I’ve finally decided to tackle the elephant in the room my fridge. NO, I do NOT actually have elephant in my fridge. Just thought I’d make that very clear. You see, the problem is that I like grocery shopping. Strike that: I love it. It’s actually therapeutic. I’m not sure it’s because I like cooking, or because I like eating, but I just enjoy browsing the isles (all of them, yes), just to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. What’s behind that, you ask. I like to have everything on hand just in case a certain craving strikes. As a result, every storage space in my kitchen is full: my fridge, its freezer, and my pantry. Plus a couple of cabinets that house miscellaneous snacky thingies.
So I decided it was time to clean house. Adi called it spring cleaning, but that’s more like self-dellusional in January in Edmonton. Spring is not coming for at least four months. Maybe three, if you’re really optimistic. So I want to see just how many recipes I can make without going grocery shopping and get my fridge and freezer cleaned out in the process. The only exception is veggies. I’ll buy veggies, plus staples like milk and eggs. Just have to stop myself from browsing the isles. I know: I’ll just take Eria with me and that will totally save me from spending too much time.
Well, the pork and lentils was the first attempt, and it was what gave me the idea: if I could whip up a delicious dish like that without having to go for more grocery shopping, than “spring cleaning” (what’s wrong with a little bit of optimism?) might have a shot. I’ve seen other people’s fridges. I know it’s possible. So, keep your fingers crossed for me and I’ll keep you posted. There will probably be a lot of curries, stews and the like involved, and hopefully and empty fridge/freezer at the end of the tunnel
This Thai curry is the perfect weeknight meal: it does not take more than 30 minutes to whip up, and it’s many kinds of deliciousness. Don’t you just love it when you can make delicious, healthy, and good-looking food fast? The secret of Thai food, at least for my taste, is using loads and loads of Kaffir lime leafs and lemongrass. Thai food for me is all about the aroma and the balance of flavours. How can you not love it?
I usually don’t use a recipe for the Thai-inspired curries that I make. Just use stuff I have in the house (ha! that’s the spring cleaning spirit!): make sure I’ve got some protein, some veggies, coconut milk, curry paste (red or green most often), and lots of the afore-mentioned herbs. A recent incentive has been to use up the “fish tofu” I’ve stumbled over at my local Chinese store and have fallen in love with. I’m not even really sure what it is (is it fish-flavoured tofu? minced fish meat made to look like tofu?). The point is it’s tasty, with a delicate texture and its own specific flavour that is influenced but not completely dominated by the flavour of the sauce.
Anyway, enough blabbering. Here’s the recipe:
Thai Green Curry with Shrimp (and miscellaneous stuff from an overloaded freezer)
- 1 – 1.5 Tbsp green curry paste (depending on your hotness tolerance)
- 1 can (13.5 oz/400 ml) coconut milk (try not to stir it)
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 30-40 Kaffir lime leafs
- 1-2 stalks lemongrass cut into 2 cm slices
- 1 lb shrimp (whatever count; I’ve used 21-25/lb)
- 1/4 lb fish tofu sliced
- 1/4 lb crab surimi cut in half
- 3 small zucchini
- 3 carrots
- 1 tsp. shrimp paste (optional)
- 1 Tbsp tamarind paste or lemon juice
- 1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp fish sauce
What to do:
- Preheat wok or large pan.
- Open the coconut milk can trying not to shake it too much, so that the cream stays on top. Skim cream and put in pre-heated wok.
- Add curry paste and bring to a boil. Let cook for 1 minute.
- Add the rest of coconut milk and broth or water and bring to a boil.
- Add Kaffir lime leafs and sliced lemongrass. Let infuse for 3 minutes.
- Add shrimp, fish tofu, and surimi. Cook until shrimp starts to turn pink.
- Add zucchini and carrots. Give the whole thing a stir.
- Add sugar, tamarind paste or lemon juice, and shrimp paste. Give it another good stir.
- Add fish sauce. Cook for another minute.
- Serve on white or brown rice.