Eggplant Green Curry
Notes: I love me some coconut milk! It’s been the last unhealthy fat I’ve given up. But I was able to do a lot of experimenting over the last few weeks and I think I’ve found a suitable replacement for SOME applications. Making a cashew milk, and adding coconut extract, works great with this curry application. It does NOT work great when making coconut rice! That was a total fail, but one I’m still trying to figure out. This dish is one of my all time favorites, and I’m SO glad I was able to adapt it (it’s not the exact same as using coconut milk but it hits the spot)! It requires several hard to find ingredients (kaffir lime leaves and fresh lemon grass) but they are well worth tracking down because the flavor just isn’t the same without them. In fact, what inspired me to make this dish this week was the fact that Central Market happened to have fresh kaffir limes, which I had never seen before! They were perfect squeezed on top of this dish. Kaffir lime leaves might be in the freezer section. If you find them fresh, freeze the leftovers for next time. The lemon grass needs to be fresh. I’ve tried a few jarred and paste versions of lemon grass and they all sucked.
A note about extracts: extract flavors and strengths can vary wildly. Start small, you can always add more as it’s cooking.
The fish sauce in this recipe is totally optional. It’s the only animal product I still keep around because of one recipe I make where the flavor can’t be duplicated. But in this recipe, you won’t miss it if you want to leave it out.
★★★★★ Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins | Makes: Serves 2-3 | Difficulty: Medium
Ingredients: 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 red bell pepper, seeded, sliced into half sticks 1 can of bamboo shoots (optional) 1-2 tablespoons green curry paste (depending on brand and spice level preference) 2/3 c cashews water 1-2 c almond milk (depending on how saucy you like it) 2 t coconut extract (depends on extract strength) 3 kaffir lime leaves 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into three pieces and bruised 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional) 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/4 cup Thai Basil or Sweet Basil leaves 1 lime (kaffir lime if you can find it) Cooked brown rice
Put cashews in a two cup measuring cup and add water until you reach two cups. Soak cashews anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight (if soaking 20 minutes use warm water). Blend cashews, water and coconut extract in food processor or blender until very smooth.
Place a wide bottom pan over high heat. Add eggplant and cook until it becomes charred brown and blistered. Almost all the eggplant needs to touch the bottom of the pan, if your pan is too small, cook in batches. You need the flavor from charred eggplant not steamed eggplant.
Now it’s time to bloom the curry. Start by opening some doors and windows and turn on all your fans, then evacuate young children and non-essential personnel! If you’re using a good curry paste, the fumes created by this process will leave everyone coughing! Push eggplant to the sides of the pan. Add the curry paste to the center and saute for about 30 seconds (it will stick to the pan but it’s ok). Add the faux coconut milk and scrape the pan. Mix curry with milk until smooth then mix in the eggplant.
Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, brown sugar, 1 cup almond milk, and bell pepper. Cook on low, covered, until softened to desired level, adding more almond milk as it dries out. Serve over rice with basil and lime wedges on the side.
Sent from Paprika Recipe Manager