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Thursday, September 29, 2005

The biggest pot of curry I've ever made


This was the biggest pot of green curry I've ever made. Twenty pounds of beef, twelve cans of coconut milk, 10x my usual green curry paste recipe, half a large bottle of fish sauce. You don't really want a recipe, do you? I don't think so. Just trust me, trying to de-seed a kilo of green (only!) bird-eye chilli wasn't fun.

The cooking was fun though. This was my second time cooking staff meal at Manresa. The first time was Panang chicken, using 20 pounds of chicken thigh and massive amount of homemade Panang paste. This time we decided to do a green curry. I made Gang Kiew-wan Nuea, green curry with beef.

GreencurryI didn't have time to do the curry paste in advance, so the entire thing had to be done that afternoon. It was like my very own Iron Chef, except the only thing I was competing against was the clock. Frankly, my track record doesn't look so good when it comes to making dinner under pressure. My friends all know when I tell them to come to dinner at 7, there's a good chance they might not get to eat until 9.

Luckily, this time was different, not the least because I cheated and had some help. Chef himself saw the pile of chilli remaining to be de-seeded in front of me, let out a big sigh, grabbed his pairing knife and set to work at warp speed. Got it done in no time. Sweet.

Pakboong I couldn't find any apple eggplant, so I just made the curry with meat and float some lemon basil at the end to add another layer of complexity. To balance the meal, I quickly stir-fried three massive bunches of Pak-boong, Chinese Morning Glory. It was super easy: chop up a bunch of Pak-boong, smash a few garlic and a couple red birdeye chillies, heat up the pan until nearly smoking, add oil, garlic, chilli, Pak-boong, a little bit of Chinese fermented black bean, fish sauce, a few quick stirs and there you have it.


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