Monday, 18 July 2011

Jamie's Thai Red Curry

I had to take this photo on the hoof with my crappy Nokia, which is why it's so bad. I mean, I sort of wonder why I'm bothering with it, but you do all make such a fuss if there aren't pictures every ten seconds. If you want a nice picture, you can find one here

My husband used, for a long time, to go out with Katie Razzall off the Channel 4 news. She is very grand, Katie - tall and blonde and looks like you'd never find her hunched in a corner picking her cuticles with anxiety about having to take her 5.5 month old baby to Norfolk for the weekend. For example. She is married to a terrifically handsome actor called Oz, who is the sort of person that people having a party feel very relieved to see coming up the path.

They invited us round for dinner, which was very exciting because no-one ever invites us round for dinner, ever. I think it's because they are worried about cooking for my husband but my husband thinks it's because everyone hates us. As with everything in life, I think it's probably a combination of the two.

Katie made this Thai Red prawn curry out of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals and it was really storming success. My husband ate so much that he woke up in the middle of the night with a tummy ache and a sweat on.

We briefly talked about how Jamie's 30 Minute Meals don't take 30 minutes, which I always get very upset about because they DO take 30 minutes to actually make but he means 30 minutes with all your ingredients and all your chopping boards and everything already to hand. So no, from a cold standing start in an empty kitchen, they don't take 30 minutes BUT HE NEVER SAID THEY DID. I didn't say any of this at all because my policy in public these days is just to smile and say nothing controversial.

My husband has other ideas and wound everyone up all night by saying how terrific he thinks Rebekah Brooks is. I silently agreed because I have been on the receiving end of a Rebekah Brooks love-bomb and I've still got hearts and little tweeting birds circling round my head.

So, this is Jamie's Thai Red Prawn Curry, for 4.
It can  be found on p.132 of 30 Minute Meals.

2 stalks lemongrass
1 fresh red chilli
2 cloves garlic
bunch coriander
2 red peppers in oil (you can get these in a jar from waitrose)
1 heaped tsp tomato puree
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2cm piece fresh ginger
8 large unpeeled raw tiger prawns
200 sugarsnap peas
220g small cooked prawns
1 400g tin coconut milk

1 Put everything except the prawns, coconut milk and peas into a food processor and give it a good whizz. This is your curry paste.

2 Heat some oil in a pan and fry the tiger prawns for about a minute. Then add a tablespoon of the curry paste and fry for another minute. Tip all this into a dish and put in a 200C oven for 8-10 minutes.

3 Put your prawn pan back on the heat with more oil. Add the peas and the small prawns. Tip over the rest of the curry paste and stir round for a minute or two then add the coconut milk, stir and leave to simmer on a low to medium heat for 10 minutes.

You serve the prawns on the side with some lime wedges and rice and a finger bowl is useful, too.

It's tremendous, really - with all sorts of fish, I imagine not just prawns.


  1. omg forget the thai curry but you do realise you'll be crucified on mumsnet for putting your baby in a babywalker don't you?

  2. Firstly I have to say that your baby is gorgeous, you are a lucky girl.

    Secondly, I agree that no-one could rustle up an entire meal in 30 minutes without earlier preparation. Some people are so picky.

    Thirdly, if I had enough chairs I'd invite you around for dinner, one cannot eat gourmet every night of the week. As long as you drink wine you'll be welcome.

  3. Why would anyone decry a baby-walker? Sorry, I'm so old that I cannot quite remember bringing up my child.

  4. People always complain about the washing up as well.

    Where in the "30 minute meals" does it say "30 minutes including washing up"? It doesn't. SO he can use as many knives and blenders and saucepans as he likes because that's not part of the game.

  5. A gorgeous baby AND yummy recipe, thanks so much!

  6. Forgot about this recipe but will endeavour to make soonish - what's the deal about babywalkers?

  7. I empathise, we never get invited out to dinner either and I suspect for the same reasons. Ignore the Baby Walker comments, never did my 3 any harm. But they don't half hurt when they run over your feet so watch out!

