Seattle is a beautiful city. When we get some of its rare sunshine, the season becomes memorable. This past week I wished for at least a good week of sunshine and beautiful fall colors and a chance to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest scenery. I got my wish. But there is another wish I make each fall as well: I wish for a good price for chanterelle mushrooms. This year I got both my wishes.
I enjoy cooking with chanterelle mushrooms from the local market and I love to add northwest flavors to my Thai dishes. This year I discovered a sensational new way to achieve both of these ends by adding chanterelle mushrooms to my vegan Thai green curry.
The flavor of chanterelle mushrooms reminds me of Hed Kone – a wild mushroom in my village. It has an interesting spicy flavor that goes well with coconut milk or fat. When cooked, the mushroom’s nutty and sweet-fruity flavors combine with its meaty flavor to enrich this meatless green curry dish. This meaty flavor was an added bonus that I didn’t expect but discovered while experimenting last year. I prepared this dish in my series of seven Thai Quick & Easy cooking classes at PCC Cooks. Although I shared the recipe below with more than 14o students, I can still capture the moment when I savored the dish with them during the classes. The chanterelle mushrooms make for a unique combination. This dish is a great reflection of true Thai flavors achieved by using local ingredients such as chanterelle mushroom and Italian eggplant with Thai ingredients such as bamboo shoots, young corn and water chestnuts.
I love this recipe the way it is and would not want to change anything. I want to share this recipe with you so that you can enjoy it as much as I do when fresh chanterelle mushrooms are abundant in the fall. My wishes have been fulfilled and I am content.
Gaeng Keow Wan Ja
Thai Green curry with chanterelle mushrooms and Kaffir lime leaves
Green curry is delicious. It is distinguished from other curries by its flavor and color which are derived from fresh Thai green chiles. Green curry is as versatile as red curry; it can incorporate many kinds of vegetables and mushrooms. Some vegetables that work well in green curries are zucchini, eggplant, green beans, bamboo shoots, young corn and water chestnuts. Serve with jasmine rice or somen noodles.
Servings: 82 tablespoons canola oil 1 jar Thai Kitchen green curry paste, about 5 tablespoons 2 teaspoons coriander powder 1 teaspoon cumin powder 1 tablespoon green or black peppercorns, whole 1½ – 2 cups coconut milk 1/2 cup water 2 cups chanterelle mushrooms, brushed to remove the dirt and torn into small pieces 2 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and diced (1/2 inch by 1/2 inch) ½ cup baby corn, washed and drained ½ cup sliced bamboo shoots 1 cup water chestnuts 1 Italian eggplant, diced or 2 zucchini, diced ½ teaspoon salt, or more as needed ½ to 1 tablespoon sugar, or as needed 4 Kaffir lime leaves, optional ¼ cup basil leaves
In a saucepan on medium-high heat, combine canola oil, green curry paste, coriander, cumin powder and green or black peppercorns, stirring constantly until fragrant. Stir in ½ cup coconut milk and let the mixture cook until the oil is separated and curry is fragrant.
Stir in chanterelle and portobello mushrooms, baby corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and water; let cook for 2 minutes. Stir in eggplant and the remaining coconut milk, salt, sugar and lime leaves. Let the mixture cook until the eggplant just softens but still holds its shape well. Stir in basil. When it comes to a boil, remove from heat and serve with jasmine rice.© 2011 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai coPranee Khruasanit Halvorsenoking.com .