Saturday, August 30, 2008

Green Thai Stew

I know, it’s horrible. A blog without pictures is like coffee without caffeine but in my defence I can say that I have been a little absent-minded as of late and so it went that I prepared a decidedly westernised Thai curry, wolfed it down and realised afterwards that I should have really taken a couple of snaps to post. Sorry, I won’t forget again.

Still, the stew was so lovely that it is worthy of getting all typed-up, even though I have no pictorial reference for it. I mentioned only the other day that I am going through an oriental food phase. This curry is a hybrid oriental dish which I put together after a long perusal of my freezer, where scattered, lone fava beans and the occasional empty ice cream tub laid lonely upon a frosty bottom. I did find something I could use though, a sack of petits pois and one of green beans. I just wanted to keep the green curry mostly green you know? Of course, if you have fresh green beans and fresh peas you should decidedly go for them, but if, like me, you are at the hopeless mercy of your own impatience, you can go for the clean frozen version, at the detriment of taste, as is often the case when impatience enters the culinary picture. You’ll need:

200g green beans, frozen
100g petits pois, frozen
200g butternut squash, unpeeled and cut into small pieces
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
half a can of half-fat coconut milk
a splash of soy sauce
wok oil
sesame oil

Warm a couple of tablespoons of wok oil in a heavy-based saucepan on a high heat. Throw in the green beans and the peas and stir well for a couple of minutes as they begin to defrost. They will steam up and release some liquid which is exactly what you need right now. After a good stir, add a few drops of sesame oil, the splash of soy sauce and continue to stir quickly for another scant five minutes.

Now add the butternut squash, the curry paste and the coconut milk. Stir well, bring to a fast boil and then lower the heat to medium-low, so that you give the frozen veggies time to cook without losing all of the sauce. This will take short of fifteen minutes, when also the butternut squash will be soft and ready, but not so soft that it will turn into a mash.

You can serve this on its own if you are saving calories (hence the half-fat coconut milk of course), but if you can afford the calories, by all means use full fat milk and boil some Jasmine rice to have with the stew.
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