  8. Love 30 minute meals,have made lots now and they all work and are delicious.Baby walkers are fab too.

  9. I found a playpen easier when cooking- it isn't on wheels!!
    The curry looks good- pity I can't eat it,being veggie, but I'd use it for non-veggie friends.

    btw not all Nokias have crap lenses- my 6500 has a Zeiss lens so the images may not be as good as a proper camera bit are not obviously phone pics!

  10. V. cute photo. She's a sweetie, you must both be very proud. Read Giles' article in the paper on Sat sbout being a new daddy- very endearing - or most of it. :o) All the best, KG.

  11. I never saw any of JO's 30MM on the telly, and by virtue of living 7000 miles away from the UK I only caught a scanty whiff of everyone's gurning about the 30 minute aspect. But I'm working through the book and have two conclusions:
    1. If you don't have a perfectly well-appointed kitchen, it's really JO's 60MM. Just suck it up and get on with it anyway because it all tastes SO DAMN FINE!
    2. If you are lucky enough to have a "lady wot does", make sure you do your 60MM the night before she comes because your kitchen will look like a bomb hit it.

  12. Can't believe the baby walker comments feature. Love JOs Thai dishes. You have reminded me to do it again.

  13. I do think that JO does labour the point a bit about the 30MM, but I cook from scratch most evenings, and it is amazing what you can achieve in 30 minutes. Also, he quite often does 3 courses in his half hour, and let's face it, nobody needs to eat 3 courses 7 days a week.

    Kitty looks tremendously happy in her walker, what a cutie! x

  14. Hi Ester

    I enjoy reading your potty-mouthed ramblings but I feel duty bound, and to get distracted from a pressing deadline, to comment about this recipe. If prawns are going die (it’s their own fault for being so damned tasty), it’s crustacide to repeatedly murder them again in this manner. Raw prawns fried for 2 minutes, baked for 10 minutes, and then simmered for another 10 minutes are surely going to bounce off forks and teeth alike.

    As for the paste, this will taste like a good Red Thai Curry in the same manner as curry flavoured crisps taste like your favourite takeaway from the local Taj Mahal. Nothing wrong with that if Vesta is your thing, but it’s really worthwhile getting hold of a commercial paste by Mae Ploy or Maesri, which are nearly as good as the laborious mortar and pestle pounding pastes from scratch but without the stubborn hard to shift stains and carpal tunnel syndrome. Fry the curry paste in some of the thick coconut cream, which forms at the top a can of coconut milk if it’s been left alone for awhile, until it splits and the oil breaks out. Not only will it taste fantastic, it’s cheaper, and won’t take 30 minutes to make. Give it go, you won't go back.

    Laudable as some of JO’s work has been, he jumped the shark sometime ago with me after his buttock-clenchingly execrable ‘bro’ when hanging with LA hommies in his US wotsit. I was then further dismayed by his liberal use of olive-fucking-oil in anything Asian (something like groundnut is both better and cheaper with this kind of food). I then started to shout at the telly with his entirely pointless Dream School. But my jaw really did fall through the hole in the bottom of his scraped out barrel when I saw JO tomato growbags for sale. Just how far is he prepared to whore his name out for profit.

    Mr e

  15. LOL Mr e, damn right about the Jamie grow bags, and tomato plants, branded with his name round our way. Totally gone off him with this nonsense branding. Shame, he is a master of simple and delicious food.

    Must say I love any old Thai curry but do think shop bought good paste is top for home cooking. We have a few Thai grocery stores near us and they have stacks of pastes for all kinds of things. I have tried to replicate but have never matched the standard with my domestic food processor.

    Love your blog Esther, for inspiration I often visit you first to search for recipes,

    Jen O

  16. I am ignoring the whole 30 minute meals discussion. Instead I'd like to comment how very grown up you are for sitting across a dinner table from someone who used to, you know, do things with your husband.

    I am far too childish to partake in such activity. You are a proper grown up.

  17. I love the Kittymobile. Apparently, so does Kitty. :)