Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sty Thai

Tonight I made ... Sty Thai! What is Stai Thai? It's a version of a Thai green curry which is apparently one of my brother's specialities, not that he's ever made it for me - but then he does live 6000 miles away. He sometimes makes it for our friend Juliette, who made it for me last time she visited England. Her rendering of the recipe was mega-tasty, fresh and zingy and I've never managed to make it as well as that since. My photo above doesn't do the recipe justice.

I don't know why they call it Sty Thai - it's a reference to an in-joke between them but I feel the need to make it clear that neither of them live, look or behave like pigs. Lovely as pigs are ... anyway Juliette kindly took the trouble to write out the recipe for me so here is is in her words.

Sty Thai
The veggies:
A couple of kumara (sweet potatos/large Mexican yams) chopped into smallish cubes
A couple of carrots, chopped
An onion (red), chopped
A red capsicum (pepper), chopped
A couple of tomatoes, chopped into quarters or eighths
A couple of limes, chopped into segments for sqeezing and garnish
Plenty of fresh basil leaves, ripped-up for the topping

A small tin of baby sweetcorn
A small tin of bamboo shoots
A few spring onions, chopped
A hot chilli pepper, chopped very finely (perhaps served to be added to taste)

Other ingredients:
A few tins of coconut milk
A good dollop of Thai green curry paste (check ingredients on jar, for "shrimp paste"!)
A packet of firm tofu, sliced into small slabs
Soy sauce
Oil of choice
Serve with the rice of your choice.

In a very large oiled pan (or wok) fry up the onion, kumara and carrots on medium heat, till they're softening (maybe 10-15 mins). They don't have to be really soft, because the coconut milk will cook them later.
Add the spring onions and red capsicum and stir for a bit.
If things are reufusing to cook, then cover the pan for a while.
Add the bamboo and baby sweetcorn and stir for a bitAdd the coconut milk. More than two cans, if you like a really runny curry. Be careful that the pan's not too hot when you first add the coconut milk, or it will burn on the bottom of the pan.
Let the coconut milk cook, for about the length of time it takes to drink one/two glasses of wine.

In another pan, fry the tofu in oil and sprinkle soy sauce over it, turning regularly; to desired crispiness. You probably ought to get the rice going by now.

At this point, Sty Tradition holds that we add the green curry paste to the veggie/coconut milk mix. While this method works fine; many curry paste instructions recommend adding the curry early, to cook with the veggies, before adding the coconut milk. So this could also be tried :)

Once the curry paste is well mixed in; add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes till they're hot, but not mushy.
Stir in the fried tofu, then the curry is ready to serve on top of rice.

Sprinkle the ripped basil leaves liberally over each dish and squeeze lime juice over to taste. Reserve a few wedges of lime as a garnish and serve with the finely chopped hot chilli on offer.
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