- Heat up a large pot, enough about 8 litres or bigger on medium/high heat
- Make a curry paste using onions, garlic, galangal, ginger, green chillies, roots of the coriander and one bunch of lemon grass. Either grind or use a food processor to make a smooth paste.
- Add oil to the pot and allow to heat up.
- Split the coconut milk by refrigerating it over night. Place the thick coconut cream into the hot pot and reserve the thin milky residue
- Add the paste to the pot and sauté the paste.
- Cook the paste continually stirring so it does not stick on high heat. The paste will start out pungent and light in colour, this will take about 15-20 minutes.
- When it turns “sweeter” in aroma and a little darker, stir through the coriander seeds then add 2 litres of water.
- Reduce the “stock” with the remaining lemon grass (slightly bashed to release the oils) and lime leaves.
- When reduced by half, add the coconut milk 9reserved from the tins) and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Season with palm sugar, salt and fresh limes if needed. Use fish sauce instead of salt if you want it non vegetarian
- Add all the different types of eggplant and cook for ten minutes
- Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for a further ten minutes
For the Rice
- Place the rice in medium sized pot with a lid
- Wash the rice with cold water and continue to wash until the water no longer turns white
- Tie the pandan leaf in a knot
- Place all ingredients into the pot and cook on low heat for 16 minutes with out lifting the lid.
Photo by Jun Pang
Gupi – Thai shrimp paste. Very punget, fermented shrimps used in many Thai dishes. This shrimp paste is a lot more potent in flavour and aroma than any other Asian fermented shrimp paste. It is also a lot less solid and more soluble.
Fish Sauce – There are many type of fish sauce out there. If you are going to make this non vegetarian, add fish sauce that is from Thailand, it is a little less salty and a lot rounder than others. The best brand is Golden Boy Brand.