I’ve been promising to write down my recipe for a friend, for months, shame on me that it’s taken so long. The main problem was that I tend to make the paste according to my experience and by eye. It’s how I do lots of my cooking. Once I’ve made a dish successfully a couple of times, I’m off on my own, often off-piste.
So having gone back and checked my recipe books like the great David Thompson – Thai Food for a more precise recipe, I see that I actually follow them, with the odd omission or addition here and there.
We can’t get hold of some of the fresh ingredients very easily here, so I tend to buy them when I see them (thank goodness for Brighton and London) and pop them in the freezer, like Lime leaves, Galangal and Lemongrass.
If you can’t get hold of fresh lime leaves the best substitute is the peel of a lime, chopped very finely, and ginger can be substituted for Galangal. I add lots of fresh coriander to my green curry paste, and none of the recipe books include this, they tend to use some coriander and cumin seeds instead. But I like the taste of fresh coriander, besides it helps it go “green”.
Once I’ve made my paste, I often add a few extras when the dish is in the making, like a teaspoon of vegetable boullion, or a dash of all purpose Thai Boy sauce or a few drops of soy sauce. These aren’t traditional, but they are more in line compared to a friend of mine who is known to add a small glass of white wine to his sauce!
The amount I’m giving here is enough for 2 / 3 separate batches of paste, I split some off and put it in the freezer.
The final word about this recipe goes to the chillies; green curry is meant to be hot, to reduce the heat don’t add the membrane or seeds from the chillies and if all else fails, add some sugar to the curry and this will reduce the heat. But I like it Thai style, with a real KICK !
Thai Green Curry Paste Ingredients ~
I peel and then roughly chop all the the paste ingredients before I put them in the blender.
- 1 bunch of coriander (leaves and stalks)
- 1 piece of galangal or ginger (approx 2 inches)
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves
- 3 to 4 green chillies
- 2 – 3 lemongrass stalks
- 3 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 shallots or 1/2 an onion
- 12 peppercorns (white or black)
- 1 tbls of fish sauce or 1 tsp of fish paste (optional for pure veggies)To make the paste
To make the paste ~
- Put all the ingredients into a blender with approx 4 tbls of water (you may need more), and blend until you have a fine and smooth paste.
Thai Green Curry Ingredients ~
The beauty of a green curry is that you can pretty much use whatever vegetables, fish or meat you have available. I vary mine depending on what is fresh or what looks good.
- 1/2 can of coconut milk, I add more water when the curry is cooking, or you can add the whole can.
- 3 or 4 waxy potatoes chopped into small pieces
- A handful or French green beans, cut into halves
- 1 courgette cut into big chunks
- Any vegetables you want cut into chunks, like mushrooms
- Prawns or Tofu
To make the curry ~
- In a large saucepan or wok, cook the curry paste on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until all the water has evaporated from the mix.
- Add the coconut milk and stir well
- Add the potatoes, and cook covered for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are nearly cooked
- Add the green beans, courgettes and prawns or tofu
- Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Check for seasonings, does it need a bit of salt, a dash of fish sauce?
- If the curry is too spicy, add a teaspoon of sugar
Serve with plain rice.
Gardening Notes ~
I used the last of the Ratte and Belle De Fontanay potatoes, some Safari dwarf French green beans, a Cavili courgette and some Thai Hot Chillies from the freezer.
One of my missions for next year is to try and successfully grow some galangal, I’ve never been able to get it to root. I also need to start growing my own lemongrass again, it’s fairly easy, but I need to remember to bring the pot indoors at the first signs of frost, unlike previous years where I’ve been completely neglectful! And somehow I never seem to be able to grow enough fresh coriander, I’m not sure what the answer to that is right now though.
The photos were all taken a while back on a trip we made to Thailand, and I stop and pause every time I look at them, we were there when the Tsunami hit, fortunately for us we had just left the coast and were in Bangkok. But it makes my heart stop momentarily every time I look at these photos, and I know we were 2 of the lucky ones.