when baking, follow directions.. when cooking, go by your own taste.. ~ Laiko Bahrs
one of the dishes i learned in a cooking class during our last trip to Bangkok is the popular Thai green curry.. green curry is just like the common red curry, except for the type and color of chillies used.. fresh or dried red chillies are added to red curry paste to give the curry a red color, while for green curry, fresh green chillies are used.. to give the curry some heat, green bird eye chillies are added, just go easy on the amount as these tiny but potent babies are really hot..
just like all other curries, green curry paste is made using a mortar and pestle.. fresh and dry spices crushed together to form a fragrant and flavorful paste that is essentially the main and most important ingredient for makng a delicious curry.. you can use a food processor to make the paste, if you don’t own a mortar and pestle, however.. honestly, the overall taste and aroma of the curry doesn’t differ much if at all, using either tool.. it’s just the ‘authentic’ feel and satisfaction that you get after spending some time and energy pounding away at the spices.. i find it therapeutic most times, channeling all the negativity and stress out of my system as i pound the spices to as fine a pulp as i can..
anyway, the raw curry paste can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, two tops.. if you plan on anything longer than that, i advice you to pre-cook the paste first.. just saute it in some oil for a few minutes, let it cool down, then store it in an air-tight container in the fridge..
next, there’s the coconut milk.. i do and always will prefer using fresh coconut milk than canned or packed ones that are widely available in stores.. i buy the grated white coconut flesh from the wet market, and when i need to use coconut milk, i’ll just add water to the grated flesh, and squeeze/strain the coconut milk out by hand.. you can keep the grated coconut flesh in the freezer for up to a week max.. to use, just let it thaw out in room temperature.. taste wise, there IS a notable difference between the two, in my opinion.. canned/packed coconut milk contains preservatives and whatnot, and these chemicals do give the coconut milk a noticeably distinctive flavor.. besides, it’s best to go as natural as possible especially when it comes to food.. as for consistency and texture, fresh coconut milk wins hands down, in my book at least.. if you notice, canned/packed coconut milk curdles easily when cooked, unlike the fresh one.. that really puts me off every time i used it in my cooking.. well, let’s just say that you’ll never even look at those canned/packed coconut milk once you start using the fresh version instead.. in most Asian countries, it’s easily available in wet markets and grocery stores.. unless you have no choice, go fresh.. it’s best~!