This dish brings back memories of my grandmother making a whole pot of awk to feed our family. We would eat it as a full meal with a side of fresh vegetables and sticky rice. It is a delicious stew, perfect for any time of the year and easy to adapt to different dietary restrictions.
It is such a versatile comfort food that it can be prepared with any protein you have available. Alternatively, this dish can be adapted only with vegetables you might find at a seasonal farmer’s market or an Asian supermarket.
Red Curry Paste
1/2 cup lemongrass, thinly sliced
1/4 cup galangal, sliced (you could replace with ginger)
6 garlic cloves
3 Thai chilies
1/2 cup shallots, sliced
3 tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups red curry paste
2 cups raw chicken, chopped in small bites
6 Thai eggplants, quartered
2 medium-long finger hot peppers, sliced, seeds left on (or any other medium heat peppers)
1 cup green beans, sliced into 1-1 1⁄2 inch pieces
1 pack shimeji mushrooms or 2 cups white mushrooms
8 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
4 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
2 cups dill, chopped
Red Curry Paste
You could make the paste using a mortar and pestle or using a food processor. The main difference between using a mortar and pestle vs the food processor is that pounding releases more fragrant and flavorful oils, whereas the food processor will mostly cut through them.
Mortar and Pestle | Paste
Start by pounding the lemongrass and galangal in the mortar and pestle. Then add the garlic, chili, and shallots. Pound all the ingredients to a paste, but not too finely so each ingredient maintains some of its texture.
Food Processor | Paste
Add all of the ingredients and pulse several times until they break apart to a paste, but making sure to maintain some of their texture.
- Add oil to a medium-sized pot, heat on high temperature. Saute the red curry paste for two to three minutes.
- Stir in the chicken and cook it until it is halfway done.
- Add eggplant, peppers, green beans, mushrooms, and kaffir lime leaves. Stir fry until well-combined and the chicken is fully cooked.
- Incorporate the stock, fish sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and boil for two to three minutes while covered.
- Add the chopped dill and turn off the heat.
- Serve immediately with sticky rice or jasmine rice.