Thai Green Curry Vegetables
10 each dried red chilies
ground in a mortar and pestle
10 each fresh green Thai chilis
seeded and thinly sliced (or 2 serranos, or 4 jalapenos)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground white pepper
2 cups cilantro stems
loosely packed (reserve leaves for garnish)
4 each lemongrass stalks
just the bottom halves, minced
2 tbsp galangal
2 inch fresh turmeric
peeled and chopped (or 1 tsp turmeric powder)
2 tsp kaffir lime zest
or 4 kaffir lime leaves
16 each garlic cloves
4 each large shallots
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 each large red bell pepper
seeded and cut into ¾ inch dice
1 each large onion
cut into ¾ inch dice
1 lb eggplant
cut into 1 inch dice
1 lb seasonal vegetable of choice
i.e. summer squash, snap peas, etc. - refer to menu
1/2 cup rice bran oil or canola
2 cans unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
fish sauce
1-2 tablespoon
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp palm sugar syrup
dissolve 1 disc in 3 T boiling water
6 each kaffir lime leaves
finely chopped
sliced thin on bias
cilantro leaves
For the Curry Paste
Place all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender, and process to a paste. If necessary, add a few Tbsp. of the coconut milk to help blend ingredients. Set aside.
For the Curry
Sauté the onion and bell pepper in a small amount of rice bran oil until soft, about 8 minutes, and set aside. Sauté the eggplant over high heat in small batches until browned, about 8 minutes, and set aside. Cook the seasonal vegetables as appropriate (blanch snap peas, oven roast squash, etc.) and set aside.
Pro tip: Canned coconut milk settles when it isn’t agitated. The fattier part collects at the top and the thinner liquid goes to the bottom.
In a medium stainless sauce pot, heat about 1 ½ C of the thickest part of the coconut milk reserving the thinner liquid for later. Cook over high heat until thick and bubbly and the fat starts to separate and caramelizing.
Add the curry paste and reduce heat to medium. Cook until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the remaining coconut milk, vegetable stock, fish sauce (if using), lime juice, and palm sugar. Mix thoroughly. Increase heat and add all cooked vegetables.
Stir in the kaffir lime leaves and turn off the heat. Adjust seasoning to balance salty, sweet, spicy, and sour.
To Serve
Garnish with scallions and cilantro.
For vegan version, omit shrimp paste and substitute fish sauce with mushroom soy sauce or wakame seaweed broth by simmering 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of loosely packed shredded dried wakame.