Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kaeng Kiao Wan Kung (Thai Shrimp in Green Curry Sauce)

This particular recipe -- Kaeng Kiao Wan Kung (Thai Shrimp in Green Curry Sauce) -- has a little backstory to it.  I found this recipe on one of the websites that I regularly visit (Whats4Eats) several months back.  This recipe was high on the priority list of things to make for my beautiful Angel, because I thought she would really like it.  I tried to make it several times; however, each time failed.  It was not because I screwed up the recipe.  Each meal turned out well and we enjoyed the food.  

The meal failed because every time I made the dish, I made with red curry paste.  What was supposed to be Thai Shrimp in Gren Curry Sauce ended up being Thai Shrimp in Red Curry Sauce.  (Don't ask me how that translates in Thai.)  The reason was simple: every time I went to a particular grocery store after work, I would go to the Asian foods section.  As I stood before the shelves, basket in hand, my eyes always fixated on the one gap -- the one open space -- on the shelves. Sure enough, the little tag read "Green Curry Paste."  There were lots of jars of red curry paste, but no jars of green curry paste.  I would reach to the back of the shelf, hoping that there was a stray jar of green curry paste.  Each time, I left ... with a jar of red curry paste.

However, on one occasion, I checked that shelf and there it was ... green curry paste.  A bottle of water, green chilies, onions, lemon grass, galangal, garlic, sugar, salt and tamarind.  All of those ingredients pureed into the one paste I needed to make Kaeng Kiao Wan Kung.  I purchased a jar and a pound of the larges shrimp I could find.  I headed home to make the dish for Clare.

Overall, the dish turned out well, although the green curry sauce did not end up as green as I thought it would.  The lack of a greenish hue is most likely due to the color of the green curry paste that I used.  Still, we both really enjoyed this dish.  It is simple to make and has those Thai flavors that appeal to both of us.

Recipe from Whats4Eats
Serves 4

1 cup of coconut cream
2-3 tablespoons of green curry paste
3 cups of coconut milk
1/4 cup of fish sauce
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
Shrimp, peeled and deveined -- 1 pound
1/2 cup of basil
3 kaffir lime leaves
2-3 serrano chiles, sliced into thin rounds


1.  Simmer the cream and paste.  In a large saucepan or wok, simmer the coconut cream over low heat until most of the moisture boils away and the oil separates out. Stir in the curry paste and simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes. Do not allow to burn.

2.  Add the coconut milk. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

3.  Add the shrimp. Stir in the shrimp and simmer another 5 or 6 minutes, or until the shrimp is just cooked through. Adjust seasoning adding more fish sauce or sugar if you like and stir in the basil and lime leaves.

4.  Plate the dish.  Serve in individual bowls with steamed rice or rice noodles and garnish with the sliced chile pepper.


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