Sunday, April 10, 2011

Green curry with chicken meatballs

If any Thai cooks ever read this post, I am sure they will force me to change the dish name. Or at least not calling it "Green curry". Well, until that happens, let`s just call it the way I intended it to be.

I know these green chilies look wrinkly sad, but that`s what I get when I keep them too long in the fridge. It`s alright, though, they`re still green anyway.
Chop up the chilies (remove the seeds if you avoid the heat). If you want the curry to be really really hot (that no one can eat it except you), use bird`s eye chilies. I still have no idea in what way the birds have anything to do with the chili, not to mention their eyes. I`ll stop blabbering now.

Chop up garlic, onion, and ginger too. Place them together with the green chili in a food processor and whiz up.

Not green enough, I know. Not green at all, indeed.

And that`s why I used green bell peppers.
One thing to consider, though. Green bell pepper contains way more flesh and water than chili does. So it seems that you`ll need more bell peppers to get an equal greenness resulted form fewer amount of chilies. My theory, of course, can be ignored. Using green chilies is the best (and original) method, of course.

Green already. I looove this picture.

Set aside the spice paste and it`s time to make the meatballs. You can certainly modify the meatballs ingredients, but here`s what I`ve got in my kitchen.
Minced chicken, dried shrimps, and seaweed flakes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. What to do next? Oh you know it already. Go dunk your hand in it and mix everything.

I want the meatballs to be chewy, so I added corn starch. To 160 g of meat, I added 2 tbs of corn starch. The meatballs turned out to be a little too firm, so I think I`ll use less starch next time.

Mix, mix, mix, and set aside. Please don`t taste it now.

Place the spice paste you prepared earlier on a pan, add shrimp paste, lemon grass (bruise it first), galangal, and kaffir lime leaves and saute them until fragrant.

Toss in shiitake mushroom slices. Mushroom is almost a must in my kitchen. No wonder my head started look like a mushroom.

One type of mushroom is not enough for me, so I tossed in shimeji mushroom too.

I always use powdered coconut milk and this time I diluted 60 g of it in 500 ml water.

Pour it in and stir.

Can I call it green curry now?
Season with sugar (this curry is supposed to be sweet), fish sauce, cumin, and pepper.
Keep simmering while we make the meatballs.

Get the meatballs dough and shape it into (something like) meatballs. You can use two spoons like I did. Or you can place some dough in your fist, squeeze it out between your thumb and index finger and then spoon out one ball at a time before putting them in the simmering curry.

Let the meatballs cook. This is raw chicken we are using, so you want them to be cooked through. To avoid the coconut milk scorches, gently stir the soup without breaking the meatballs. Cook one meatball first, taste it, and adjust the taste of the dough if you need to.
Actually, I don`t really mind if the meatballs end up tasting bland because I think the curry is rich enough to cover the blandness.

One last ingredient is hanpen. Hanpen is a kind of fish cake made from fish and yams with a soft spongy texture that is very similar to marshmallow. When you touch or eat it, you`ll swear it`s a marshmallow. With a fishy taste, though. If you can`t find hanpen at your place, regular fish cake will do just fine.

Cube the fish cake and throw them in. It won`t take long to cook the fish cakes as they`re cooked anyway.

And now the curry doesn`t look that green anymore. It`s yellowish green. Or greenish yellow. Whichever it is, this curry is rich of taste. It`s lightly sweet with a hint of aroma from the green chilies (and bell peppers).And I added fried onion for garnishing. Y-U-M.

Spice paste
Green chilies
Green bellpeppers

Lemon grass
Kaffir lime leaves
Shrimp paste
Fish cake

Minced chicken
Dried shrimps
Seaweed flakes
Corn starch
Salt (just a pinch)



  1. What a creative recipe, love it - chicken balls and fishcakes in curry, hmmm! I like creating my own recipe too, especially when I have no idea what to cook. Often it tastes even better than when I just follow recipes from a cookbook ;).

  2. Lyndsey - The Tiny SkilletApril 10, 2011 at 2:18 AM

    What a delightful crack me up! I don't care if it's officially a "green" curry or not it looks and sounds amazing! I wish my daughter liked mushrooms, maybe I'll work them in some way, she eats so many other things (she love furikake on her rice, even with Cuban black beans) go figure!

  3. CG: Haha, yes, following recipes in cookbook is the right thing to do :D

    Lyndsey: I love furikake too! Maybe you can try sprinkle it on mushrooms for her?

  4. Hello Arudhi,

    How nice to come by your blog and visit with you! A delightful place. I have enjoyed perusing many of your posts. Delicious looking food. I was fascinated to read your posts on the earthquake you have experienced.

    A joy meeting you!
    Kindly, Lorraine