• Prep Time:
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  • Serves: 2 Cups

Prik Kaeng Kiao Wan (Green Curry-Sweet/hot)

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Condiments, Thai

 Ingredients List

  • 1 c Prik ki nu
  • (green birdseye chilis)
  • 5 tb Lemon grass,
  • Finely sliced
  • 10 tb Shallots (purple onions),
  • Chopped
  • 10 tb Garlic, minced
  • 5 tb Galangal (kha) grated
  • 5 tb Coriander/cilantro root,
  • Chopped
  • 2 tb Coriander seed
  • 1 tb Cumin seed
  • 1 tb Freshly ground
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tb Shredded bai makroot
  • (lime leaves)
  • 4 tb Kapi (fermented shrimp
  • Paste)
  • 1 tb Palm sugar.


This is a paste for a green curry, and the 'wan' indicates that it should
be slightly sweet as well as hot. If you can't get prik ki nu, you can use
half a pound of habanero chilis or one pound of jalapena chilis. If you use
the latter deseed them before use. Note that if you use a substitute you
will get a different volume of paste, and that you will need to use
different amounts in subsequent recipes. If you can't get kha use ginger if
you can't get bai makroot use lime zest if you can't get coriander root,
use coriander leaves.

coarsely chop the chilis. Toast the dry seeds in a heavy iron skillet or
wok, and grind them coarsely. Add all the ingredients to a food processor
and process to a smooth paste. Place in tightly stoppered jars, and keep in
the fridge for at least a week for the flavors to combine and develop
before use. The remaining three pastes are all made from dried red chilis:
those sold in Thailand are frankly stale. Those sold in Europe and America
are generally barely fit for human consumption. If you must use them then
break them up and shake out the seeds, and soak them in tepid water for
about 30 minutes before use. Preferably dry fresh red chilis. All these
recipes call for one cup of fresh red chilis, or half a pound of red
habaneros, or one pound of red jalapenas, deseeded. Dry them in the sun, or
if the climate doesn't allow then dry them in a herb desicator, or smoke
them in a smoker or over a barbeque. The dried chilis (which need not be
tinder dry - it is enough to remove most of the water) are then toasted
under a broiler until *almost* burnt. Treat this stage with extreme
caution: if you overcook them a noxious gas closely related to Mustard gas
is released. This is quite dangerous at a minimum cook them in a very well
ventillated room with a fan on and have a damp cloth ready to cover your
mouth and nose in case of emergencies and disconnect your smoke
detector/fire alarm! Thai 'curries' are typically made using a 'curry'
paste. However that is an oversimplification: firstly the word used for
these dishes in Thai is kaeng (pronounced 'gang') and it covers soups,
stews and of course curries. A paste which is used could be used just as
well for a soup as for a curry. Secondly of course it is not true that
Thais call them curry: the word for curry is kari and it is only applied to
a small number of dishes: the dishes that appear on western Thai restaurant
menues as 'curries' are kaengs, and they are made not with curry paste but
with a sauce made from prik kaeng (which in this case could be translated
better as chili paste). There are many different prik kaeng in Thai cuisine
and from them you could make a vast number of different dishes by using
different protein ingredients, and vegetable ingredients and so on to the
extent that it is said that most Thai housewives could cook a different
kaeng every day of the year. However if you know the four basic pastes
listed here, and the basic techniques from my next posting, you can make a
vast array of dishes, if not perhaps quite one per day for a year. A rough
rule of thumb is that one cup of raw chilis yields a cup or so of paste
(since there is air in the chilis). Further it will keep about 3 months in
a preserving jar in the fridge. Since the average kaeng will require
(depending on how hot you make it) between 2 and 8 tablespoons of paste,
and since there are roughly 16 tablespoons in a cup, you can scale this
recipe up to suit your needs. Suffice it to say that we make these pastes
on a cycle over 8 weeks and make 6-8 portions of each of them. As they say
in US motor advertisements: your mileage may vary!

Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott Systems Engineering, Vongchavalitkul
University, Korat 30000, Thailand

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