Friday, December 23, 2011

eight days of FRIED - day four: Thai green curry

Three days of really greasy deep fried and sugary food is not very nutritious. Tonight, I wanted to make something that was not as unhealthy. Last month, while visiting a friend, I had a chance to talk to some Thai ladies about the proper method for cooking curry. My friend's mother was kind enough to send me home with some fresh keffir lime leaves and her favorite brand of curry paste. She also told me about the important first step of separating the coconut milk and frying the paste in the rendered oil.
You can see in this picture the main ingredients of the curry. The brand of canned paste is Maesri. It was recommended that I not follow the directions on the can and to use double the coconut milk than used in the instructions. I used one can of paste and two cans of coconut milk. 

I always use coconut milk with no stabilizers. when you open the can, there will be thick white cream on top. before you start cooking, spoon out the cream. This is the first thing to go into the pan.
This is the uncooked cream. You need to heat it until the water evaporates and the solids and oil begin to separate.
You can see the difference in this picture. After the coconut oil is visibly rendered, you can fry the paste. The frying is very important for the flavors of the curry.
When the paste is fully cooked, add the rest of the coconut milk.

The curry will be liquid, it needs to boil before you can add meat and vegetables.
The curry can recommended using eggplant, which turned out to be a very nice color combination. I also added chicken, bamboo shoots, and baby corn.
Anyone who is experienced with Thai cooking can probably find a few mistakes in my process, but the end result is still delicious over jasmine rice. Cooking the curry myself will never be as good as my friend's mom, but it is better than a lot of restaurants.

Definitely worth trying, and frying, some time.

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