Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp Dumplings

Please excuse the picture quality, we are in-between "good" cameras...

I AM going to learn to cook Thai and it WILL taste good!  This is my new goal - I suppose it can be called a New Year's goal, but I am beginning it early.  I have several great places to do my research including amazing cookbooks and the blog of a foodie friend.  So this should be fun!

My first undertaking was a green curry (a favorite of mine) with shrimp dumplings (sounds fun, huh?).  I got the recipes from a couple of different blogs and both agreed with one key point:  Start out using green curry paste from a can.  Learn how it should taste, then attempt your own.  Or don't.  Apparently many Thai home cooks use canned past for their curry.  So this is what I did:

I found the curry recipe from She Simmers and she got it from Kasma Loha-unchit, a Thai cooking teacher.  I did a tiny bit of adapting of my own, but only when I couldn't find a particular vegetable.  Basically I used the wisdom and knowledge of these two women to make one of the most incredible things that has come out of my kitchen in awhile.  I served the curry over a short grained brown rice and we lapped it up!  

As I work to develop a Thai cooking style of my own, I will use this green curry base again and again.  Maybe someday I will be ready to make my own paste?

Thai Green Curry with Shrimp Dumplings (from She Simmers)
note - please read her blog for more specific instructions on making the green curry from this basic recipe.

A Recipe of Kasma Loha-unchit
Recipe Copyright © 1995 Kasma Loha-unchit
  • 2 cups or 1 14-oz. can coconut milk
  • 2-3 Tbs. green curry paste
  • Shrimp dumplings *
  • 1/2 lb. small, round Thai eggplants (ma-keua bprawh), cut in halves or quarters, or substitute with 2 long Asian eggplants, cut in bite-size chunks
  • 1/2 cup small peas
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves (bai ma-gkrood)
  • Fish sauce (nahm bplah) to taste
  • 2 tsp. palm sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 cup fresh Thai sweet basil leaves and flowers (bai horapa)
  • Slivered chillies, to desired hotness

Do not shake the can of coconut milk before opening, so that the cream remains on top. Spoon about 2/3 cup of this thick cream into a medium-size saucepan and heat over medium to high heat. Reduce until smooth and bubbly and until oil begins to separate from the cream. Add the curry paste and fry in the cream for a few minutes to release the aromas. Then pour in the remaining milk.

Bring to a boil and add the Thai eggplants. Simmer a few minutes more, then stir in the peas and kaffir lime leaves. Season to taste with fish sauce (may not be needed if the curry paste is already salted). Add palm sugar to balance and enhance the spice and herb flavors to your liking. Continue to simmer until eggplants and peas are tender. Stir in the shrimp balls basil and chillies (as desired for added hotness) and cook another minute. Serve hot over plain steamed rice.

*Shrimp Dumplings
1 lb shrimp
2 t fish sauce
1 T corn starch

Stir together all ingredients in a food processor until it is rubbery.  Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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