Thai Green Curry

December 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

J: This is one of our staples that we just never got around to posting before now.  Curries are great because they are typically one-pot meals (two, if you make rice), and you can make a huge amount of food very easily, especially if you’re cooking for one person.  We tend to tweak this a little every time we make it — sometimes we use storebought curry paste, sometimes homemade; sometimes we use fish sauce, sometimes (…almost always) we don’t; sometimes we make it vegetarian, sometimes we use chicken; and depending on our mood we make it a red curry or a green curry.  Regardless of the choices we make, it is always delicious.

kinda mushy but awesome

This version of it will be green, and vegetarian, and using homemade curry paste, and also including fish sauce for I think the first time ever.  If you are making a red curry, just replace everything that says “green” with “red”!

Thai Green Curry
(tweaked from original recipe found here)

1 tbsp canola, peanut or sesame oil
2 tbsp green curry paste
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tbsp fish sauce (optional – leave out if you want this to be vegan)
1 large onion, diced
2-3 large potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks (you can peel them or not, whatever your preference is)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-oz can of coconut milk
1 green bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1-2 tsp finely diced fresh ginger
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallions
Salt and pepper to taste

If you are interested in making homemade curry paste, you can use the recipe from this post, or you can use our modifications to make it simpler: basically replace the seeds and fresh herbs like lemongrass with ground or dried spices and herbs, and adjust the amounts somewhat to take that into account.  You can pretty much wing it in terms of amounts of most of this stuff, and it will probably turn out fine.

curry paste!

So, start off by adding some oil to a large pot.  Heat that up a bit and then add the curry paste, cumin, and fish sauce if you’re using it.  Cook for a couple minutes.

curry paste + oil

Add the potatoes, onion, and garlic, and stir around so the spices coat the vegetables pretty well.

already smelling great

Sauté this for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot too badly.  Then add the coconut milk, and cook for another 5 minutes or so.

pretty similar to the last picture really

Add the pepper and ginger, and bring the pot to a simmer.  Cover and let it cook for about 40 minutes (you’ll need longer if you’re doing this with meat), stirring occasionally and checking the potatoes for doneness.  If you want to serve this with rice, now might be a good time to get that going, depending on how much rice you are planning to make.

nearly there

When the potatoes seem like they are almost ready (about 5 minutes away, if we want to be precise), stir in the cilantro and scallions.  Let it finish cooking, and serve over your rice, if you went that route.

finished curry!

Bourbon Chicken With Fried Rice

February 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: I apologize in advance for the fact that this post has 2 recipes and a 4 pictures. Yes, you read that correctly. That ratio is not very good. But that’s because we made this for a dinner party, and spent much of the time rushing around and entertaining our guests. The camera didn’t get used very much. But we deemed these recipes too good to waste, and so we have to present them to you in their present fashion.

both Chinese and Southern

We decided to try the bourbon chicken since it was a combination of Chinese food and bourbon. Bourbon is excellent stuff, we had just purchased a bottle of it, and we were ready to do some cooking with it instead of simply drinking the whole bottle. Ergo we looked up recipes with bourbon, and settled on this since it seemed down-to-earth and good to make for a big group of people. To go with it we made a version of my standard fried rice recipe, which I got initially from The Joy of Cooking. As you can see we also made some broccoli, which was so simple it doesn’t make sense to introduce it as a recipe. « Read the rest of this entry »

Pad Thai

December 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

J: Pad Thai is absolutely one of my favorite dishes ever.  I have to make a ridiculous effort not to order it at every Thai restaurant I ever go to, since there are so many other delicious Thai dishes — but this one has a special place in my heart.  When Erik and I had some beansprouts left over from another dish, making Pad Thai popped into my head, and once the possibility of delicious homemade Pad Thai was within my reach, it was simply inevitable.

no words. oh god, no words.

This dish blew my mind.  I cannot even begin to communicate to you how absurdly delicious and shockingly easy it was to make something that will be, given one or two more go-rounds to tweak the sauce to perfection, the best Pad Thai I have ever had.  If you have access to a Whole Foods or similar type of store, you can find everything you need for this (and if you have access to an Asian market type of place, you can probably find everything you need for way less money), and it is so, so worth it.  We have posted over 100 recipes on this blog: this is easily, without question, in my top 3 highest-recommended recipes.  It is fun, it is easy, it is interesting, and it is almost definitely both cheaper and healthier than what you’d get at a restaurant (not saying this is outright “healthy,” because it isn’t — but we’re speaking in relative terms here). « Read the rest of this entry »

Soba Noodle Stir-(Salad)-Fry

August 24, 2011 § 1 Comment

E: We’ve featured recipes from Nick at Macheesmo many times since we started this blog. But, and I speak for both of us here at Nombudsman when I say this, it is because we have a lot of respect for his creations (not to mention a burning desire to make almost all of them). When I saw this recipe go up recently, I had to try it. I wanted to make something that had a lot of veggies, and I wanted to do something different than the regular stir-fry with brown rice that I default to. The soba noodles really made this dish that much better and more flavorful than plain rice would have. (As a plus, I was home in Mass. at the time visiting my parents, and this dish seemed like something they would enjoy, which was indeed the case.)

not the best view of it, but this stuff is delicious!

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General Tso’s Chicken

July 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: The summer has been getting busy for both of us, with me working a full 40 hours and research work picking up for Joanna. And so with things getting a bit more stressful, we felt like making some comfort food that wasn’t risotto. And that was when we realized that neither of us had been to a Chinese restaurant in quite some time. So, both of us craving some Chinese takeaway, we decided to try making it at home instead. Something classic and fried was in order, so we settled on doing a version of General Tso’s Chicken, in some ways the original Americanized Chinese dish—with its many names (Tso, Tsao, Gao, Gau, &c.) and many versions, all of which bear little resemblance to the traditional Hunan food it sometimes purports to be.

it's like takeaway, but at home and 20 times more effort!

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“Chikinjiru” – Butajiru with Chicken

July 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: We at Nombudsman felt like we were getting into a bit of a rut in terms of creativity. The food photo blog thing has a habit of reminding one of how easy it is to slip into the rut of making practically the same thing over and over and over again. Repeated bouts of gastronomic déja vu plus a solid helping of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and a distinct lack of anything remotely Japanese on this blog led us to try something new, and invent our own version of butajiru (a.k.a. tonjiru i.e. miso soup with pork and lots of other stuff that miso soup doesn’t have). We aren’t really pork people, so we substituted chicken for the pork. We also found our local market to be not exactly overflowing with taro root, so we went the route of Japanese skiing soup and decided to substitute sweet potatoes. So if you are familiar with real butajiru, pardon us our liberties.

more kickass than miso

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Tangelo Fish & Chips with Yam Fries and Haricots Verts

June 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: We haven’t posted in a while now. I’ve been terribly busy because of my graduation, and Joanna came up to attend. We ended up not posting when we were supposed to, though we did make an excellent celebratory dinner that will be posted some time soon.

What I have for you here is, to be honest, a bit disappointing–I made a last-minute choice to bake the pieces of battered fish rather than fry them in obscene quantities of oil, and the batter was clearly not meant for that. The breading came out odd and rather tough (and ended up looking like a dog biscuit to boot). But don’t let that discourage you. I (think I) know what needs to be done to fix it:  either use a different breading designed for baking, or fry it like you are supposed to. The breading was tasty, just texturally awful. But, to be totally honest, these were the best pan-fried fries I have ever had, as well as the best Asian sauce for green beans that exists, to my knowledge, in the observable universe. So, though this is “primarily” about the tangelo fish & chips, they should not be the main focus here.

focus on the stuff in the bowl

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