Experience an explosion of taste with Thai Green Curry Eggplant, a vibrant blend of red bell peppers, spinach, snow peas, and bean sprouts – a feast for the senses, ready in just 30 minutes!
Remember how, in my Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry post last week, I mentioned that you could expect lots more curry recipes from me? Well, this week, I’m sharing my recipe for Thai Green Curry with Eggplant (also known as aubergine)!
If you haven’t worked with eggplant before, it might seem a little intimidating. It’s kind of weird and purple, isn’t it? I’ve always found eggplant to be a bit bitter for my taste. So, I make sure to peel away all of the purple skin with a vegetable peeler, then dice it up and place it in a strainer with some salt to let the remaining bitterness drain away.
Table of Contents
What is Thai Green Curry?
Thai Green Curry, known as “Gaeng Keow Wan” in Thai, is a popular dish from Thailand, renowned for its vibrant color and rich flavors. It originated in Thailand and is a staple in Thai cuisine. The ‘green’ in its name comes from the green color of the curry, which is typically made from fresh green chilies. The heart of this curry lies in the Thai green curry paste, traditionally made using a mortar and pestle. This paste is a blend of fresh green chillies, garlic, shallots, and aromatic kaffir lime leaves, which add a distinctive citrusy fragrance. These ingredients are ground together to achieve a fine, aromatic paste that forms the base of the curry.
In modern cooking, you can use a food processor to make the green curry paste. While curry powder is commonly used in various types of curries, Thai green curry specifically relies on its fresh paste for its unique taste and color, distinguishing it from curries that use dried spice blends.
Reasons to Love This Thai Eggplant Curry
- The blend of spicy green curry and sweet coconut milk creates a mouthwatering flavor explosion.
- Thai Eggplant Curry is a vegetarian delight. It’s a fantastic vegetarian option that’s both satisfying and hearty.
- The soft texture of eggplant contrasts beautifully with the crunch of the veggies.
- This curry is rich in nutrients. Packed with vitamins and nutrients from the fresh vegetables, this dish is a healthy choice.
- It’s versatile enough to be a main dish or a side and pairs well with various sides.
- Eggplant: The key vegetable in the dish and provides a meaty texture.
- Red Bell Pepper: Adds sweetness and a vibrant color contrast.
- Snow Peas: Offer a crisp texture and a fresh, green flavor.
- Green Curry Sauce: The essential element that gives the dish its characteristic Thai flavor.
- Spinach: Brings a nutritious element and complements the curry with its earthy taste.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Adding Broth for Depth of Flavor: Incorporate either vegetable or chicken broth into the curry. Vegetable broth keeps it vegetarian and adds a subtle, earthy undertone, while chicken broth brings a richer, savory dimension.
- Cilantro as a Garnish: Adds a fresh, herby touch to the dish, complementing the Thai flavors.
- Tamari instead of Soy Sauce or Fish Sauce: For a gluten-free and richer flavor alternative, use tamari. It’s similar to soy sauce but with a smoother, more balanced taste, making it perfect for those who prefer a less salty and more umami-rich profile.
How to Make Thai Green Curry with Eggplant
Step #1: Make the green curry sauce and set it aside.
Step #2: Place the eggplant pieces in a colander and toss with the sea salt. Let them stand for fifteen minutes to allow any bitter residue to drain off.
Step #3: Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Sear the eggplant in the hot oil until blistered, about 3 minutes.
Step #4: Add the remaining tablespoon of oil along with the red pepper and snow peas, and sauté for one minute. Add the spinach and toss to wilt.
Step #5: Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in the basic green curry sauce. Add the lime leaves and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Step #6: Remove the lime leaves with a slotted spoon, and stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
Step #7: Top with bean sprouts. Serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges for squeezing. Be sure to check out my post on how to make perfect rice every time!
- Properly Prep Eggplant: Salt the eggplant pieces before cooking to draw out bitterness and moisture, ensuring a better texture.
- Control Spice Levels: Adjust the amount of green curry paste to suit your desired level of spiciness.
- Don’t Overcook Vegetables: Sauté vegetables just until they’re tender but still crisp to retain texture and nutrients.
- Simmer Gently: Let the curry simmer gently to meld flavors without reducing the sauce too much.
Frequently Asked Questions
Salt the eggplant before cooking; this helps it release water and absorb less oil.
Yes, you can add chicken, tofu, beef, or shrimp for a non-vegetarian version. Cook the meat before adding the vegetables.
Using full-fat coconut milk or adding a bit of coconut cream will make the curry creamier.
Yes. You can use lime juice for a similar citrus flavor, but add it at the end of cooking to preserve its freshness.
The eggplant should be tender but still hold its shape, not mushy. It usually takes about 3 minutes to sear and a few minutes to simmer in the curry.
Store Thai Green Curry with Eggplant in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. While freezing is possible, the texture of eggplant and other vegetables may change upon thawing, so it’s best enjoyed fresh. To reheat, gently warm it on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Avoid microwaving as it can make the vegetables soggy. If the curry appears thick after refrigeration, you can add a little water or coconut milk during reheating to adjust the consistency.
Thai Green Curry with Eggplant Recipe
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil - divided
- 1 large eggplant - peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 red bell pepper - sliced
- 1/4 pound snow peas
- 1 1/2 cups spinach
- 2 cups green curry sauce
- 4 wild lime leaves - optional
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 3/4 cup Thai basil leaves - chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 lime - cut into wedges
- Make the green curry sauce and set it aside.
- Place the eggplant pieces in a colander and toss with sea salt. Let them stand for fifteen minutes to allow any bitter residue to drain off.
- Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Sear the eggplant in the hot oil until blistered, about 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil along with the red pepper and snow peas, and sauté for one minute. Add the spinach and toss to wilt.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in the basic green curry sauce. Add the lime leaves and let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lime leaves with a slotted spoon, and stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves.
- Top with bean sprouts. Serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges for squeezing. Be sure to check out my post on how to make perfect rice every time!