This curry recipe, collected by Richard Sterling in Laos, features the silky smooth paste typical of that cuisine. “Maceration of the curry paste ingredients is critical,” he observes. The ginger, he says, “is used for both its culinary and mystical value; in the currency of the spirit world it represents gold.”
Editor’s Note: This recipe and many other curries can be found in Dave DeWitt’s World of Curries. Click here to pick up a copy.
- 6 shallots, peeled
- 1 two-inch-piece ginger, peeled
- 3 small, fresh red chiles, such as serranos, seeds and stems removed
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 2-inch piece of galangal or ginger, peeled
- 2 cups thick coconut milk
- 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
- 1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 lb catfish (or other white fish) cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 lb green beans, cut into half-inch pieces
- 2 tbsp minced cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp fish sauce (nam pla)
- water or fish stock as needed
- green onion for garnish
- In a food processor or blender, combine the shallots, ginger, chiles, garlic, and galangal, and puree to a smooth paste.
- Bring the Coconut Milk to a boil in a wok, add the paste, reduce the heat slightly, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and the eggplant and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the catfish, beans, cilantro leaves, and fish sauce, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the beans are tender. The curry should be quite liquid, so add some water or fish stock if necessary.
- Serve garnished with the green onion.
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Publisher | Christened the "Pope of Peppers" by The New York Times, Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods.
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