My husband and I love Thai. Being that we live in rural Iowa good Thai means making it at home, so for the last 3 years I have been working on my Thai Green Curry dish and I think I have finally found my perfect recipe and technique. Before I get into that I need to give a little back story.
My first attempt was pretty basic I had made it as a valentines day dinner. It came out tasty enough and we enjoyed it but it just didn’t have those authentic flavors.
This then took me back to the APR/MAY 2011 issue of Fine Cooking that had a section titled “Cooking without Recipes”. In this particular issue they were showcasing Thai Curry dishes. This paired with having found a great Asian Food Store in Rochester, MN. lead me to capturing a much more interesting dish. What I found were the key ingredients were Lemon Grass, Kifer Lime Leaves, Galangal and Thai Basil. With that flavor base I was able to make something even better. The issue I had was it left a little to be desired in how the different parts were cooked.
The idea was made your base sauce, add the aromatics, add your proteins then add your veggies. Often my tofu would get too beat up from all the stirring, the proteins were usually over cooked, and the veggies would get soggy. Add to all of this there just seemed to be way too much rice. What often happens with me is that when I land on the flavor of a dish I love then it sits in my brain and I keep working through how I can make it even better. Then, this week it dawned on me to deconstruct the dish.
I started with making my sauce. One big difference here is that I use fish stock instead of chicken stock as I think the flavors of fish stock work better with the final dish. I then added my aromatics to the sauce and let it reduce by half. By doing the sauce alone I was able to fish out all of the aromatics much easier then had everything been in the pan. Next, I chopped up some garlic and ginger, as well as all my veggies. Once that was done I sautéed it all in my wok. This allowed me to get exactly the texture and crunch I want out of cooked veggies. Lastly I was able to do a quick sauté of the shrimp and the tofu one at a time so each got perfectly cooked.
While all that was going on I also used my pressure cooker (Breville’s Fast Slow Pro) to make a small batch of brown rice. Once everything was done I then just had to plate it all. Since each of the components was still separate this meant I was able to equally portion out everything making sure that each serving had equal amounts of veggies, rice, shrimp, tofu, and sauce. This was ALWAYS a challenge when doing it in one pot.
Shrimp and Tofu Thai Green Curry
FOR THE RICE:
- 190 grams Brown Rice
- 12 ounces Water
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can Coconut Milk, shake well before opening
- 112 grams Green Curry Paste
- 13 ounces Fish Stock, 2 half pint jars
- 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
- 3 stalks Lemon Grass
- 6 Kifer Lime Leaves
- 24 grams Thai Basil, minced
- 3 thin slices, Galangal
FOR THE VEGETABLES:
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3-4 thin slices Ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons Wok Oil
- 16 ounces Baby Bok Choy, sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
- 4 ounces Carrot, julienned
- 4 ounces Mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and White Pepper to taste
FOR THE PROTEIN:
- 16 large (#13-15) Shrimp
- 1 box Extra From Tofu
- Salt and White Pepper to taste
- Make the rice in the Fast Slow Pro, PRESSURE/RICE/20 minutes.
- In a large sauce pan add the coconut milk and place over medium heat. Stir occasionally until reduced by half. It should be smooth and shiny looking. Add the green curry paste and the fish stock. Stir to combine thoroughly. Once it comes to a simmer add the brown sugar and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Add the lemon grass, lifer lime leaves, galangal, and Thai basil. Let simmer until reduced by half. Cover and keep warm.
- Bring the wok to a high heat with the oil in it. Add the garlic and ginger, as soon as it is fragrant add the carrots and toss constantly for about 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy and toss, add the mushrooms and toss. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Keep tossing for another minute or two. Pour out into a bowl and set aside.
- Add the shrimp to the wok and toss with salt and white pepper. Cook until the shrimp is well colored on both sides. Remove from the wok and add the tofu. Sear on both sides very carefully not to break up.
- Plate starting with a portion of the sautéed vegetables (about 88 grams), then a portion of the rice (about 2 ounces), topped with the shrimp and tofu (2 shrimp and 4 pieces of tofu), then finish with the sauce (about 20 grams).
In the end I had perfectly cooked all the different components to this dish. The vegetables still had a nice bite to them, the rice was tender and fluffy, the shrimp were just cooked and the tofu was intact as well as there was an equal amount of sauce on every serving. Definitely how I will always go about making this dish in the future.