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April 2003
South Asian Recipes

By Chef Matteo



Thai Coconut Curry with Asparagus and Spring Onions with Brown Jasmine Rice Cakes

Coconut Curry:
1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, sliced thinly
3” Piece Galangal (Thai ginger avail- able in Asian specialty stores, or sub- stitute with common ginger)
1 Stalk Lemongrass, trimmed, cut in 2” pieces, and bruised (or slightly mashed to release flavor)
4 Garlic Cloves, sliced thinly
6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (rehydrated in filtered warm water for 30 minutes; reserve mushroom water), cut in quarters
3-4 Kaffir Lime Leaves (exceptionally fragrant and commonly used in Thai cooking; available in Asian specialty stores)
1 Can (15 oz.) Coconut Milk
1 C. Mushroom Water, strained (reserved from rehydrating mushrooms)
Juice of 1 Small Lime (zest saved)
2 T. Shoyu
1 lb. Asparagus, trimmed (peeled if necessary) and blanched
10 Spring Onions (Scallions), dark green parts removed, and sliced in half lengthwise

Rice Cakes:

1 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 C. Brown Jasmine Rice, pre-cooked
1/4 C. Yellow Onion (1/2 a medium onion), diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 C. Red Bell Pepper, 1/8” dice
1/4 C. Yellow Bell Pepper, 1/8” dice
2 C. Vegetable Broth
1 Bunch Chives, minced
1/3 C. Black Sesame Seeds
Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
(The rice cakes can be made one or two days ahead, if desired.)

For the Curry:
1. In 4 qt. saucepan, heat oil over medium- high heat. Sauté onions for 2 minutes. Add galangal, lemongrass, garlic, mush-rooms, and lime leaves and sauté 4-5 minutes more until the fragrance of each ingredient develops.

Add coconut milk, mushroom water and shoyu and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a 10” sauté pan filled halfway with water to a boil. Add a pinch of sea salt. Fill large bowl with ice cold water and set aside. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 45-60 seconds. With tongs, remove asparagus from boiling water and plunge into the ice water bath. Once cool, drain asparagus and set aside.

Add asparagus and spring onions to curry and cook 2 minutes to wilt spring onions and heat asparagus.

For the Rice Cakes:

1. In 2 qt. saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 2 minutes and then add the rice, garlic, red and yellow peppers, and sauté for 2 more minutes. Cover saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-35 minutes or until done.

Remove pan from heat and spread rice onto a parchment paper-lined sheet pan to cool.

Puree 1/2 C. of the rice in blender and place into a medium bowl along with the rest of the rice, chives, sesame, salt, pepper and stir to combine.

Preheat oven to 350. Form into 6-8 equal sized cakes and bake on a prepared cookie sheet (greased or lined with parchment paper) 15 minutes or until dry and crisp on top and moist on the inside.

Ladle curry into bowls and serve with two jasmine rice cakes.
Makes 3-4 servings

Coconut Mango Ice Cream
2 C. Coconut Milk
1 C. Almond Milk
1/2 C. Maple Syrup
1 Large Ripe Mango, peeled and cut into chunks
2 T. Kudzu Powder
2 t. Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Sea Salt

Process all ingredients in a blender, until smooth.

In a small saucepan, heat ingredients to incorporate flavors. Do not boil.

Refrigerate for 2 hours or until thor- oughly chilled.

Place in ice cream maker and follow freezing directions.
Makes approx. 8 half-cup servings

Chef Matteo moved to New York from San Francisco in March 2001. He is a long-time vegetarian and has been vegan for several years. Matteo has worked in the health food and restaurant business for over a decade, and currently works as a private chef and caterer.


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