Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.
User avatar
User

Paul Winalski

Rank

Wok Wielder

Posts

4152

Joined

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:16 pm

Location

Merrimack, New Hampshire

RCP: Thai Curry Pastes (IOTM)

by Paul Winalski » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:40 pm

This is a posting that I did way back on the very first incarnation of the FLDG. It includes our current IOTM: lemon grass.
===========
Thai curries (Kaeng) are, in general, made by simmering various meats and vegetables in coconut milk along with some Thai curry paste. There are some exceptions--"dry" curries--that don't involve coconut milk.

The curry pastes combine dried or fresh chiles (hot peppers), shrimp paste, and an array of aromatic dried or fresh herbs and spices. The ingredients traditionally are pounded into a uniform paste with a granite mortar and pestle, but a food processor or blender saves a lot of time.

The preparation of all the different curry pastes is the same--they differ only in the ingredients and their proportions. Just mince the fresh ingredients finely, grind the dry ingredients in a spice grinder or coffee grinder, then mix everything together in a food processor or blender. Or, if you're a traditionalist, pound everything to a paste in a mortar, starting with the driest ingredients and progressively adding the moister ones.

Galangal, also called Kha or Laos, is a fresh root spice resembling fresh ginger, but with a different, subtler aroma.

Thai shrimp paste (kapi) is a solid, salty, very stinky concoction made by grinding up shrimps with salt and letting it ferment. It's sold in small, round plastic tubs in oriental groceries. Be careful not to confuse it with the Chinese-style, purplish-colored shrimp paste sold in glass jars. The Chinese stuff is not the same thing and won't work in Thai curry pastes.

Coriander roots are the roots from fresh coriander (cilantro) plants. If your grocer sells fresh coriander in whole, intact bunches, you will get one of these with each bunch. You can cut them off, wash them thoroughly to remove any grit, then freeze them for use in preparing Thai curry paste. If your grocer trims off the roots, ask if they have any of the cast-off roots in the back. Or, you can substitute an equal volume of chopped coriander stems.

These recipes are from the late Colonel Ian Philpott-Khuntilanont and his Thai wife, Muoi Khuntilanont. There are no fixed recipes--every Thai chef has their own--so you can feel free to adjust the proportions and make substitutions.

Kaeng Kiow Wan - Green Curry Paste
2 long green chiles
10 small green Thai chiles
3 tsp lemon grass
6 tsp shallots
6 tsp garlic
1" piece galangal
3 coriander roots
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp salt

Kaeng Pet - Red Curry Paste
15 small hot Thai red chiles (bird peppers)
10 dried hot chiles
3 tsp lemon grass
6 tsp shallots
1" piece galangal
3 coriander roots
1 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp salt

Kaeng Penaeng - Penaeng Curry Paste
15 small hot Thai red chiles (bird peppers)
3 tsp lemon grass
12 tsp shallots
6 tsp garlic
1" piece galangal
3 coriander roots
1 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp shrimp paste
6 tsp ground roasted unsalted peanuts

Kaeng Massaman - Massaman Curry Paste
10 dried hot red chiles
3 tsp lemon grass
12 tsp shallots
12 tsp garlic
1" piece galangal
3 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp white pepper
3 tsp kaffir lime leaves
3 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp star anise
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves

Kaeng Kari - Yellow Curry Paste
10 dried hot red chiles
3 tsp lemon grass
6 tsp shallots
6 tsp garlic
1" piece galangal
3 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp salt
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp star anise

Kaeng Kiow Wan, Kaeng Pet, and Kaeng Penang are meant to be very hot. Kaeng Massaman and Kaeng Kari are meant to be milder.

-Paul W.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign