For my first birthday after Karin and I started dating, she got me this cookbook along with a very nice wok, the latter of which promptly got put into storage when we moved in together – how many woks does a household need on hand at any given moment? For us, that answer is one. From the text of the cookbook, this seems like it was written for a British audience – measurements in metric units, cilantro called coriander, etc. The book is a mix of stir-fry recipes from various cultures – Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and is divided into different types of meat, seafood, tofu and vegetables, with an appendix listing basic recipes for several curry pastes and sauces. Seems like it is out of print now, based upon the lack of availability on numerous book-selling websites. Which is a shame, since the book has some very clear & concise recipes and some of the nicest full-page food photography I’ve seen in a cookbook. Plus it’s sturdy despite being a paperback, which is sort of rare even for cookbooks.
The Thai red curry recipe (pg. 33) I picked sounded good and looked tasty in the picture, but I also picked it since we have some red curry paste in the back of the fridge (used to make this originally) that wasn’t getting any younger and, well, I’ve been in an eggplant frame-of-mind for the last few weeks.
Note: I made the recipe as written below, but next time I plan to brown the beef before adding the curry paste – the way the recipe suggests led to the beef being very spicy, everything else being significantly milder, and some of the curry paste getting a bit burnt. Browning the beef first would spread the heat throughout the dish and keep the curry paste from sitting too long in the hot wok before you add the coconut milk and water in step 2.