Green Thai Curry (Gaeng Kiow Wahn Goong)
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk, unshaken
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon green curry paste, or to taste
4 small green Thai eggplants, halved***
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined*
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar or light brown sugar
Lemon grass (optional)**
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (for garnish)
Fresh lime juice (for garnish)
Jasmine or sticky rice
Carefully open coconut milk cans, spoon thick coconut cream from top and put in wok, frying pan or medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until bubbly. Add curry paste and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until an oily sheen comes to the surface. Optional additions: If adding ginger, garlic and lemon grass, add with curry paste. Add remaining coconut milk from cans and eggplants. Simmer 10 minutes.
Add shrimp, fish sauce and palm sugar, and simmer gently 3 to 4 minutes, just until prawns are cooked. Stir in basil and fresh lime juice to taste. Serve with jasmine rice or sticky rice. Yields 4 servings.
* To substitute for shrimp use: 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut into bite-size pieces; or 1 pound beef or pork cut into thin slices.
** To enhance flavors, add one or more of the following to curry paste and stir-fry: 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 2 slices ginger, crushed; 1 stalk lemon grass, peeled and sliced diagonally, using lower third of stalk only. Remove whole spices before serving.
*** Thai eggplants are available at some supermarkets and at Asian grocery stores.