The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 19 June 2006

Thai red curry

I like curries, and I like cooking them. I don't know how easy it is to obtain chillies and spices and curry stuff (not Japanese curry :P) when I'm in Japan, so I might miss cooking curry a lot. This recipe is one of my favourite recipes and I've cooked this several times over the past few years. It's one of them dishes that I'm confident to cook for guests. This is a relatively easy curry recipe which doesn't require a long cooking process.

This recipe calls for "Thai Red Curry" paste, which has lemongrass, galangal, shallot, oil, chilli and shrimp paste (which I am guessing is belachan) in its ingredient list. It would be pretty easy to make this from scratch, so I might do that when I have the chance to.

As with all curries, it is recommended to cook this the day before to allow the flavours to develop to its full potential.

Oil (1-2 tabspn)
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped/minced
2.5 tabspn thai red curry paste
600g chicken breast fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
200g potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup coconut cream or 1/2 cup coconut milk (more if you like it milder or more
1 capsicum, sliced
water (approx 1 cup? Enough to cover ingredients and simmer)
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tab soy sauce or fish sauce
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots, drained

Optional additionals
dried chilli flakes - as hot as you want it to be
1 tsp ground galangal
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion on medium high heat until soft and brownish. Add garlic and stirfry for a further 1 minute before adding the red curry paste (and any of the optional additional ingredients). Cook the paste (and optional spices) on low-ish heat until fragrant (1 minute) then turn up the heat to the highest setting and add the chicken and potatoes and stirfry for one or two minutes. Add the coconut cream/milk, capsicum, water, kaffir lime leaves, soy/fish sauce and simmer for a few minutes until the chicken and potatoes are cooked. Add the bamboo shoots, stir well to combine and simmer for another couple of minutes until bamboo shoots have soften to a more palatable texture (taste to test).

Serve with rice and veges.

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