Shopping the Farmers Market: Why Blog

After years of frequenting the farmers markets in NYC, but only buying a few supplemental ingredients here or there, I decided to be experimental and work dishes around what is in season or looks particularly mouthwatering at the market that day. Green seems to be the buzz word these days from NYC to the White House, and the eat local movement is in full swing. My attempt here is to buy as many ingredients as possible from a the farmers market, and then occasionally supplement with locally produced ingredients from chain markets around the city. Most of the recipes I post (except for the baking recipes) are either things I created myself, or variations on recipes I've found elsewhere. I hope that you take the recipes and shopping tips here and they inspire you to do your own local cooking.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Malaysian Style Chicken Red Curry

As promised, I returned to the Union Square market on Friday. It was a last minute decision on my way back from a meeting in midtown, so as with the last post, I hit this market at the end of the day. It was winding down, but there was still plenty of selection.

I was just looking through some new seasonal recipes, and one for Chicken Laksa caught my eye. Laksa is a type of Malaysian soup that can be made in a coconut curry variety. Traditionally it is served with thick white noodles, but the recipe I saw called for thin rice noodles. Unfortunately, despite the book's statement that Laksa Paste could be found in most major supermarkets and any Asian market, I couldn't find it anywhere. I searched two East Village Asian supermarkets and Whole Foods, so I guess it's more obscure that I thought. I'm sure I'll be able to find it somewhere in NY, but I was pressed for time and so decided to go with Thai red curry paste instead.

I substituted one of the vegetables at the farmers market as well. The recipe called for sugar snap peas, but they're not in season at the moment here. I thought that green beans, which work well in most curries, would be a good replacement. Plus, they were in abundance at the market on Friday. I picked up a half pound of those for $2.50, and a pint of cherry tomatoes for $3.00. Then I swung by the herb section and bought a plump bunch of cilantro, also for $2.50. Cilantro is a pretty polarizing herb. I've found that most people either love it or hate it. I love it, and will put it in any Asian or Mexican dish that I'm making. I feel that when coupled with lime, it gives a really fresh flavor.

I purchased:

At the Farmers Market:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 lb of green bush beans

At an Asian Supermarket:

2 cans of coconut milk
1 7 oz package of rice noodles
1 lb of chicken cutlets
1 jar of Thai red curry paste

Supplementary ingredients I had at home:

Chicken Stock

Recipe: Chicken Red Curry (with a Malaysian flair)

3 cups of coconut milk
3/4 of a cup of chicken stock
3 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 lb of chicken cut into strips or chunks
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb of green beans
7 oz of rice noodles
1 tsp of sriracha
handful of roughly chopped cilantro

In a large sauce pan combine coconut milk and chicken stock, and red curry paste. Bring to a slow boil and then add the chicken. Turn down the heat and let the chicken simmer in the pot for 10 minutes. While this is cooking boil a pot of water.

Add the rice noodles and cook for a minute and a half. The recipe didn't call for this, but I found my noodles to be a little undercooked when they were only cooked with the rest of the dish. Once these are done, add the tomatoes, the green beans, sriracha, and the partially cooked noodles. Simmer for another 2 or 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Serve immediately with a wedge of lime.

I found this to be one of the easier recipes I've made. It was very quick and very rewarding. The flavor was a bit too subtle for me so I added the lime and the sriracha which I felt kicked it up a notch. Next time I plan to actually find the laksa paste and compare the two versions. I love red curries, but I am excited to try something new.

1 comment:

  1. You know which had a surprisingly large Asian ingredient selection for a latent retail market? The Sainburys in Brighton or was it Hove? I even food several varieties of Chinese Cooking wine.