Bowl of Shrimp Red Curry with Sour Bamboo
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Shrimp & Sour Bamboo Curry
4 w/rice  
1 hr  
This is a rich and interesting Thai red curry. Thais love Sour Bamboo in soups and curries because of the unique flavor it gives to them.


Shrimp (1)
Sour Bamboo (2)
Thai Basil Leaf
Chili, Red (3)
Kaffir Lime Leaves (4)
Coconut Milk (5)
Red Curry Paste (6)  
Fish Sauce (7)
Palm Sugar (8)
Prep   -   (30 min)
  1. Shell and devein SHRIMP as needed.
  2. Drain SOUR BAMBOO and rinse well. Wring out and cut into smallish bite size pieces.
  3. Remove BASIL LEAVES from stems, and start them soaking in cold water. This will help keep them green when added to the curry.
  4. Blast the CHILIS black with your propane torch and brush off the skins under running water (see Note-9). Seed them and cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 1 to 1-1/2 inches long.
  5. Roll LIME LEAVES up (end to end) as tight as you can. Slice these rolls into threads as fine as you can cut them. Discard the central stem and make a few cuts through the threads to shorten them. Mix with Chilis.
  6. Open 2 ea 14 ounce cans COCONUT MILK without shaking. Scoop about half the contents off the top, including all the cream. Hold separate from the rest of the Coconut Milk.
Run   -   (30 min)
  1. In a sauté pan or wok, place the Coconut Cream part of the Coconut milk. Bring to a boil (carefully), then stir in Curry Paste until evenly distributed. Keep at a strong simmer over moderate heat, stirring constantly until red oil starts to separate.
  2. Stir in Sour Bamboo. Then slowly stir in remaining Coconut Milk and Water. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in Fish Sauce and Palm Sugar, then Chili mix, and simmer another 5 minutes. You can hold it hot for awhile at this point.
  4. When ready to serve - bring to a simmer and stir in the Shrimp until pink. take off heat. Drain Basil Leaves and stir in well. Serve immediately with plenty of steamed Jasmine rice.
  1. Shrimp:   Weight is headless, shelled and deveined. Size is up to your preference.
  2. Sour Bamboo Shoots:   [Pickled Bamboo Shoots; Naw Mai Dong (Thai)]   These are available from many Asian markets, usually from Thailand and in 32 ounce jars. The Bamboo is floating around in a lot of liquid and will be only about 6-7/8 ounces well drained.
  3. Chili, Fresh Red:   Around here we all use Red Ripe Fresnos, but other medium hot red chilis, such as Holland Red will work. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Kaffir Lime Leaves:   These come 2 to a stem, so this recipe requires 3 stems. For details see our Kaffir Lime page. If you don't have them, grate the zest of a large lime (green only).
  5. Coconut Milk:   Unsweetened. Coconut milk from Thailand is excellent. I use Aroy-D, but there are other fine brands. A good quality Coconut Milk will have lots of heavy cream at the top. Check the recipe - you may need to avoid shaking the can before opening.
  6. Curry Paste, Red:   You can buy commercially made Thai Red Curry Paste, even at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but it is better made at home - see our recipe Red Curry Paste. Our recipe is probably a little hotter than most commercial versions, but some of those are so salty you may have to cut back on the Fish Sauce.
  7. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. If you are unfamiliar with it, see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  8. Palm Sugar   This is available in pretty much all Southeast and East Asian markets. I buy it in lumps of about 1 Tablespoon each. If you don't have it, use a lightly refines sugar such as Turbinado.
  9. Comments   Skinning the chilis is optional, but I always do it as it improves the texture, and it's particularly important if any of this curry will be reheated.
  10. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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