This is perfect for those wonderful summer garden vegetables and either fish, shrimp, or chicken for a quick and easy meal.
Sour curries, those without coconut milk are popular in the south of Thailand, but this much milder style is popular in Central Thailand. It is a bit sweeter and doesn’t contain the turmeric of typical Malay/Thai border curries.
In Thailand and other SE Asian countries a beautiful edible flower, Dok Kae or Hummingbird Flower is often used in this curry. The flower falls at night and then is gathered in the morning for various dishes. It is grown in Hawaii and Florida as it is a gorgeous but very frost tender tree.
Many available summer vegetables are perfect for this curry such as green beans, yard long beans cauliflower, raw green papaya, Napa Cabbage, Daikon, bamboo shoot, etc.
Making this curry paste is very simple as there are only a few paste ingredients; dried red chilies, shrimp paste and shallots. Pounding the ingredients with a mortar and pestle takes about 5 minutes. You can also process them in your food processor small bowl if you want to save even more time.
The tamarind, lime juice fish sauce and date palm sugar give an exciting flavor to this easy curry. This curry is easy to make the day before, refrigerate to develop the flavours then add the seafood or chicken the next day.
Thai Sour Curry with Vegetables and Shrimp
(Kaeng Som Goong Pak Ruam)
Ingredients to prepare
1 pound medium size shrimp, deveined and shelled, leave tail on
½ cup Cauliflower*, small diced
½ cup Green beans* cut ¼” slice
2/3 cup Napa Cabbage*, coarse chop
4 cups water (broth if you prefer)
• Use fresh seasonal vegetables of your choice!
Ingredients for Curry Paste:
4-6 Dried red Thai chilies, soak in hot water until soft
2 Shallot, chopped
1 ½ tsp Shrimp paste (kapi)
½ tsp Sea Salt
3 Tbsp Tamarind juice
3 Tbsp Lime juice
2 Tbsp Fish sauce
3 Tbsp Palm sugar, grated
Pound soaked and dried chiles, shallot and salt with mortar and pestle together until it is a smooth paste. The salt helps when pounding to prevent splattering. Add shrimp paste and pound until completely smooth and incorporated.
Heat water in a sauce pan over medium heat until rapidly boiling.
Add curry paste stir until fragrant. Then add the tamarind juice, date palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce. Taste and adjust sweet-hot-sour-salty to you taste by adding more lime juice, chile, sugar, and or tamarind.
Add vegetables until cooked through approximately 5-8 minutes.
Then add the shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. If using fish cook just until not translucent, if using chicken cook until no longer pink.
Serve with bowls of steamed Jasmine rice (Thai Hom Mali).
Notes: I like using seafood broth if using seafood, or chicken broth if using chicken.
Garnish-Thai Basil leaves
Optional – I like using brightly coloured nasturtium flowers for a peppery colourful garnish