Thai Green Curry from Scratch!
I have to admit, watching cooking shows definitely gives you inspiration to get creative in the kitchen! And thanks to my Dad who LOVES to watch cooking shows, we got some inspiration to make a Thai green curry over the weekend. But not your basic Thai green curry where you go to the store, grab your veggies, coconut milk and the little glass jar that says, "Green Curry Paste." We actually MADE our green curry paste from scratch and let me tell you, it was worth every minute of prep!
It was a little work, walking up and down the aisles to grab all of the ingredients but that was probably the hardest part. Once everything was home, washed and prepped, you just throw it all in the blender and let the magic happen! It was so aromatic and fresh tasting. You literally wanted to eat it like it was salsa with chips! But we didn't! haha We managed to make a delicious Thai green curry and I even added pumpkin in as a throw back to an amazing Thai spot I used to eat at in NYC. It was a tiny little spot, nothing fancy at all in Hell's Kitchen called Pam's Real Thai Food. On a Friday night, the line would be out the door. She made a pumpkin curry that was just perfect so in honor of her, I added some pumpkin into ours too. I"m not sure my Dad had agreed with the choice at the start but when we sat down to eat, he saw how the sweet of the pumpkin nicely complemented the spice. It's not something that you have to include in your recipe but I was certainly glad that we did and if you're a vegetarian, the pumpkin really gives it some substance and I always prefer a vegetable carb over eating rice so that was my preference.
Here's what you will need to make this recipe come to life! We start with the paste first.
Green Curry Paste
- 1/2 tsp whole coriander seed (or powder)
- 1 tsp whole cumin seed (or powder)
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns (or ground pepper)
- 3 small green chilies (Serrano - Spicier Finger Hot Pepper - More Mild), stems + most seeds removed
- 1 green bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 stalks lemongrass, tips trimmed, halved, + chopped
- 1 heaping Tbsp fresh sliced ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 1 Tbsp fresh turmeric or 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 lime, zested and juiced (~45 ml juice)
- 2-3 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup to help balance the flavors and spice
- If using whole coriander, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns, add to a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes. Keep them moving in the pan and make sure to not let them burn! They will start to smell nice and fragrant and will deepen in color. If you're using powdered herbs, skip this step.
- Once you've toasted the seeds, you can use a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin to mash them up. Set them aside.
- To a food processor add green chilies, bell pepper, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, green onions, coriander, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, sea salt, lemon juice, lime zest + juice, water, and maple syrup. Blend until a paste forms, scraping sides down as needed. The lemongrass may be tougher to grind at first but keep going, it will grind down.
- Don't be afraid to taste and adjust the flavors as needed. This was something that was emphasized in one of my recent cooking classes, always taste. Add lime zest or juice for acidity, salt to bring out the flavors, chilies for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, water for creaminess, garlic for kick, ginger for brightness, or turmeric for more intense curry flavor.
- Store curry paste in a jar in the refrigerator up to 10 days or more. For longer storage, transfer paste to an ice cube tray, freeze, then store in a freezer-safe bag up to 1 month.
- I've used this paste for our green curry but I"m looking forward to using it over salmon tonight. Be creative with it! While most green curry recipes only call for 2 TBSPs of the paste, I actually used 8! I think the store bought pastes must be much more concentrated but I definitely preferred the fresh mixture as it really brought the curry to life in a different way!
Now onto making the Green Curry!
The funniest part is that I have no photo of my plated curry because after cooking the meal, I was just so excited to eat that I couldn't be bothered with the photo! I just wanted to eat! So let's get onto that recipe for you.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 8 tbsp green Thai curry paste
- 400 ml can coconut milk
- 7oz hot vegetable stock (I always use reduced sodium)
- 14oz pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed (optional)
- 4 cups of fresh chopped veggies. I used red, yellow and orange peppers as well as baby bok choy and asparagus.
- 1lb shrimp, cleaned, de-veined and tails removed (optional protein addition)
- 1 tbsp each freshly chopped coriander and basil
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion for 5 min until just softened. Add the paste and fry for 2min. Stir in the coconut milk, and stock.
- Add pumpkin, bring to the boil, then simmer for 15min until almost tender. Add veggies and shrimp and cook for 3-4min. Make sure not to over cook the shrimp as they will keep cooking even when the heat is turned off on the stove. Stir in the herbs and spring onions. Serve in big soup bowls with or without rice. Enjoy!
Please tag #GetTonedWithThara if you make this yummy recipe. I would love to see your variations!