I’ve always thought that Thai cooking is one of the most forgiving styles of cooking around. As long as you can get those Sweet, Spicy, Salty and Sour flavours going it isn’t so important that you follow the recipes blindly but just use them as a guide.
I first was shown how to make a Thai Curry by a semi-alcoholic Malaysian called La-Li, this recipe is kind of based on what he showed me but should only be seen as a rough guide.
La-Li had worked in Kitchens for years but came to England as a Pirate-horticulturist, having collected rare seeds to sell from his travels all over Asia. He settled down eventually and returned to working as a chef which is how I came to know him.
To me a good Thai style curry relies on its paste... Once you’ve got this right you’ll never make a bad curry again. You can make this in batches but to be honest it’s not that hard to make so I just do it as and when.
You’ll need a blender though, don’t be fucking around doing this in a Pestle and Mortar. Ingredients for the Paste for 2 people:
4 Chillies – Whole Red or Green, the Lady doesn’t like it too hot so adjust to taste.
3 Cloves of Garlic
3 Shallots – Don’t worry if you can’t get the Thai Shallots, I’ve never been able to tell the difference.
1 Stick of Lemon Grass
1 Thumb of Ginger
4 or 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves – Freeze Dried anything isn’t as good, but so much easier to get hold of.
6 – 10 Black Peppercorns
1tsp Coriander Seeds
1tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2tbsp of Palm Sugar
1/2tsp of Turmeric
1tsp of Salt
1tbsp of Oil – You can use Chilli Oil, Ground Nut Oil or Veg which ever you’ve got.
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until extremely fine, then blend it for another 5 or 10 minutes. Rest your blender though don’t have it going for more than a couple of minutes otherwise you’ll just burn it out.
The next stage is so easy, just get your Jasmine rice on the boil before you start to put this together otherwise you’ll fuck the prawns...
Enough King Prawns for two – Shelled and De-veined
A couple of Handfuls of Blanched French Beans
Handful of Basil Leaves
1 Lemon grass stalk – Sliced into very fine rounds.
1 Tin of Coconut Milk
A Splash of Fish Sauce
A Bunch of fresh Coriander to serve on top as well as Garnish.
A splash of oil.
Get your pan on a high heat with a splash of oil, throw in Paste and allow to become aromatic for a second or two. Throw in the rest of ingredients – That’s your Prawns, Coconut Milk, Fish Sauce, Basil, Lemon Grass and allow to bubble and reduce for a couple of minutes.
Any longer and you’ll overdo it so be careful, if you want to reduce it down for longer hold off adding your Prawns at the start. I like a loose soupy broth that I can eat with a spoon making sure all my rice is covered so just reduce to how you like to eat really...
Smash it all in your mouth with a beer and this is perfect Monday night meal to ward away the working blues.