Once upon a time, there was a lovely Thai princess that lived in a palace made of vegetables that floated over a sea of coconut milk. She loved her home, but spent her nights dreaming of far-away places. One evening, as she bathed herself in the glow of her favorite spaghetti western, something magical happened. She found herself transported to Texas, the land of tumblin' tumbleweeds!
Soon she got hungry and made herself a cup of soup.
- 1 25 ounce can of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 lime
- 1 handful cilantro, chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, minced
- 25 ounces water
- 1 tablespoon sugar (preferably raw, palm or turbinado)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup black beans
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 zuchinni, sliced
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- Open the can of coconut milk, and skim the thick, top portion off of the top, and into a soup pot. It can be helpful to stick your coconut milk in the fridge for an hour or so before cooking to make this step easier. If you are just getting the can out of the cupboard, that's ok, just be careful not to shake it up.
- Add the green curry paste to the coconut cream in the soup pot, and heat it over medium to high heat. You want to let the spices fry up in the fatty cream and become fragrant. Don't worry about the mixture over-heating, coconut cream is sturdy stuff.
- While the coconut and curry is cooking, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, cilantro, and minced jalapeno in a small bowl. Set is aside for later.
- Add the rest of the can of coconut milk to the soup pot, followed by another twenty five ounces (or can-full) of water.
- Increase the heat to high and let the soup come to a boil. Once it does, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer.
- Add the salt and sugar to the soup, and stir well to make sure they dissolve. Next, add the carrots and beans.
- Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add a little bit of cooking oil and spread it around with a spatula.
- Saute the bell peppers and zucchini in the pan, heating them until they are cooked through, but still crispy. Set them aside on a dish, then saute the corn just enough to heat it through.
- Add the cilantro-soy sauce mixture to the soup, then ladle it into bowls. Top the bowls with vegetables and serve.
This post is the first in a series that I am publishing as a part of The World Food's Texas Fusion Taste Team! I'm proud to be blogging with a great team of fellow Austinites on this project: Laurie of Lonely Gourmet, Rachelle from Blinded by the Bite, and Kathryn from The Austin Gastronomist. Together, we are reviewing and making recipes for a range of sauces from World Foods.
What I like about World Foods products, right off the bat, is that they are all natural, with no dyes, phony flavors, trans-fats, or nasty preservatives. As someone who generally avoids processed foods, and things in jars/can/boxes, I appreciate their being some not-so-bad choices available for when you don't have time to make something completely from scratch.
Another thing that is neat about World Foods products is that they are formulated to be free of most major food allergens, and suitable for vegan, vegetarian, and muslim diets. Though I'm not on a super-strict diet myself, I have a lot of friends and family that are, so I appreciated when a company takes that extra step to make shopping for special diets easier.
The first World Foods product I'm reviewing is their Green Curry Paste. It just so happens that green curry paste is something that I never ever make from scratch anyway, so I quite enjoyed testing out a new brand. Why don't I make curry paste from scratch, you ask? Well, making curry paste is kind of an insane process. It involves a huge amount of manual smashing, stirring, and grinding. After all that work the result, from what I've been told, doesn't tend to vary much from a good quality canned paste anyway. So unless you are super-masochistic, and just love punishing yourself with manual labor, making your own curry paste isn't really worthwhile.
I've always used Maesri brand curry paste in the past. It's an old school favorite of mine that you may have seen used on MMD before. I happened to have a little bit of it in my freezer from the last curry I made, so I did a little taste test between the two.
First off, the World Foods Curry is much milder in heat than the Maesri. Maesri is intensely hot, so I suspect a little more concentrated than World Foods. Because Maesri is so spicy, its flavor is pretty much overpowered by that green chile taste. The World Foods brand, though much milder, seemed to carry the other flavors, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime, a little better than the other. It's mild flavor could also make it a bit more versatile in recipes than Maesri. I could see using the World Foods Green Curry to flavor dips like chutney, hummus, or sour cream. It might also do nicely in sauces, marinades, or stuffings. I'll definitely be trying this one again!