Toot-toot-ta-toooot! Yes, that’s the sound of us tooting our own horn as this green Thai curry is some seriously NEXT LEVEL cooking. Don’t let our amateur photographs put you off – this is the nicest green Thai curry we have ever had, and we made everything ourselves.
Following our abortive attempt at a Thai cooking class in Thailand, we decided to take our mums and try again at London’s Food At 52 Thai cooking course. Over the day we made so many delicious dishes and, of course, made the most of the free flowing wine. The Thai green curry, though, was the man of the match.
Full disclosure. You need to be prepared to put the work in up front with the curry paste and this is non-negotiable. If you’re reading this and thinking ‘ah, whatever, I’ll just use some store-bought curry paste’ then a pox on you: click away from here and go and read the back of your packet. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves (and roll on some latex gloves) and commence the deseeding of 80 (for real) green Thai chillies. If you forego the gloves, then let’s hope Jesus takes the wheel and you don’t touch human skin for the next few days.
The upside is that you’ll make a batch of paste that you can freeze, and from this point on making the meal is super quick. Plus, you can freak your mum out by texting pictures of your ‘stash’.
Exhibit A – it’s herbal!
Green Thai Curry Paste
- 80 (yes, 80) green finger chillies (deseeded). Latex gloves are your friend.
- 2 tbsp finely chopped galangal
- 4 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped kaffir lime leaves
- 1.5 tbsp chopped coriander root or stem
- 5 tbsp finely chopped red shallot (the really little ones)
- 3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- Soak the deseeded chillies in warm water for about 20 minutes
- Roast the peppercorns, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a dry pan until aromatic but be careful not to burn. This should take a couple of minutes.
- Blend all of the ingredients until you have a smooth, green paste.
- Freeze what you’re not going to use in 2 tbsp-sized balls (it’s a tablespoon of paste per person) wrapped in cling film and in a ziplock bag. To use, just defrost as many paste balls as you need in the microwave for a few minutes.
Green Thai Curry with Seabass
- 1 tin coconut milk (75% or 80% coconut extract – check the back of the tin)
- 2-3 tbsp green Thai curry paste (see recipe above – it’s really not that hot so don’t scrimp)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce or squid sauce (we use squid as it’s slightly less pungent)
- 1 tsp caster sugar or palm sugar
- 1 tsp dried whole green peppercorns (ground). Fresh green pepper is even better but harder to come by. 2 boneless fillet seabass (remove any skin)
- 90g babycorn (or however much you want to eat really)
- 90g sugar snap peas (again, adjust the amount to your taste)
- bunch of Thai basil, or Italian basil if you can’t get it (roughly torn)
- squeeze of lime (up to half a lime).
- This recipe is very quick to make so ensure that everything is prepared before you start. Ensure any rice or other accompaniments have already started cooking before you start the curry.
- Spoon 3 tbsp of the thick coconut cream that sits at the top of the can into a wok and turn up the heat. Cook and stir it until the oil separates and it starts to look almost a bit golden, but don’t let it burn (see picture above).
- Add the green Thai curry paste and cook on a medium high heat for 3 minutes.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk, the fish sauce, and the sugar and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the green pepper and add the seabass. Cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the babycorn, sugar snap peas and basil and cook for 30 seconds. Add lime juice to taste and quickly adjust the seasoning.
- Serve on top of a bed of rice