Red Curry Paste
Mortar and pestle
6 dried California chiles
4 dried Thai chiles
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns
1 teaspoon coarse, sea salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped, Kaffir lime leaf
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped, Galangal root
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/3 cup diced shallots
1/2 teaspoon "Por Kwan" shrimp paste (Amazon or International market)
1 teaspoon paprika-non smoked
3 cups Jasmine rice
3 ½ cups water
2 teaspoons salt
Red curry paste
3 cans good quality coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 ripened pineapple
Kaffir lime leaves
Finely ground sea salt
2 dozen fresh, large shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails on
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
¾ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
¼ cup corn starch
Peanut or canola oil
10 thinly sliced, large garlic cloves
7 dried, Thai chiles
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground
Note: Red curry paste can be made a day or two ahead to save time.
Buy shrimp from a local "seafood market" for freshness.
Optional: Short skewers or cocktail toothpicks can be run through the shrimp from head to tail to prevent curling during cooking.
Core the pineapple and chop into about 1 inch pieces. place in a mixing bowl and crush with your hands, but don't macerate. Set aside.
Red Curry Paste
Place the dried chile peppers in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak 20-30 minutes, until tender. Wearing gloves, drain off water and squeeze out. Slice open each Chile and remove the seeds and stems. Finely chop the chiles, and using the flat edge of knife, purée them as you would a garlic clove.
Het a small skillet over medium temperature, add the coriander seeds and peppercorns and toast until they start to become aromatic. Add the cumin seeds and toast about 1 more minute. Pour the spices, sea salt and lime leaf into the mortar and finely grind everything together. Add the lemongrass and Galangal and grind. Add the garlic and shallots and grind into a paste. Add the Chile purée, along with the shrimp paste and paprika and grind everything together. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.
Pour the the rice into a large bowl and fill with cold water. Rub the rice between your hands to remove starches. Drain and repeat 3-4 times. Drain the rice through a sieve and pour into a saucepan with a lid, pour 3 1/2 cups of water over top, add 2 teaspoons of salt and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and let cook until water is absorbed. lean over and listen for cooking sound. Once there is silence, remove from heat, cover and let steam 10 minutes, covered. After 10 minutes, remove lid and fluff with a fork.
Add 1 cup of coconut milk to a large sauce pan and heat over med-high temperature. Once simmering, reduce to medium temperature and cook, stirring occasionally until the oil separates from the milk and starts to thicken. Add all of the red curry paste and cook over medium to med-low temperature, stirring continuously, 4-5 minutes. Do not burn the curry!
Add the chicken stock and whisk in the oyster sauce. Cook over medium temperature 3-4 minutes. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of coconut milk and cook two more minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a sieve into a second sauce pan, or sieve and pour back into same sauce pan. Don't press the curry into the sieve or the curry may become bitter, but reserve it in case you want to use it at the end.
Place back on burner over medium temperature, tear a few Kaffir lime leaves and add to the pan. Add desired amount of pineapple and cook 3-4 minutes. If curry is not sweetened enough from the pineapple, add some of the Palm sugar a little at a time until slightly sweetened to balance the tart pineapple. Simmer to desired richness, remove Kaffir leaves and season with salt. More chicken stock or coconut milk can be added in small increments if desired. Remove from heat and cover. Make sure steam from lid doesn't pour into pan when you remove it. Remove Kaffir leaves once flavored subtly.
Cleaning: Place the shrimp in a large bowl and sprinkle with 2-3 teaspoons of table salt. Gently rub the salt into the shrimp and then rinse 3 times with cold water to thoroughly remove salt. Pat shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the Shaoxing wine evenly over shrimp, sprinkle with salt and corn starch and gently toss to coat.
Line a plate with paper towel and set aside.
Heat a wok or large non stick pan over med-high temperature and add 1/4 cup of oil. Add half of the shrimp and cook each side about 1 minute each or until shrimp becomes opaque in color. Spoon onto plate with paper towel and cook the second batch. Add more oil if needed.
Pour out, or wipe out any oil left over in the wok. Let the wok cool a few minutes before placing back on heat. Add 1/4 cup of oil to the wok and place on burner over medium temperature. Add the garlic and dried chiles and cook until garlic becomes a light golden color. Add all of the shrimp back, sprinkle the coriander and peppercorns over the top, season with fine sea salt and toss several times. Finish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve immediately with the rice and pineapple curry.