Still in a Green Mood... Hot, Fragrant and Lively Curry

19 August 2005

I’m sure everyone has their own green curry recipe – and mine is from the book Appetite by Nigel Slater (he has a very similar recipe in Real Food too). I must say that I’m not sure about the way he talks (!) but I like his unpretentious approach to food (and I love his book Toast too). This curry is really fragrant and refreshing at the same time – I got hold of some fresh Thai aubergines and green peppercorns from here (posted about it before) this time. I like using chicken with some vegetables for this curry, but it’s totally up to you and it’s really nice just with vegetables too. Although it seems like the summer has gone in the UK, this is a really good dish to have in hot weather.

Chuck everything in a processor…

And here is your fragrant paste!

Serves 4

Green Curry Paste

4 stalks of lemon grass, inside leaves only
5 small green chillies, seeded (you can go hotter if you like)
3 cloves of garlic
A thumb of galangal or ginger
2 shallots
A fistful of coriander leaves
1 tablespoon lime zest
4-5 kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon nam pla (fish sauce)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground

For the Curry

400g chicken thighs
1/2 butternut squash
4 small aubergines
3-4 Shiitake (or chestnut) mushrooms
100g bamboo shoots
300ml coconut milk
500ml stock
1 tablespoon nam pla
A palmful of green peppercorns (fresh if you can find them)
A handful of coriander leaves
A handful of Thai (or normal) basil leaves

Chop the ingredients for the paste and whiz in a food processor (don’t go too far, it should still be a coarse paste, not a puree)

Fry your choice of meat/veg with oil in a pan and add about half of the paste. Pour in the stock, coconut milk and fish sauce, scatter in the green peppercorns and cook until the vegetables are tender (if you use mushrooms and bamboo shoots, add them later on as they don’t need to be cooked very long). Add the rest of the paste and simmer for another a couple of minutes. Scatter the herbs over and serve with rice.

I adapted the recipe, so feel free to adjust the amount of coconut milk and stock to suit your taste (the original recipe uses equal amounts of both). You can of course use seafood/fish instead of meat; you just need to add it towards the end of the cooking as it doesn’t need to be cooked as long as the vegetables.

Food - Savoury        23 comments    Permalink

  • You’d think that Nigel Slater was this real butch geezer from the way he writes, a sort of Bourdain lite. Until he opens his mouth. Like that scene from the Man With Two Brains, when Steve Martin finds the perfect woman, until she starts singing "Duke of Earl"...

    Posted by Monkey Gland | 19 August 2005 #
  • Sounds delish! Can’t wait to try that at home...

    Posted by megwoo | 19 August 2005 #
  • Again, we are in awe. We will make this.

    Posted by Alex and Mike | 20 August 2005 #
  • mmmmmmm, looks good!

    Posted by Melissa | 20 August 2005 #
  • Haven’t had a serious green curry in ages. I know what I’ll be cooking one of this evenings. Thanks for the inspiration Keiko!

    Posted by Alberto | 20 August 2005 #
  • I have been visiting your blog for a while and it is always inspiriting. At home we always do our own curry and lately I have been thinking of making green curry with fresh shrimps. Thanks.

    Posted by Johanna | 20 August 2005 #
  • Hi Keiko, have just made some red chicken and pineapple curry this evening - will post soon about it - and was thinking about next time to make the curry paste myself. Thank you for sharing your recipe, I will try this for sure. Kind regards from Vienna angelika

    Posted by angelika | 20 August 2005 #
  • Looks very good!

    Posted by Joe @ Culinary in the Desert | 21 August 2005 #
  • Mmmmm, wonderful -- The pictures are so vivid I can almost smell the spices and herbs.

    Posted by Mia | 21 August 2005 #
  • The best thing about green curry paste is, if you add a little oil to it and store it in a tight jar - you can keep in fresh in your fridge for about a month. for me this is important, since I usually buy my asian herbs in bulk. I use the paste to marinate chicken and meat for roasting/grilling. And to make sauce by heating it on a pot with some coconut cream for meat, seafood and fish.

    Posted by Lisa | 21 August 2005 #
  • PS: been coming to your blog a lot, keiko! Love your style. And the pics and writing :-)

    Posted by Lisa | 21 August 2005 #
  • I should buy Magimix for this :-p

    Posted by Sagami | 21 August 2005 #
  • Hi! Keiko

    I really just want you to know that since I was borned and lived in Thailand and cooking thai food.......never in my life has anyone put shitaki mushroom in any type of curry. But if it taste good to you then I guess it’s ok!!! Instead of aubergine, you can put carrots, zuchini, and even green bean too.

    I couldn’t help it but to correct the recipe list for you hope you don’t mind.......:)

    Posted by Shanna | 21 August 2005 #
  • Hi there,

    Thank you all for your kind notes, I’m sure everyone will enjoy this!

    Monkey Gland - you certainly wouldn’t think that he is a butch geezer from the way he talks :) Haven’t seen the Man with Two Brains, was that good?

