Tag Archives: shrimp paste

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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Pork and Beans, But Thai

This recipe was delicious, and would have been a lot less arduous if I hadn’t misunderstood the instructions. The ingredients:

  • Ground pork, 1 pound
  • Shrimp, peeled, 8 oz to 1 pound
  • Snake beans, 1 pound
  • Thai chili peppers, 6-10
  • Bell peppers, 1-2
  • Garlic, 16 cloves, minced
  • Shrimp paste, 2 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 6 tablespoons
  • Lime juice, 6 tablespoons
  • Brown sugar, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

These are snake beans, by the way. They taste more or less like green beans do; they’re just extraordinarily long. I found these at an asian market.

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Snake beans, before.

My misunderstanding was this: the instructions said that I should remove the beans from their pods. So I did so. But that’s not necessary with snake beans. Whoops.

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Snake beans, after.

These are the beans that resulted. But again, it would have been fine if I’d just used them like green beans.

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Snake beans, after.

The next step is to crush the garlic, shrimp paste, and chili peppers together, until they’re well-mashed. Using a mortar and pestle would be appropriate, here.

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Crushing things is fun.

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Crushed.

Next, add in the sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Let that stew for a while.

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Stewing.

In a pan, start to stir-fry the ground pork in some oil.

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Ground pork is ground.

Then start to add everything else. First, the bell peppers.

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With bell peppers.

Then the shrimp and the paste mixture. Cook until everything seems done to you, and enjoy.

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And all the rest. Enjoy!

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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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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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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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Red Curry Paste

Curry pastes – in particular, red and green curry pastes – are the basis of a lot of Thai cooking, so to make many of the meals in my beautiful Thai cookbook, I first had to make the curry pastes, which can be preserved for later in the refrigerator. First, the red paste – the ingredients are:

  • Onions (1/2 cup, chopped)
  • Garlic cloves (8 or so)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Shrimp paste (1 tsp)
  • Cumin (1/2 tsp)
  • Cilantro stems (1 tablespoon, chopped)
  • Lemon grass (2 tablespoons)
  • Dried red jalapeno chilies (10)
  • Galangal (4 thin slices)
  • Coconut oil (3 tablespoon)
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The ingredients.

Galangal – that ginger-looking thing on the right-hand side – wasn’t easy to find. I went to an Asian market, and even they had to fetch me one from the back room. The dried red chilies might also have been difficult to find, but we happened to have a bouquet of dried hot peppers in our kitchen, which included several jalapenos.

The next step is simple: you put everything (except the oil!) into a blender and process until it’s smooth.

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Adding the onion.

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Adding the garlic.

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Adding the peppers.

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Adding the galangal.

Galangal is easy to prepare – just use it like you would ginger (i.e. trim off the outer skin). For lemon grass, you also peel away the outer layers and – well, here, this link will help (if you need it).

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Adding the lemon grass.

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Adding the cilantro.

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Adding the cumin.

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Adding the shrimp paste.

Once everything is added, run the blender! Run it for a while, until everything runs together.

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Bzzzz.

Then take everything out and add it all to a skillet with the oil, and fry the paste on medium-high heat for five minutes or so. I fried mine for longer, because I found it was helpful to add a wee bit of water in the food processing stage – if you also add water to help the medicine go down/help the blades go round, you may also want to fry the paste for a little longer. But beware! With all those hot peppers, the aroma may leave you sniffling or sneezing.

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Frying.

Eventually you’ll end up with something like this, which you can bottle up (as I did) and put in the fridge.

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For later!

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