Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Thai Green Curry

Posted September 10, 2009

Thai Green Curry Paste
Adapted from Real Vegetarian Thai
Makes about 1 cup

If you are afraid of spice, do not fear, this paste isn’t really hot. I recommend scraping the seeds and membranes out of the chiles to keep things under control. If you love heat, leave the seeds in all or half the chiles.

5 fresh green serrano chiles or 4 fresh green jalapeño chiles
1 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
3 stalks lemongrass
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and stems
1/4 cup coarsely chopped shallots
2 tbsp. coarsely chopped garlic
1 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh ginger
Zest of 1 lime
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black or white pepper

Stem the chiles, scrape out the seeds and membranes, and chop them coarsely. Set aside. In a small skillet over medium heat, dry-fry the coriander seeds until they darken a shade or two, shaking the pan or stirring often, 2-3 minutes. Tip out onto a saucer. Toast the cumin seeds in the same way, until they darken and release their rich aroma, 1-2 minutes. Add to the saucer along with the coriander, then grind the spices to a fine powder in a mini food processor or coffee grinder. Set aside. You can substitute the same amount of ground spices, dry-frying them together for a minute or two and stirring often to prevent burning.

To prepare the lemongrass, trim away and discard any root section below the bulb base, and cut away the top portion, leaving a stalk about 6 inches long, including the base. Remove any dried, wilted, and yellowed leaves. Finely chop the stalk.

Combine the lemongrass, the chopped chiles, and the ground toasted spices with the remaining ingredients in a blender for mini processor and grind them to a fairly smooth purée, stopping often to scrape down the sides and adding a few tablespoons of water as needed to move the blades. Transfer to a jar, seal airtight, and store at room temperature for up to 1 day, or refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Thai Green Curry with Zucchini and Peppers
Dana Treat Original
Serves 3-4

You can, of course, use jarred curry paste here. If you are vegetarian, just be sure to check the label – sometimes they contain shrimp paste. Thai Kitchen’s brand is decent. Jarred paste tends to be very strong, so use a small amount and add more if you need to.

Peanut oil
1 large shallot, cut into thin rings
1 large green pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, quartered, and sliced into 1″ pieces
12 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
1 -5oz. can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
1 -14 oz. can coconut milk
2-3 tbsp. green curry paste
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
4 stalks of a large bok choy, or 2 baby bok choys, stalks thickly sliced and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add just enough peanut oil to coat the bottom, then add the shallots. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, until just beginning to brown. Add the green peppers and cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes, or until the peppers are very soft and starting to brown. Add the zucchini, bamboo shoots, and tofu and cook until the zucchini is soft, about another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour about 1/3 of the coconut milk into a small saucepan and heat just until hot. Stir in the curry paste and, using a spoon, mash it into the coconut milk. Once it is combined well, add it to the vegetables and tofu, stir well, then add the rest of the coconut milk to the pot. Add the brown sugar, the bok choy stems, and the soy sauce. Stir everything together, lower the heat, and allow to cook until the flavors are well blended, about 15 minutes. A few minutes before serving, stir in the cilantro and the bok choy leaves. Allow to wilt slightly. Serve over jasmine rice.

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