Green Curry is one of my favourite dishes, probably because I lived in South East Asia when I was very little and this was something we ate often. It is now one of my go-to comfort foods (no chicken noodle soup for me!). Green Curry Paste typically has shrimp paste in it, which made the pre-packaged version a no go when we adopted a plant based diet several years ago.
I found an incredible green curry paste recipe in Buddha’s Table, by Chat Mingkwan, and I used that recipe as my “base” (along with Meghan Telpner’s lovely Green Curry recipe from Undiet) while experimenting to come up with this one. Why mess with perfection you might ask? I have fallen in love with burdock and turmeric and was curious to see if I could find a way to incorporate them into this recipe. I was pretty thrilled with how this turned out!
All specialty ingredients can be found in regular grocery or Asian specialty stores (Fisgard Market in Chinatown or Fairway Market in Quadra Village if you happen to be in Victoria, BC, or at Ca-Hoa Grocery in Halifax, NS)
Veg-Friendly Green Curry Paste
6 cloves garlic
2 inch piece organic ginger
1 stalk lemongrass
Handful cilantro (including stalks)
2 inch piece turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
1 large shallot
10 keffir lime leaves, dried or fresh
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp schezuan (or regular) peppercorns, ground
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
4 inch piece of burdock, peeled and chopped (optional, but a lovely addition)
¼ cup water as needed
Combine all paste ingredients in a small blender (I used a Nutribullet) or a food processor and process until smooth.
This recipe calls for ½ a batch, you can freeze the other half in a mason jar for later use (making sure to leave a bit of space for expansion when the paste freezes!)
Veg Friendly Green Curry
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
3 cups peeled and diced eggplant
1 medium daikon, peeled and sliced thinly
¾ cup Green Curry Paste (see recipe above)
2 cans coconut milk
1 zucchini thinly sliced
1 small can bamboo shoots, drained
1½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms, we love using oyster and king oyster
2 cups protein of choice (I used tofu, but tempeh, beans or a meat based option would also work)
2 cups thinly sliced kale
Small handful basil (Thai, if available)
1 Tbsp tamari (or to taste)
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
Sauté leeks, eggplant and daikon in coconut oil until soft, about 15 minutes.
Add green curry paste and stir to incorporate.
Add coconut milk, zucchini, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and tofu. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes more.
Add kale and cook for another 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in basil, tamari and coconut sugar and serve over the coconut rice recipe below.
Coconut Rice Recipe
2¼ cups basmati rice (brown rice is also a lovely option)
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp coconut sugar
4½ cups water
Combine shredded coconut, coconut oil, coconut sugar and water in a high speed blender and process until smooth. Add to a rice cooker along with basmati or brown rice and cook until soft and fluffy.