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swirl and savor

Thai Green Eggplant and Chicken Curry

Beth Ribblett

Our trip to the Hong Kong Market yielded these beautiful Thai green eggplants that inspired me to make a very green dish using ingredients we picked up at the market. A little bigger than a golf ball, these eggplants pack a lot of flavor and texture and were a great substitute for our large purple variety.

One of the reasons we went to the market was to get more of the Thai Curry Paste that we love to cook with. Unlike Indian curry powder, aromatic Thai curry paste combines dry spices with "wet", or fresh, ingredients like chili peppers, fish sauce, shrimp paste, herbs, garlic, shallots and lemongrass. Mixed with a bit of coconut milk, it's an almost-instant sauce base, making it a fast, convenient way to cook up a really flavorful dish.

Curry paste is classified by color, ranging from deep red to yellow-orange to deep green, and often by the type of food with which it's traditionally used. The two most common are the green and red pastes. Red curry paste tends to be medium-hot, the most versatile, and used with chicken, duck, beef, pork, shrimp and fish, and noodle curries. Green curry paste, the hottest, is most commonly used in coconut sauces with beef, pork or chicken. Kerry is quite fond of the Maesri brand and it is pictured below with the ingredients of the dish. This is so simple and so good, you won't believe it! The hard part is driving to the West Bank for the ingredients, but it is well worth the trip. Be warned this is fairly spicy, but that's how we like it!

  • 2.5-3 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, sliced into thin pieces
  • 8-10 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
  • 1 sprig fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 8 ounces Thai eggplant (small round eggplants)
  • 3 Thai or Serrano peppers, seeded and ribs removed, cut into thin long slice
* In a large saucepan over high heat, fry the curry paste in the coconut oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
* Reduce the heat to medium and add the coconut milk slowly, and continue to stir while cooking until a thin film of oil appears on the surface.
* Add the chicken and other ingredients except the eggplant. Bring to a boil and cook until the chicken begins to change color.
* Adjust the flavors to suit yourself. When it is at a boil again add the eggplant and continue to stir until the chicken is cooked through and eggplant are tender. They will turn a bit brownish from the heat, but that is normal.
* Serve with sticky rice or jasmine rice