Recipe: Thai Red Kangaroo Curry

This is a hybrid of a few recipes that I’ve adapted into my own Thai red kangaroo Curry recipe. Fortunately I live near Little Saigon market here in Footscray (Melbourne) so the ingredients are all pretty easy to get, but in most major cities you shouldn’t have any trouble finding things like lime leaves and galangal in Asian grocers or markets.

Some tips before you start:

  1. The actual curry is a very quick cook so prepare all of your ingredients first. This includes opening the can of coconut cream. If you flail about looking for a can opener you may burn your paste and all that work is wasted.
  2. The white pepper brings an intense prickly heat. If you aren’t sure you are ready for that, only use two teaspoons. This is a spicy dish.
  3. Ingredients wise I normally use whatever I have on hand for the vegetables (within reason of course). Carrots, broccoli, pumpkin (roast it first), squash, thai eggplant, potatoes. This is a kangaroo curry, so don’t worry about what’s traditional.
  4. The tomatoes are essential. Using this method means they will burst with sweetness when you bite into them.
  5. You can replace the kangaroo with any meat but kangaroo is perfect for this because it’s strongly flavoured and helps balance the heat and sweet cherry tomatoes.
  6. You can blitz the paste but I find a pestle and mortar leaves things more fragrant.
  7. If making rice, start it earlier than you think you need to. It’s better to have the curry hot and fresh than waiting on rice.

 

Red Curry Paste (makes enough for two curries):

  • 8 dried red chilis (soaked in about half a cup of hot water)
  • large pinch of salt
  • 3 tsp white pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 5 coriander root (washed and sliced)
  • 1 thumb sized piece of galangal (ginger will do but maybe add a teaspoon of brown sugar for sweetness if you do)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only, cut in half then sliced thinly)
  • 2 lime leaves or kaffir lime zest (or both. Both is fine)
  • 1 tsp of fish paste

Method:

Grind pepper corns in a pestle and mortar with cumin powder and coriander powder.

Take the chili out of the water, (keeping the water for later) and slice roughly, before adding to the pestle and mortar with the salt. Get pounding until you can smell the chili and it’s all broken up.

Add garlic cloves – I smush them with the side of a knife first and add them five at a time so to not crowd the bowl while you pound them into the pepper and herb mix.

I’ve found adding the ingredients gradually helps them all breakup individually. so slowly add the shallot, coriander, lemongrass, lime leaf/kaffir zest and fish paste while pounding until you have a smooth paste. It may take a while but it’s worth it.

Kangaroo Red Curry (serves two, generously):

  • A dozen snakebeans (or regular green beans), top and tailed and sliced into 3cm pieces
  • A dozen snowpeas (take off the stringy bit by pulling down from the top)
  • A dozen cherry tomatoes (keep whole)
  • 1 400gm kangaroo fillet sliced into about 3mm slices (err towards thicker as too thin will dry out)
  • Handful of coriander leaves (washed. Coriander is always dirty for some reason)
  • Small bunch of thai basil (regular basil is ok too)
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce (Red Boat brand is the best, so try find that)
  • 2 limes zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of grated palm sugar
  • Half the curry paste above
  • 1 tin of coconut cream
  • Water or vegetable stock (optional. If you don’t have stock on hand, water is fine)
  • Vegetable or rice bran oil

Method:

Heat some vegetable or rice bran oil in a wok and brown the roo quickly. Remove and set aside.

Add curry paste to the wok, with a little more oil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for about two minutes, stirring occasionally. To stop it sticking, use a little of the reserved chili water.

Add coconut cream, turn up the heat and bring to the boil before adding snowpeas and beans. Cook for two minutes.

While that’s happening combine the palm sugar, lime zest and juice and fish sauce in a small bowl and mix until the sugar dissolves. Taste. If it’s too sweet/salty or acidic, adjust accordingly (trust your palate on this one).

Add kangaroo and cherry toms to the wok and cook for one more minute. Stirring so everything is covered. Add a little water or stock if needed.

Add fish sauce mixture and stir through before adding the coriander and basil.

Take off the heat, mix everything through and serve immediately on rice.

 

 

 

 

 

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