One of the things I love about Thai curries is that they are so adaptable. They can be anything from simple to complex, soupy to thick and creamy, mild to fiercely spicy, with varying nuances and depths of flavors and colors. This time I opted for a Thai green curry, although my true all-time favorite still remains to be the deeply flavored Thai red curries. Thai green curry is also a spicy comforter, but you can expect a brighter, sweeter coconut flavor.
Everybody knows that the secret to a good Thai curry is a good curry paste. So does that I mean I make the curry paste myself? Heavens no. I use commercial curry pastes as opposed to ones made from scratch. Why? Because that’s exactly what makes cooking a red of green Thai curry doable on any given night of the week. :) Quality is of course something I pay attention to, so I tend to gravitate towards organic curry pastes. I love Alnatura organic supermarkets’ very own brand of red Thai curry paste, which is conveniently sold at their store just minutes down the road from where I live. It’s also easy to pick up at Budnikowsky, which the whole of Hamburg affectionately calls “BUDNI” (it’s our drugstore chain and carries a wide range of Alnatura organic food products). For green Thai curry paste there is an organic version from Sanchon but I willing to bet that there are some really good and authentic ones also sold at your local Asian market.
This healthy, vegetable Thai green curry features fresh carrots, zucchini, sweet pointed red pepper, Chinese cabbage and spinach! It’s full of flavor and simple enough for a weeknight dinner.
There’s plenty of room for swapping out ingredients — any in season vegetables work well, so go ahead and use any mix you prefer — whether it be little cauliflower or broccoli florets, green beans, peas, baby pak choi, asparagus or even cherry tomatoes. Or for extra protein, this recipe can also be upgraded with fried tofu, cubes of firm white fish fillets or sautéed organic chicken or turkey breast.
You can also serve this dish with rice noodles. Or go ahead and serve a whole grain alternative — I prefer whole grain brown basmati rice or barley. Even quinoa or buckwheat make great options.
Vegetable Thai Green Curry
Serves 2-4 (yields two large servings or four small servings)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
pinch of sea salt
1 x 400 ml can unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup vegetable broth (185 ml)
3-4 tablespoons green curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm or brown sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 medium carrot, sliced thinly
1 zucchini, diced
1 sweet pointed red pepper, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed (75 g)
1-2 handfuls shredded Chinese cabbage
1-2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1-2 fresh red chilis, thinly sliced
fresh cilantro leaves, as garnish
steamed jasmine rice (for serving)
NOTE: Thai green curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce and frozen shelled edamame are sold at Asian markets and in some larger supermarkets.
1. Heat the coconut oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat, sauté the ginger and garlic with a sprinkle of salt for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the coconut milk, broth, fish sauce, sugar, and lime juice; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and add the carrot, zucchini, and red pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender or reach the desired tenderness.
3. Add the edamame, Chinese cabbage and spinach. Simmer for about 2 minutes, until leaves are wilted. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with fresh chili slices.
4. Divide the rice among bowls. Spoon the vegetable Thai green curry over the rice. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!