Use up your greens with this fragrant coconut curry. Make sure you make a good batch of spice paste, so the next curry is even easier!
More green inspiration!
We had a pile of leftover greens to use up the other day and this Nigel Slater recipe for a 'Verdant' Coconut Curry caught my eye (I love Nigel Slater's recipes any day!) I simplified it a bit to fit what I had to hand, but it still turned out absolutely delicious.
The thing with this type of East Asian curry (often coconut based): the 'fussy' bit is the curry paste, as it calls for a long(ish) list of ingredients. While you don't need to use the exact match, it is worth using as many as possible, as this makes up the incredible flavour complexity you get from it. But, once you made a batch of spice paste, making the actual dish is very easy and quick. And so worth it!
The paste will keep in the fridge for a while (put in a jar with a layer of oil on top to seal it) or in the freezer for a lot longer (freeze in ice cube tray, pop out the cubes when frozen and store in a ziplock bag, to easily take out as much as you need).
mixed greens, at least 2 large handfuls per person, chopped or shredded (we happened to have asparagus and chard, but anything goes: spinach, spring greens, cabbage, peas, broad beans...)
green curry paste (see below)
fresh green herbs - typically coriander, but use what you have (I always have some in the freezer)
seasonings: lemon juice, fish sauce (use miso paste instead for a vegan version), soy sauce, more fresh herbs (I used a bunch of basil), a squirt of maple syrup (or pinch of sugar)
rice or noodles to serve (optional)
Curry paste ingredients:
lemongrass - often hard to find, so I used a couple of drops of lemongrass oil (or try lemon zest instead)
olive oil (or any oil you prefer)
fresh chillies (to taste, I used a mild-ish red chilli, or use some dried chilli)
a small onion
Combine all the curry paste ingredients in a blender and blitz to a paste (add extra oil or a bit of water if it's too dry)
Fry the paste (approx two spoonfuls per person) with a little oil for a minute or so until fragrant
Add the stock, coconut milk and fish sauce (or miso) and simmer for a coupe of minutes
Add the vegetables and a squeeze of lemon juice and simmer for 5 more minutes or until tender.
Season the curry with a squirt of maple syrup, fish sauce, and/or soy sauce
Top with fresh herbs and another squeeze of lemon juice
Serve with rice or rice noodles, or just as it is.
Btw, have you noticed how similar this is to the fish stew I shared the other day? It really follows the same template!
How to use this recipe template in your everyday cooking?
Add the template to your favourites list or to your weekly/monthly meal rotation plan.
Keep the main elements to hand: tins of coconut milk in your cupboard and the made up curry paste in your fridge/freezer (or even Thai curry paste from a jar).
Of course you can just make the paste on the day (I do) but you may want to check on the ingredients first (I keep most of these in my kitchen anyway).
Use the template with anything you have on the day: could be any greens, tofu, fish, seafood or chicken (in Indonesia they also often just add hard boiled eggs to curries!)