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Posts Tagged ‘Curry Paste’

The Mystery Dish of Southern Thailand

Stir-fried Fresh Grated Coconut with Phuket Curry Paste and Chapoo Leaf

I uncovered a mystery about my grandmother’s cooking during my last trip to Phuket. I asked around about Phad Maprow Khub Kruang Gaeng, a stir-fried, fresh grated coconut with Phuket curry paste. During my childhood and adult life, I had never seen it cooked or eaten or even mentioned by anyone except members of my family. And it was only my grandmother who always asked me to assist her with it when I was young. I always wondered if it was served for health or economic reasons, or simply a food that the women of the house put on the table for their large extended family. It was never served alone, but with other main dishes and steamed jasmine rice.

I described the dish to my family to refresh their memories. My mom said that mostly we prepared it with a special kind of coconut (out of a thousand different kinds of coconuts, we used one that has an interesting texture with more like a virgin coconut oil). Then my sister-in-law, who was born in Phang Nga (80 kilometers away from Phuket), recalled eating the dish in her hometown. She said she had prepared it before, but not often. Luckily for me, she was very happy to prepare this for me while I took notes and photographs. She did it exactly the way I remember my grandmother preparing it. Thank you to my sister-in-law Tim, who helped me preserve the history of this lost recipe.

We shared the dish afterwards and more than anything else, more than its just being an interesting dish, it was a moment of rediscovery of the old time flavors of the south. We bonded again with foods. I hope that some of you will try this recipe so it won’t be lost forever.

Curry paste and fresh grated coconut in a mortar mix with pestle

First, Tim pounds the Phuket curry paste. When it became a fine paste she mixed in the freshly grated coconut and pounded to combine all of the ingredients. Then she stir-fried the mixture in a wok.

Coconut and turmeric—the colors and flavors of Southern Thailand

Stir-fried Fresh Grated Coconut Meat with Phuket Curry Paste

Phad Maprow Khub Kruang Gaeng Phuket

ผัดเนื้อมะพร้าวสดขูดกับเครื่องแกงภูเก็ต

Serves: 8 (as a side dish)

Yield: 2 cups

1/2 to 1 recipe Phuket Curry Paste (please click here for the recipe)
2 cups freshly grated coconut meat, or frozen (thaw before cooking)
1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
Salt to taste
32 chapoo or wild pepper leaves

Combine curry paste and grated coconut by hand or with a mortar and pestle. Place in a wok (without cooking oil) over medium heat, and stir constantly to allow the coconut and curry mix to become one texture. Continue stirring until the moisture in the coconut dries up and the curry paste is well-incorporated, about 5 to 8 minutes. It should be flaky with a little bit of moisture left, neither too dry nor too oily. Serve at room temperature with wild pepper leaves on the side.

Enjoy this as a tidbit by placing about 1 tablespoon on a wild pepper leaf, then wrapping it up so you can eat it in a single bite. Or simply mix it with warm jasmine rice and enjoy it as an accompaniment to curry and vegetable dishes.

Pranee’s Note:

This recipe has not been tested yet in my kitchen, so pay attention to spicy, salty and sweet when trying this recipe.

Chapoo leaf or wild pepper leaf is also known as la lot leaf (please see Pranee’s Blog Entry on Chapoo leaf)

Pranee’s Video on Youtube: How to Open a Coconut Husk: Thai Style

More Recipes by Pranee on Phuket Curry Paste

© 2013  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 
 
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How to make a banana leaf-cup for Amok, Kratong

Banana leaf-cup should hold about 1 cup of serving

It is hard to believe that it has been almost three months now after I returned home from Southeast Asia trip. I have been eating and traveling  through all the big cities: Hanoi, Hoi An, Saigon, Siem Reap and Bangkok. This week, I am working on the photos and recipes  from our trip. As I work on this project, I would like to share with you stories, recipes, food photos. Working on these photos and writing a food blog has helped me with “flavor-memories”. It is easy for me to recall Southeast Asian flavors because I am familiar with all the ingredients and the techniques used in these cuisines. I treasured my time with tour members in Siem Reap, savoring Khmer foods as much as we could in three days. Last month I posted Kroeung, Khmer Curry Paste Recipe and Amok, Khmer Curry Fish Stew Recipe and now it is time for me to share photos and steps of making banana leaf-cups. After trying a few times, it should be easy. Banana leaves are available in Asian Markets. In Seattle, if you have fig leaf in your garden, I would recommend you to try that first. Have fun!

How to make a banana leaf-cup for Amok, Kratong

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Thai & Khmer Banana leaf-cup for Amok or Hua Mok in Thai cuisine

Remove frozen banana-leaf package from the freezer over night or leave at room temperature for 2 hours before making.

