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Posts Tagged ‘Hua Mok’

Phuket Red Curry Paste, My Aunt’s Recipe

I have five women in my life that I am thankful everyday for their talents, strength and kindness. I grew up with my grandmother, mom and my three aunts. It was quite an experience.  When it came to culinary skills, my three aunts each had their own specialty. My aunt Pan specializes in curry paste making and her curry paste is well known among family and friends. It was the year I left Phuket to go to Seattle that I visited my Aunt Pan to pick up a kilo of her homemade curry paste to bring with me. I kept it in the freezer for a year. But when I visited her a year later, I felt a little guilty asking her to make some more for me because it takes a week of pounding by hand. Instead, I asked her for her secret. She taught me to feel the ingredients in my left palm before putting them in the mortar. I was not sure if I got it at the time, but I was glad that I had also taken note of the amount in standard American measuring spoons. Now I even teach my aunt’s recipes in my cooking class on Southern Thai curry dishes.

Then the other day, I gave myself a final exam. I was in the kitchen preparing a curry paste, conducting every step from memory. I recalled the lesson with my aunt from over 15 years ago. She said that for four servings, start with about 1 teaspoon of salt and about 1 tablespoon of black pepper. For turmeric, she said that if I wanted to use fresh turmeric I should use about 1 inch, and she bent her index finger. If I used dry turmeric, use about 1 teaspoon. The amount for the dry red chili pepper I remember really well. She used 40 dried Thai chilies.  I used 20 for my cooking class and everyone thought that it was too hot, so generally I use 15 chilies for American 3 stars and 20 for 5 stars.

Phuket Red Curry Paste--Recipe from Phuket Village

My grandmother, mom, and three aunts prepared this curry paste with a  mortar and pestle countless times in their lives. About 30 years ago, when our village had access to electricity for the first time, I remember that the most important modern kitchen appliances that we purchased right away were a rice cooker and a blender.

My mom’s favorite way to make curry paste was with a mortar and pestle, but often she blended them in the blender. For this recipe I decided to prepare it in a blender, which only takes 5 minutes. I hope you enjoy my family recipe.

The Color of Phuket Red Curry Paste

Phuket red curry paste is so versatile. You may use it in any red curry recipe that calls for red curry paste. However, the color is yellow because our family omits dried large red spur chili pods. You may add 3 dried New Mexico Chili Pods to this recipe to add a deep red-orange color.

Phuket Red Curry Paste

Kruange Gaeng Phed Phuket

Yield: 1/2 cup

1 shallot, halved and peeled
6 cloves garlic
1 lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Place all ingredients in the blender with 1/2 cup water; blend until smooth, about 5 minutes.

© 2010  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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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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