Hurry Hurry Eat Green CurryDecember 15, 2008
So far, I’ve come up with: noodles, eggs, gnocchi… and just straight licking it out off a spoon. Seriously, I was awake past midnight.
But why am I torturing myself? This Thai Green Curry Sauce is so good on lightly fried white fish and rice, I don’t know why I bother. The verdant green sauce and its fresh, herbacious, spicy bite go perfectly with tender white fish and coconut-scented white rice. Frankly, I had no idea that green curry was so delicious.
For those new to green curry, don’t be alarmed by its vibrant green color… this is not a disturbing liquefied salad or some sort of wheat-grass-based health beverage. It is a vibrant, fresh, amazing herby concoction, complete with a hint of hot. In fact, call it pesto, if it makes you more comfortable. I don’t really understand the distinction anyway.
The point is: It’s amazing. My husband plates this dish up beautifully… a perfectly lightly golden-fried fish fillet atop a steaming mound of aromatic rice, all resting on a lake of this gorgeous green curry. What do I do? Wreck it, man. Ram my fork through all the ingredients. I break up the fish in one go. I stir the rice mound to a chaotic pile. And most important, I coat EVERYTHING in green curry. I want a mouthful in every bite. Only decorum keeps me from picking up the plate and licking the remnants off.
Hmmm… Maybe what would really go well with this dish is some bread. Yes, some delicious bread to mop up sauce with. Eureka! I have found it. Now maybe I can get some sleep.
And now for the husband’s take…
Authentic… no. Can’t claim that it is. I’ve made this with Thai basil, bird chilies, galangal (a variant of ginger), and other more rarified ingredients. Those are great when you can get them, but at some point you need to use what you have. So, I’ve tried to keep this version to my more regularly available ingredients. As a result, this sauce has become one of our staples.
It is one of our favorite combinations with white fish. Along with some rice, it is fantastic. I’ve made it with sea bass (as seen above), pompano, halibut, and hake. It’s really fantastic with any of the firmer fleshed white fishes as the sauce brings lots of acidity as well as its own deliciousness. I’ve also used the sauce to entice non-fish eaters into the fold… and had it ordered by my insistent father-in-law when he returned home from a fishing trip.
Luckily, this is also a quick recipe. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and most of the time is spent shoving ingredients into the blender and running back and forth to the fridge. I suspect Rachael Ray’s frightening efficiency in the kitchen would transform this into a 1 minute sauce, but I’m not always well organized when I have this many ingredients. So, while my recipe may lack ‘authenticity,’ it makes up for it with deliciousness and speed.
Green Curry Sauce
Yield: 3 quarts sauce
1 cup coconut milk
2 limes (juice & zest)
1 serrano chili (can substitute jalapeño)
3 cups (100g) cilantro
3/4 cup (10g) mint
1/2 cup (8g) basil
2 (75g) shallots
3 (15g) cloves garlic
1 3’’stalk (15g) lemon grass
1 1 1/2’’ piece (35g) ginger
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
2 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
1. Add the cilantro (stem and leaves) to a blender. Add the leaves of the basil and mint along with the kaffir lime leaves, lime zest, lime juice, and coconut juice.
2. Blend for a moment on highest setting before adding the garlic, shallots, lemon grass and ginger. Set to highest setting until smooth. Add a little bit of water or coconut milk if you want it smoother. If your blender is powerful enough, you can combine all the ingredients at once. You can also use an emersion/hand blender. (However, they’re not as likely to give you a smooth consistency.)
3. Add the sugar, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt. Blend for a moment. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
4. Keeps well for at least 1 week in the refrigerator. To reheat, place in a pan over very low heat. If you heat too fast, it will cause the sauce to take on a shade of brown .Sauce also will heat well in the microwave for about 90 seconds.