Weirdness aside, we actually had quite a nice drive to town. We both grew up in big cities and have somewhat similar liberal ideals, so we could talk about something (though he grew up in the 1960's in Harlem). Though by the time I got to town, I realized how annoying it is to have someone else to attend to. I managed to drop him at the library for a while and go get some necessary items- and discovered a Thai grocery store!! In Columbia Falls! I was ecstatic. So was the shop owner, actually. Upon entering she shrilled a welcome greeting from the back of the store and didn't stop talking to me the entire time I was in there. I bought quite a few items, produce and spices, and even picked up some lunch from the little cafe she has going on there (delicious).
The most immediate delicacy that I wanted to dive into was my Ma
saman Curry Paste. Though you CAN make Masaman curry completely from scratch, lets face it... it's easier when there is a pre-made paste. HOWEVER, you can make Masaman curry with any type of curry paste (red, green, specialty) it just depends what you add to it. Masaman curry is usually a sweeter curry, but I (of course) like to make it very spicy as well. Here is what I came up with:
Veggie Masaman Curry with Fake Crab (because it's cheaper)
3 tbs curry paste (masaman if available)
3 tbs vegetable oil
7-10 oz fake crab (or real, if you like)
1 small head bok choi (leaves separated and cut down)
1 medium head broccoli (chopped)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1-2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
4 tbs fish sauce
3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs garlic paste or other such garlic-y sauce/spice
red pepper flakes for spicyness
This is super easy:
- Saute curry paste and oil about 1 1/2 minutes
-Add crab, saute about 3 minutes more
-Add all veggies, saute about 3 minutes more
-Add coconut milk, water, sugar, garlic
-Let simmer for at least 30 minutes, until sauce starts to thicken. If it gets too thick, add more water. Add chili flakes whenever you like to increase spiciness. The longer you let it simmer...the tastier it will be!
-Pour curry over rice noodles!