With chicken on the bone, Thai apple and pea eggplants, and an authentically fiery paste, green curry has never been so flavoursome. For a true flavour of Bangkok, add congealed pork blood into the mix, then spoon the rich coconut sauce over the dainty balls of rice noodles.
- 2 red bird’s-eye chillies, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sunflower oil
- 400 g can coconut cream
- 1.2 kg whole chicken, jointed into 12 pieces
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 100 ml fish sauce
- 2 tbsp grated palm sugar
- 8 apple eggplants (see Note), trimmed, quartered, soaked in acidulated water
- 200 g pea eggplants (see Note) stems removed, soaked in acidulated water
- 15 kaffir lime leaves, tough inner stems removed, leaves roughly torn
- 1 bunch sweet Thai basil or holy basil (see Note)
- 350 g khanom jeen (fermented rice noodles) (see Note) or somen noodles (see Note)
Green curry paste
- 1 large lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
- 5 Asian red eschalots (see Note), roughly chopped
- 2 garlic bulbs, cloves peeled
- ½ kaffir lime (see Note) or regular lime, zested
- 5 cm piece galangal (see Note), peeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp shrimp paste (see Note)
- 15 green bird’s-eye chillies (see Note), chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Don’t shake coconut cream can to ensure as much cream separates from water as possible.
The dish is designed to be part of a banquet or shared meal.
To make curry paste, using a mortar and pestle, pound ingredients until smooth, adding enough oil to make a thick paste. Or, process in a blender until smooth. Makes 1¼ cups.
Combine chillies and soy sauce. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until fragrant and the oil starts to sit on top of the curry paste.
Add the thick settled cream from coconut cream can, reserving thinner coconut water underneath, and cook for 20 minutes or until oil separates from the cream. Increase heat to high, add chicken, stock and reserved coconut water, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Reduce heat to medium, add fish sauce, palm sugar and eggplants, and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until eggplants are just tender. Remove from heat, add kaffir lime leaves and basil, and stir to combine.
Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water for 1 minute or until al dente. Strain. When cool enough to handle, twist portions of noodles into balls. Serve green curry with noodles and the chilli and soy sauce.
• Apple and pea eggplants, sweet Thai basil, holy basil, Asian red eschalots, kaffir limes, galangal and green bird’s-eye chillies are from selected greengrocers and Asian food shops.
• Khanom jeen (fermented rice noodles) are available from selected Thai food shops. They can be hard to find in Australia, so substitute somen noodles (thin Japanese wheat noodles).
• Shrimp paste (belachan) is from Asian food shops and selected supermarkets and delis.
Photography by Brett Stevens and Katie Kaars.