By Tana Kosiyabong
This week, I would like to introduce a new section called Cheap Appétit Recipes. It will be a gathering place for my cheap, easy recipes and cooking shortcuts. I hope you’ll find them useful and will eventually try them out. For more info on this section, please click here.
Last time I ordered green curry from a Thai restaurant was a long time ago. I think they should have named it pale green curry or Pantone 5807C curry to be exact. The cook used very little green curry paste in the dish. It didn’t taste good at all. I can make a meaner green curry even with one hand tied behind my back. Seriously.
To prove it, I will give you a step-by-step recipe on how to make green curry mushroom with only one hand. I’ll even get fancy and show you how to cook Thai red rice with Edamame beans to eat with the curry.
First we have to gather all the ingredients:
– AROY-D green curry in a can is my secret weapon. It was made in Thailand. So you can be pretty sure that it will taste quite authentic. I got it from London Drugs (1187 Robson St.) for $2.59. If you don’t live near Vancouver, try your local Asian food market or order it online.
– 1/2 pound of fresh brown button mushrooms ($1.75). I prefer small or medium sizes because they will soak up the curry flavor all the way through.
– 15 Thai sweet basil leaves, also known as Horapa (50 cents). Unfortunately, I had to buy a whole pack, but I can use the rest for other Thai dishes. You can buy them at your local Asian market too.
– 1/4 cup of frozen mixed vegetable (defrosted), eggplants or in this case, organic zucchini.
– 1 cup of Thai red rice.
– 1/2 a handful of frozen edamame.
– Fish sauce (or salt for a vegetarian dish) and Thai hot chili to customize your green curry taste (optional).
Note: I forgot to put Edamame, fish sauce and Thai hot chili in the ingredient photo. Sorry folks.
GREEN CURRY FRESH BROWN BUTTON MUSHROOM RECIPE
For those of you who want to play along with my silliness, please start from STEP 1. If you just want to take the easy route, you can skip to STEP 3 (But I hope you won’t. C’mon, let’s do it together).
STEP 1: Tie one of your hands behind your back. If you’re right-handed, don’t tie your right hand. No need to be a showoff. The same goes for the lefties. If you’re unable to tie your own hand, just put it in your pants pocket.
STEP 2: Sit on a stable chair. Put a can of green curry in between your knees to hold it in position. Try to place it as far away from your crotch as possible because that would be gross. Use your finger to pull the easy-open ring on the top of the can. Pull it upwards.
STEP 3: Once you open the can, pour the green curry into a small pot. Turn the stovetop on high. Bring the curry to a boil. If you are not familiar with the authentic taste of green curry, taste it at this point. Once you add mushrooms and vegetables to the pot, they will water down the taste of the curry. You’ll have to boil out the extra water to regain the original taste.
The Aroy-D green curry was a tad too sweet for my taste, even though green curry name in Thai is “Gang Keow Wan” or “sweet green soup” in English. So I add a few splashes of fish sauce to counter the sweetness. If you like it as is, omit the fish sauce. You can also add Thai chilies at this point if needed.
STEP 4: Once you are satisfied with the green curry taste, add mushrooms. They should be rinsed first in a colander then patted dry with paper towel. Bring the curry back to a boil. Then turn the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 7-8 minutes. Add the zucchini.
STEP 5: Let it simmer for a few more minutes. Taste it again. If it tastes similar to the original curry flavor, turn off the heat. (If not, boil a bit longer.) Remove the pot from the hot stove. Add the Thai sweet basil leaves and stir them in.
NOTE: Unlike French sauces, the seperation of coconut oil in Thai curry sauces are very desirable. It requires great techniques and patience to create the seperation if you cook from scratch. However, if you cook my way, the Aroy-D green curry has already taken care of it for you.
THAI RED RICE WITH EDAMAME RECIPE
STEP 1: Buy yourself a rice cooker. It’s pretty cheap. I bought mine for $15 from London Drugs.
STEP 2: Add rice to the pot. Wash and rinse it once or twice. Then add water to the level marked on your rice cooker inserted pot. Add Edamame. Put the lid on. Hit the cook button. Go watch TV or surf the net. But keep an eye on the pot.
STEP 3: Once the rice is cooked. The button will either automatically turn off or switched to warm. DO NOT open the lid at this point. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes. You’ll get evenly cooked rice. Serve with the curry.
Note: You should start cooking the rice first. Once the rice is resting, start the curry. This recipe made enough for two servings.
Enjoy and Cheap Appétit.
P.S. I promise that I used only one hand through out the cooking process, including the prep works. However, I had to use both hands to take pictures and control the light.