Green Curry Risotto with Shrimp

If you like risotto and Thai green curry you must try this dish.

This is my idea of true fusion, Thai green curry with Italian risotto.  It works, the coconut milk act likes cream in a risotto but the flavor is all Thai.  No need for cheese in this risotto, the coconut milk is perfect as is. Please see the post associated with this recipe, Day at the Beach.

Serves 6 to 8 as a first course

For the Green Curry:

1-14 ounce can, full fat coconut milk (not lite)
1 tablespoon green curry paste or to taste (less if you like it less hot)
3 kiffer lime leaves
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 pound shrimp, shelled and cut in half long ways so you have 2 mirror halves
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like peanut or canola
1 ½ cups Chinese long beans cut into 1 inch pieces, perfectly blanched (can substitute
any type of green bean, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup lightly packed, julienned Thai basil (can substitute Italian)
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro

For the Risotto:

5 cups shrimp stock or chicken broth, Swanson is fine
3 tablespoons neutral oil like peanut or canola
½ cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced lemon grass
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine

Prepare the green curry sauce by carefully removing the fat on the top of the can of coconut milk (make sure you do not shake the can of milk or even turn on its side or upsidedown) and heating the cream over medium heat in a 8 inch sauté pan until bubbling.  Add green curry paste and fry-cook in the cream until the fat releases and you see the darker green fat separating from the more milky green.  Add the remaining coconut milk along with the lime leaves, brown sugar and fish sauce; stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat and let cook for 5 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the shrimp.  Heat a large sauté pan over high heat; add the oil and heat until simmering.  Add the shrimp and let it sear on one side until brown.  Stir fry for 30 seconds until barely cooked,  you will still see some raw sections.  Remove to a plate to stop the cooking process.

After 5 minutes, turn off the heat on the curry sauce and add the long beans, Thai basil and cilantro.  Set aside with the shrimp, while you make the risotto.

Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan.

Heat oil in a heavy four quart pan over moderate heat.  Add the shallots, ginger and lemon grass; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until it begins to soften but does not brown.  Stir the rice into the shallot mixture and using a wooden spoon, toast for 1 minute, making sure all the grains are well coated.  Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently until the wine is absorbed.  Begin to add the simmering broth, ½ cup to 1 cup at a time, again, stirring frequently.  Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next.  Keep the risotto at an even, lively but low boil to ensure the proper rate of evaporation of the broth.  The addition of broth should take about 18 minutes but check frequently to test the doneness of the rice.  It could take more or less stock (if you need more, you can add water if you do not have more broth) and more or less time than 18 minutes, depending on the age and dryness of your rice.

Reheat the green curry with the vegetables and once hot, add the drained shrimp.  Pour this mixture into the finished risotto and stir until well combined.  The risotto will be wet, just the way I like it!  Serve immediately in wide brimmed soup bowls.

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