Cambodia is a great Conference location and the food is amazing. This chicken curry will become a favourite!
Cambodian Chicken Red Curry, known as Somlar Kari Saek Mouan or sometimes Khmer Red Curry, is a rich, flavourful curry made with coconut milk, chicken, eggplant, green beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a wonderful red curry paste called kroeung. It’s similar to Thai red curry, but not as spicy.
Ingredients – Red Kroeung Past
- 2 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves discarded and tender insides roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, cut into thin strips (or the zest of two limes)
- 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, peeled and grated or finely minced (or 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric powder)
- 2 inches galangal, peeled and grated or finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bird’s eye chilli
- 5 large dried red peppers, seeds and stems removed, rehydrated by soaking in hot water for 10 minutes (reserve 3/4 cup of the water!)
Ingredients – Curry
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6-10 tablespoons red kroeung paste, to taste
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs, each cut into 2 pieces
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 5-8 snake beans, cut into 2-inch pieces (common green beans from the supermarket also work well)
- 1 small eggplant cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1 large white potato, peeled, then cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, then cut into 2 cm pieces
- 2-3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon shrimp paste
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Combine the kroeung paste ingredients in a blender, adding the 3/4 cup reserved water from soaking the dried red peppers as needed and blending until a smooth paste forms. It should be a deep red color. Store any leftover kroeung paste in the freezer until ready to use.
Add the chicken and 1 cup of the coconut milk and stir to combine with the curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.
Add the onion, beans, eggplant, and potatoes and stir to combine.
Add the remaining coconut milk and water, along with the fish sauce, shrimp paste, palm sugar, and salt.
Increase the heat to medium-high just until the liquid comes to a boil.
Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
Serve with rice or noodles.