Cooking of Thai green curry paste requires not more than 10 minutes. Well, cooking the dish (Thai green curry) won’t take much time too. The main problem for those, who live far from Thailand are the ingredients. That’s why I highly do not recommend buying some of ingredients in hope to find the rest in other shop: buy only everything together, so it won’t fade and become inedible in your fridge – if these herbs/vegetables were not produced in your country they have made a long way to reach shelves of your nearby shop.
Most of exotic fruits and vegetables are delivered to northern countries by ships, so together with customs things they spend at least 1 month travelling.
This recipe of Thai green curry paste has been adapted by me to the range of products that can be found in my region (St. Petersburg, Russia). I will also name original ingredients, as who knows probably in your place they are available. Unfortunately in Europe green curry paste won’t be a cheap thing, if you hadn’t brought some of herbs and vegetables from Thailand (they can be put in freezer or you can make a lot of green curry paste at once – as salt and chili work as preservatives).
Green curry paste is said to be stored harmless for 1 month in a fridge (I suppose it can be stored much longer) and for ages in a freezer (divide it in portions prior to storing). Out of following ingredients you’ll produce ~250 g of green curry paste. If you want to make Thai green curry, you’ll need 1 kg of meat for this amount of paste.
- 40-100 g of green chili pepper (Thais would use bird eye chili, these are little spicy peppers, up to 3 cm long, I haven’t seen them in Russia, so I’m using just our local green chili that seems to be not that hot. Actually Thais put 150 g of it, but it’s definitely too much)
- 40 g of lemongrass stalks (preferably lower parts)
- 20 g (6-8 cloves) of garlic
- 20 g of onion (Thais prefer shallot variety)
- 16 g of cilantro (Thais use roots, you may replace them with stalks and leaves)
- 12 g of fresh ginger root (Thais use galangal)
- 12 g of lime zest – it’s zest of 1 lime that weighs 80 g (bald/zestless lime can be used for mojito or tea, but if you plan to cook green curry in the next 2-3 days, leave it: lime juice is needed for cooking; originally Thais put zest of kaffir lime, but it’s difficult to find)
- 2 tbsp of fish sauce (can be replaced with 2 tsp of shrimp paste)
- 30 g (5 tsp) of salt
- 1 tsp of cumin (whole seeds)
- 2 tsp of coriander (whole seeds)
- 1 tsp of grounded white pepper (Thais put whole seeds, if you can find them, use whole, but you’ll need them more than 1 tsp)
- 1-1,5 tsp of sugar (optional – you may omit sugar in paste and add it while cooking green curry after tasting the dish; you may need sugar, if the sweetness of coconut milk was not enough for perfect balance of taste)
- Hand blender (shaft with blades)
- Coffee grinder
For those who have a lot of time and a wish to make the cooking process as traditional as possible – use pestle and mortar. The difference is in time and excess labour.
1. Wash herbs and chili pepper, shake off the excess water. Cut them. Don’t throw away the seeds of chili pepper – most of chili species have their spicy taste contained in them. Mince ginger thoroughly. All this is needed to cut the “hair” the herbs contain. Hand blender can’t do it well enough.
2. Dry seeds should be grinded in coffee grinder.
3. Put in hand blenders glass all the ingredients that contain juice and blend them well. Add the rest of ingredients and blend them 1 more time.
If you use pestle and mortar, you should start vice versa – with dry seeds.
4. Put green curry paste in a clean jar, cover it and put in a fridge. Or continue cooking, f.e. you can cook Thai green curry with chicken or pork: