14 July 2011

Thai curry with fresh green peppercorns and mock duck

Just a quickie as we had this meal about five weeks ago and I can't remember the exact details! Suffice to say fresh green peppercorns are absolutely delicious and you should hunt them down as soon as possible. This was also the first time I ever had mock duck which is fried wheat gluten shaped to look like bits of duck, right down to the puckered plucked skin. It was pretty good for providing texture and variety amongst the vegetables.

  • lemongrass, green chillies, garlic, ginger/galangal, coriander seed, cumin, vegetable oil
  • selection of veg (carrot, aubergine, mushrooms, courgette etc. use whatever is in the fridge)
  • mock duck
  • can of coconut milk
  • fresh green peppercorns

Blitz all the ingredients in the first line to make a paste.

Fry the paste for some  minutes until richly fragrant. Add the vegetables - if something needs longer to cook add that first. Add the coconut milk and simmer until everything looks nice. Add the mock duck. It's edible from the get-go so it just needs a few minutes to acclimatise to its new home. Sprinkle some fresh peppercorns into the food and put the jar on the table for guests. Serve with rice.

The peppercorns deliver a hit at first vinegary and then intensely peppery with a very long after-taste and lingering residual heat. Recommended.

For starters we had corn fritters and satay shittake skewers. There are tonnes of recipes out there for this sort of  thing so I won't write down here.

If you haven't had satay shittake before (I hadn't) then rectify the situation. Shittakes are phenomenal things: umami bombs with leathery tops pitted like toads, offering reassuringly muscular resistance to prodding and representing, surely, the nearest a vegetarian is ever going to come to the pleasure of eating flesh. So get your favourite satay recipe together, marinade some chunks in it and get grilling!

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