Thursday, May 8, 2008

Homemade Green Curry Paste

Homemade curry paste is so much better that the pre-fab stuff like Thai Kitchen. Not to diss Thai Kitchen, but, like everything, making something yourself always means it tastes better.

- 1 tsp coriander
- 10 whole anise seeds
- 1 tbsp whole white peppercorns
- heaping spoonful of peanut butter (optional)
- peel and juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro stems
- 2 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped ginger
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 8 romaine lettuce leaves, chopped

1. Crush anise seeds and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle. Mix with coriander and set aside.
2. Put peanut butter, lime peel and juice, cilantro, lemon grass, ginger, garlic, onion, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add spice mixture and romaine leaves and process again until smooth. Remove from processor and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

The dish pictured above is a variation of the green curry tofu I made before. You can use more soy than I have listed here if you want, I just find that it takes away from the lovely green colour of the dish.

- Half of the curry paste above (about 1 cup)
- 1.5 to 2 cans coconut milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- salt to taste
- 1 pkg tofu, diced and prepared however you like
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 2 cup frozen green beans

1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry curry paste for 5 mins, until fragrant and most of the water has evaporated. Add 1 can of coconut milk and bring to bubbling. Cook for 15 mins, stirring occasionally.
2. The curry sauce has a bit of texture from the lemon grass. If you want a smoother sauce, strain and add back to pan. Add sugar, soy, and season to taste. Add tofu and cook for 5 mins. Add more coconut milk if sauce is too thick.
3. Add corn and beans and bring to bubbling. Add enough coconut milk to get the consistency you like. Serve over rice.

I also made Thai Corn Fritters. I used hoisin sauce instead of mushroom soy sauce--it made for a lighter colour and a more photogenic fritter.