Today we will discuss a classic of Asian cuisine: Curry Paste. Because we are in the winter season, and I am longing for greener days, we will make Gaeng keow Waan, or Green Thai Curry.
What do I need?
What can I say about green curry paste. When you walk into any typical Thai kitchen, you are immediately welcomed by a wave of aromas that are very characteristic of fresh South East Asian cuisine. The aromas of herbs, roots, spices and of course, chilies, create an experience that has been increasingly enjoyed around the world.
What do I need?
In earlier entries, we went through some of the ingredients found in this recipe. Your best shot to finding them are Asian markets. While they may be challenging to get, we will show you some alternatives for hard to find ingredients.
- 10-15 Green Thai Chili Peppers
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon coriander
- 1 1/2 tablespoons galangal
- 1 tablespoon sliced cilantro roots
- 1/4 cup garlic
- 1/2 Kaffir Lime Peel
- 3-4 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 1/2 cup of Thai basil (optional)
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
How do I cook it?
Shrimp paste is regularly made with fish and shrimp mixed with salt which is then sun-dried. Make sure you get the dry version, it looks dark and a bit purplish. For the cilantro roots, you can sub with the stems, kaffir limes may be hard to get, but you can use regular ones if you can’t find them. Galangal can be subbed with ginger while green Thai chilies can be subbed by other green hot peppers of medium size.
Toast the coriander, peppercorn and cumin to release flavor, this will also aid with the grounding. I strongly suggest using a mortar and a pestle, but you can increase the portions and use a food processor or a blender with a bit of liquid. The best option besides a mortar would be an immersion blender. Ground the spices and set aside.
Rounding it off
The beauty about making your own paste is that you can add more or less heat, you can take out some or all of the seeds in the chilies. Once you are comfortable with the heat level, start grinding it with a bit of salt along with the basil, we add basil to add green and a bit of flavor without adding too much heat. Then add the roots, the peel and the galangal. Make sure you chop them a bit beforehand. When you grind them, you can incorporate some of the ground spices you set aside to help you grind better.
By now you should be having a bright green paste if you added basil or a little more dull if you did just chilies. Add the garlic and the shallots with a bit more of those ground spices . Finish off with the shrimp paste and add the rest of the salt and ground spices.
This is a lot of work you may say, And I say, it is! But trust me, it is so much worth it. With this paste you will be able to make all kinds of delicious dishes like green curry chicken or basically any other green curry recipe out there. You can store it in the freezer and it will last you a couple of months with no problem.
Now, you can go out and try to make this recipe, I strongly encourage you to do so, you will discover so many new flavors and fragrances that will make you fall in love with Thai cuisine.
Another way to love it though is to call Rice Bowl Deluxe, where they will delight you with their Green Thai Curry Bowl, a mix of veggies and your choice of protein tossed with this beautiful green sauce
Rice Bowl Deluxe offers a variety of authentic Asian dishes that will satisfy your cravings. We offer high-quality, health-conscious dishes such as Korean rice bowls, Japanese steak bowls, Thai bowls, spring rolls, and noodle bowls in Edmonton. Check out our menu and have some amazing Asian food today!