    Johanna - thanks for dropping by, I love having it with shrimps, but sad thing is that Matthew can’t eat seafood at all...

    Lisa - thanks for your note, I like using the paste for marinating too - it’s so versatile!

    Sagami-san - that’s another good excuse to get a magimix, but you should get a kitchenaid first ;)

    Shanna - thank you for your tips; I didn’t think it was an authentic recipe either but it is quite nice with shiitake too ;) I like using chestnut mushrooms too, do you add any mushrooms at all? I’ve read some recipes which add shrimp paste into the curry paste, do you use that too? I love adding carrots, courgettes and green beans too. Please post your recipe some time, I’d love to share it - it must be wonderful.

    Posted by keiko | 22 August 2005 #
  • ペーストから作っちゃうなんて、やっぱりけーこさん、すごいっ!

    Posted by coo | 25 August 2005 #
  • Cooさん - すっごく簡単で美味しいんです、日本語の方にもレシピ載せますね。

    Posted by keiko | 30 August 2005 #
  • Hi! Keiko

    Finally I have the Green Curry recipe for you. It’s not my own because I normally use the paste that my grandmother made for us from Thailand. This is the version from two thai cookbooks.

    For Paste:

    10-15 Green chillies

    5 slices of galangal

    3 tbs. Lemongrass

    1/2 tsp. Kaffir Lime zest (the outside only, but optional if you can find it)

    10 cloves of Garlic

    3 medium size of Shallot (not red onion)

    1 tbs. shrimp paste

    1 tsp. cilantro seed (optional)

    Slice lemongrass thinly and peel garlic and shallots. Then heat cilantro seeds in a wok or pan until it gives of an aroma, and then ground them it bits.

    Use mortar and pestal(or food processor): ground chillies, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime skin mix or beat them together until slightly bit fine then add shallot, and garlic until blended then add shrimp paste and mix them well together. Normally we like the paste to be somewhat fine, but it is up to your preference.

    For Curry:

    10 oz slice chicken brest or beef (up to preference)

    14 oz of coconut milk (aroy-d or mae ploy)

    4 oz of slice bamboo shoots (optional)

    1/2 cup or less of thai aubergines (green with white stripes or Italian eggplant julienne)

    2 tbs Sugar (thai palm sugar)

    Handful of thai basil leaves (purple stem)

    4 or more Kaffir lime leaves

    3 tbs. fish sauce ( up to preference)

    1/3 cup of water or Chicken broth

    Can also substitute carrots, zuchini, and or green beans into this recipe.

    Stir-fry the paste with some oil to give some aroma, then add coconut milk with your choice of meat and stir fry them for about 3-5 minutes. Add broth and more coconut milk. If you’re putting carrots then add them when you add the meat so it can get tender by the time the curry is finished.

    Make sure to add the vegetable that does get soft quickly later when you have already gone half way through the process.

    Add fish sauce, sugar, and kaffir lime leaves mix up to your liking. The curry should be creamy light green not too green because that would mean that it has too little of coconut milk.

    Just before you turn the stove off put basil leave and stir it lightly.

    This is just a rough estimate of what the ingredient should be and this is the ingredient that makes it thai. So definitely try it out with some other recipe to see what would work best for you. Some people might like dark meat or bone in meat, but I like breast meat only with this type of curry.

    You can either eat it with rice or with vermicelli noodle from the oriental market, but buy the small or xs noodles. It’s a slightly transparent noodle before you boiled them. The instruction is on the package. I normally but them in a small coil after they get drained and dried then eat it with curry. It’s really good with green curry.

    Posted by Shanna | 25 December 2005 #
  • Hi Shanna - it’s very kind of you to let us have your green curry recipe, I’m sure your grandmother’s paste tastes wonderful! I’d love to try it with noodles as I’m a noodle fiend... I’ll let you know when I find an alternative accompaniment, although you may not approve ;)

    Posted by keiko | 5 January 2006 #
  • Hello Keiko,some words to say to you that it’s always an immense pleasure of coming on your blog, thank you to share that with us!I can’t wait for the next post!


    Posted by Ooishi Gal | 6 February 2006 #
  • well! keiko

    It might be very odd to me what u put into your curry, but whatever works for you should be fine. I just want people to know the basic ingredient for actual green curry. Sorry if hurt your feelings in anyway at all. Your pictures are always brillant, how do u take such great pictures??? Vermicelli is really really good with the curry. I can’t wait until you try it with the curry.

    Posted by Shanna | 14 February 2006 #
  • Hi Ooishi Gal - thanks so much for your kind words.

    Hi Shanna - thank you for your notes, vermicelli sounds nice, I’d give it a try some time!

    Posted by keiko | 16 February 2006 #
  • Great website and lovely photos! How do you take those beautiful photos food photos? Any tips? Thanks!

    Posted by Jen | 16 January 2007 #
  • Hi Jen – thank you for your kind note, I always try to see how light falls onto the subject – move the camera/food and play around taking pictures from different angles :) (and always try to use natural light)

    Posted by keiko | 12 February 2007 #

Commenting is closed for this article.