Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A Twist on Curry at Home, Chapter 2

During the last Labour Day weekend I was in Winnipeg for another daytrip, which has in the past almost always included a stop at a Chinese supermarket.  This time my curiosity got the best of me and I bought some fresh lemongrass. Named for being a grass with a citrus aroma and flavour, lemongrass can be featured quite prominently in tropical Asian cuisines, including Thai.  I had never cooked with lemongrass before, and the last time I had the urge to try cooking with lemongrass was dashed when I discovered that I could only find the frozen variety in Brandon.

I had enough lemongrass to make two different dishes, so one evening I decided to make a green curry shrimp noodle soup dish from scratch, using only my intuition to determine the kinds and quantities of ingredients I would use.  For vegetables I used gai lan (aka Chinese broccoli) and winter bamboo shoots.  The soup consisted of chicken broth, green curry paste, finely chopped lemongrass (with the upper third left uncut and tossed, dried chili flakes, a few drops of fish sauce and a couple of slices of ginger root.  The boiling soup made sure both the frozen shrimp and the fresh udon noodles were cooked and piping hot.  The aroma of lemongrass as I chopped it and later tossed it in the broth was both invigorating and exciting as it permeated in my kitchen.  Garnished with fresh basil, I believe I was successful with this dish.

This was a quick and easy dish to make, though next time I could perhaps cut back on the chili flakes slightly to reduce the heat.  I certainly will have to look around for more inspirational ways to cook with lemongrass; for now I can't seem to get enough of that aroma.

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