Monday, 31 March 2008

Malaysian Rempah Paste

Malaysian Rempah Paste

My roasted dry ingredients!

Shallots, galangal and fresh turmeric! If you're using fresh turmeric, watch your hands - this stuff seriously stains!! (I used gloves ;)
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1” cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp peanuts, ground to a paste
  • 1” piece galangal – peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2” piece fresh ginger – peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 small pieces fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp ground) – peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves – peeled
  • 9 Thai shallots – peeled, roughly chopped
  • 6 Thai red chillies – stalks removed, seeds in
  • 2 4” lemongrass sticks – inc bulb
  • The zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 tbsp finely grated coconut

In a dry pan, toast coriander, fennel, cumin seeds and cinnamon until they start to release their aromas. Grind in a mortar and pestle.

Take all the fresh ingredients and grind to a smooth paste. I did this in a mini-blender – quick and easy! But feel free to use a mortar and pestle/ spice grinder/ grater if you fancy!

Mix all of the fresh ingredients with the ground spices and sauces. The paste will keep in the fridge for up to two months – store in a glass jar, with a layer of oil to prevent oxidisation.

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Psychgrad said...

I've been looking for a green curry paste for a while, so I'll have to try out this one. Do you know how do go from green curry paste to red? Isn't it just the addition of a couple ingredients?

Finding galangal and fresh tumeric. Maybe I should just print out this recipe and go find a Malaysian grocery store.

kittie said...

Hey Psychgrad! I think to do geen instead of red the main difference is using green chillies instead of red - and a load of cilantro!

You can replace galangal with ginger and fresh turmeric with ground if you can't find them - a basic green paste can be made with garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass, lime zest + some juice. And green chillies of course. (And seasoned with fish sauce!)

Hmmm... now I have a craving for Thai green curry again!

Psychgrad said...

Success! I made the paste yesterday. I forgot about the wearing gloves bit and my fingers are all yellow. Oh well - several hand washes and a shower later, it's fading. I managed to find everything except for groundnut oil. I went to a Thai grocery store. The man working there hadn't heard of it.

I made a video while preparing the paste that I'll post later this week...Unless I get tired of the sound of my voice on video and chicken out.

So - do you marinade food in the
paste or just add it to the dish as it's cooking?

kittie said...

Woo hoo! (Except the glove omission... don't say I didn't warn you ;)

You could marinade or add this paste to your food. To turn it into a curry, try this:
Heat a bit of oil in a wok, then add a couple of tablespoons of the paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Open a tin of coconut milk - if there is any thick stuff on the top, then add that to the mix too.

Now add whatever meat/veg you are cooking with. Once it is half cooked, add the rest of the coconut milk and another couple of spoonfuls of paste. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and serve with rice!

And go on, post the video - I want to see!

Ps. groundnut oil is a mild oil, with a high smoke point - try grapeseed oil instead??

Psychgrad said...

OK - thanks for the paste tip. I'll try that later this week. I'm sure I'll be able to find grapeseed oil.