Tear banana leaf into 6 inch width and clean with damp paper towel. Need 12 pieces to make 6 leaf-cups.

 
 
 

To make a cup, lay 2 banana leaves on top of each other with the  beautiful green side facing outward. Trim with scissors to make a 6″ by 6″ square. Fold in the center of each side to make 1 1/2 inch deep and 1 inch over lappin., Secure with staple. Repeat the same process three more times on three sides of the square.

 
 
 
 

It is done and ready for using to serve Amok, steamed jasmine rice, or any Asian dishes.

 

Banana Leaf Package

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The Making of Amok, Angkor Thom in 1300

Amok
Khmer Fish Stew

Servings: 4
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 tablespoons Khmer curry paste (please see Khroeung, Khmer Curry Paste Recipe)
3 cups spinach, amaranth, la lot (wild pepper leaf) or pea vine
1 pound catfish filets or any white fish cut into a bite size
6 tablespoons coconut milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons fish sauce
½ cup Thai basil

Heat canola oil and curry paste in a frying pan until fragrant. Stir in spinach until wilted and then stir in fish. Add coconut milk and egg and fold in until the fish is cooked. Then stir in fish sauce and Thai basil until Thai basil is just wilted.  Serve with jasmine rice.

© 2009  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen

I Love Thai cooking

Amok, Khmer fish curry in banana leaf-cup

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Kroeung, Khmer Curry Paste

Kroeung is Khmer curry paste that is versatile for many curry dishes in Khmer cuisine such as famous national dish, Amok (fish cake), chicken curry with sorrel leaves or fish stew with seasonal vegetable. Like Thai curry paste, Khmer curry paste consists of fresh herbs which will give pungent flavor and aroma. This curry paste is easy to prepare with a food processor and keeps well in the freezer for up to 6 months. This recipe is inspired by Le Tigre De Papier cooking class, my recent trip to Siem Reap March 2010.

 

Kroeung

Khmer Curry Paste

น้ำพริกแกงแดงเขมร

Yield: 1 cup curry paste for making two to three curry dishes

 
10 fresh or dried Thai chilies
2 large fresh Thai spur chilies or dried New Mexico Chili pods or guajllo chile pods
2-inch galangal root, trimmed and sliced to about 1/4 cup
4-inch fresh turmeric, sliced to about ¼ cup or 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely sliced
2 shallots, peeled and sliced to about ¼ cup
10 Kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
¼ cup canola oil

Cut and soak dried New Mexico chili pods in hot water water for one hour; then drain. Place New Mexico chili pods,  fresh or dried Thai chilies, galangal, turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, Kaffir lime leaves, black peppercorns, salt and shrimp paste  in food processor and blend until it forms a smooth paste, about 15 minutes. Use spatula to clean the edge a few times. It is ready to use for cooking.

Thai Vegetarian option: omit shrimp paste and replace with 2 teaspoons mushroom powder

Gluten-Free Recipe

 

© 2012  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking
Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area.
Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com 
 

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PHAD PHED PLA DOOK

Thai stir-fried catfish with red curry paste

Recipe & Video
Servings: 1
Prep Time: 15   Cook Time: 5 minutes
 

Thai stir-fried catfish with red curry paste is a typical fast food wok-frying dish served over steamed rice. My sister’s recipe is a southern-rustic version that is very pungent. But at home and cooking school in Seattle, I prefer coconut milk instead of chicken stock. Then I recommend to omit oyster sauce when coconut milk is used. This is a great quick and easy Thai cooking for anyone who tries out Thai cooking for the first time.

1 cup steamed jasmine rice
1 fried egg
5 sliced cucumber
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 to 1 ½ tablespoons red curry paste
¼ cup chicken stock or coconut milk (see note)
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 spur chili or Anaheim chili
¼ cup basil leaves
4 pieces fried catfish steaks (see note)

Place steamed jasmine rice on a serving plate and fried egg on top of the rice. Garnish with sliced cucumber on the side.

Heat a wok on high heat, when it is hot add curry paste and stir well until fragrant. Stir in chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar and salt. Mix well. Stir in chili, basil and fried catfish and cook until the fish absorb the flavors and moisture from the sauce.

Pour the hot catfish curry next to steamed rice and serve right away.

Cooknote: My sister coated her catfish with corn starch before frying. She likes it crunchy.

Thai Vegetarian Recipe Option: omit catfish and substitute it with 1/4 cup cut extra firm tofu and 1/4 sliced brown button mushroom. Use coconut milk instead of chicken stock

© 2010  Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen
I Love Thai cooking

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