A couple of weeks ago I picked up some Thai Eggplants (see pics below) at the local Farmers Market. Despite a 90+° heat wave, I wanted to cook them up, so searched for possible recipes.
I combined two similar recipes:
Country-Style Curry (Gaeng Bah) from Real Thai by Nancie McDerrmott
- 1 lb Thai apple eggplants (see cooks’ note, below)
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup Thai red curry paste
- 1-1/2 lb pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (I used pork sirloin steaks cut in thin strips)
- 1/3 cup julienne strips peeled fresh or frozen grachai (lesser galangal or wild ginger; thawed if frozen) or drained bottled grachai, rinsed, or ginger (I used ginger)
- 3 oz Chinese long beans or green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 canned baby corn, rinsed, drained, and halved lengthwise
- 1-1/2 cups Thai chicken stock (I used regular chicken stock)
- 3 tablespoons nam pla (Asian fish sauce; preferably Thai)
- 5 (4-inch-long) fresh or frozen Kaffir lime leaves (sometimes called bai makroot); the Kaffir lime leaves I have are much smaller than this, less than 2″ long, so I used about 15 of them
- 1 fresh chee fah chile or 2 red jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced crosswise and seeds discarded
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup loosely packed bai grapao (holy basil leaves); (I used Thai Basil)
Trim eggplants and cut into 1-inch wedges (do this just before heating oil to avoid discoloration).
In a large saucepan or wok over medium-low heat, warm the oil until hot but not smoking, about 30 seconds. Add curry paste (to taste) and cook gently, stirring constantly, until very fragrant and a shade darker, 2 to 3 minutes. Add pork and stir-fry over high heat until no longer pink on outside, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggplant, grachai/ginger, beans, baby corn, and stock and simmer, stirring, until eggplant is crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add fish sauce, lime leaves, chile, and salt and bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in half of basil.
Serve over rice (preferably sticky rice) topped with remaining basil.
I must confess, I did NOT make my own Red Curry Paste (I used Mae Ploy brand) or Chicken Stock (had some in a box). Next time I would add a bunch of cilantro to the stock and/or make my own, but I doubt I’ll ever be obsessive enough to make my own curry paste when United Noodle is so close to where I live 🙂
In case you are wondering, Thai Eggplants (aka “apple eggplants”) are the size of small apples and/or crabapples and are green or green & white. They actually look a bit like tomatillos to me. Anyway, below is a picture. The ruler next to them is my 6″ bench scraper.
Red Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant
Red Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant served over sticky rice
with Japanese Eggplant and Bok Choi in Yellow Bean Sauce