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Pork Green Curry (Gaeng Khiew Wan Mu)

This is one of my favourite fast meals to make for my husband and myself. I use a lean pork and various eggplants. Sometimes I just slice the Japanese long purple eggplants into 1 1/2" long pieces, other times I use the green and white golf ball sized Thai eggplants.

If you can't find either of these types of eggplants you can cube regular Italian globe eggplant into 1 1/2" cubes. There is no need to peel eggplants as the skin softens and cooks quickly.

The fresh Kaffir Lime (Bai Magroot) adds a lovely fragrance as well as lime undertone to this spectacular green curry. Remember green curry is usually the hottest of all Thai curries, but you can adjust the heat by using less of the green curry paste in ratio to the coconut milk amount.

Serves 2

Ingredients

8 oz lean pork (mu) butt or tenderloin
3 tbs. green curry paste
1 cup coconut milk
6-8 Thai round eggplants (ma-keua prah), cut in half
or Long Asian eggplants sliced 1" thick
1/2 cup small pea eggplants (ma-keua puang)if available,
handful Thai basil leaves (bai Krapao)
1-2 red chiles, sliced (phrik chee fa)
3 kaffir lime leaves (bai magroot), torn
2 tbs. fish sauce (nam pla)
1/2 cup water

Method

Heat wok over medium flame, fry green curry paste with the solid part of the coconut milk until fragrant.

Add pork, and stir-fry until the meat is no longer pink.

Add the remaining coconut milk, water and eggplants. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until eggplants are done, about 5 minutes.

Add fish sauce, Thai basil leaves, and red chiles.

Serve with steamed Jasmine rice.

Variation: Substitute baby corn or peas in place of eggplant

Green Curry Paste (Phrik Kaeng Kiao Wan)

This is a paste for a green curry, and the 'wan' indicates that it should be a balance of slightly sweet as well as hot.

1 cup green birdseye chiles (phrik kee nu)
5 T lemon grass, finely sliced
10 T shallots chopped
10 T garlic, minced
5 T galangal (kha) grated
5 T coriander/cilantro root, chopped
2 T coriander seed
1 T cumin seed
1 T freshly ground black pepper
2 T shredded fresh lime leaves (bai makroot)
4 T fermented shrimp paste (kapi)
1 T palm sugar

If you don't have access to Bird Chiles (phrik ki nu) or Thai Dragon Chiles(Phrik chee fa), you can use 1/2 pound of habanero chiles, or 3/4 pound of serranos, or 1 pound of jalapeno chiles.

Note that if you use a substitute you will get a different volume of paste, and that you will need to use different amounts in subsequent recipes.

If you can't get galangal(kha) use ginger. If you can't get fresh Kaffir Lime leaves (bai makroot) use lime zest If you can't get coriander root, use coriander stems and leaves leaves.

Coarsely chop the chiles. Toast the dry seeds in a heavy iron skillet or wok, and grind them coarsely.

Place the kapi on a piece of double tin foil formed into a little dish. Place this into your toaster oven to develop the fragrance. Open window first as it gives off a very strong aroma. This mellows and develops the proper flavour.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process to a smooth paste or pound with mortar and pestle the traditional way.

Place in a glass jar with tight fitting lid and keep in the fridge for at least a week for the flavors to combine and develop before use. This chile paste will keep for several weeks when refrigerated.






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