Comments: Thai green curry: a rant and a recipe


Oh dear Meg!

You could have just asked darling. You should have.

I see red every time I see another 'green' curry paste that contains cilantro (coriandar) leafs. It really does irate me. I'm afraid it began with JGV, whose 'Thai' Green Curry recipe is no less than blasphemy.

There is no cilantro leafs in curry paste. We used the base of the stalk and the roots only. The light green hue of the curry -no it's not supposed to be bright green- comes from the use of fresh green chilli instead of the usually dried red chilli.

Ginger is also not used in green curry paste, Galangal is. Galangal and ginger have such different flavors that it's pointless to substitute one for the other.

There are plenty of Thai green curry paste around. I have one on my blog, so does Khun Kasama, on her website

Throw out Nigel's recipe please. Just do me a favor! I love his new book, and also an avid reader of the OFM, but the man should be ashamed of that recipe!

So does the recipe taste good? If so, I'd stick with it.

I certainly wouldn't make a lot of changes for the sake of culinary purity. It's difficult to find galangal in European and North American supermarkets while ginger is abundant. If ginger satisfies you, use it.

As I pointed out in another comment about my hummus recipe that seems to have been eaten by the spam guardians, Chicago style, Sicilian style, New York and New England and California pizzas are all very different but all are identifiably pizza. I'd say this is certainly a green curry recipe.

I suppose that if you want to be a purist, you can take the "Thai" out of the title.

...I'm an FT (Financial Times) kinda guy, myself.

Il love Thaie curries (green and red) and usuallu use a paste I buy, next time I'll try to make my own!

Just one disclaimer (especially for Mayacook): it's not that I have anything against commercially bought pastes per se - I just think that a paper of the Observer's calibre should assume we actually want to MAKE something, not USE something from a jar.

That said, do give it a try! As I mentioned, it's very quick and tasty. (Though, in the absence of absolutely athentic ingredients perhaps not exactly the same as you can get in Thailand. But I'm a working momma and don't have time to run down to Chinatown every time I have a hankering for Thai green curry!)

Hello from the UK. I absolutely agree with about OFM, it has gone downhill since it first came on the market a few years ago. I used to count down the weeks until it was due, it was such food and cooking Heaven, but now I simply can't be bothered any more. I content myself with reading my old back copies.

(You were wrong about Marmite though, way back in a much earlier post. It is food of the Gods).

Get hold of a copy of "Thai Food" by David Thompson. It is a fantastic book, a real work of love. Not only does it have very good recipes but also a lot of background and pictures - a good read - almost a tourist brochure.

His recpipe for Green Curry looks complex but is quite simple once you get the hang of "cracking" the coconut cream. But, it does take time as there is a lot of peeling and chopping. However the taste is great....and yes there are roasted cumin seeds in it.

However, even heading to the 13th to buy in the markets of Chinatown does not guarantee you can get ingredients...last trip no lime leaves (but tons of kaffir limes).

Phil, thanks for the tip - will keep an eye out for it. As for the ingredients, I forgot to mention that you can usually find lemongrass shoots at a place called Kanae in the 15th. It's a Japanese grocery store, but also has a lot of other Asian ingredients and is a lot more convenient (for me anyway!). It's just across the street from the Beaugrenelle shopping center, down the road from Darty!

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