Tag Archives: thai basil

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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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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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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Red Curry Chicken

As we speak (as it were) I’m eating this, and it’s delicious. The ingredients are:

  • Chicken, 2 lbs
  • Red Curry Paste, 4 tablespoons
  • Coconut Milk, 2 cans
  • Mushrooms, one carton, sliced
  • Thai Eggplant, 4-5, cut into wedges
  • Thai Basil, one bunch
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves, 5 “double” leaves
  • Fish sauce, 1/2 cup
  • Sugar, 6 tablespoons
  • Bamboo Shoots, one can
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The ingredients.

You may remember that we made the red curry paste before; follow the link to find out how. And as for the rest, a few of the ingredients are harder to come by.

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Thai basil.

Thai basil adds an “herbal-licorice” flavor that’s different than the traditional Italian sweet basil. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find it at your local grocer, or if not, at a specialty Asian market, as I did.

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Kaffir lime leaves.

Kaffir lime leaves also add a distinctive flavor, but they’re tough to eat – so you may want to set them aside as you eat a dish like this one. And, again, they can be harder to come by. I’ve found one Asian market in the DC area that carries them; you can also order them on Amazon. I keep my spare leaves in the freezer for future use.

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Thai eggplant.

Finally, Thai eggplant obviously differ from the large purple eggplant you normally find at the grocery store. They’re much smaller and themselves can come in different varieties. Again, I found these at an Asian supermarket.

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Coconut milk and curry paste.

Once you have all the ingredients, making the recipe itself is incredibly simple. First, heat the curry paste and a can of coconut milk until boiling.

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Adding the chicken.

Then add the chicken, and cook until the chicken is nearly done.

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Adding the veggies.

Then add the veggies – the bamboo, mushrooms, and eggplant – as well as the sugar and fish sauce.

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Adding the leaves.

Finally, when the veggies are cooked to your desired level of tenderness, add in the Kaffir lime leaves and the basil, as well as the last can of coconut milk. Mix it all together, bring to a boil again, and then you’re done. Enjoy!

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Curried Shrimp

This dish was tasty. The ingredients were:

  • Shrimp, 1 pound (can be salad shrimp; they needn’t be large)
  • Onion, 1, sliced
  • Red and Green Bell Pepper, 1 each, sliced
  • Thai basil, 1 bag
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Sugar, 3 tablespoons
  • Fish sauce, 4 tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons
  • Curry powder, 4 tablespoons
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The ingredients.

This was so easy to make. In fact, you may spend the most time simply preparing the ingredients. Like so, with the peppers and onions:

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Sliced.

Thai basil isn’t like regular basil. Substituting the latter for the former doesn’t really work. But if you have an Asian market nearby, you can look for fresh Thai basil there. It looks like this:

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Thai basil.

As far as the cooking goes, start with the shrimp and garlic in the oil, and saute for a minute or two. You want the shrimp heated up, but remember: it’s already been cooked (it likely says so on the bag). Cooking it for too long will turn it to mush.

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Start with the shrimp and garlic.

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Adding the sugar, dish sauce, oyster sauce.

Then, add everything else.

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Adding the veggies.

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Adding the curry powder.

Cook until the veggies are crunchy or soft enough for your taste, and you’re done.

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Eat it!

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