To try and combat it, I made a nice spicy red curry for dinner which went down very well. The kids love the fresh pineapple in it, and the bamboo shoots are always very popular (Panda food!). We got so excited about eating it that I forgot to take a photo...will just have to make it again soon. I will post the recipe though, it's so simple and so easy to play around with.
Red Pineapple Curry with Pork
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
2 Tbsp red curry paste
500g trim pork, cut into bite sized chunks
1 onion, sliced
1 eggplant, diced into 2cm cubes
2 cups of pumpkin, skin off and chopped into roughly 1cm x 3cm sticks
2 zucchini, sliced
1 can bamboo shoots
1/2 a fresh pineapple, skin and core removed, and chopped into 2cm chunks
1 cup chicken stock or water (or stock of your choice)
1 large or 2 small tins of coconut milk or coconut cream
2 Tbsp fish sauce
Juice of half a lime (or lemon)
Fresh coriander to garnish
1. In a large pan heat oil on medium heat. Add curry paste and cook until aromas are released (be warned this creates spicy fumes in the kitchen that may induce sneezing or coughing!).
2. When curry paste is cooked off (should be only a minute or 2) add onion, pumpkin and eggplant along with about half of the stock or water just to stop the curry paste from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Put the lid on the pot and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the pumpkin and eggplant have started to soften.
3. Add the pork and cook until pieces are no longer pink on the outside.
4. Add the zucchini, bamboo shoots, pineapple, rest of the stock or water, and the coconut milk or cream.
5. Simmer until pork is cooked through and flavours are well developed (about 5 minutes)
6. Stir through the fish sauce and lime juice. Taste the curry and if adjust quantities accordingly (Not salty enough, add fish sauce. Not sour enough, add lime; not sweet enough, add a little bit of sweetener of your choice). If the curry is too spicy you can add more coconut milk until it brings the heat down, or if it's not spicy enough you can add some more curry paste. Play around with it until the flavour is perfect for you.
7. Remove from the heat and serve in a big bowl over steamed rice (or accompaniment of your choice). Garnish with coriander.
- This dish can be made with any protein you like. I usually make it with chicken, but tonight we had pork in the fridge, so pork it was.
- You can use tinned pineapple instead of fresh if that's what you have in the cupboard. You can add some of the juice from the tin in at the end as a sweetener if the curry needs more sweetness. Personally I prefer mine more on the salty/spicy/sour end of things, with less of the sweetness so I would leave it out.
- Red curry paste is readily available from your local supermarket, however do try to look for one that has little or no additives, preservatives or unnecessary extras. If you are very clever you could make your own - not hard, it just requires a few more ingredients.
- Likewise with coconut milk...there are many options readily available in the supermarket but they are not all created equal. I use the Ayam brand as it is just pure coconut milk or cream with no preservatives added. The cans are smaller, so you may need 2 cans for the recipe, but it is worth it for the flavour and health benefits.
- The vegetables I have used are a guide only. It is a delicious combination, but the great thing about a dish like curry is that it is so adaptable. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand.