signature lemongrass curry
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Signature Lemongrass Curry
Gwen Ashley Walters
May, 2013, Page 136
PHOTO BY RICHARD MAACK
Sure, it’s healthy, but that fact alone doesn’t warrant coverage in Veg Out. Our No. 1 criterion is taste – and this lemongrass curry with Japanese eggplant ($10.95) from Fresh Mint has taste in spades.
Rich and complex, the curry starts with flavor-powerhouse ingredients and ends with the skillful layering of said flavors. Chef/owner Mai Ly begins with fresh lemongrass, removing the outer leaves and mincing the tender inner stalk. Mingling the lemongrass with an aromatic Indian curry power made from ginger, cardamom and a good dose of pepper, she conjures a paste that’s sautéed and stirred into coconut milk, creating the curry base. Steamed Japanese eggplant slices and onion slivers are added to the coconut curry and simmered until the sauce has reduced and the flavors meld together, about 40 to 50 minutes.
This “signature” dish is served with fresh, steamed seasonal vegetables and brown or white rice. Alternatively, it can be served with tofu instead of eggplant. Why the signature designation? “Because I like it very much,” Ly says. So do we.
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