Tag Archives: lemon grass

Green Curry with Chicken

This one was an awful lot of work – but it was good! The ingredients were:

For the custom-made Green Curry Paste:

  • Cumin, 2 teaspoons
  • Garlic, 16 cloves
  • Galangal, 2 tablespoons, sliced
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks, chopped
  • Shrimp paste, 2 teaspoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cilantro root, 1 cup
  • Thai chili peppers, 10
  • Jalapeno, 3
  • Shallot, 1

And for the rest:

  • Chicken, 2 pounds, cubed
  • Thai eggplant, 2 cups, quartered
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 12
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
  • Coconut cream, 1 can
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The ingredients.

More exotic ingredients! If you’re a longtime blog reader, as many are, you may remember this post, in which I purchased an entire case of kaffir limes, just to harvest the skin.

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Blending.

A bit of that skin is a key ingredient in the green curry you’re supposed to make. As is a cup – an entire cup! – of chopped cilantro root. When I started this Thai cookbook project, I looked everywhere I could for cilantro root. I couldn’t find it anywhere locally, and while I found a small vial of dried and powdered cilantro root online, it wasn’t that cheap. A cup of it would cost me a small fortune. So instead I spent this summer growing more cilantro than I had any right to. Of course I tried to make use of the tops whenever I could, but the real prize were the roots, which I cleaned, chopped, and froze for later use.

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Blending.

Blend all the green curry ingredients together, and it looks like this.

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Coconut-ing.

Add that to the coconut milk, and turn on the heat.

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Stuff.

Put the meat in there, and cook until the meat is ready.

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Hot stuff.

Oh, add the eggplant too. Cook until that’s to your desired level of tenderness.

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Good stuff.

Add the rest – the coconut cream, the basil, the kaffir lime leaves. Cook for another couple of minutes, then enjoy.

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Chiang Mai Curry

This was just…okay. I didn’t really like the taste of it myself, but your tastes may differ. The ingredients are:

  • Beef, 2 pounds, cut into slices
  • Bell peppers, 2-3
  • Mushrooms, 1 carton
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-4
  • Shallots, 4
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Curry powder, 4 tablespoons
  • Shrimp paste, 2 teaspoons
  • Lemon grass, 1/2 cup, minced
  • Ginger, minced, 2 tablespoons
  • Palm sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Yellow bean sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Tamarind juice, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 2 cans
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The ingredients.

Again, you may find that some of those ingredients are hard to find. I picked up the yellow bean sauce and the palm sugar at an Asian market.

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Some rare items.

I also picked up the tamarind at the Asian market.

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Tamarind pulp.

But as you may have noticed, it’s not juice. Turning that tamarind into juice requires some heat, as well as some water. This guide will, erm, guide you.

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Making the juice.

Meanwhile, you can slice the beef…

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Slicing the beef.

…and then simmer the beef for about 30 minutes, covered with the coconut milk, in a large covered pot.

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Coconut-ing the beef.

Blend everything else together – yes, even the tamarind juice – into a fine paste.

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To be blended.

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Blent.

Once the beef has simmered for half an hour, add the blended paste to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes. This may also be the point where you add the veggies.

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The pot with the stuff.

Once everything is to your desired level of tenderness, the dish is done!

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Voila.

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Spicy Catfish

My note for this recipe is one word: “yummy.” The ingredients are:

  • Catfish, 2 lbs
  • Thai Eggplant, 1-2 cups, cut into wedges
  • Thai basil leaves, 1 cup or so
  • Lemon grass, 4 stalks
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Lesser Ginger, 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
  • Oil
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The ingredients.

I have to say, I looked at the local Asian markets and couldn’t find fresh lesser ginger. So I bought it dried, online.

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Lesser ginger.

When you get it dried, you should soak it before you cook with it. I soaked it for half an hour or so, but I’d actually recommend 2-3 times as long.

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Soaking.

The cooking instructions are so simple, that you may find (like I did) that your first step should simply be to prepare the ingredients. This is the eggplant, basil, lemongrass.

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Prepped.

Oh, and garlic.

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Pre-mince.

Remember when I said the cooking instructions were simple? Well, they are. Heat the oil in a skillet, then add the catfish.

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The catfish.

And then, you know, everything else.

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In the skillet.

Cook until the catfish is done, and then the meal is done.

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Done.

We ate ours over rice!

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Yum!

