Thursday, September 12, 2013

{Recipe} Evil Jungle Prince: A Thai Coconut Curry

I love Thai food. And I love Hawaii. This is a Thai dish that brings back memories of Hawaii, so it's a pretty perfect combination in my eyes. Plus, who can resist a name like Evil Jungle Prince?


Evil Jungle Prince was created at Keo's in Waikiki, which I've been lucky enough to visit several times when traveling for work. EJP was my go-to dish, and in the back of my mind, I always thought I should try to make it at home. I saw several different variations of recipes online (like this one, this one, and this one to name just a few) and created my own version using a combination of them. Unfortunately, it's been a couple of years since I've had the dish at Keo's, so I can't speak to how well this compares to the original, but I really enjoyed how it turned out. If you like Thai coconut curries (or love, love, love them like me!), it's worth a try. Here's the method I used, but this can easily be switched up based on your preferences...

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (though I think you could skip the oil to make it healthier)
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp (or other meat, or no meat, whatevs)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup baby corn
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 cup straw mushrooms
  • A few small red chili peppers or a few shakes of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 stalk of fresh lemongrass or 1 tbsp. lemongrass paste
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves or 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (I used a reduced fat one)
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. sriracha
  • 1 tbsp. red curry paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (preferably sweet Thai basil, but regular basil works)
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • Jasmine rice
Heat the oil and cook your shrimp, veggies, lemongrass, and lime leaves for a couple minutes on medium high heat.  Add the coconut milk, brown sugar, sriracha, and curry paste and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the basil and fish sauce. After a couple more minutes, remove from heat, and serve over rice.

Although the ingredient list is kind of long (anyone else get easily scared away by long ingredient lists?), it's totally customizable, and it's a quick meal to throw together. Most of these ingredients were all stored together in the Thai section of my grocery store too (including canned baby corn, bamboo shoots, & straw mushrooms; sriracha; curry paste; fish sauce; and rice), so it was easy to grab what I needed. Next time I'm going to try omitting the oil and throwing everything in the pot at once rather than doing the staggered cooking I described above. I have a feeling this one's going to be in pretty regular rotation at my house!

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