Last week we took a trip via our taste buds to Italy with this really yummy Homemade Ricotta Ravioli recipe and today we’re going over 5,000 miles east to a place near and dear to my heart, Thailand, with a recipe for Thai Green Curry!
When I visited Thailand last year, Thai green curry was a dish that could be found on almost every menu in every restaurant. Prior to traveling there, I don’t believe that I’d ever even tried it, but when I did I couldn’t get enough! What I loved about it was the slight heat provided by the chilies, the subtle sweetness added by the coconut milk, and the textural elements provided by the plethora of vegetables included.
Since returning, I’ve attempted to recreate some of the dishes that I got to try like Pad Thai and Spring Rolls, but it can often be difficult to find all of the necessary ingredients needed to complete an entire Thai dish unless I visited a specialty market that carries exactly what I’m looking for.
Luckily, living in New York City does have its perks, and with a quick Google search I came across a Thai grocery store in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown known as Bangkok Center Grocery on 104 Mosco St that had everything I needed and more! From Thai basil and fresh chilies to lemongrass and green papaya, I was truly in Thai food heaven. I even got my first mortar and pestle so that I could make my own green curry paste at home.
The store, itself was smaller than I anticipated, but don’t let that fool you because it is still very well stocked. The employees were also unbelievably kind and willing to answer any questions I had and being that I had such a pleasant experience, I’ll definitely be sure to return.
I was excited to finally get started and had so much fun pounding all of the ingredients together, with my arm definitely getting a good workout.
Nevertheless, in the end, while the flavors were definitely there, I wasn’t too thrilled with the consistency, because no matter how much I mashed those ingredients, they never fully reached that paste-like texture that I was looking for. The lemongrass, in particular, was the most difficult ingredient of all to work with and in the end I was left with little pieces of it in my curry, so any suggestions are gladly appreciated!
Overall I was pretty satisfied with how my curry turned out being that it was the first time making it on my own, but I definitely know that there is some room for improvement. Now that I know where I can get all of the ingredients I need, as well as my very own mortar and pestle, bringing the flavors of Thailand home is only a short train ride away!
Thai Green Curry
Green Curry Paste
Recipe adapted from Baan Hongnual Cookery School Cookbook
- 10-15 fresh green chilies
- 1 tablespoon chopped galangal
- 1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
- 1/2 teaspoon kaffir lime peel
- 1 teaspoon chopped coriander roots
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons shallots, chopped
- 10-15 Thai basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste, optional
- 1 pound sliced chicken (or pork, beef, or fish)
- 2 15 ounce cans of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon green curry paste
- 4 medium Thai eggplants, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup green bell peppers, optional
- 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower, optional
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons palm sugar
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped and with stem removed
- 10-15 leaves Thai basil
- 1 red chili, seeded and sliced lengthwise, optional
Green Curry Paste
- Lightly toast the cumin and coriander seeds until aromatic, remove and allow to cool.
- Place toasted seeds into a mortar and pestle and crush until a powder is formed.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to pound until you’ve achieved a smooth texture.
- Remove and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
- Place a 1/4 cup of the coconut milk into a pot and allow to start bubbling around the edges before adding the green curry paste (you can also used canned curry paste if you’d like).
- Once the curry paste is fully incorporated, added the chicken and kaffir lime leaves and stir until fully coated.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk and the chopped vegetables, stirring to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to a boil and add the fish sauce and sugar, to taste.
- When chicken and eggplants are cooked, pour curry into a bowl and garnish with red chili and Thai basil.
- Serve with rice.