3.13.2011

Curry Me Green

Have I mentioned I like food? At home I cook as much as I can and I definitely miss that while I am abroad. I miss being able to just open the fridge and get out a snack, instead of having to go out and "forage" for food, to work for it. I miss having cheese at the ready and eating hunks of it out of the fridge without a cracker, whenever I want. I miss coffee, endless amounts of it with fresh milk.

However, even though there is no cheese here, there are so many other great foods in Asia! Below is a photo one of the great Thai foods, Green Curry with Chicken. I could eat this, and Pad Thai, every day. I found a great recipe here, where there are also many other great Thai recipes.

This Thai Green Curry Chicken recipe features chunks of tender chicken simmered in a homemade green curry sauce along with healthy vegetables (zucchini and red bell pepper). The result is a gourmet-style Thai green curry that is very aromatic and beautiful to serve (great for entertaining!). The key to good green curry is in not only using the right ingredients, but knowing when to add them. Because this curry is made the same as in Thailand (on your stovetop), I recommend using only smaller pieces or cuts of chicken, allowing for faster cooking and the freshest possible taste. ENJOY!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 2 to 3
Ingredients:
  • GREEN CURRY PASTE:
  • 4 small green Thai chilies, OR substitute 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 1/4 cup shallot OR purple onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, sliced thinly OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp. shrimp paste
  • 1 cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (can be purchased at some supermarkets, OR at Asian food stores)
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • CURRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (can be purchased frozen at most Asian food stores)
  • 2 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
  • 1 to 1.5 lbs. (about 0.7 kg) boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into chunks
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise several times, then cut into chunks
  • Generous handful of fresh basil
Preparation:
For lemongrass tips, see: Buying and Preparing Fresh Lemongrass.
  1. Place all the "green curry paste" ingredients together in a food processor, and process to a paste. If necessary, add a few Tbsp. of the coconut milk to help blend ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the lime leaves by tearing the leaf away from either side of the stem. Discard the central stem. Then, using scissors, cut leaves into thin strips. Set aside.
  3. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste.
  4. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (30 seconds to 1 minute), then add 3/4 of the coconut milk, reserving 2-3 Tbsp. per serving portion for later.
  5. Add the chicken, stirring to incorporate. When the curry sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium-low, until you get a nice simmer.
  6. Cover and allow to simmer 3-5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally.
  7. Add the red bell pepper and zucchini, plus the strips of lime leaf, stirring well to incorporate. Simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are softened but still firm and colorful.
  8. Do a taste-test for salt, adding 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce if not salty enough. If you'd prefer a sweeter curry, add a little more sugar. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. Note that this curry should be a balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour, plus bitter (the bitter is found in the fresh basil garnish).
  9. Serve this curry in bowls with rice served separately, allowing guests to add their own. Top each portion with fresh basil, then drizzle over 2-3 Tbsp. coconut milk, and ENJOY!

6 comments:

  1. Yum. I love curry so I am envious of the fact that you are currently in a part of the world where you can easily get your hands on great curry.

    I might make curry next weekend since it's a great dairy-free, gluten free option that is tasty!

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  2. YUM! I'm working through my Thai cookbook this year and will definitely have to try this curry recipe! Thanks for sharing!

    www.sixinthekitchen.blogspot.com

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  3. I love curry omg. Its so great and this recipe looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  4. I love curry! Looks good! Stopping by from FTLOB

    Frugally Green Mom

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  5. Hello found you on Tasty Tuesdays over at FTLOB! I don't think i've ever had curry! Hope you will check out our blog as well! We love to travel!

    -tiffanie

    http://jetsettingdivas.blogspot.com

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  6. My wife and I are huge pad tai lovers. We are just big ethnic food lovers period! We really like curry as well though so I'm going to try your recipe. Great site! I found it through FTLOB.

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Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!