Panaeng Curry

Been a bit quite on the blog front as we’ve been off enjoying some sunshine in Phuket Thailand.   We rode elephants, visited tropical islands, enjoyed Thai food and did a Thai cooking class.

The cooking class was the one I blogged about here.   I wasn’t too sure about blogging about cooking in Thailand again.  But well one doesn’t go to Thailand everyday and we did cook new dishes.

Instead of describing all the dishes I’ll give you a recipe for a curry we made.  Panaeng Curry (Penang Curry).  We made it all form scratch including the paste.  It’s not hard at all, and while we used a mortar pestle I’m sure you could use a food processor.

It’s not a hot curry, but you can adjust it by adding or reducing the amount of chilli

Panaeng Curry with pork (penang Curry) recipe adapted from Phuket Thai Cookery School serves 2

Panaeng Curry Paste

5 black peppercorns

2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted

1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted

6 dried chilli soaked 15 mins (adjust if you want less spicy)

1 tsp galangal finely chopped (should be able to get this from Asian grocers)

1 tbsp lemongrass finely chopped

1 tsp coriander root, finely chopped

1 tsp kafir lime peel chopped ( I think this one might be hard to source some maybe just use normal lime peel)

pinch salt

1 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 tbsp garlic chopped

1 tbsp shallots chopped

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tsp fresh turmeric (optional & available form Asian grocers)

pound the spices together in mortar and pestle, then add in other ingredients. Pound until a smooth paste is formed (could use a food processor  if you don’t have a mortar and pestle).

The curry

2 tbsp Panaeng Curry paste

1 cup + 2 tbsp coconut cream

3/4 cup pork fillet (or chicken, beef, whatever takes your fancy)

1 tbsp palm sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

[inch salt

4 kafir lime leaves

1 long chili chopped for garnish

Heat 2 tbsp of coconut cream in saucepan with a bit of oil, add in curry paste.  Fry until fragrant.  Add  a little bit more coconut cream, you don’t want it saucy, but not pasty somewhere in between.

Add Pork fry until pork is sealed.

Add rest of coconut cream.

Season with palm sugar, fish sauce and kafir lime leaves.

Serve with rice

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Cooking in Thailand

We’re off to Thailand soon so the blog will be pretty quiet whilst we’re off having fun in the sun, so I thought I’d leave you with a Thailand post.

We were lucky enough to go to Thailand last year. We had a fantastic time and one of the highlights was the Thai cooking class we did a the Phuket  Thai cooking school. We had our children with us (aged 4 &6) which could have been a hindrance, but it wasn’t, they were amazingly well behaved and helped us cook 6 amazing Thai Dishes.

           

The class started off with a trip to the markets in Phuket town. Were we saw amazing produce including some new discoveries of ingredients we’d never seen before. We also tasted a lot of food. One of the highlights was the rose apple, kind of a cross between a watermelon and apple. So refreshing in the Thai heat.

Then we headed to the location of our cooking school, a quiet little beach with aqua water lapping at the sand with views to islands, The kids were happy a beach to play on a garden to explore and the staff were so good with them

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The cooking school was set up with and area where we sat and watched and listened as a dish was prepared, then it was onto a work station to prepare that dish. Off to a table overlooking the beach to eat our amazing dish then repeating the whole process again for the next dish.

We made

Thai herbal soup with local vegetables.

We made a paste, added it to stock then added vegetables and the prawns, all pretty simple.

This dish was a big challenge for me as I don’t eat mushrooms or seafood and it of course had mushrooms in it as well as prawns. But I got over this and ate it and you what for a simple dish it was full of flavour.

Next up was

Spicy minced chicken salad (better known in Thai restaurants as chicken larp)

This was really easy. It’s really just about getting the balance of ingredients right.

After this we tackled

Chicken with cashew nuts. Now I’d seen this at almost all the restaurants we ate at in Thailand and was surprised as I associated this with Chinese food. But this easily has to be the best chicken with cashew nuts I’ve ever made

The chicken was  deep fried in a lightly spiced batter. Vegetables are stir-fried chicken added then you toss in another perfectly balanced sauce (made by my 4 yr old daughter, it’s that easy). I’ve made this a few times since and always get rave reviews.

Then we cooked up

Yellow curry with chicken.

We made the paste from scratch then cooked it off with some coconut milk, threw in diced chicken and some vegetables simmered till the chicken was cooked and adjusting for sweetness and saltiness. This one was really all about getting the curry paste right.

To accompany his we made

Thai fried rice with crab meat.

this was a slight variation on the fried rice I’d made before and it was a bit of challenge with the crab meat and me not eating seafood. But it was pretty good and went really well with the yellow curry.

After all this cooking we just watched a demonstration of sticky rice. There’s soaking and cooking and absorption of sweet coconut milk, so it takes longer than we had. But I’ve cooked it at home and as lover of carbs and all things sweet it’s a winner.

All up the day was fantastic. I cooked (and ate) things I didn’t think I could cook and really now appreciate that Thai cooking is all about the balance of flavours between sweet, slaty and sour.

I also appreciated the chance to explore the food and culture of the country we were visiting