Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thai Green Curry Paste in a Recipe

lines showing how to slice across the grain
Yesterday I finally got around to trying a recipe with my recently made (and frozen) Thai Green Curry Paste. I got chicken breasts to use for my recipe, though boneless chicken thighs or pork tenderloins would work well also. In order to slice meat thinly, it is best to start with it still partially frozen. For the chicken breast, or for any meat used, it is also good to slice it across the grain of the meat. When the meat is cooked in the dish with the cut across the grain, it allows very easy cutting and eating with a fork. 

julienned carrots
The vegetables for a Thai Green Curry recipe are usually things like green or red bell pepper and hot green chiles, more garlic and lemongrass (there is garlic and lemongrass in the Thai Green Curry Paste used in the recipe). I also used julienned carrot. Coconut milk is generally the liquid. My favorite brand of coconut milk is Thai Kitchen; it just tastes like fresh coconut, to me. I did not use extra hot chiles, as my husband would not tolerate them, but feel free to use as many as you can stand! 

My Dried Keffir Lime Leaves
Many recipes call for Keffir lime leaves (sometimes spelled Kaffir Lime). I have never yet had the fortune of having a real, fresh Keffir Lime. I hope someday to have that experience and really know the difference between those and Persian limes. Meanwhile, the best I could do with my Thai curry was to use dried Keffir lime leaves. The only place I found them (at the time I was looking, a couple of years back) was Savory Spice Shop, in Colorado. I am sure they are available elsewhere, but this was where I found mine. Keffir limes are indigenous to Southeast Asia and now grow in Hawaii as well. The leaves often have a double leaf, looking like two leaves growing end to end. The fruit's skin is extremely puckery; far moreso than a Persian Lime. Wikipedia has an excellent photo of both the fruit and the double leaves. 
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

The recipe turned out very well, overall. The flavors were great and everything cooked just as I wanted, meaning nothing was too overcooked. I believe that Thai flavors are not really my preferred flavors. While the meal was truly delicious, had it been an Indian Curry, I would have loved it far more. I just love some of the warm Indian spices more than Thai flavors. Regardless, I may be in a great minority on that, so do not let that stop anyone from trying this dish. It really was wonderful. 

Thai Green Curried Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 4), partially frozen
Thai Green Curried Chicken
3 tablespoons soy sauce

4 dried Shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 onion, in wedges or cubes
4 - 8 tablespoons Thai Green Curry Paste
1 can coconut milk (not sweetened)

2 carrots, peeled, julienned
1 green or red bell pepper, cut in cubes
2 - 4 Thai chilies, optional
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
3 - 4 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced finely
2 Keffir lime leaves, or 1 - 2 teaspoons lime zest
fresh cilantro leaves, as garnish
roasted cashews for garnish

Slice the chicken across the grain of the meat, into thin slices. Set them into a bowl and toss with the soy sauce. Set the Shiitake mushrooms to soak in about 1 1/2 cups boiled water. Cover and allow them to reconstitute for at least 20 minutes. Heat the coconut oil in a very large skillet or wok and cook the chicken, about half the pieces at a time. They need only be partially cooked. Removed them to a plate when done. Add the onions to the skillet and saute them for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the Thai Green Curry Paste and stir until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Add in the vegetables, garlic and ginger with the lime leaves and return the chicken to the skillet. Stir together carefully and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with cilantro leaves and cashews. Best served over white rice.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.