Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Vegetables

Last night, I made my very first Thai green curry. I used:

* 3 TB of Mae Ploy green curry paste (bought at World Market)
* 1 13.5 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
* about 3/4 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into small pieces)
* 1 bell pepper (sliced)
* 1 bundle of asparagus (cut into pieces about 2 inches long)
* 2 carrots (sliced)
* 1 Chinese eggplant (cubed)
* 1 half white onion, sliced
* a handful of Shitake mushrooms (de-stemmed)
* 2 TB fish sauce
* 1 ts brown sugar

I loosely followed the advice of various Thai green curry with chicken recipes I found on the interweb. It went something like this:

Pour half the can of coconut milk into the pan, bring to a boil. Add green curry paste and stir into the coconut milk for about 2 minutes. Add chicken and simmer until cooked through. Add carrots and simmer for a minute or two (none of my other vegetables looked like they needed any additional cooking time), then add all other vegetables and cook for a few minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp. Serve with rice. This served 2 with plenty for leftovers.

The result was very good, but HOLY WOW SPICY! I mean, we ate it anyway so it wasn't inedibley spicy but WOW! TOO MUCH CURRY PASTE! I think next time, I will do things exactly the same, but use 2 TB curry paste instead of 3. Better yet, maybe some of you Thai curry experts out there can tell me what you would have done differently. Suggestions are appreciated.

P.S.  I was really disappointed, last night, to learn that Whole Foods on Magazine doesn't carry Thai basil.  I wanted to include it but did't have time to go to another store.  Next time I make this, I'll probably shop at Hong Kong Market for vegetables instead.


Lisa M,  February 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

mmm looks good... I can't handle too much spice though. I'm a weeny!

Lisa February 4, 2010 at 2:21 PM  

Sounds yummy! I do love the spicy, and that's pretty similar to the recipe I use. I think you're on the right track, experimenting with the amount of curry paste. You can always give it a dash of hot sauce, if it's not spicy enough.

ArkansasJeepGirl February 4, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

I love spicy food, so I think I would have enjoyed it being hot.

soosh February 7, 2010 at 12:57 AM  

damn that looks good.

no real hints on the heat, other than to go a little at a time with the curry paste into the coconut milk until you get the flavor you want. if it's too mild at the end, you can always dissolve more curry paste into a small amount of coconut milk.

The green curry paste from Mae Ploy is one of their hottest. I wouldn't have thought the green would be hotter than the red, but I'm pretty sure it is.

Lola,  February 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM  

I have had that same problem, I found I keep adding the curry paste b/c I am trying to get more flavor, but the heat goes up too fast and you can add a little more sugar to balance it, but it's really hard to get right.

If you can get hold of a stalk or two of lemongrass, put it in a processor with a chunk of ginger and a few shallots and garlic. Add that paste to your curry and it will add more flavor without too much heat. That's most of what's in the curry paste, minus the chilies.

Though if you're going to do that maybe you could just make the paste fresh. It's actually not as hard as you'd think, if your food processor will handle something as fibrous as lemongrass!

NOJuju February 8, 2010 at 12:55 PM  

Thanks for the suggestions, soosh and Lola. I'm looking forward to trying it again and tweaking. It really was delicious aside from the firehot. I can handle a lot of heat but this was pretty serious.

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