“That doesn’t look like curry,” my friend said as I was showing off my latest dish. ”It’s too pale”.
“I can promise you….it’s fire on a plate. And it’s greener than it looks”
Thai food is one of my guilty pleasures. The only problem was that it was one of those cuisines that I never really imagined that I could make from scratch. It seemed like it would be too complex. Too hard for an amateur foodie like myself. Creating the paste would involve fish sauce, lemongrass, green chili, galangal, turmeric, cumin and a food processor. Not entirely difficult, but involved.
So, for months, I would make my weekly trip to my local thai restaurant downtown to feed my cravings.
Then when I was at the Asian grocery about a month ago, I saw what is likely what most of the thai restaurants down here used and how cheap it was. It was a far cry from the $20 a plate that I was paying at the restaurant. In fact, a several month supply of the paste would cost a little under $5. I decided to give it a whirl.
Thai food is now seen as hot cuisine but it hasn’t always been that way. It is actually a blend of cultures. East meets west. For instance,curry came from India, while stir frying was a Chinese import. Chilies were introduced to the culture in the 1600′s by Portuguese missionaries who developed a taste for them while in Brazil. Replacement ingredients is what makes Thai food unique; when indian food was introduced ghee was replaced by coconut milk and coconut oil.
The difference between green curry and red curry refers to the different chili that is made in the paste. Thai food that is considered hot came from the south of the country.
Alright. So are you ready to make green thai curry the easy way? Here’s what you will need…..
- Mae Ploy Green Curry Paste- Find it at your local asian grocery. There are no preservatives or msg in this and all the ingredients are readable (if you can pronounce them and now what they are, they are safe, in my book)
- Coconut Milk – Coconut milk is way cheaper at the asian grocery as well. Don’t get the “lite” version. Coconut milk may be high in saturated fat but it is good for you. The “lite” version is just more processed.
- Your Favorite vegetables- I like carrots and zuccini although I have had dishes that added broccoli as well.
- Protein (optional)- Shrimp or chicken work very well.
- A “smidgeon” of oil- I use olive oil but any oil will do.
Heat a little oil in a pan.
The box will tell you how much green curry paste to add but it is in grams. As you know, our metric system doesn’t work that way. I usually use 2-4 tablespoons of the curry paste for 2 cans of coconut milk. Add it to the hot oil and stir.
Add a can of coconut milk and heat. Stir. You will notice that the liquid should go from milk white to a greenish-white.
Add protein (if you are using protein.) Stir some more.
Add the second can of coconut milk. Heat to boil.
Add 1 can of water. Heat to boil.
Add vegetables and heat until the vegetables become soft but still crunchy.
That’s pretty much it. Cook time is about 10-15 minutes.
Serve with rice.
The recipe above will produce several servings of Thai Curry, by the way. If you want to just make one dinner for two, I would half the recipe.
Simple. Easy. Delicious. Quick. And Healthy. Bon appetit!