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Prepare the Paste

  • Zest of fresh kaffir lime, grated, or substitute with finely chopped reconstituted dried kaffir lime peel 1 tsp
  • Thai galangal, chopped 1 tsp
  • White peppercorns, finely ground 10 each
  • Cumin seeds, ground 0.5 tsp
  • Lemon grass, chopped (use the bottom end of stalk, sliced thinly in rounds before chopping) 2 Tbsp
  • Dark green jalapeño or serrano peppers, chopped 4 each
  • Green Thai chiles (prik kee noo), chopped 20 each
  • Coriander seeds, lightly toasted until aromatic, then ground 1 Tbsp
  • Cilantro roots, finely chopped or substitute with 1 Tbsp. chopped stems 2 tsp
  • Course sea salt 1 tsp
  • Shallots, chopped 3 each
  • Garlic Clove, chopped 6 each
  • Shrimp paste 'kapi' 2 tsp

Prepare the Curry

  • Coconut milk 4 cups
  • Fish sauce
  • Palm sugar 2 Tbsp
  • Asian eggplants, long, sliced at a slanted angle ¼-inch thick, or 12 round Thai eggplants (ma-keua bproh), halved or quartered 2 each
  • Kaffir lime leaves, tear each into 2-3 pieces 3 each
  • Green peas 0.5 cup

Finish the Dish

  • Mussels, green lip, debearded, scrubbed 1 lb
  • Fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined 0.67 lb
  • Lobster tail, cut in 1” pieces 0.67 lb
  • Fresh scallops, remove mussel 0.67 lb
  • Green jalapeño peppers, each cut into 6-8 long slivers 2 each
  • Gkra-chai root fingers, (lesser ginger), thinly sliced in diagonal pieces 2 each
  • Thai sweet basil leaves and flowers (bai horapa) 1 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Prepare the Paste

    • If using dried kaffir lime peel, soak first to soften. For galanga, use the fuller-flavored, reddish tan root imported from Thailand, available in frozen form.
    • Grind the dry spices finely in a dry stone mortar or spice grinder. Set aside. Pound the herbs a little at a time, starting with the harder ones, until each is reduced to a paste.
    • Combine the pounded herbs, aromatics, chiles and ground dry spices and pound together with the gkapi shrimp paste to form a fine, well-blended paste. Set aside.

  2. Prepare the Curry

    • In a large pot, heat about a cup of the thick coconut cream from the top of a can of coconut milk (or the rich milk from the first pressing of coconut pulp) over medium to high heat.
    • Reduce until oil begins to separate or the cream looks thick and bubbly. Add the prepared (curry) paste and fry in the cream for a few minutes until aromatic. Pour in the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil.
    • Simmer to taste with fish sauce and balance with palm sugar. If using pea-eggplants, add them next and simmer about 10 minutes over low heat, uncovered, before adding the other eggplants and kaffir lime leaves.
    • If substituting with peas, add them together with the sliced eggplants. Bring sauce back up to a boil and simmer a few minutes or until the eggplants begin to soften.

  3. Finish the Dish

    • Add mussels to the curry sauce, once they start to open, add the shrimp, when halfway cooked, add lobster, and when halfway cooked, add scallops.
    • Return to a boil and add the slivered jalapeño peppers and gkra-chai pieces. Stir in the basil until it wilts. Remove from heat and serve hot with lots of plain steamed rice.

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