Tag Archives: shallot

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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Gai Pad Bai Gaprow

This is my favorite Thai takeout dish, so why not try to make it myself? Well, it’s been a long journey, hamstrung by a lack of certain ingredients, but I finally managed. Those ingredients, by the way, are:

  • Chicken, minced, 2 pounds
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Mushrooms, 1-2 cartons
  • Onions, 1-2
  • Jalapeno peppers, 3-12 (depending on how hot you want it!)
  • Hot basil leaves, 2 cups
  • Sugar, 4 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Oil
  • Canned green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons
  • Shallots, 8, minced
  • Garlic, 12 cloves, minced
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The ingredients.

The first one you may have trouble locating is canned green peppercorns. I had to go to an Asian market to obtain mine.

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Peppercorns.

But the other was harder still – hot basil, otherwise known as holy basil, or tulsi. I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I ultimately bought some seeds and grew my own. Which, you know, took a while, but the results were delicious.

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Happy hot basil.

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The prunings.

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, the first step is to blend. Some recipes alternately call for mashing with a mortar and pestle, but I decided to blend instead. Blend what, you ask? The shallots, the hot peppers, the garlic, and the peppercorns.

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Pre-blend.

When you do you’ll get a paste like this:

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Post-blend.

Add that paste to your wok, after you’ve heated some oil.

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In the wok.

After you’ve warmed the paste for a minute or so, add in the chicken, sugar, and fish sauce.

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Adding the chicken.

Heat until the chicken is cooked.

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Chicken, cooked.

Then add in the veggies you’ve prepared.

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Veggies!

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Veggies!

When they’ve cooked down to your desired level of tenderness, add the basil leaves.

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So, so delicious.

Finally, serve over rice – with a fried egg on top, if you wish.

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Still not as good as takeout – but yummy nonetheless.

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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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Burmese Chicken Curry

I pronounce this recipe: good. The ingredients:

  • Chicken, 3 pounds of breasts or thighs
  • Shallots, 8, thinly sliced
  • Tomatoes, 4, cut into wedges
  • Mushrooms, 8-16 oz, sliced
  • Water, 6 cups
  • Milk, 1 cup
  • Fish sauce, 1/3 cup
  • Butter, 4 tablespoons
  • Sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • Yellow curry powder, 2 tablespoons
  • Red curry paste, 2 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

The first step: cutting up the chicken. You should cut yours exactly like I cut mine. Exactly.

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Exactly.

Next, saute the shallot slices in 3/4 of the butter.

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In the pan.

Cook until they’re golden brown, and then set aside.

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Cooked.

Then add the rest of the butter to the pan, , and stir in the curry paste and the curry poweder. Cook for about two minutes, or until the next resignation from the Trump Administration, whichever comes first.

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More stuff in the pan. Does it never end?

Then add the chicken and cook for five more minutes, on high heat.

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Now the chicken goes in, too.

This may be a good time to prep the other ingredients: your tomato and mushroom slices.

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Mushrooms and tomatoes and bears, oh my!

Next, add in everything else. Wait! With on exception: not the shallots. Discriminate against them for a while.

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Discriminate.

Heat to boiling and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the dish looks exactly like this. Exactly.

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Nearly done.

Then eat over rice and sprinkle the shallots on top.

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This is the part where you eat it.

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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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Green Curry Paste

Next, the green curry paste. The ingredients are slightly different:

  • Fresh jalapeno peppers (10)
  • Fresh Thai chili peppers (5 green)
  • Shrimp paste (1 tsp)
  • Cumin (1 tsp)
  • Garlic cloves (8)
  • Galangal (5 thin slices)
  • Lemon grass, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Shallots, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • Cilantro stems (chopped, 1/2 cup)
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The ingredients.

Once again, this recipe is mostly about blending stuff together – even more so, since we won’t fry this paste at the end. So basically: add everything together and blend it until it’s smooth.

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Adding the jalapenos.

Thai chili peppers are some of my favorite hot peppers. They’re pretty easy to find at an Indian or Asian grocery; they’re much smaller than jalapenos but pack a wallop of heat.

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Adding the Thai chilis.

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Adding the cilantro.

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Adding the garlic.

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Adding the shallots.

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Adding the lemongrass.

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Adding the galangal.

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Adding the rest.

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Blend until smooth, and then you’re done!

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