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Thai curries
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    Post #1 - January 29th, 2012, 1:18 pm
    Post #1 - January 29th, 2012, 1:18 pm Post #1 - January 29th, 2012, 1:18 pm
    There are scattered references to different types of Thai curries all over the Shopping and Cooking board, but I thought I'd start a more unified Thai curry thread for anyone inclined to post about them. I've tended to post a lot of Thai food under the David Thompson thread, but I rarely use his recipes faithfully. I love his cookbooks for inspiration, but sometimes I think the recipe testing was a little cursory. For instance, in the green curry beef recipe in the Street Food cookbook, he recommends braising brisket for about 30 minutes. That's about the time the texture matches that of a superball. I've found other recipes that seem a little off as well.
    Recently, I made a green curry beef dish (after having a transcendent version at My Choice in Bangkok).


    Green curry paste prep--kaffir lime zest, cilantro roots, turmeric, dried shrimp, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, toasted shrimp paste (LOTs of Thai green chiles plus one roasted poblano, not pictured):
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    Green curry paste:

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    The poblano gave it a great chartreuse color:

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    I followed Thompson's tip of braising the brisket in coconut milk (but for hours and it probably would have been better with a little more cooking)

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    Thai eggplants plus a few green chiles for garnish:

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    Finished curry (with 'cheat' frozen roti)

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  • Post #2 - February 4th, 2012, 12:57 pm
    Post #2 - February 4th, 2012, 12:57 pm Post #2 - February 4th, 2012, 12:57 pm
    do u find cumin/coriander/white pepper combo used alot in green curries? Ive seen it before but not all the times...
  • Post #3 - February 4th, 2012, 7:11 pm
    Post #3 - February 4th, 2012, 7:11 pm Post #3 - February 4th, 2012, 7:11 pm
    thaiobsessed wrote:...Green curry paste prep--kaffir lime zest, cilantro roots, turmeric, dried shrimp, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, toasted shrimp paste

    Where'd you find cilantro with roots? These days I can only find stems and up.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - February 4th, 2012, 8:28 pm
    Post #4 - February 4th, 2012, 8:28 pm Post #4 - February 4th, 2012, 8:28 pm
    You see bunches of cilantro with intact roots upon occasion in Thai/Vietnamese groceries, though not with the regularity that the late lamented Thai Grocery on Broadway had them. Best thing to do is to grab a bunch when you see it, cut off the roots, and freeze for appropriate future use.

    Alternatively, grow some - cilantro isn't really cost-effective to grow for the leaves, but growing it for the roots and the fresh, aromatic coriander seed it produces works great. Just throw the seed in and let it go. No worries. (and vote for cilantro at OneSeedChicago, while you're at it. Two words: FREE SEEDS. :) )
  • Post #5 - February 5th, 2012, 12:47 am
    Post #5 - February 5th, 2012, 12:47 am Post #5 - February 5th, 2012, 12:47 am
    I think it's extremely rare in Chicago to find cilantro with roots intact, but chefs at the area Thai restaurants will tell you that they use the stems instead. Next, for their Thai menu, sourced them from a farm in Wisconsin IIRC. I try to find cilantro with as much of the stem intact as possible, and then I use the lightest colored stems.
  • Post #6 - February 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm
    Post #6 - February 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm Post #6 - February 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm
    gocubs88 wrote:do u find cumin/coriander/white pepper combo used alot in green curries? Ive seen it before but not all the times...


    I actually used all three (I toasted the cumin and coriander seeds) but forgot to include them in my post. You can see remnants of the cumin seeds in the paste (due to my lazy pounding--I should have used a spice grinder for the seeds as it's hard to pulverize them completely in a big mortar).

    JoelF wrote:
    thaiobsessed wrote:...Green curry paste prep--kaffir lime zest, cilantro roots, turmeric, dried shrimp, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, toasted shrimp paste

    Where'd you find cilantro with roots? These days I can only find stems and up.


    There's been a fair amount of discussion about this on the board. I grew these this summer and froze some.
    Occasionally, I have found them at Whole Foods. On Thanksgiving, the host for our meal (in Denver) found a package of cilantro with the roots attached at Super Target but I have yet to search local outposts.
  • Post #7 - May 6th, 2012, 2:42 pm
    Post #7 - May 6th, 2012, 2:42 pm Post #7 - May 6th, 2012, 2:42 pm
    Can anyone make a recommendation for a good commercial curry pastes - red and green?
  • Post #8 - May 6th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    Post #8 - May 6th, 2012, 3:07 pm Post #8 - May 6th, 2012, 3:07 pm
    For home made, may I suggest this page?
    http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/cpaste.html

    I am NOT a curry fan. Unless done by my Thai sister-in-laws. They know my adversity to very spicy and can whip up a very mild curry that is great. Otherwise, when they were not around my father appreciated Vermont Curry (yes, that is the brand) but not as often as he would like due to the salt content.
  • Post #9 - May 6th, 2012, 3:29 pm
    Post #9 - May 6th, 2012, 3:29 pm Post #9 - May 6th, 2012, 3:29 pm
    I much prefer red to green. For whatever reason, it always seems much more flavorful. My brand of choice for home use is the Maesri brand.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #10 - May 6th, 2012, 5:50 pm
  • Post #11 - August 14th, 2019, 4:31 am
    Post #11 - August 14th, 2019, 4:31 am Post #11 - August 14th, 2019, 4:31 am
    I love Thai food https://merrittsstoreandgrill.com/place ... hai-nampa/ . I am thinking of making an attempt at cooking curry. Anyone have a good panang curry recipe? This could be a disaster...
    Last edited by Ikara on August 24th, 2019, 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #12 - August 14th, 2019, 3:07 pm
    Post #12 - August 14th, 2019, 3:07 pm Post #12 - August 14th, 2019, 3:07 pm
    Ikara wrote:I love Thai food. I am thinking of making an attempt at cooking curry. Anyone have a good panang curry recipe? This could be a disaster...

