I wanted to share another recipe from my final tasting exam of my Thai cuisine course. This recipe is for green curry with mushroom stuffed peppers. This is a surprisingly easy recipe to riff on and because the curry is made as a stand alone as a sauce, so it could be poured over any key ingredient you'd like! I've done it here with mushroom stuffed banana peppers, but it could go over a roasted eggplant or cauliflower or even a cut of beef braised in coconut milk. The sky's the limit!
This recipe will produce a much greener curry paste than pictured because I've added fresh Thai basil to the paste. Even though there is basil in the paste, the extensive cooking time reduces its flavor and aroma, so it is still recommended to do a quick infusion of fresh basil in the sauce before serving.
The posts for the other recipes from my final exam meal are:
Green Curry with Mushroom Stuffed Peppers
Green Curry Ingredients
1.5 cup coconut cream (use Aroy D coconut milk)
1 cup medium coconut milk (50/50 Aroy D coconut milk and water)
3 lime leaves
20g Thai basil
20g fish sauce
5g palm sugar
Stuffed Peppers Ingredients
4 banana peppers (large as possible)
100g oyster mushrooms, shredded
100g shiitake mushrooms, chopped
20g garlic, mined
3 coriander roots, minced
5g white pepper
5g chili flakes
20g cooked rice
20g cooking oil
1 - 2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp palm sugar
Curry Paste Ingredients
24g large mild green chilies (seeded)
5 small bird's eye chili (the very spicy or medium spicy ones, your choice!)
15g lemongrass, sliced thinly
7g galangal, sliced thinly
15g shallot, sliced thinly
10g thai basil
7g thai garlic
3g kaffir lime zest
5g coriander root
1g white peppercorn
.5 g cumin seeds
1g coriander seeds
Mortar and pestle or spice grinder
Toast the coriander seeds and white pepper in a dry pan on medium-low heat until aromatic (about 2 minutes) add whole cumin seeds to the pan and toast for another 30 seconds or until aromatic. Remove from heat and pound into a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Alternatively, you can use the ground version of each spice, and not toast at all. This will be less aromatic than if you toast them whole, but it will still produce a good curry in the end.
Add all curry paste ingredients to the blender carafe, then add enough coconut milk to cover the blade. Blend on low and slowly increase the speed until you have the smoothest possible paste.
Have your coconut cream and coconut milk measured and ready near the stove. Heat up 1⁄2 cup coconut cream in a non stick pan (medium heat) until the water evaporates and you're left with just the coconut oil, you should stir this from time to time so that it doesn't burn; this will take about 5 minutes.
Pour your curry paste into your pan and stir fry the curry paste in the oil on medium heat until it is very aromatic and you can see bright green oil released from the paste. As you stir fry the paste, add a few tablespoons of coconut cream from time to time, to keep the paste loose and easily stir-able, this will ensure your paste doesn't dry out and burn. It will also make the green oil visible, as the oil will float on top of the coconut cream when you add it. This step takes a long time, probably 20-30 minutes, but it is the most important step because fully cooking the curry paste ensure the flavors and aromas are married and mellowed.
When you see the green oil separate from the paste, season the paste with half of the fish sauce and palm sugar. Stir this around for about 2 minutes so the palm sugar cam caramelize a bit and develop deeper flavor. Then add the medium coconut milk and any remaining coconut cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more palm sugar or fish sauce as needed. Reserve.
Stir fry the filling for the peppers:
In a mortar and pestle, make a rough paste of paste of garlic, coriander root, white pepper and chili flake. To a cold pan, add the garlic paste and 20g (1 tbs) oil in a sauté pan or wok, and sauté until aromatic.
Once aromatic, add mushrooms. When mushrooms are cooked, add fish sauce and palm sugar.
Add the cooked rice and 1/4C of the green curry to the pan and mix it into the mushrooms. Doing this over low heat should be easier if your rice is cold or room temp. Once well incorporated, remove from heat and cool to room temp or until you are comfortable handling it.
Slice off the tops of the banana peppers and use a spoon to remove all the seeds from inside. Stuff the peppers with the mushroom filling. Secure the top of the pepper back on with toothpicks. Steam the peppers for 5-7 minutes (you can steam in a stove top steamer or in the microwave).
Reheat the curry on the stove. At the boil, add the basil and kaffir lime leaves to infuse for about 2 minutes. Remove the leaves to serve.
Plate by ladling the curry sauce into the bowl and resting stuffed peppers on top.