Sometimes I can be a bit of a purist (OK you may laugh). Everyone can do as he pleases in the kitchen and everybody can eat what he likes, but please let’s not confuse each other by calling things what they are not. If you want to eat spaghetti with bacon and cream, fine, but don’t call it carbonara (which is made with guanciale or pancetta and eggs, and definitely without cream). There is nothing wrong with using garlic and parsley in a pasta sauce with meat and tomatoes, but don’t call it bolognese. I always try to prepare dishes as authentic as possible, which is sometimes difficult as most of the dishes I cook have not originated in the Netherlands. So I try to research and disclose it on my blog when I am not sure about the authenticity or when I cut corners.
What does this introduction have to do with Thai green curry? I’ve never been to Thailand and I don’t eat at Thai restaurants often, but when I do I tend to like the food. And so I thought I’d do some research and try to prepare an authentic Thai green curry. I found the High Heel Gourmet blog and had a blast reading it. You think I am a purist about Italian food? Check out this lady! I quote: “If you want to follow the “Do it yourself” recipe that uses green onion, cilantro, ginger root, lime juice and THE WHOLE POD of cardamom to make green curry paste so much, go ahead, but don’t call it Thai curry paste and please, don’t serve the curry to the Thais. They would barf!” I love it! She even critiqued Richard’s green curry, but was very nice about it. (That is actually how I discovered her blog.)
As the High Heel Gourmet appears to know her stuff, I decided to go by her rules. I managed to find the authentic ingredients as specified and prepared my first Thai green curry with it, and absolutely loved it! Also my friends loved it, who have been to Thailand and who eat at Thai restaurants all the time. The curry had great depth of flavor and tasted very fresh. This was of course due to making fresh green curry paste from scratch. That is not a lot of work if you own a blender, the work is in finding the ingredients. It was hot but not extremely hot, and you can of course control the heat by using less or more chili peppers.
My first green curry was prepared with jumbo shrimp and choi sum (which I picked up instead of bok choi to try it) and I liked it a lot. I’m not going to repeat all of High Heel’s Gourmet green curry wisdom here, you’ll just have to go to her blog to find out. Or follow the recipe below of course.
1 Tbsp chopped galangal root (not ginger!)
2 Tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass (see below)
6 Tbsp sliced garlic
5 Tbsp sliced shallots (not onions or scallions)
5 green chili peppers (or more or less, depending on how hot you like it)
1 tsp chopped coriander ROOT (not coriander leaves; substitute with coriander stems, nearest to the roots)
1 tsp minced kaffir lime zest (substitute with 1/2 tsp regular lime zest and 1/4 tsp kaffir lime leaf)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp roasted Thai shrimp paste (see below)
1/2 tsp white peppercorns
1 tsp roasted coriander seed (see below)
1 tsp roasted cumin seed (see below)
400 ml (1 can) coconut milk
coconut oil or coconut cream (top layer of the coconut milk)
4 Tbsp thai green curry paste from above (more or less to taste)
600 grams (1.3 lb) peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
800 grams (1.8 lb) bok choi (I used choi sum instead)
Thai basil, for garnish
Thai fish sauce to taste
palm sugar to taste
salt to taste
Preparation of the Thai green curry paste
More about making the green curry can be found here. This is wat I did…
I seasoned the curry with fish sauce, salt, and palm sugar to taste.
A green Thai curry with seafood is great with a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or a grüner veltliner or another crispy white with a “green” flavor.