A couple of days ago, going through my reader on WordPress, I came across The Appletizer’s blog post about Thailand’s floating markets. That reminded me of one of my cook books gathering dust on my shelf, because the picture on the cover is what I am assuming is something to do with the floating markets.
That made me crave thai food, but I didn’t want to do my staple, Pad Thai, I wanted to venture into something different, but easy. I have a huge job tomorrow night, which takes up a lot of my time. But a girl still has to eat right?
I decided on this, the stir fried curried beef with long beans. My decision was wholly based on the fact that I have always wanted to try long beans. I am not sure what I was thinking, if they were going to taste totally different than regular beans or what, but still, I had this mild curiosity to work with them. They just look so cool.
I truly love this series of cookbooks, now a days cookbooks all mostly have amazing pictures, but back in the day, well it was sort of a novelty. I started collecting as much as I could, but only have 7. When I moved to Spain, I gave away (stupidly) about 4 of them. Oh well. I don’t know if the recipes are super authentic, but they seem to be so. Most of the author’s are native to the country the book is about.
The other thing that really interested me was making my own red curry paste. It actually turned out to be more of a green paste, due to the fact that I couldn’t find any red jalapeño chilies……but the taste was divine all the same! And in my local Asian market, I found what they labeled as “Thai Cilantro”
It was really fragrant, and I think it might be what we call Culantro in the States. But I might be wrong. In the end, I really loved this dish. The ingredients in the paste were fantastic, the only thing, is that I couldn’t find fresh Galangal, so I used dry. I didn’t soak it enough, so I did find some bits of it in the finished curry. I suggest if you can’t get fresh, to either boil the dried galangal, or to soak it overnight. If anyone else has any other suggestions on how to handle dried galangal, I would love to hear them!
So here’s what you’re going to need:
Adapted from “Thailand, The Beautiful Cookbook”
For the Curry:
2 tbsp oil
1 garlic clove, minced
250 g lean ground beef
2 cups chopped long beans, in 1 inch pieces
3 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp ketjap manis
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup sliced green pepper
1/4 cup sliced red pepper
5-8 thai green chili peppers, sliced (optional)
For the red curry paste:
1/2 cup chopped onions
8 garlic cloves
10 dried red jalapeño chilies
4 thin slices fresh galangal
2 tbsp chopped lemongrass
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander root stems
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
Heat a large skillet and add the oil and garlic. Add the ground beef and sauté on medium-high heat until done.
Add the beans and all the other ingredients, including chilies if desired, and cook for about 2 more minutes or until beans are tender.
To make the curry paste:
Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a blender and process until smooth.
Heat a small skillet on medium-high heat and add the oil. Slowly fry the curry paste for 5 minutes until it is fragrant. Remove and store in a jar for future use. (Makes 2 1/2 cups)
Serve with some steamed Jasmine rice.
From my kitchen to yours,