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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thai Leek, Mushroom, and Sweet Potato Curry

This one came as a surprise.  I've never used leeks in a Thai recipe before, but something told me it would work well together.
In the middle of the afternoon, Thai chile and coconut was all I wanted...I wonder what made me sway that way..
It must be the fresh lemongrass.  I worked it for the first time this weekend and I am in Love.  There is something about that acidic chest taste (not mouth taste) that so clearly defines the Thai curry I go crazy for.  It is strong, but attenuated by the coconut milk which helps balance all the powerful roots happening.
It's hypnotizing...
The elements are heavy on Earth and Water here, and since Earth destroys Water, I'm not sure if this is functional with the 5 Elements, but I will get better and better at this analysis with time.
Serves 5-6
3 leeks, white parts, washed and sliced thickly
250g (8.8oz) mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp oil
1 inch grated ginger
3 lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 green chile, seeded and sliced
1 slice dried galangal (or 1 tsp freshly grated)
2 kaffir lime leaves
2 small carrots, peeled and julienned
1 can coconut milk + 1 can water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp tamarind paste
mung bean sprouts
chopped cilantro
Thai red chile
wedges of lime
1.  Heat the oil in a large wok and sweat the leeks with the salt, about 5 minutes.
2.  Move the leeks over to make space, and add the ginger, galangal, kaffir leaves, lemongrass, garlic, and green chile.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3.  Stir all together, then move everything over to one side again.  Add the mushrooms and carrots.  Let sizzle for about 2 minutes.
4.  Stir all together.  The mushrooms should have let out a bit of juice.  Add the pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and coconut milk with water.
5.  Bring to a boil, then add in the sweet potato cubes.  Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes or until the sweet potato is cooked, but still has its shape.
6.  Stir in the tamarind paste, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve hot over basmati rice garnished with bean sprouts, cilantro, Thai chile, and a squeeze of lime.

This is the Thai curry recipe I am the most proud of.
I did it without using a remade curry paste and it tasted restaurant-style phenomenal!  I may never use a pre-made curry paste again.
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