Tuesday, September 26, 2006


In my continuing journey of exploring the wonders and mysteries of ethnic cooking, I have discovered the utter joys of curry paste. And oh, how my horizons have broadened, much like my hips will if I let myself get carried away on this culinary journey!

I first went shopping for curry paste at the estimable Yue-Wah to make what would become an instant favorite recipe with a cult following among Celts, a delicious dish called Lemongrass Seafood Curry. That called for green curry paste, to be exact, and I used lots more of it than the recipe called for (A whole can! Spicy! Delicious!).

Cooking with this stuff and tasting the resulting dish, I was floored -- you could take the contents of this little can ($0.79), mix it with coconut milk ($1.18) and fish sauce (a bottle containing more than you could use in a year for $2.99), and create PURE AMBROSIA (priceless!). What a discovery!

So, having previously familiarized myself with the gleeful wonders of green curry paste, I decided to try to make Panang curry last night. Yet another eureka moment! Panang has always been a favorite dish to order from the local Thai places -- with its spicy, peanutty flavor, it's a no-fail option. I discovered last night that it's ridiculously easy to make a highly passable version of it myself at home, with a little pan-fried tofu, frozen green peas and chiffonaded kaffir lime leaves. Will the exquisite wonders of curry paste never cease? I'm going to buy shelves-ful of this stuff! Build altars to it in my house! Caress the little cans of it and smother them with kisses!

But first, I'm going to publish this post and eat my leftover Panang.


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