Fast, fresh and furiously spicy (but only if you want it that way). I love this quick and easy thai curry. It’s very authentic tasting and is ready in under 30 minutes.
When you look at the ingredients for this dish, it can be a little overwhelming as it seems endless doesn’t it? Trust me, all of the ingredients are necessary, but the good news is that most of the ingredients can be used again in many other dishes, so although it looks like it is very costly, it works out to be a very cheap dish.
I use a lot of ginger and garlic in my cooking, so have found it much more economical to buy minced garlic and ginger in jars. I keep these in the fridge and it means that I never run out. Puritans might scoff at the idea of it not being fresh, but believe me, I use a lot of these and I do not notice the difference in taste most of the time.
Most herbs can also be kept in the freezer. Bay leaves, lemon grass, fresh ginger, garlic, thyme, rosemary, curry leaves, kaffir leaves, pretty much anything that is quite a sturdy herb can be kept in the freezer. The only herb that I haven’t had much luck with freezing is coriander, it tends to go limp and watery. I have found that the best way to freeze coriander is to put it into the food processor and then freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen you can tip the coriander cubes into bags and use at a later date. I also do this with basil and parsley.
You might be interested to know that tomatoes also freeze really well. One year I grew so many tomatoes there was no way I could use them all so I froze them whole and they were perfect for sauces in winter months.
So, what I am saying is, if you have to buy lots of fresh herbs for a dish and are not going to use them all, then freeze them! Most herbs freeze exceedingly well.
This dish is wonderfully fresh and has all the tastes of Thailand. Although it contains a lot of ingredients, it is very quick and easy to make. Also if you make too much of the sauce, then you can freeze it and use at a later date.
I use vermicelli nests which I source form the local Asian market. I find the best way to ‘cook’ them is to boil a jug of water, put the vermicelli nests in a bowl and cover them with the boiling water. Cover the bowl with a large plate and just wait. You will know they are done when they are nice and soft. Vermicelli is a lot more forgiving that pasta, in that if you leave it in the water for too long, it isn’t going to be ruined.
- For the curry paste:
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 red onion
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 2 lemongrass stalks, hard outer shell removed
- 2 small green chillies (more if you like it really hot)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ bunch fresh coriander
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or tamari sauce if gluten intolerant)
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 3 kaffir leaves (optional)
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
- For the curry
- 4 Vermicelli nests
- 1 can coconut milk
- 10 chopped peanuts (optional)
- ¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- 2 small potatoes, chopped into cubes
- ½ sweet potato, chopped into cubes
- 1 handful green beans, sliced in half
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into slices
- 1 aubergine, peeled and cut into cubes
- Put all of the paste ingredients into a high speed blender/food processor and blend well.
- Add the paste ingredients to a heated pan with a little olive oil and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the can of coconut milk to the pan.
- Add aubergine, sweet potato and potatoes to the pan and cook for 15 minutes on a low heat (until potatoes and sweet potatoes are cooked).
- Boil water and pour over the vermicelli nests.
- Add the green beans and red peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes on a medium heat. You want these to remain crunchy.
- Pour the curry over the vermicelli, in a bowl, and serve.
- As an option you can top with chopped peanuts and fresh coriander.