Green curry is misunderstood in many places outside of Thailand. Often perceived as a mild curry that you would give most chilli phobics (certainly in the UK and Ireland), it is often bland and dull, full of green peppers and mushrooms and to my mind, unless you are somewhere very good, not very interesting.

In Thailand, green curry is hot. Very hot and aromatic. Packed with flavour (which is the signature for most Thai food in my experience), you can choose the heat level you want if you make it yourself, so when we made this at the cooking school at the Khlong Lat Mayom floating market, we went for a compromise medium heat which was just perfect and not medium for our palates at all. Hot, so fresh and really delicious.

Seafood Thai Green Curry ingredients

Seafood Thai Green Curry ingredients

Several things make this recipe flavourful: fresh homemade coconut milk and cream, fresh pounded curry paste (you must – so much better than shop bought), the wonderful herbs and aromatics, the fish pounded to a paste with fish sauce (which Thais use instead of salt on the table) and lots of chilli.

It won’t be possible to replicate this entirely outside of Thailand but I will suggest where you can make substitutions as you go. As long as you make the paste from scratch – this is key – you will have a great dish. Everything else is a bonus.

Enjoy – it is a fantastic curry. I have adapted this recipe, but it comes from Siri, so thank you, Siri!

Note: if I don’t suggest an alternative, the ingredient is relatively easy to source via Asian supermarkets – some are online too.

Recipe: Siri’s Thai Seafood Green Curry 

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

500g white fish (we used black spot fish), creamed to a paste with a few tbsp fish sauce OR 500g fish chopped into bite size pieces – hake would do well here
1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
4 tbsp good fish sauce
250g small green aubergines, quartered (or one aubergine, diced)
4 kaffir lime leaves, leaf removed from the central stem
2 handfuls of Thai sweet basil when leaves are removed from the stems (difficult to substitute, but a combination of spinach, Italian basil and a little ground star anise would approximate it crudely)
50g Chinese galangal strips – ginger would be our closest approximation
50g pea aubergines

Green curry paste:

half a galangal root – about an inch
2 stems lemongrass, outer layers removed and topped and tailed
5 small shallots, peeled and topped and tailed
zest of half a kaffir lime (or normal lime if you can’t get one)
5 birds eye chillies
3 green finger chillies (he actually used 5 but I think 3 is good!)
5 cloves garlic

Coconut milk:

1kg fresh coconut meat from the inside of a young coconut, 1 liter of water
OR 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk and 1 x 160ml tin of coconut cream

Method

Make your fresh coconut milk by soaking the fresh coconut meat in 500ml of the water and squeezing it thoroughly to get the cream out. Sieve and set the cream aside. Add the remaining 500ml water and do the same, sifting out a thinner coconut milk. Set aside.

Make your fresh coconut milk by soaking the fresh coconut meat in 500ml of the water and squeezing it thoroughly to get the cream out. Sieve and set the cream aside. Add the remaining 500ml water and do the same, sifting out a thinner coconut milk. Set aside.

Sifting coconut cream & milk

Sifting coconut cream & milk

Make your curry paste by pounding all of your paste ingredients in a pestle and mortar until creamy, or in a food processor

Make your curry paste by pounding all of your paste ingredients in a pestle and mortar until creamy, or in a food processor

Cook off the curry paste in one third of the coconut milk for a few minutes over a medium / high heat.

Cook off the curry paste in one third of the coconut milk for a few minutes over a medium / high heat.

... stirring as you go :)

… stirring as you go :)

If making a fish paste, cream your fish with a few tbsp of fish sauce.

If making a fish paste, cream your fish with a few tbsp of fish sauce.

Then add in bite size amounts to the curry paste and milk using a spoon.

Then add in bite size amounts to the curry paste and milk using a spoon.

Add the kaffir lime, Chinese ginger, aubergine and pea aubergine.

Add the kaffir lime, Chinese ginger, aubergine and pea aubergine and the remaining coconut milk (but not cream) and cook until softening but not soft, the veg retain their bite in this dish.

Separate the basil leaves from the stems

Separate the basil leaves from the stems

Add fish sauce & lime juice to taste - the fish sauce is your salt and the lime juice your sour. Thai food is all about combining sour, sweet, salty and savoury.

Add fish sauce & lime juice to taste – the fish sauce is your salt and the lime juice your sour. Thai food is all about combining sour, sweet, salty and savoury.

Nearly there, now just add your basil for about 30 seconds just to wilt.

Nearly there, now just add your basil for about 30 seconds just to wilt.

Finish with your reserved coconut cream. And that is it, your Seafood Thai Green Curry is ready to serve.

Finish with your reserved coconut cream. And that is it, your Seafood Thai Green Curry is ready to serve.

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Niamh

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