    No disaster, though it may take a while to find what you like.

    Epicurious has this How to make Thai curry without a recipe.

    How to Thai curry

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - August 14th, 2019, 6:46 pm
    Post #13 - August 14th, 2019, 6:46 pm Post #13 - August 14th, 2019, 6:46 pm
    Ikara wrote:I love Thai food. I am thinking of making an attempt at cooking curry. Anyone have a good panang curry recipe? This could be a disaster...


    To see a video of a curry being made go to: https://hot-thai-kitchen.com/ and then search on what kind of curry you want to make. Once you get the ingredients, they really are very easy.

    If you don't have a Mortar and Pestle you can use a food processor for anything she does in a mortar and pestle.
  • Post #14 - August 15th, 2019, 8:36 am
    Post #14 - August 15th, 2019, 8:36 am Post #14 - August 15th, 2019, 8:36 am
    Chicagoan Leela Punyaratabandhu has a website shesimmers.com, and this recipe is pretty good, although it starts with commercial panaeng curry paste

    Her book Simple Thai Cooking is excellent, I was going to link to the Kindle version as it was on sale really cheap last week, alas no longer.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #15 - August 15th, 2019, 9:04 am
    Post #15 - August 15th, 2019, 9:04 am Post #15 - August 15th, 2019, 9:04 am
    I made the shesimmers Panang curry dish on Monday using the Maesri paste and was very pleasantly surprised at the depth of flavor. I added Thai chilies and basil from the garden along with a whole host of fresh picked veggies and some chicken breast. Would definitely make it again, it was so easy!
  • Post #16 - January 4th, 2021, 3:22 pm
    Post #16 - January 4th, 2021, 3:22 pm Post #16 - January 4th, 2021, 3:22 pm
    Hor Mok (ห่อหมก) - Thai Curried Fish Custard and The Principles of Thai Cookery by Chef McDang

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    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - February 3rd, 2021, 9:53 am
    Post #17 - February 3rd, 2021, 9:53 am Post #17 - February 3rd, 2021, 9:53 am
    stoutisgoodfood wrote:I made the shesimmers Panang curry dish on Monday using the Maesri paste...
    I applaud those making their own curries, I use the Maesri pastes as well and am normally very pleased with the result.
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #18 - February 10th, 2021, 12:53 pm
    Post #18 - February 10th, 2021, 12:53 pm Post #18 - February 10th, 2021, 12:53 pm
    I had a flash of insight about how to make Thai curries more easily while watching a recent episode of America's Test Kitchen (or could have been Cooks Country, although that seems less likely) on a recent all-cooking-shows-all-the-time Saturday.

    The recipe shown was for panang curry, with the sauce produced by doctoring red curry paste, which the ATK people opined would be more readily available. I wasn't going to pay much attention, because I already have cans of Maesri panang curry paste on hand. Woodman's on Milwaukee Avenue in Buffalo Grove, by the way, is my reliable source for cans of my two favorite Maesri curry pastes, panang and massaman, which don't show up as often in other stores around here as Maesri red, yellow, and green curry pastes.

    In the ATK recipe demo, sliced strips of beef were boiled for about an hour to make them tender before they were mixed into the curry sauce. The explanation for this was that, unlike with dishes such as beef stew and beef bourguignon, in which the beef is cooked in the stew liquid to add flavor to the liquid, beef for a Thai curry can be boiled separately to make it tender before it is added to the curry sauce because it is not expected to add beef flavor to the sauce; indeed, that would detract from the curry sauce flavor.

    My insight was this: that I make Thai curries with beef less often than with chicken or shrimp because of the time required to get the beef cooked enough to be tender. But if I boiled the beef slices in advance (and maybe cubed potatoes too), refrigerated them, and had them ready to go when I wanted to make a red or panang (or with the potatoes, a massaman) curry later that day or in the next day or two ... that'd be great!

    I tried this out with some Yukon gold potatoes and some good-quality Black Angus beef chuck (not the ideal choice; ATK recommends something more marbled, such as boneless beef rib meat), and it worked fine and was so much less tiring than getting a Thai beef curry made from start to finish starting with raw beef.

    I've never been thrilled with the idea of boiling beef in water, and I wouldn't mind trying this again with the beef cooked another way that didn't wash away the flavor in water, e.g., braising in relatively little liquid, low/slow roasting, etc. I particularly don't see why you wouldn't want some beefy flavor from the cooking liquid in a massaman beef curry. So I haven't quite hit on my ideal approach yet. I like very much thaiobsessed's suggestion, in the opening post of this thread, to braise the meat for some hours in coconut milk, so I'll try that next. But any way you do it, cooking the beef strips in advance? That was a revelation.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

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