After my daikon radish cakes, the next Asian dish that I wanted to try making at home was a Thai green curry. Before my trip to Thailand, I would usually stick with red curry at restaurants but now I know that the other types of Thai curries, including the green and yellow varieties, are just as complex and delicious, if not more!
When I first set out to recreate a green curry at home, I planned on buying a jar of premade curry paste. I had always assumed that making your own curry paste would be too difficult or that I would never be able to find the right ingredients. But after looking at a few recipes for homemade green curry paste, I realized that it wouldn't be too hard to make, and the result would probably taste much more authentic!
So I made a visit to the nearest Asian food market and picked up all of the ingredients that I would need, including some that I'd never bought before like fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil. Finding all the right ingredients was probably the hardest part of the whole process because none of the herbs were labelled and I had no idea what anything was, but eventually I got everything that I needed and couldn't wait to get home and start cooking with them!
I made the curry paste the day before I made the actual curry. I didn't want to try tasting it on its own, but I could tell that it would have a lot of flavour just by its smell. (Actually, I did try a tiny taste, but I don't recommend doing that - it does not taste good and my tongue was practically on fire!)
For the curry itself, I followed a recipe from my Canadian Living cookbook, which called for tofu, eggplant, grean beans and okra. I changed the vegetables a bit my replacing the green beans with Chinese long beans and adding some bok choy instead of okra. Then the broth is made by simmering the green curry paste with coconut milk and vegetable broth, with some lime juice and Thai basil added at the end.
When I finally got to try the curry, I was not disappointed! I thought the broth definitely tasted authentic, and had such a complex flavour - spicy, herbal, and slightly sweet from the coconut milk. I really liked the pieces of soft tofu, but I wasn't crazy about the long beans - next time I would just use regular green beans like the recipe called for, or leave them out.
Now that I've learned how to make green curry, I can't wait to try some other kinds - I would love to find a good recipe for Panang curry since that was one of my favourite meals that I ate in Thailand, so if anyone has a recipe, let me know!
Thai Green Curry with Tofu and Eggplant
*I followed the recipe from Canadian Living: The Vegetarian Collection pretty closely, so rather than rewriting it out here, I will link to the recipe online and list the changes that I made.
Green Curry Paste
Recipe can be found here
- the only change I made was to replace the lime zest with 5 kaffir lime leaves, minced first before adding to the food processor
Recipe can be found here
- Used 8 oz of regular eggplant because I had already bought some, but next time I would try the Japanese eggplant
- Replaced the green beans with 1 cup of Chinese long beans (although next time I would use regular green beans)
- Left out the okra
- Added 2 stalks of Shanghai bok choy, thinly sliced and added to the pot during the last 2 minutes of cooking time
- Added two kaffir lime leaves, sliced in half lengthwise, added to the pot at the same time as the tofu
- Used 1/4 cup of chopped fresh Thai basil instead of the coriander
Makes 4 servings.