thai green curry: a weeknight meal

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Earlier in the month, I was wandering through the farmers market on a rainy Saturday morning and came across stalks of lemongrass. That got me thinking about making green curry which one of the key ingredients is lemongrass. Since I have easy access to Asian supermarkets like Ranch 99, I was able to pick up items like coconut milk and an authentic green curry paste (see note after recipe).

This is an easy and economical weeknight dinner that takes about 30 minutes and is great the next day. If you like curry, check out my yellow curry recipe (my first blog post). It’s another easy weeknight dish.

Thai green curry (adapted from simply recipes)
serves 4
1 TB vegetable oil (canola or olive oil works too)
½ red bell pepper sliced
1 carrot, ¼ inch slices
1 small onion (or ½ medium onion) sliced
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
2 TB green curry paste (see description and pic below)
1 14 oz can of coconut milk
¾ cup chicken broth
1 TB fish sauce
1 TB brown sugar
¼ cup Thai basil leaves (or regular basil is ok too)
1 lime, sliced in 8 wedges to garnish (optional)

1. In a medium pot or wok on medium-low heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. To that, add 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Saute until fragrant, which will be about 20-30 seconds. Pour in about half the can of coconut milk and stir. Let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes.
2. Add fish sauce, brown sugar, chicken broth, and remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add all the veggies and cook for about 4 minutes or until they are softened. Lastly, add the shredded chicken to heat up.
3. Turn off the heat and add fresh basil to serve. Enjoy with rice or rice noodles.

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Note on green curry paste: I recommend the Maesri brand of curry paste (amazon sells it) from Ranch 99 for about $1.59 for a 4 oz can. It’s the real deal. The ingredients are legit (like green chiles, kaffir lime, galangal, and a whole bunch of spices) and it saves you the time/hassle of buying at least 8 more ingredients to create the curry paste). Also, it’s free of MSG and other preservatives (and a product of Thailand).  Some recipes that I found have you actually make your own curry paste but I don’t think it’s necessary unless you lack access to quality Asian products.
Veggies: You can easily swap out the veggies listed above for whatever you have at home. I would recommend keeping the peas, so good! Traditionally, Thai eggplant is the main veggie in this dish but add what you like.
Also to note: some recipes call for sliced Thai chili to garnish the soup. Personally, I thought the curry had enough of a peppery kick but if you want to turn the heat up, by all means add some Thai chili but proceed with caution; the smaller the peppers, the spicier they are.

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