Yellow Squid Curry
Partaking in any red, yellow, or green curry at a roadside restaurant in Thailand will quickly turn into a feast of flavour. You can use store-bought curry paste, but a wise Thai cook knows that you most certainly get better flavour with a paste you pounded yourself.
Most well-stocked fish stores sell bags of frozen and cleaned squid, a popular seafood option in Thailand, but you can also use shrimp, bay scallops, or white fish such as tilapia in this recipe. Serve with steamed Asian greens such as gai lan (Chinese broccoli) or baby bok choy and a bowl of brown rice.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed, peanut, or coconut oil
1 lb (450 g) cleaned squid tubes, sliced into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) thick rings
1 - 13 1/2 oz (398 mL) can coconut milk, not shaken or stirred
2 Tbsp (30 mL) yellow curry paste, homemade (see recipe below) or store-bought
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 Thai eggplants or 1 small eggplant, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fish sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut palm sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
4 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves, stemsremoved and torn, or juice of 1/2 lime
Cilantro or Thai basil, for garnish
Heat oil in wok or large saucepan over medium-high heat, add squid and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove squid from pan and set aside.
Place the thicker coconut cream from the top of the can as well as curry paste in saucepan or wok. Bring to simmer over medium heat and cook until oil separates out and floats to surface, about 2 minutes.
Add remaining coconut milk, squid, red bell pepper, eggplant, green onion, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. If using lime juice, stir it in only after cooking is complete.
Place in serving bowls and garnish with cilantro or Thai basil.
Each serving contains: 356 calories; 20 g protein; 26 g total fat (19 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 13 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 2 g fibre); 419 mg sodium
5 dried Thai red chili peppers
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coriander seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
2 tsp (10 mL) turmeric
2 stalks lemon grass, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh galangal or ginger
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) shrimp paste (optional)
Soak chilies in cold water for 10 minutes. Place coriander and cumin in dry skillet and toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Place seeds in mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind into a powder.
Drain chilies (reserve liquid) and add them to mortar and pestle or food processor container along with ground seeds, turmeric, lemon grass, shallots, garlic, galangal or ginger, salt, and shrimp paste, if using. Grind until pastelike mixture forms.
If using a mortar and pestle, it’s best to add ingredients one at a time, ensuring each item is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Add some of the reserved chili pepper water if needed while grinding to help form a paste.
Paste can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 month.
source: "Stir-Up Delicious Thai Food", alive #364, February 2013
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