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Beef Curry in Peanut Sauce

This one turned out pretty well. The ingredients are:

  • Beef (obviously), 2 pounds
  • Peanuts, unsalted and ground, 6 oz
  • Chilies, 4 sliced
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Tomatoes, several, chunked
  • Coconut milk, 2-3 cans
  • Red curry paste, 6 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Palm sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Thai basil, to taste
  • Lemon grass, 2 stalks, minced
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The ingredients.

The first step is simple: add the red curry paste to a can of coconut milk in your wok, and warm until boiling.

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The first step.

Then add a few more items: the fish sauce, the palm sugar, and the lemongrass.

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The next step.

Next, the beef – although you may want to slice it first.

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The step after that.

You can add the ground peanuts at this stage, too (I used a spice grinder to grind them, but if you want to use a spice buffer or a spice elevator, that’s your prerogative).

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Adding the ground peanuts.

Then the tomatoes, chilies, and Kaffir lime leaves.

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Adding more stuff.

Cook for just a while longer, and then it’s done. It should look something like this:

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If your dish doesn’t look exactly like this, it’s not done.

And this, over rice:

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It was yummy!

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Lemon Grass Pork Chops

These were so yummy. The ingredients:

  • Pork chops, about 4 or so
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Lemon grass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Scallion, 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Sesame oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Whiskey, 1 tablespoon
  • Coconut milk, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step is to make the marinade, which combines all the ingredients except the pork (although, ultimately as you can guess, the pork goes in as well).

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The marinade.

Yup, you guessed it: then add the pork.

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Marinading.

Marinade for at leats 10 minutes, and then grill – perhaps for about 8 minutes on each side, although your experience may differ.

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Grilling.

And then it’s done and – believe me – delicious.

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These were great. Have I said that enough?

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Surat Baked Chicken

Catchphrase: “It’s just okay.” With that enthusiastic endorsement, the ingredients are:

  • Chicken, whole
  • Red curry paste, 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic, 3 cloves, minced
  • White pepper, 1/4 teaspoon, ground
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut milk, 3 tablespoons
  • lemongrass, chopped, 2 tablespoons
  • whiskey, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The good news is that it’s fairly easy to make. First, mix everything except the chicken – this is your marinade.

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Pre-marinade.

Then, put the chicken in the marinade, and leave it. I know it may be tempting to cuddle that poor, headless chicken carcass, but don’t – just leave it alone to marinate on how it arrived at such a pass.

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Marinading.

Once it’s done marinating (for 15 minutes or so), bake for an hour, or until done (which in our case was longer) at 325 degrees. Then, it’s done – and you may find that the drippings add an immense amount of flavor. Feel free to eat with rice.

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This chicken is done.

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Jungle Catfish Curry

This dish was good, but not exceptional. Be forewarned. The ingredients:

  • Catfish, 1.5 pounds, cut into cubes or 1-inch slices
  • Thai eggplant, 1 cup
  • Jalapeno pepper, sliced, 1/4 cup
  • Thai basil, 1/2 cup
  • Kaffir lime leaves, 10
  • Fish sauce, 1/4 cup
  • Water, 3 cups

And for the paste:

  • Shallots, 8
  • Garlic, 6 cloves
  • Jalapeno peppers, 4-6
  • Canned peppercorns, 1 teaspoon
  • Shrimp paste, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Lesser ginger, 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Lemongrass, 2 tablespoons, chopped
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The ingredients.

Some of the ingredients are a little unusual, or hard to find. The Thai eggplants I found at an asian market.

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Thai eggplants. They’re like American eggplants, but different.

The lesser ginger I couldn’t find fresh, and so I had to order it dried, and online. When you use it, be sure to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes beforehand.

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The lesser ginger.

Finally, I found the canned peppercorns at an asian market, as well. They look like this:

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Canned peppercorns.

Blend together all the ingredients for the paste, until it looks something like this:

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The paste.

Then add the paste to a pan with some oil and fry for about a minute. Then, add in the fish, vegetables, kaffir lime leaves, water, and fish sauce.

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Into the pot it goes.

While they’re cooking, you can prepare some of the remaining ingredients: the jalapeno and thai basil.

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Slicing and washing.

Once everything else is cooked down to your satisfaction, add in the basil and jalapeno, and dinner is served!

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Enjoy.

