Thai green curry
Great Thai green curry starts with great green curry paste. Once you've made that the rest is easy.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Thai green curry paste
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorn
- 1/4 cup lemongrass - tender inside bits only
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup shallots - coarsely chopped (about 1 large shallot)
- 1 tbsp galangal - sliced
- 1 tsp lime zest
- 2 tbsp cilantro roots
- 3 jalapenos - seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp shrimp paste
- 2 thai birds eye chilies - more or less depending on how hot you like your curry
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil - to help it puree
- 1 tsp salt - you will salt your final curry
thai green curry
- 2 14 oz cans coconut milk - extra thick milk separated
- 8 thai eggplants - quartered
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 sprigs thai basil
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs - cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tbsp brown sugar - or more to taste
Make the green curry paste
Warm a small skillet over medium low heat. Add the coriander seed and peppercorns. Toast, stirring constantly until they just start to get aromatic. This takes about a minute.
Add the cumin seed and toast until everything smells great. This takes another 30 seconds or so.
Let cool. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
Combine the remaining ingredients (except the bird's eye chilies) in a small blender or food processor. This isn't a lot of stuff so either double the recipe and reserve half or use a small blender. You will need to add some or all the vegetable oil to get it to puree.
Note that this is best done in a small food processor. And it is real work. You will need to scrape down the bowl a few times to get it. Takes a few minutes. But it's way easier than using a mortar and pestle.
Taste the paste. If you can take the heat add a chopped bird's eye chili. Puree. Taste again. If you don't think it's crazy hot add another one. Keep going until you think it's crazy hot. Don't worry. The coconut milk tames everything. Crazy hot at this point should be just right for your tastes in the final curry.
Make the Thai green curry
Grab a wok or a large skillet. Add the thick coconut milk (the stuff floating on the top of the can) and bring to a lively simmer. Let it go until the cream starts to break. You will see oil separating. This oil is what you will fry the curry paste in.
This doesn't always work. At least it doesn't always work for me. I think it has to do with how thick the coconut cream is. Sometimes it's almost solid. Other times its more like whipping cream. It's not a big deal in this recipe because there is already some oil in the paste. I usually give up after 6 or 7 minutes. If it hasn't split by that point give up.
Once you see the oil or give up add the curry paste and stir to combine. Cook, stirring, until the paste loses it's pungent raw smell. It will smell mostly of the shallots at first. You are done when that smell is gone. This takes about 5 minutes.
Mix in the chicken and cook until the chicken is coloured. Add the remaining coconut milk. Simmer 5 minutes.
Add the quartered Thai eggplant, kaffir lime leaf and fish sauce. Cook until the chicken is done, another 15 minutes or so.
Add the basil and cook one minute more. Taste for salt. You may need a little more. You may not. Up to you.
Serve garnished as you like. Fried shallots, more chilies, basil garnish and lime all work.
Tender lemongrass means the inside. Peel back a layer. Try cutting it with a sharp knife. If the knife goes through easily you are OK. Work your way down the stalk from the large end. At some point you will feel more resistance. The sound will change. Stop there.
It's important to stick with the tender part only. If you add the tough fibrous stuff you will be spitting out little bits of lemongrass. Nobody wants that...
Serving: 4servings | Calories: 758kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 57g | Saturated Fat: 47g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1463mg | Potassium: 1885mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 47.2mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 9.7mg