(Published on Baristanet Jan. 13, 2011)
JukGajee – Thai on Broad St
How does it work if a Thai restaurant decides it needs to also present burgers on its menu? My Baristanet colleague Annette Batson and I decided to investigate.
JukGajee, on Broad St in Bloomfield, occupies a huge space over two stories, with the upper level dedicated to events and functions. Manager, Chan Vinh, 40, who lives in West Orange and hails from the Chonburi province of Thailand, said JukGajee was his first restaurant and that he had worked before in a restaurant with his father in Yonkers. (more…)
That was a long wait for Part II, wasn’t it? Any Thai curry, pungent in aroma and a cacophony of flavours, is usually worth it. Besides, that recipe for the curry paste was hanging about with no closure and I need to get it out of the way before the holiday items make their appearance. Accept my apologies please and don’t be shy about licking that pan clean. That sounds ludicrous but it’s exactly what one of our friends did during an infamous dinner party some years ago 🙂
- Garlic, 6 cloves, sliced
- Lime leaves, about 6
- Lemon grass, 2 sticks each cut in half (no ends)
- Thai holy basil, several stalks of
- Galangal, four or five thick slices of
- Fish sauce, 2 tbsp
- Brown sugar, 1-2 tsp
- Coconut cream, 1/2 cup
- Canola oil, 2 tbsp
- Chicken, fish or beef, diced, about 200g (2 fillets)
- Green curry paste (click on the title for details) – 1 tbsp
- Stock or water, 1/2 cup
- Green aubergines, small ones – three of them, cubed
- Lemon juice of about 1/3 lemon
- Optional – for added heat, add 2 chopped chillies
- In a pan, saute the garlic till fragrant and add the curry paste
- In a separate pan, warm up the coconut cream. Do not boil
- Add the coconut cream to the curry paste mixture, stir till it thickens
- Add fish sauce, galangal, lemon grass, sugar and allow to simmer
- Throw in the diced chicken, fish or beef
- Add lime leaves, basil, stock and aubergines
- Take off the heat when the meat is cooked. If you’re using fish, this will take just a few minutes.
- For added richness, add a few tablespoons of cream!
- Remove solid bits of lemon grass, galangal and unwieldy bits of herbs if necessary before serving
- Further vegetables may be added when the meat goes in – try courgette/zucchinni, peas, pea aubergines, red or green peppers, sweet potatoes
- This amount will feed 2-4 people
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One of the joys of living in Southeast Asia is the astounding and mouthwatering variety of food it offers. The sights, sounds and scents (not all fragrant) of the street markets, the hustle and bustle of the wet markets and the availability of steamy, delicious and inexpensive meals just can’t be replicated in the West.
After moving to London, I started to recreate all my favourite Southeast Asian dishes in my own kitchen, mostly out of desperation as I wasn’t impressed with the Eastern offerings at many restaurants. The task usually involved lots of research, frantic phonecalls to aunts in foreign lands, a hunt for a well-stocked Asian grocer and lots of grinding of exotic spices and herbs (sometimes of teeth) afterwards.
This recipe is for a paste that will help you make (to the applause of your guests) your very own Thai green curry!
- 3 long, green chillies
- 10 small, green chillies (bird’s eye)
- lemongrass, 1 stalk, with the white part chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 inch galangal, chopped
- coriander roots, fistful
- Ground coriander, 1 tsp
- Ground white pepper, 1/2 tsp
- Ground cummin, 1/2 tsp
- Lime leaves, 1 tsp worth, chopped
- Salt, 1 tsp
- Fish sauce, 2 tsp
- In a mini processor, add the chillies, lemongrass, shallots and garlic
- Process in bursts til they are chopped finely
- Add all the other ingredients and process to a smoothish paste
- Be patient, I never said this was an easy assignment!
- You may add some canola oil to ease the process
- The paste may be wrapped in foil, in tablespoonfuls, and frozen.