I absolutely love Thai food with its bold flavours and wonderful balance between salty, sweet, sour, spicy and umami. We are having a bit of a heatwave in the UK at the moment and these temperatures make me think of lovely memories and relaxing days in Asia, quite a few years ago now.
One of my favourite Thai foods is green curry and although you can get some wonderful ready made pastes in shops and online, it really is super simple to make your own paste and I love making it when I can as you can adjust the heat depending on how spicy you want it and you also skip any preservatives or additives which you might find in some ready-made pastes. This recipe includes chicken and some green beans and baby aubergines, but you can of course substitute with other meats, fish, seafood and vegetables you like.
I like making a slightly bigger batch of green curry paste and then freeze the leftovers (ice cube trays are great for this as you can just pop out a few cubes from frozen and mix into various recipes for a lovely flavour).
Green curry paste
2 lemongrass stalks
3 cloves of garlic
4 lime leaves
1 bunch of coriander around 30 g (stalks and leaves)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
About 5 cm (thumb size) piece of ginger or galangal
1 tbsp fish sauce
2-4 green chillies (adjust depending on how hot you like it, you can even leave it out if you want a mild version)
Zest from 1 lime
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a thick paste.
Use straight away or keep in fridge for up to 2-3 days or freeze for later use.
Thai green curry with chicken, green beans and mini aubergines
(this recipe serves around 4 people)
650 g of chicken breast or thigh, cut into strips.
1 tbsp coconut oil
Around half of the green curry paste from the recipe above (adjust this depending on how hot you like it, I tend to use around 1/2-2/3 of the batch but you can definitely use the whole batch if you want a lot of flavour. I recommend starting with 1/2 and then taste it when adding the fish sauce to see if you want to add more of the paste )
1 tin of coconut milk (around 400 ml)
3 lime leaves
3 mini aubergines cut into slices (or 1 normal size aubergine)
250 g green beans
1-2 tbsp of fish sauce (soy sauce works too)
1 small bunch of thai basil
1 small bunch of coriander
Wedges of lime and brown rice to serve
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and when hot add the strips of chicken and fry for a couple of minutes to seal off.
2. Add the green curry paste and coat the chicken then add the coconut milk and lime leaves (you can also add in a little water if you want to thin the sauce a little).
3. Add the slices of aubergines and leave to simmer for around 10 minutes.
4. Add the green beans and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are cooked (you want the beans to still have a little bite to them). Add extra water or coconut milk if you want to thin the sauce.
5. Just a couple of minutes before serving, add the fish sauce (or soy sauce) and half of the thai basil (I recommend tasting the sauce at this point and stir in more of the curry paste if you feel it is needed).
6. serve with slices of lime, brown rice and the rest of the thai basil and chopped coriander.