Monday, Monday… why do you always have to crash the party and ruin a perfectly great weekend? Mine started with an awaking yoga session with Tara Stiles and that wasn’t too bad. As to the rest, my week will be a lot of work. I went through 8 hours of cultural communication training, followed by research regarding my semester abroad, designing a logo for my university (this was actually fun, it is a competition and I could win some $) and preparing a presentation about business communication in Thailand.
So I thought this would be the perfect evening to keep it Thai and share a recipe with you, which I enjoyed with my boyfriend this weekend. Have you ever had green curry? I stumbled over this amazing dish during my semester abroad in Shanghai. A friend of mine recommended a Thai restaurant close by my flat and when we finally managed to go it was not long before my semester was over. We had some papaya peanut salad, since I always wanted to try it and some green curry, which was his favorite and oh my… this was a foodie epiphany. I never thought that something could be as flavorful yet fresh and spicy as this dish. Sadly I did not make it back to the restaurant before leaving, but I had great ambitions to recreate the dish at home. And I have a piece of good news for you: it was not nearly as hard as I thought.
Thai Green Curry
makes 2-3 (spicy!) portions
1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive/peanut)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup butternut squash (cubed)
1 medium carrot
6 nappa cabbage leaves
1/2 cup button mushrooms (sliced)
1 tbsp green onions (sliced)
2 wild salmon fillets (cubed) for vegan option use tofu
1/2 cup coconut cream (or 3/4 cup coconut milk)
1.5 tbsp Thai green curry paste
salt to taste
Cut the vegetables (you could switch to whatever vegetables you like, I just use whatever I have at hand) and heat the oil in a wok. Press the garlic into the pan, give it a nice stir. Add the butternut squash and sliced carrot, cover with a lid and let them bake on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, add in the cubed salmon and cover again for 5 more minutes, add the shredded cabbage and sliced mushrooms, mix everything nicely. In a bowl dissolve the curry paste in the coconut milk and pour into the pan.
Cover again and let it simmer for 5 more minutes. Check if the squash is done. Then fold in the green onions, add salt to taste and serve on top of brown rice.
This recipe is pretty versatile. I love to use a lot of vegetables, but you could use just one or two different vegetables. Pak choi, sugar snaps, shiitake mushrooms and fresh chilies are great with this dish! You can also play with the protein. Make the dish vegan and use simple tofu – the curry itself has so much taste and is pretty spicy, so the tasteless tofu goes great with it. Chicken or shrimps are often used proteins for green curry. Thais are flexible folks, do it the Thai way and make the curry how you like it – Mai Pen Rai!
Btw – for those of you who, just like me, do not like to use prepackaged spice mixes or sauces: Every Thai curry paste I bought so far contained only natural ingredients. The one I used this time was made of: Green chili, lemon grass, garlic, salt, galangal, shrimp paste, kaffir lime peel, coriander seed, pepper, cumin, turmeric.