This is my take on the famous jungle curry from the Saen Tung district in Trat province. In Trat it is usually cooked with game meat and thinly sliced pineapple shoots (แขนงสับปะรด).
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|Khing haeng (ขิงแห้ง)||Coriander root|
|Zingiber cassumunar (ไพล)|
|Etlingera pavieana (raayo haawm) (เร่วหอม)|
|Holy basil flowers (ดอกกะเพรา)|
|Thai basil flowers (ดอกโหระพา)|
|Optional: Uncooked rice soaked in water overnight (khaao beuua) (ข้าวเบือ)|
The curry paste is based on the standard phrik khing paste into which three medicinal roots and the flowers of two basils are generously added, resulting in a hot, pungent, astringent and slightly bitter dish.
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To braise the beef:
- 600 g beef (เนื้อวัว) cut into into relatively large and equal-sized pieces.
- 4 cups water (น้ำเปล่า)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- 1 stalk lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
- 5 slices galangal (ข่า)
- 5 pieces shallots (หอมแดง)
For the curry:
- 3 cups chicken stock (น้ำสต๊อกไก่)
- 1/2 cup pea eggplants (มะเขือพวง)
- 1 tablespoon fresh peppercorns (พริกไทยอ่อน)
- 2 cups bamboo shoots (หน่อไม้) shredded and cooked
- 1 fresh red long chili (phrik chee fa) (พริกชี้ฟ้าแดง)
- 8 kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด)
For the paste:
- 2 tablespoons dried boat bow shaped chilies (hua rua) (พริกหัวเรือแห้ง)
- 2 tablespoons fresh bird’s eye chili (kee noo suan) (พริกขี้หนูสวนสด)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (เกลือทะเล)
- 1 teaspoon kaffir lime zest (ผิวมะกรูด)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons galangal (ข่า)
- 1 tablespoon fresh sand ginger (เปราะหอมสด)
- 1 tablespoon Etlingera pavieana (raayo haawm) (เร่วหอม)
- 1 tablespoon fresh khing haaeng ginger (ขิงแห้ง) (Zingiber mekongense Gagnep.)
- 2 tablespoon Thai garlic (กระเทียมไทย)
- 3 tablespoons shallots (หอมแดง)
- holy basil flowers (ดอกกะเพรา)
- Thai basil flowers (ดอกโหระพา)
- 3/4 tablespoon fermented shrimp paste (kapi)(กะปิย่างไฟ)
Braise the beef:
- Slice the beef into relatively large and equal-sized pieces.
- Fill a pot with water.
- Add the aromatics – the lemongrass, galangal and shallots.
- Braise the beef over low heat, starting from cold. Keep braising until the beef is tender; add water if needed. The cooking time will vary depending on the age, quality and cut of the beef.
Pre-cook the bamboo shoots:
- In a pot with water and salt, bring the bamboo shoots to a boil. When the water turns yellowish, strain and change the water. Repeat two or three times until the bitterness of the bamboo shoots has mellowed down.
Prepare the curry paste:
- An overview of the curry paste ingredients.
- In a pestle and mortar, pound the curry paste; start with the chilies and gradually add the other ingredients, from the driest to the wet. Pound the paste to a semi- fine consistency. Set aside.
Cook the curry:
- In a pot, dilute the paste with chicken stock to the desired consistency.
- Bring the stock to a boil and cook it until the paste loses its rawness.
- Add the braised beef and continue to cook on medium heat.
- Add the bamboo shoots and cook them thoroughly.
- Add all the other ingredients and cook until the eggplants are fully cooked.
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