Thai green curry
Thai green curry is delicious. Its creamy coconut flavor is cut with fresh herbs and spices from the curry, with a good chunk of meat and vegetables to round out the meal. I tried my hand at making it after being won at a local mom-and-pop Thai restaurant.
One of the most pertinent ingredients is the Thai green curry paste. It consists of a blend of herbs and spices that make the curry pop; just a tablespoon or two is enough to flavor an entire curry dish. I bought the Thai Kitchen brand, which is pretty expensive, at $4 per jar at Whole Foods. I’m sure the canned curry paste in Asian supermarkets that are $2 each are equally good, but being a newbie, I didn’t want to chance buying the wrong curry, especially since I couldn’t read the ingredient label. And speaking of ingredient labels, the Thai Kitchen brand includes green chili, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, salt, shallot, spices, and kaffir lime. No funky stuff. I dig.
Thai coconut milk curries can include fish, chicken, beef, or pork. Since I had chicken breasts conveniently sitting in my fridge, I chose chicken. The trick to keeping it tender is to slice against the grain, and to keep the pieces relatively thick. That way, even after being cooked for 10 minutes, it will still retain some moisture in the thick slices, as well as respond favorably when being chewed, as the meat threads are kept short and easily torn apart.
The vegetable that most green curries include is eggplant. I bought two small small Japanese eggplants to accommodate the chicken in the curry, and thought the flavor profile and size were appropriate for the dish made.
1 can coconut milk (NOT light)
2 Tbsp green curry paste
1 lb chicken
1/2 lb Asian eggplant
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar worth of sweetener (I used evaporated cane sugar)
1 cup basil
1. Heat 2/3 of the coconut milk and reduce until the cream separates from the liquid.
2. Add curry paste and incorporate and cook until fragrant. Add rest of the coconut milk and bring to boil.
3. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces, making sure not to cut too thinly. Add to the curry, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cut eggplant into 1.5-inch rounds, or 1-inch half-rounds. Add to curry when it is finished cooking the chicken and simmer another 3 minutes.
5. Add lime zest, fish sauce, and sugar to curry and stir to incorporate. Continue cooking until eggplant is fully cooked.
6. Stir in basil leaves and turn off stove. Cover for a few minutes, and serve immediately.