Sour Bamboo Curry - Gang Gai Naw Mai Dong แกงไก่หน่อไม้ดอง

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sour bamboo curry sour bamboo curry

Sour Bamboo Curry is a curry that I make quite often because I love the subtle sourness of the pickled bamboo shoots that seems to tame the heat from the red curry paste. The previously pale bamboo shoot slices pick up some color and now sit pretty in a pot with floating red oil. The sour bamboo shoots absorb the spices while give up the pickling property to flavor the curry.

The distinct taste and smell of Sour Bamboo Curry takes me back to Thailand.  A street food hawker on a sidewalk with gigantic pots of curries and other dishes is sure have this Sour Bamboo Curry. The curry is often a favorite in cafeterias. But you rarely find the curry in Thai restaurants inside or outside of Thailand.

When I make Sour Bamboo Curry, at lunchtime, I sit down with a plate of rice, Sour Bamboo Curry on top and a chili fish sauce on the side.  I'm tasting home again.

4 - 6 Servings, Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Total Time: 20 Minutes

Tips and Techniques

  • The secret of rich and flavorful sour bamboo curry is adding chicken bones and skin to the curry. 
  • In this recipe, I add water because the hand squeezed coconut milk in Thailand is different than the canned one. We use the first squeeze to cook with the curry paste. The second and later squeeze which have less coconut oil are later in the process to make the volume. 
  • The red jalapenos are optional.  In Thailand, we use prig chee fah, which is mild. You may find other mild peppers work better. The bright red from the peppers adds an appetizing appearance to the curry.
  • Prior to adding fish sauce, taste your curry first. Some sour bamboo shoots can be quite salty. There is also a great amount of salt in the commercial red curry paste. 
  • Use the amounts in this recipe as a guide. Curry recipes are generally flexible with the amounts of ingredients. 
  • When you first taste your curry, it may seem overly spicy hot. Over time, the curry gets milder.
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