Rainy season means great Thai green curries – the kaffir lime tree has erupted into new season leaves, Thai eggplants are cheap and plentiful, the fish farms have loads of freshwater prawns, and the mushrooms…. say no more!
Despite a gerzillion cooking schools in Thailand, Thai cooking is really surprisingly simple. A few basic techniques and a good understanding of the incredible fresh ingredients on offer, and you’re 80% of the way there.
Our Pure Thai Natural Co Ltd staff member, Sii, had recently brought us A LOT of fresh water prawns from the family fish-farm in Si Saket. We cleaned and froze most of them, and they’re PERFECT to go in this yummy curry.
So – into a clean wok we put coconut milk and the equivalent amount of water, and a tablespoon or three of green curry paste. One tablespoon if you want flavour only, 2 tablespoons for mildly spicy and three tablespoons for authentic. It’s easy to make green curry paste yourself if you have the time and inclination – and it keeps for months in the fridge. Here’s a simple recipe for you to try from Thai Table – great site with really authentic recipes. Even though we have everything handy to make our own paste, I often prefer to buy it from the old ladies at our local Thai fresh market. As well as them making really GREAT curry pastes, they need the money in this country without aged pensions and social security, so we help in small ways by bringing them our business.
The hardest vegetables go in first – today that means quartered small green-white eggplants and the tiny Thai baby eggplants. They’re a phenomenal health and anti-cancer food – promise to post more specifically about that soon!
The softer vegetables go in next – in this case the gorgeous, fresh, new season straw mushrooms. One of our favourites, and so quintessentially Thai!
Simmer for 2-3 minutes more, and then in go the frozen prawns. Let them simmer under the liquid just long enough to start to turn pink. Quickly toss in the finely sliced fresh chili (there are not spicy ones, just pleasantly flavorful) and the finely sliced kaffir lime leaves.
Burble for only a minute more. And then turn off the heat and add the fresh Thai basil leaves. We never actually cook the basil leaves, as heat destroys the volatile flavours very quickly – we just let the hot liquid wilt them after we tun the gas off.
A generous squeeze of fresh lime and you’re done. A *really* authentic Thai cook would add the fish sauce at this point too. We prefer to use a high quality mineral salt, which I add to the coconut-milk-water-curry-paste blend when I add the first hard vegetables. Mix it all through, cover and let it rest for 5-10 minutes, at least. Thai people consider it rude to serve food piping hot, and they also let it rest for a much better binding & melding of the subtle flavours.
And there you have it.
We served it over yummy organic Thai black riceberry rice, with steamed pumpkin and steamed Guang Thung (mustard greens) on the side. Never heard about black rice? You must have missed my post, “Black Rice: The Forbidden Food of Kings“.
Cooking for a Thai lady is quite the challenge. Her verdict? “Boss, you cook Thai curry better than Thai people!!! You should open restaurant!!” haha… I think that was a Yes vote.
Kudos to my lovely Thai daughter, Ploi, who is learning to cook Thai from her farang mama and moonlights as an excellent sous chef.
We demolished it while the rain tumbled down some more and the frogs sang their evening chorus.
BlissednBlessed in my Thai natural world.