Saturday, 25 June 2011

On-the-spot Thai Red Curry and Hot & Sour Mushroom Soup

Sometimes it's necessary to eat similar meals quite close together, in this case I still had half a pot of red curry paste left over from our Father's Day dinner, which needed to be used up. 
My husband and best friend both laugh at me whenever I say "Oh, I've got nothing in the fridge!", they're probably right though as I always seem to find more than I thought I had.

I had a few things that were thinking about going off, so I tried to use up anything that looked a bit wilty, including the enoki and buna shimeji mushrooms, a courgette, fresh peas, coriander and spring onions.

The soup is shockingly easy, I got the idea from the blurb on the back of the enoki mushroom packet and combined it with a recipe in Keith Floyd's "Thai Food". First of all I put a pint of veg stock in a pan with a spoonful of lime leaves, brought it to a simmer, then added in a chopped up long red chilli.

I left that to simmer for a while, so I could get on with the red curry. When I was almost ready to serve the soup, I added spring onion, enoki mushrooms, the juice of two limes, a little brown sugar and a dash of fish sauce (nam pla). Lovely.

I actually preferred the taste and texture of my completely made up red curry here, than I did the partly recipe based one I made at the weekend. First of all I fried off the curry paste in a big frying pan and added sliced shallots and diced garlic and ginger, frying until almost cooked. I then added a little water, a tin of coconut milk, a dollop of tamarind paste and a spoon of lime leaves.

When that was simmering nicely, I added a pack of frozen raw prawns and let them bubble away until not quite cooked. Then I piled batons of courgettes, the buna shimeji mushrooms, fresh peas, spring onion and fresh chilli in, gave it a quick stir and let them cook for a few minutes with a couple of squirts of fish sauce.

Both the soup and the curry get a generous handful of fresh coriander to finish them off. I served it with some plain, shortgrain rice (the method can be found at the bottom of my father's day thai dinner post). I'm starting to suspect you can make red curry our of almost anything, so long as you have the paste and a tin of coconut milk.

Useful frozen lime leaves @ waitrose

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