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Ader1

Thai Green Curry

19 posts in this topic

I recently spoke to a friend of mine who is Thai. She has some friends who own a restaurant. I asked her to find out for me which paste they use to make their Green Curry. She was told Nittaya. I thought this would be the case as I spoke to another restaurant cook who said the same. Anyway, she added that her friends also put into the curry some blended Thai sweet basil (as well as some sweet basil leaves) at the end. She said to me that Westerners can't take the amount of paste which a Thai can and the curry turns out anaemic. The basil gives it extra colour and taste. She also said that they put in some extra lemon grass and galangal. Really to stretch out the Green Curry Paste taste without the heat and additionally adding a more attractive green colour. She also meantioned that you can put in Pepper leaves to add green colour (again blended). I've read this somewhere before....I think Thompson's book.

What I'd like to know is anybody worked in a Thai restaurant and knows of the kind of quantities they use to make a kind of more westernised Green Curry? I will in time contact my friend again when I get the chance....she lives in another European country. But it will be interesting to hear if others here have heard of this style of Green Curry cooking.

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Is kaffir lime leaf an essential component to a green curry? I always put a bunch of it when I cook a green curry at home, but restaurants in the US don't seem to use them, perhaps because of their rarity or cost?

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I've seen it put in green curry Ken but not in the paste. Although the zest of the kaffir lime is used in the paste.

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Funny, I had green curry "Thai hot" for dinner last night. Mourning the loss of a dog and it hit the right note for me.

The place we go does not gringo-ize their stuff. They use the paste with the lady on the can that we call Thai Betty Crocker.

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The place we go does not gringo-ize their stuff. They use the paste with the lady on the can that we call Thai Betty Crocker.

Would that be Maesri brand? Comes in a cat-food-size can?


Monterey Bay area

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I think most of them have a pic of a female on them. 'Mae' in Thai means mother. Most of the brands have this name. Mae Sri/Mae Ploy/Mae Anong/Mae Pranom. According to Kasma Loha-Unchit of 'It Rains Fishes' these are actual people. Interesting bit of trivia for you. :smile:


Edited by Ader1 (log)

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My favorite place (over 100 meals), is Thai-riffic (silly name, serious food) in Dallas, Texas. Unlike most Thai restaurants, they make their curries from scratch. Makes a huge difference.

Since I can get very good Thai nearby, I don't go to the trouble of making it from scratch at home. I use Mae Ploy curry pastes (green is my favorite) at half strength so that my eyes don't cross, but I add lemon grass, galangal, fresh thai peppers...and kaffir lime leaf when I can get it.

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The place we go does not gringo-ize their stuff. They use the paste with the lady on the can that we call Thai Betty Crocker.

Would that be Maesri brand? Comes in a cat-food-size can?

Yeah that is it. Has her photo on the left front.

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It's pretty easy to make green curry paste yourself! And if you want to make it less incendiary, don't add as many green thai chiles - or sub some less hot green chiles or sweet peppers so the color is still really green. There are lots of recipes out there for the paste. The hardest thing for me to find here are cilantro/coriander roots as they are nearly never sold with the roots. But I use the stems and it seems to work well. Cilantro is easy to grow (except in the heat of summer), so you could grown your own. Galangal is the other essential herb, but it's easy to find at any SE Asian market. Occasionally it's even at the supermarket here in a small town in Utah (but they often mislabel it ginger!). The paste lasts forever, if you make sure is has lots of salt in it (from the fish sauce and shrimp paste. If in doubt freeze it. Lastly I like a grinder I found online Revel Ccm101ch Wet And Dry Grinder. The whole grinder comes off the base. It's not that durable so I need to replace it every few years... I see now that Cuisinart has one too. The Thai mortar and pestles are nice too as they are extra large and cheap! I use mine all the time for all sorts of things.

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Well I'm western but I tend to at least double the amount of paste recommended, and throw in a healthy handful of chillies as well, but that's just me!

I don't think the anaemic nature is that much of a problem - in my experience it's only the extremely inauthentic ones that are that green anyway. What I would say is that a lot of people expect there to be copious amounts of fresh coriander leaf in there - despite the fact it's not authentic.

The other thing is, what a general western audiences (I'm from the uk where Thai, or at least an approximation is incredibly popular) expect is to eat a large amount of the dish, probably in isolation, with a bit of rice, and for it to contain plenty of meat/fish/vegetable. Not in the traditional way of being a single dish served with other hotter, milder, saltier etc dishes as an accompaniment to the rice. So it has to be a bit more restrained to be eaten in this fashion.

Side note - I don't know why no restauranteurs haven't tied to push the traditional Thai 'complete meal' - with a variety of curries, salads, relishes, vegetables etc served together. People do a similar thing with a Greek/Turkish meze, and that is popular. Even high end Thai restaurants seem to try and squeeze the food into a traditional french style 3/4 course menu.

Carl


Edited by Carlovski (log)

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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I've got a thai green curry question. Made some tonight. pretty western, I guess. The green curry paste I used was a common standard US grocery store brand. I used a lot more than was called for in the recipe. Added some brown sugar, fish sauce. Flavor was fine and all. But my question isn't about flavor. Its about thickness. I thinned out the sauce too much. I want to make it thicker. Can I reduce this down? Or would I use a pure starch like a corn starch slurry?


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I have never seen a corns starch slurry used in Thai curry. They are traditionally quite liquid- almost soupy as a very broad generalization

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In that case, I think the consistency is right on the money.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I was in Central Market today and went to check out what they had in way of Thai curry paste. Saw these..

greencurrypaste-20110324-215222.jpg

Much larger container than the little jar I bought. Cost a bit more, but you are obviously getting a lot more for your money. Maybe when I use up my little jar, I'll buy this. How long can I expect it to last in the fridge? They also had yellow and red.


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I portion out and freeze

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I find the Mae Ploy green too salty and spicy. I can't compare with other brands, but I don't enjoy cooking with it. Or maybe that's how green curry should taste?

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I use the Mae Ploy and have for years. I get mine at Asian groceries and was not aware some regualar grocery chains are carrying it. My technique is to use the very best fish sauce and coconut milk you can find (Asian grocery), use half the amount of the curry paste in the directions on the box(or to taste for wherever you are on the chile whimp/chile fire breather continuum), and add fresh galangal, lemon grass and basil.

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Jeff,

I use the Mae Ploy bland in our kitchen - it is very good. The green paste is quite spicy. I agree with others that it would be worth while portioning and freezing. It probably lasts 3 to 6 months once opened, it does tend to get a brown/black oxidised look after 5 months in the fridge.

Luke

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Wow. It's been a while since I last eaten a Thai Green Curry recipe. I am having a hard time cooking curry anyway but I have tried it a few times. Maybe I should practice more then.

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