Mollie and Cindy’s Green Curry
by Mollie Doyle
- 1 cup chopped shallots (about 4)
- 2 fresh lemongrass stalks (optional), 1-2 outer leaves discarded and lower 6 inches of stalks thinly sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon peeled, chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro stems
- 1-2 tablespoons bottle Asian green curry paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 (13- to 14-oz) can unsweetended coconut milk (not low-fat)
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 2 cups Basmati rice
- 1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined (21 to 25 per lb), or 2 pounds chicken cut up into 1
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- Bamboo shoots (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons Asian fish sauce, or to taste
- Fresh cilantro sprigs, to garnish
NOTE: While the shrimp and chicken can be cooked right in the broth, we recommend cooking the tofu independently and then adding it. Mollie recently read in Cook’s Illustrated that if you freeze tofu in thin slices overnight and then cook, the tofu absorbs more flavor. She tried it and it worked. So, if you are using tofu, slice it up, freeze it the night before, then thaw and fry tofu over high heat in toasted sesame oil. You will get a lovely crunchy and more substantial texture. Added bonus? The tofu will not fall apart as easily in the broth.
Purée shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and cilantro stems in a blender with curry paste, sugar, salt, turmeric and water until as smooth as possible, about 1 minute. Heat oil in a 4-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook curry paste mixture, stirring frequently, until it just begins to stick to bottom of pot, 8-10 minutes. Add coconut milk and broth and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 3 2/3 cups, 8 to 10 minutes.
While sauce simmers, make rice.
Add shrimp, chicken or tofu, peppers and bamboo shoots to sauce and simmer, stirring until just cooked through. For shrimp, it takes 2-3 minutes. For chicken 12-15 minutes, and tofu, 10 minutes to absorb the flavor. Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle curry over rice. Sprinkle cilantro on top. Serve.
Yield: 6 servings