Thai cuisine is known for its balance of five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal - hot ( spicy ), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Although popularly considered as a single cuisine, Thai food is really better described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern ( or Isan ), Central and Southern. Southern curries, for example, tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Recipe: Green Curry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut in 8 wedges
1 green bell pepper, cut in 8 wedges
1 stalk lemongrass, white bulb only
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, recipe follows
2 kaffir lime leaves
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts,
cut in 1 inch strips
(You can change it to shrimp, beef or pork if you want)
Sea salt
1 lime, juiced
Fresh Thai basil leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, for garnish
Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. Saute the onion and green peppers for 3 minutes to soften. Split the piece of lemongrass down the middle and whack it with the flat side of a knife to open the flavor. Add the lemongrass, ginger, curry paste and lime leaves to the skillet and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth. Lay the chicken pieces in the mixture to poach; add a pinch of salt. Stir together and simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze in the lime juice and shower with basil and cilantro; serve in dinner bowls with lime wedges.
Green Curry Paste2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
8 fresh green chilis
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed
Small handful of fresh cilantro sprigs
2-inch piece galangal, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 lemon grass stalks, white part only, coarsely chopped
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
2 teaspoons dried shrimp paste
1/2 cup water
Heat the coriander, cumin seeds, and peppercorns in a small dry skillet for 2 minutes until fragrant. Put the seeds in a clean coffee grinder or spice mill and buzz the spices to a powder. Put the spice blend and remaining ingredients in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Pour in the water to help grind everything down into a paste.

No comments: