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Author Notes: Thai food has been a firm favorite ever since I got permanently hooked on it via Jaiya Thai on 3rd ave in New York City. It's a great restaurant, small & cozy and is a mainstay for many a graduate student @ NYU school of medicine. The catch with something so exotic was that there is a mental barrier as to whether we can whip it up at home, and this is where the ready made pastes come in & make a killing! The disadvantage of using commercial pastes is that you get the same product each & every time (remember, home cooked food never tastes EXACTLY the same, similar, but there will always be variations depending on the fine tuning of ingredients used,\ which makes it delightfully unique to savor each & every time!) —Panfusine
Green curry paste
- 2-3 stalks of lemon grass (the pale lower bulbs onlly) chopped
- 2 inch piece ginger
- 1 inch piece galangal (or 1 'coin' of the dried version of it, crushed into small pieces)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 -3 shallots or 1 small red onion
- 2-3 green chilies (adjust as per taste)
- 8-10 stalks of cilantro (stems AND leaves)
- 2-3 fresh kaffir lime leaves or the zest from one lime
- Juice of 1 lime (use the zested fruit)
- 1/2 cup thai basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 a pack of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
- 1 green bell pepper cut into strips
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced lengthwise & cut into 2 inch pieces
- 4-5 Chinese green long beans cut into 2 inch pieces.
- 1 carrot cut into julienned strips
- 1/2 can of baby corn
- 1 shot small can straw mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 can coconut milk
- 10-12 leaves of thai basil, torn
- 2-3 stalks cilantro, torn into pieces, stalks et al!
- 1-2 green chiles slit partially lengthwise
- Soy sauce as required
- Combine all the green curry paste ingredients into a fine ...thick emulsion, adding soy sauce as required to dilute it instead of water. Set aside
- Heat the sesame oil in a skillet, add the scallions to saute till they turn limp. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan add the green curry paste and fry till it just begins turning color. add the scallions and other vegetable along with the tofu.
- Adding as little water as possible, lower the heat, cover and cook till the vegetables are tender, yet retain some crunchiness. Season with Soy sauce to add salt.
- Add the cilantro, slit green chilli and basil . Give it a stir to bring out the basil's aroma.
- Add the Coconut milk & heat on a low flame till the ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust for salt using the soy sauce. Remove from heat. garnish with more torn basil leaves & cilantro. Serve with plain jasmine rice or rice noodles.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Soy