Introduction: Thai cuisine is renowned for its bold and harmonious flavors, with a remarkable balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy notes. Among the gems of Thai cooking is the Spicy Thai Green Curry, a dish that’s as vibrant in taste as it is in appearance. Originating from Central Thailand, this curry is a perfect representation of Thai culinary artistry. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricate details of preparing an authentic Spicy Thai Green Curry, and by the end, you’ll be able to create a restaurant-quality dish in your very own kitchen.
Historical Context: Thai green curry, or “Gaeng Kiew Wan” in Thai, dates back to the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767 AD). It was influenced by both Thai and foreign cultures. The green color comes from the fresh green chilies and herbs used in the curry paste, reflecting the Thai people’s love for bold flavors and vibrant colors in their cuisine.
1. Prepare the Green Curry Paste:
- Start by roasting the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and white peppercorns in a dry skillet over low heat until fragrant. Set them aside to cool.
- Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, pound or blend the green chilies, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, kaffir lime leaves (or lime zest), and the roasted spices until you have a smooth paste. If using a mortar and pestle, this may take some time, but the effort is worth it for the authentic flavors.
2. Cook the Curry:
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the green curry paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until it becomes fragrant.
- Add half of the coconut milk (200ml) to the pan and stir it into the curry paste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the oil starts to separate from the mixture, and the paste becomes aromatic.
- Add the choice of protein (chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu) to the pan and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until it’s partially cooked and coated with the curry paste.
- Pour in the remaining coconut milk (200ml) and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the protein is fully cooked and tender.
3. Season and Finish:
- Add the mixed vegetables to the curry and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until they are tender yet still crisp.
- Season the curry with fish sauce (adjust to taste) and sugar, balancing the flavors until you achieve the perfect blend of salty, sweet, and spicy.
- Remove the curry from heat and serve it hot over fragrant Thai jasmine rice. Garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves for an extra burst of flavor and aroma.