September 26, 2006

Thai Green Curry

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Thai cuisine has been a favorite since I tasted my first Pad Thai and Tod Mun Pla (fish cakes) at Flavours and Spices restaurant at Mile Long Shopping center when the place was just a tiny hole in the wall, where you can watch the cook prepare the food you ordered. This was 20 years ago, before they moved to that big place at Greenbelt. (I wonder if they are still in business with Thai restaurants mushrooming in Manila like crazy). My office mates and I would go to Makati from the old Asian Development Bank Headquarters at Roxas Blvd in Pasay City, ignoring the traffic and the mild reprimand of our bosses for getting back late from lunch. In my opinion nothing can match Flavours and Spices (in the Philippines and US) in authenticity and taste except of course, in Thailand where the best Thai food I had was in a very small restaurant in Patpong, yes the red light district Patpong in Bangkok. Last night I made beef and tofu green curry, I think I overcooked the tiny eggplants and my sauce always comes out green/brown because I use the Thai ready made green curry paste which is a little brownish. It does not matter, the curry tastes excellent. I usually prepare Thai curry with lots of sauce to pour over rice. I'll never get tired of this food.

Thai Beef Green Curry
½ pound sliced thin very lean beef
1 brick cubed firm tofu
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
2 tablespoons fish extract
3 makrut lime leaves, fresh or dried
10 halved Thai tiny green eggplants
1 cup fresh Thai basil (no substitutes)
1 large can coconut milk.
  • If using tougher cut of beef, boil in ½ cup of thin coconut milk for 30 minutes. While boiling, saute curry paste in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 1 minute, add coconut milk, lime leaves, tofu and fish sauce or extract, simmer for 15 minutes, then add the beef, eggplants and half of the basil, simmer for 5 minutes, add the rest of the basil, turn off heat. Dish up and serve with hot steamed jasmine rice.


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