Thai Curry with fresh Kaffir Lime Juice

Every once in a while I run across a new produce item that have only heard about but never had access to.  I was elated to find 'Kaffir Limes' and bought some for lunch to try out.  Along with some Mandarinquats but that is a different story:)  Hence the word 'Kaffir' seems to have a few different meanings over the centuries.  Anyone remember the book "Kaffir Boy"?  In which I sure did as the first time I ever saw the word 'Kaffir' was in that book.  So I guess the labeling of other's through it was the first time ever learned of it, and years later when saw 'Kaffir Leaves' realized it is also a citrus fruit native to some Asian countries.  Anyway, I was excited to meet the citrus in person.  A common ingredient in Thai curries and soups, I knew what I was making that night for dinner.

Before I left work I grabbed some other items.  Oh by the way I work at the most fabulous 7 day a week Farmer's market and grocery in N.California;)
  • Fresh lemongrass.
  • 8 Kaffir Limes
  • Thai Curry Paste.
  • Fresh corn.  Forget those little canned guys!
  • Fresh carrots.
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicken thighs.
  • Coconut Milk FULL FAT!  
  • 2 Serranos cleaned, seeded and thinly sliced.  Add none if the little kick from the pastes is enough for you.  
Now how much of the above items in dependent on how many you are cooking for.  By all means know if it is for one or two, you can buy very little product but I had planned to bring in some for some co-workers the next day to try it out.  So I had about 1.5lbs of chicken thighs.  One lemongrass stick is all you ever need.  3 whole corn.  About 7 medium sized carrots.  One full head of Cauliflower.  About 7 Kaffir Limes and did not bother to buy any Kaffir leaves as I had these wonderful limes.  And a mix of curry pastes.   

You really cannot mess up a Thai Curry.  Most American brands like 'Thai Kitchen' only offer you Red or Green curry pastes.  Hence if you have opportunity to go to an Asian grocery store, they normally carry the MAESRI brand of curry pastes for Thai cooking.  And they offer many so start off with Red or Green and then explore the rest if you have access to them.  Here is the link to the post on these pastes.  'Thai Kitchen' is a good paste but just find the Maesri brand more flavorful and authentic to what dish you are applying them to.  

  • Salt and pepper your chicken thighs and put in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Pull when done to cool and chop roughly.  
  • Clean your veggies.  Chop corn into nubs.  Slice carrots in thick pieces and part the cauliflower into fairly large pieces.  Quick steam in a couple of inches of water for about 15 minutes on high in a pot.  It will tenderize and break down more in the coconut milk curry. 
  • Drain veggies and add Coconut milk to the same pot.  I utilized 3 cans because was feeding about 8-10 folks.  Then I added all the contents of the Thai Kitchen green curry paste with half a can of the Maesri.  This really just take care of the authentic spices for you especially when you are cooking to save time.  
  • I cut the lemongrass in half and tossed in as well juiced all the Kaffir Limes into the curry and stirred.  You will pull the lemongrass out after ready to serve.  It is sliced finely in most genuine dishes but if you or your guests are not used to the strong flavor, just halve it and place it in the curry to add it's flavor and then pull out after cooking.  Kind of like a bay leaf in a stew.
  • Put in your rough chopped chicken, semi steamed veggies and thinly slice serranos or any additional chili's if you really like it spicy.   Cooke on medium for maybe another 15-20 minutes and serve with your favorite rice.
The Kaffir lime was such a treat to have as the juice along with the fresh lemongrass gave such great flavor.  These items are in the pastes but kicking it up with fresh just makes it so much more outstanding!    Remember... life is too short to eat badly!


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