June 7 2007 Thai Food Newsletter
Green Peppercorns are such a culinary treat. They are readily available in glass jars or frozen from Thailand. They also are available from Madagascar in small cans.
Green peppercorns are actually the unripe berry of the piper nigrum vine, from which both black and white peppercorns are produced. Green peppercorns are usually found pickled in brine or vinegar, or freeze-dried in plastic bags in the freezer of Asian markets. Often fresh green peppercorns are used in Thai cooking in Thailand, however not usually available outside Southeast Asia or South India.. They are especially great in combination with game including duck as well as beef dishes.
You can mash the green peppercorns in mortar pounding with pestle for a smoother flavourful sauce, but most often they are used in their whole state. I prefer the frozen green peppercorns on the stems available in most Asian markets as the flavour is much brighter sans the salt or brine or vinegar.
Fresh peppercorns are rarely available outside of South India or Thailand as they darken and mold quickly and are of no culinary use. This recipe is perfect for a Khan Toke style meal of small plates popular in Northern Thailand. This is much like a Spanish Tapas meal of serving small plates of various tastes and flavours for family and friends. My recipe for this Beef Green Peppercorn Curry is the perfect top note flavour for a Khan Toke meal.
Please give my recipe a try, and let me know how you like it please. My recipe has quite a different flavour to many of the more commonly prepared Thai dishes. Here is one of my very special recipes utilizing the piquant flavour of the green peppercorns
Beef Red Curry with Green Peppercorns and Green Beans (Kaeng Phed Neua Phrik Thai On Tua Fak Yao)
This mélange of chiles creates an exciting spicy curry flavour that is subtly different in each bite-full. This creamy curry has the contrast in texture of the crunchiness of the green peppercorns, creamy coconut milk curry, and the richness of beef.
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Mary-Anne Durkee, Thai Food Editor
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