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Recipe from: Colonel Ian F. Khuntilanont-Philpott
If we have some prik kaeng (chili paste), and some basic ingredients, then we can make curries, stews and soups easily and with a wide variety of foods from the market. The common thread of all these is to prepare a sauce base. Similar sauces can be made from any Thai curry paste: the basic method is simple: the paste is fried, dissolved in coconut milk, and a colorant, taste extender and flavor element are added.
1 tablespoon fried garlic in oil
1 tablespoon fried shallots in oil
4 tablespoon red prik kaeng (chili paste)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon prik chi fa daeng (red jalapeños), sliced fine
2 tablespoon 'ginger'
2 tablespoon fish sauce
a pinch of sugar
In a wok heat (or cook) the garlic and shallots, and add the prik kaeng, and stir until combined and aromatic. In a wok push it up the side of pan away from the heat. If you are using a saucepan remove and set aside. Heat the coconut milk until nearly boiling and lower the heat. Add the chili paste, a quarter at a time, and stir until dissolved. Now add the remaining ingredients, and stir until heated through.
You can increase or reduce the shallots/garlic and chili paste together by a factor of two. Similarly the jalapeños, ginger and fish sauce can be adjusted by up to a factor of two to give the flavor balance you want. gingerroot gives the dish and afterburn. You can use any mixture of khing (common green ginger), kha (galangal), or kachai (lesser ginger) you wish.