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Seafood with Lemongrass

Oh my, this was delicious. Delicious!!! The ingredients:

  • Shrimp, shelled, about 8 oz
  • Scallops, about 8 oz
  • Fish fillets, about 8 oz
  • Mussels, about 8 oz
  • Bamboo shoots, 1 can
  • Mushrooms, 8 oz
  • Green bell pepper, sliced
  • Thai basil, 2/3 cup
  • Lemongrass, copped, about 2 stalks’ worth
  • Sugar, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk, 1 can
  • Green curry paste, 1/2 cup
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The ingredients.

First, you’ll want to prep the ingredients. I used fresh mussels, but you don’t have to. But if you do, you may want to wash them, and possibly debeard them.

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Mussel prep.

The other seafood is easier to prepare.

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Seafood prep.

Put the seafood in the pan, along with some oil, and saute on high heat for 2 minutes or so.

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Seafood in the pan.

This should be enough time for you to cut and slice the mushrooms and peppers.

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Veggie prep.

Then add them to the pan as well, along with all the other ingredients.

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Veggies in the pan.

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Along with everything else.

Cook until everything is done and the vegetables are at your desired texture. Enjoy! This dish is amazing.

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Seriously: yum.

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Panang Curry Paste

You’ll find a few recipes for panang curry paste online, but this one is derived from the Thai cooking book I’m working through. It calls for:

  • Onions, 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Garlic, 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Galangal, 2 tablespoons, chopped
  • Lemon grass, 1/4 cop, chopped
  • Jalapeno peppers, 4 ounces, dried
  • Shrimp paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder, 1/4 cup
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The ingredients.

This recipe is pretty simple: combine everything and blend into a paste. Done. I didn’t use as much dried jalapeno as it called for; I sed about 2 oz. Even so, bear in mind as you blend it that it’s rather dry.

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The garlic.

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To be blended.

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Blent.

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Massaman Curry Paste

Before you make a Massaman Curry in the Thai book I’m working through, you need to make a constituent ingredient – the paste. And that requires quite a few ingredients, some of them esoteric. They are:

  • Jalapeno peppers, 4, dehydrated
  • Onions, 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Garlic, 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Lemon grass, 1 tablespoon, chopped
  • Shallots, 2
  • Galangal, 2 thin slices
  • Star anise powder, 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin, 1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
  • Cilantro, dried, 2 tablespoons
  • Kaffir lime skin, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil, 5 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

For instance, the recipe called for star anise powder. I didn’t happen to have any powder handy, but I do have the star anise. So it was a simple matter of using our spice grinder to create the powder we needed.

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Unground.

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Ground.

Similarly, with the cilantro. I didn’t have any already dried, so I dried some myself, like so:

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You wash it…

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Put it in a pan lined with parchment paper…

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…And some indeterminate time later, voila!

Galangal can also be hard to get. It’s a ginger-like root that I’ve only ever found in Asian markets. The last time I got any, I got a lot, and froze the excess. Some I froze as slices – seen here – and the rest as shredded galangal. As for the jalapenos, I tried drying some myself – both in the oven and in the open air. But that didn’t work so well, so I had to order these from Amazon.

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Galangal and jalapenos.

The Kaffir lime zest was the hardest to acquire. Normal lime zest simply won’t do; the Kaffir limes have an entirely different flavor, as does their zest. They’re one of the flavors that make certain Thai dishes – and Thai pastes, like this one – taste the way they do. But no matter where I looked, no one carries Kaffir limes – not even the Asian markets I’ve visited.

Fortunately, I found a grower in California that will ship you a box of fresh Kaffir limes – if the season is right. I ordered mine in December, and now that it’s January, I see that they’re still available. This is their 5-pound box:

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The box the limes came in.

Preparing the limes was an involved process – I had five pounds, after all. First, I washed them. Then, I zested with a microplane. Finally, it made no sense to throw away the lime juice, so I squeezed them all and froze the juice – enough for two complete batches of carnitas.

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About a third of the limes I got.

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The zesting process.

I froze the zest as well, to retrieve and use later, as required.

With all that prelude out of the way, making the paste was relatively straightforward. You prepare the onions and garlic, like so:

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Onions & garlic.

Then you melt the oil (I used coconut, but you don’t have to).

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The oil-melting process.

Add the onions, garlic, and dried jalapeno, and fry until golden brown.

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Fry until…

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…golden brown.

Then add everything – first the other ingredients, and the stuff you just fried – into a blender, and blend, blend, blend. Once you do, then you’re done, and you can put it in a jar and put that in your fridge or freezer, as you like.

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Blending.

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Blended.

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