Ric Orlando Thai DIshes Jungle Curry

Travel to Thailand with Ric Orlando
The world tour continues with my absolute favorite cuisine in the world- Thailand!
That’s right, I said it. Thai food is my favorite cuisine. That doesn’t mean my love for regional Italian, Szechuan, Indian, Provencal, Andalucian, Vietnamese, North African, Greek, Oaxacan, Peruvian, Caribe or regional American are losing the love in any way. I am just saying that if there was one Cuisine that has inspired me the most to cook professionally, it is Thai. My first Thai experience in 1982 in Boston pretty much changed my world forever. I was mesmerized and wanted to know how it was done. What I love most about Thai cooking is the idea of what I like to call “Climbing the taste ladder”.   All Thai food has magnificent balance, but consists of an array of flavors, stacked perfectly. Visualize being on a bicycle, zooming down Main street, piled with books, groceries, flowers, tools, flags and and...well, you get it. There is a ease of balance, carefully worked out over generations of cooks, that have made Thai
cooks the most skilled in the  Art of creating Balance.
Thai is --- Hot, Sour, Salty , Sweet, Spicy, Bitter, Soft, Crunchy.

All ingredients are available at most Asian markets. Explore.
For a thorough overview of the regional cuisines of Thailand, visit


Thai Chile Condiment nam pla phrik

Jungle Curry Kaeng pa or Phuket

Nam Pla Phrik
My face Thai Chile condiment
What is easy to make, lasts for ever and makes your life hum like a hornet.
Money? Love? no it’s Nam Pla Phrik!
1/2 cup thai chiles, sliced small
juice of two limes
fish sauce
Put the chiles in a clean jar.
Add the lime juice
Cover by 1 inch completely with fish sauce
Spoon on everything.
Store in the fridge, covered.
Lasts forever.

Jungle Curry
Jungle Curry, from the North central region of Thailand is curry made without coconut milk, as there or no coconuts growing there This dish is pretty hot, but in a reviving way, designed to get the sweat going! Traditionally this was the recipe for preparing Wild Boar. It is easy made vegetarian with green papaya, yams, long beans etc, or can be served with chicken or pork as well.
Phuket Jungle Curry Paste
This is the core---the base-the essence.
1 shallot, halved and peeled                                                                                                                          
 6 garlic cloves, peeled                                                                                                                          
¼ cup minced lemongrass, about 1 stalk                                                                                                  1 teaspoon salt                                                                                                                                           1 teaspoon dry turmeric                                                                                                                          10 to 15 Thai red chilies                                                                                                                      
1 teaspoon shrimp paste or 1 tablespoon miso paste or anchovy paste                                                     1 tablespoon black peppercorns                                                                                                               ¼ cup cooking oil
Place everything except the oil in a blender. While the machine is running, pour in cooking oil as needed. Blend until smooth.
Make the curry--
This is almost more of a wet sturfry than a stew. There will be just enogh liquid to keep it all steaming.

3 tablespoons red curry paste or fresh Jungle Curry paste from recipe above
2 tablespoons veg oil
1 cup water
1 cup diced green papaya, peeled and seeded, about ¼ of a whole small green papaya
1 cup wedged Thai eggplants, about 5 whole Thai eggplants
1 cup long beans or green beans, cut into 1 inch-lengths
¼ cup Thai basil
4 Kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
2 dashes fish sauce, or more to taste
Blend red curry paste and canola oil in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add water and green papaya chunks, stir, then cover with a lid and let it cook for 3 minutes or until green papaya starts to look half-cooked. Add eggplant, yardlong beans and eggplant. eggplant is soft but not mushy. Stir in basil, Kaffir lime leaves, and sugar and cook for 30 seconds more; add fish sauce to taste. Remove from heat and serve with Jasmine rice.
more to come



Dennis said...

I too love Thai food but can't find it here in small town North Carolina. Eating out and eating healthy really creates a challenge here.

Pattaya said...

The spicy and tasty food from Thailand is one of the main reasons why I'm looking forward to have my yearly business trip in that wonderful country. I think tasting this jungle curry will definitely make my Thai travel more interesting!:)

Dennis said...

I too am a big fan of Thai food. I love spicy foods.