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TDG: Desperate Measures: Thai Curry Tactics


Fat Guy
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I'm making prik khing curry tonight.  It's a "dry" red curry with ground or shredded pork and long beans.  Garnish with lime leaves, holy basil, whatever.  The long beans at my local asian market just looked beautiful today and this is one of my favorite dishes.

this is one of my favorite dishes. i often make it sans meat. just long beans, or asparagus, as a side (using canned paste makes it a quick and easy way to make a flavorful side dish). are you making the curry from scratch?

I am making it from scratch this time; I have often used the canned Maesri brand which is just fine. I'm using the recipe from Thai Food, but did change the paste ingredients slightly and went a lot lighter on the dried shrimp, which I prefer. In fact, I hadn't made it from scratch until I got this cookbook. Interesting to note that the canned pastes for this curry do not include dried shrimp or shrimp paste.

Torakris, check page 297 of Thai Food. I used hand chopped pork (not much), not wild boar (just didn't get out hunting today).

Yes, it is good sans meat, and I've also used harcourts verts (sp?). Pretty much any kind of skinny green beans, but I do love the long beans.

This one is great cold or at room temp -- it doesn't congeal like a coconut milk curry does.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I'm making prik khing curry tonight.  It's a "dry" red curry with ground or shredded pork and long beans.  Garnish with lime leaves, holy basil, whatever.  The long beans at my local asian market just looked beautiful today and this is one of my favorite dishes.

this is one of my favorite dishes. i often make it sans meat. just long beans, or asparagus, as a side (using canned paste makes it a quick and easy way to make a flavorful side dish). are you making the curry from scratch?

I am making it from scratch this time; I have often used the canned Maesri brand which is just fine. I'm using the recipe from Thai Food, but did change the paste ingredients slightly and went a lot lighter on the dried shrimp, which I prefer. In fact, I hadn't made it from scratch until I got this cookbook. Interesting to note that the canned pastes for this curry do not include dried shrimp or shrimp paste.

Torakris, check page 297 of Thai Food. I used hand chopped pork (not much), not wild boar (just didn't get out hunting today).

Yes, it is good sans meat, and I've also used harcourts verts (sp?). Pretty much any kind of skinny green beans, but I do love the long beans.

This one is great cold or at room temp -- it doesn't congeal like a coconut milk curry does.

Thanks, I will give it a try!

Just picked up a bunch or ground meat this weekend and have it all frozen, no boar however?! :blink:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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So let's talk Kao Soi, unless that falls under a different category.

I'm about to try making it myself, since none of the ones I've had have ever equalled the Kao Soi in Chieng Mai.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Can we start a new thread for kao soi? I think it deserves it. Because I have questions galore.

I wrote this article a couple of years ago, and since then I've been playing around more with homemade pastes. What I like about it is the option to vary the paste wildly, including things like putting fish into the paste (this is delicious). The commercial pastes keep very well in the fridge, or in the cupboard if it's the Maesri in a can.

I guess the reason I doubted spinach is that I have not had it in an Indian curry (where have I been?) and imagined it would just turn into a lurking green presence. Now I'll have to give it a try.

MatthewB, the lemongrass I get is pretty fibrous all the way through. This may be an issue of age. I do peel off the outer leaves, but I still need to pound or mince the slices if I want to later swallow them.

Thanks for the nice comments on the article, everyone!

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Can we start a new thread for kao soi?  I think it deserves it.  Because I have questions galore.

I wrote this article a couple of years ago, and since then I've been playing around more with homemade pastes.  What I like about it is the option to vary the paste wildly, including things like putting fish into the paste (this is delicious).  The commercial pastes keep very well in the fridge, or in the cupboard if it's the Maesri in a can.

I have started Kao Soi thread, and look forward to your comments on this dish, mamster.

As to prepared curry paste. I have had excellent results with canned, with the exception of yellow. For some reason, I think there is something just not quite right with the yellow, which is Diana's favorite, so I guess it's back to the mortar and pestle.

Fortunately, there are two wonderful Asian (primarily Thai/Hmong) groceries in my area -- one 6 blocks away and one 10 blocks away.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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MatthewB, the lemongrass I get is pretty fibrous all the way through.  This may be an issue of age.  I do peel off the outer leaves, but I still need to pound or mince the slices if I want to later swallow them.

Thanks for the nice comments on the article, everyone!

mamster, I'd be interested if others have the same issue with lemongrass. The lemongrass I get from an Asian grocery here has a soft inner core that is about twice the size of a standard pencil lead. It's very soft with little to no fiber. About three stalks yield about 2-3 tablespoons of minced lemongrass.

And, don't think I'm picking on you, mamster. I always read & enjoy your articles. I'm just shy about adoration. :wub:

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the lemongrass I get is pretty fibrous

If you grate lemon grass on an angle using a fine microplane grater the fibrous bits will be left behind and the good bits very finely grated for whatever dish you are making. I use this method all the time and it works great. :biggrin:

Life is short, eat dessert first

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Pencil lead? Okay, you're peeling more than I am. Maybe I balked at the thought of throwing away that much of the lemongrass I bought. I'll try aggressive peeling and also the microplane.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Pencil lead?  Okay, you're peeling more than I am.  Maybe I balked at the thought of throwing away that much of the lemongrass I bought.  I'll try aggressive peeling and also the microplane.

Yup. Or think of those big pencils we had in kindergarten. I never get more than that. But as I said lemongrass is inexpensive here. About 6 stalks for 75 cents.

Edit: the *lead* in those big pencils, not the pencils.

Edited by MatthewB (log)
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  • 6 months later...

My problem with pre-prepared curry pastes is that I have to add a lot of sugar usually to make it mild enough for my wife. I can alter the kind of chiles used when I make it myself to use milder chiles. It does change the flavor a bit, but it can make a big difference and at least it's not like eating a dessert when I get done.

I use a combination of mortar and cuisinart. Do as much as I can in the former and finish it all in the latter. To get rid of as much fiber as possible, I sometimes try to push it through a fine mesh strainer leaving a lot of the bigger bits behind.

Also, when trying to make it "pretty", I'll add spinach to green curry pastes. It adds little flavor, but it adds a lot of color. So your green curry can actually be green.

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I wonder if that's a function of climate. Lemongrass used to grow as a weed in my yard when I lived in Malaysia, and it didn't need to be peeled or grated at all, just snipped, washed, and put in chicken soup. :smile:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Interesting. I wonder if the colder climate (in my case, Oregon) causes the lemongrass to "harden off" more. I got my plant last spring, so it hasn't gone through a winter yet (and we'll see if it survives the cold snap we're having now -- temps below freezing for the last couple of days). But still, in the summer it really does grow like a weed. I'm glad I planted it in a pot and not directly in the garden.

Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland
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