Monday, March 8, 2010
Bok Choy Stir Fry
I made some stir-fry that was mostly not from a recipe. I realize stir-fry takes almost no talent or creativity, but I'm proud of myself. Baby steps, folks.
1 head bok choy
baby carrots, chopped (they were the only carrots I had)
peanut oil (I actually used vegetable oil, but I wanted to use peanut oil)
1 tbsp red curry paste (recipe below)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
Heat peanut oil. Cook shallots & carrots first. Add mushrooms and curry paste. Make sure the curry paste gets mixed in well. Add bok choy and cook briefly. Mix in sugar & salt. Take off heat and toss in sesame oil.
Red Curry Paste (from The Modern Art of Thai Cooking)
3 oz dried red New Mexico chilies
12 small Japanese chilies (I just got one kind of dried chilies -- I think they were Japanese)
1 tbsp whole coriander seed
1 1/2 tbsp shrimp paste, wrapped neatly in a double layer of aluminum foil
3/4 cup of shallots (I used regular onions)
1/2 cup peeled whole garlic (I used minced garlic in the jar)
1/2 tbsp minced domestic lime peel
2 large stalks lemon grass, tough outer leaves discarded, lower stalks trimmed to 3 inches and finely sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped Siamese ginger
Stem the chilies and shake out most of the seeds. (I was careful to shake out all of them.) Cut the chilies in half lengthwise and remove any tough, dried ribs. Cut crosswise into 3/4-inch and put them in a bowl. Add water to cover and soak the chilies for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, dry-roast the coriander seed in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until toasty and aromatic, shaking the pan often to prevent burning. Transfer the coriander seed to a small bowl and set aside to cool.
Set the skillet back over medium heat. Place the foil-wrapped shrimp paste in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, until aromatic, turning the packet over once or twice. Remove the packet from the skillet and set it aside to cool.
Combine the shallot and garlic in the skillet and dry-roast over medium heat until tender and slightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Put the roasted coriander seed in a large, heavy mortar and grind to a powder. Transfer the ground coriander to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Combine the minced lime peel, lemon grass, and ginger in the mortar and pound for a minute or so to break down the fibers. Transfer the crushed mixture to the food processor.
Pound the roasted shallots and garlic in the mortar just until crushed and transfer them to the food processor.
Unwrap the shrimp paste and add it to the food processor.
Drain the chilies, reserving about 1/2 of the soaking liquid. Add the chilies to the food processor.
Process the ingredients until a rich, moist paste forms. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the chili-soaking liquid now and then, if needed, to ease the grinding.
This paste can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1 month, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.