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Notes > Thai Ingredients Part 5 3 February 2007

Posted by cath in Recipes.
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Here’s some more notes about Thai ingredients – with a view to the green curry paste

 

Coriander stalk and root

Try to buy coriander at grocers and Asian supermarkets where they have bunches including a bit of root and lots of stalk. Stalk and root are basically concentrated coriander flavour and you can use them in any dish that has coriander as an ingredient.
Scrub the roots a bit, finely chop the stalk and root together. Add to curry pastes, or for other dishes, add to the pot for a longer cooking time. Then chop the leaves as a garnish (at the end of the cooking time) for more flavour and colour.

 

coriander

Coriander stalk and root

 

Kaffir Lime Peel

See this post for pictures of Kaffir Limes and their leaves. Just peel the kaffir lime with a knife or a potato peeler, they are knobbly, so don’t worry if you get a bit of pith… Here’s what you’re aiming for:

Kaffir Lime Zest

Kaffir Lime Peel (Zest)

 

Lemongrass

Chop just the lower, thicker 1/3 of each lemongrass stalk, this is the juiciest bit whilst the rest is quite woody. If you’re worried about throwing the tops away, you can make a lemongrass tea out of them – just pour over boiling water and brew for 5 minutes. This also goes nicely with mint, green tea or can be cooled as a summer drink.

 

Chopped Lemongrass

Chopped Lemongrass

 

Turmeric

Is another root, although thinner than ginger or galangal, and bright orange – it will stain your hands, chopping board etc. Still it’s wonderful for the odd occasion when you can find it. Otherwise, use powder.

 

Turmeric

Fresh Tumeric

 

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Comments»

1. Sunny - 23 May 2007

I’ve never seen a real tumeric. I assumed the color was yellow because the curry I ate most was yellow and all the cooks I talked to said it’s because of tumeric. Cath, will you explain this mystery to me?

2. cath - 23 May 2007

It was also a bit of a surprise to me when I first saw fresh turmeric – I had no idea it was a root like ginger! Bright orange, like a carrot, is the usual colour. Yet, for some reason it stains your fingers, and food (and anything else it comes into contact with) a bright golden yellow.
In fact, you might just make out the colour that it is staining my chopping board in the picture (Lower right hand side of shot).

If only I could explain all these mysteries! :)

Try looking in your local Asian produce shop for fresh turmeric – it is well worth using it once just to try the fresh flavour and see the amazing colour. The picture shows a piece of root, about the size of a finger, and this should make a couple of different dishes. It keeps well in the fridge for weeks, wrapped in kitchen roll and sealed in a plastic bag.


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