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The BloggerAid Cookbook

Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce

Satay or sate, a very popular dish in Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. is made up of marinated meat (chicken, lamb, beef, pork, fish) skewered on wooden or bamboo sticks, barbecued and served with different types of spicy seasonings. Growing up in Singapore, I have eaten my fair share of satay in my life time and I'm still not tired of it. That gives you an idea just how good these satay are. LOL!

So when Daring Cooks January host, Cuppy of Cuppylicious announced that we are going to make Thai Satay this time around, I was thrilled. Although it isn't the first time I made home-made Satay, it is my first time making a Thai version - so it is still something new.

Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce

(Adapted from book 1000 Recipes by Martha Day)

Ingredients

Marinate for meats

  • ½ small onion (cut into half)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb size ginger (peeled, cut into several pieces)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 450 g meat (chicken, pork, lamb or beef)

Peanut Sauce

  • 250 - 300 ml coconut milk or milk
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dark brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 - 2 tsp chilli powder (reduce to ½ tsp if you are not used to spiciness)
  • 1 lemong grass, only the white portion - bruised (optional)
Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce
Directions
  1. Put all the meat marinate ingredients (of course not the meat) in the food processor and blend until you obtain roughly a smooth paste.
  2. Cut the chicken breast into small bite-size pieces.
  3. Mix and coat all the chicken pieces with the marinate in a bowl. Cover and let it chill at least 6 hours or over night in the refrigerator.
  4. Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in warm water for 30 minutes before using it so that they won't burn.
  5. Preheat oven at grill mode
  6. Skewer the marinated chicken pieces with the sticks, don't overcrowd it.
  7. Grill them on each sides for about 8 - 10 minutes or until the edges just start to char. Bast or brush the pieces with oil when you flip the skewers.
  8. Serve right out of grill with peanut sauce, some cucumbers, onions and ketupat(compressed rice cake).

Preparing the peanut sauce

  1. Heat up a bit of oil in a wok.
  2. Once the oil is hot, stir-fry ground cumin, coriander, chilli powder and lemon grass for a minute. Then add in the ground peanuts, lemon juice, dark brown sugar, light soy sauce and lastly the coconut milk or milk, making sure they are well mixed.
  3. Cook it on medium fire, continue to stir from time to time.
  4. Once the sauce thickens, adjust the seasonings according to taste and turn off the heat.
  5. Can be served warm or room temperature. To heat up, just microwave it.
Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce
The Verdict

I was surprised that it turned out better than I expected - on its own, the satay doesn't really stands out much (perhaps I'm comparing too much to the satay I'm used to in Singapore) but when combined with the peanut sauce - it's very good, heightening all the aroma of the dish.

Satay can be served as aperitif, entrée or main course.

Notes

Instead of meats, some marinate tofu, fish, prawns, etc. Why not?:-)

If you don't have space in refrigerator, just put let your meat marinate with sauce in a ziplock bag.

Thai Satay with Peanut Sauce
9 comments on this post.

Salad with Thai Dressing

My mother-in-law found this delicious salad recipe from one of my books and made it for her guests. It was a great success and her guests couldn't get enough of it. So when we came back from Singapore, she made this for us and I was also so enthusiastic about it that I decided to try it on my own. This salad includes red cabbage and Chinese cabbage.

I discovered the colour of the red cabbage changes depending on the pH (acidity) of the soil. The more acid the soil is, the more leaves turn reddish... but if the soil is alkaline, it produces greenish-yellow coloured cabbages instead. It is said that the juice of red cabbage can be used as a home-made pH indicator. Interestingly, the red cabbage will turn blue upon cooking but it will retain its colour if vinegar or acidic fruit is added to the pot. The red cabbage is a seasonal plant and is planted in spring and harvest in late fall.

The Chinese cabbage is also known as Napa cabbage and originates from China, near the Beijing region. It is used to make the most common type of kimchi in Korean cuisine.

This my contribution for this Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Wondering Chopsticks.

Salad with Thai Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion (finely sliced)
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 6 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 2 cups red cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 cups Chinese cabbage (shredded)
  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts (chopped)
  • salt

Dressing

  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp black peppercorn (cracked)
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves & stems (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
Directions
  1. Mix the sliced onion and a bit of salt in a colander. Leave it for 30 minutes. Then rinse and drain well.
  2. Soak the dried shrimps in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and chop finely.
  3. Heat oil in a small pan and fry the sliced garlic until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Combine the onion, shrimp and half of the fried garlic with the shredded red and Chinese cabbage in a large salad bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining fried garlic and chopped peanuts on the salad before serving it.

Make the Dressing

  • Combine sugar, lime juice, peppercorns, coriander, crushed garlic and fish sauce in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Salad with Thai DressingSalad with Thai Dressing
The Verdict

I love how the taste of fresh salad goes so well with the dressing. The onions gives the salad the biting taste while crunchiness of the peanuts, the coriander and garlic (not too overpowering) lends its wonderful flavour to the salad.

Notes

To make things simpler, I just blended the dried shrimps, roasted peanuts together with the dressing ingredients.

For those who do not like to eat big chunk of garlic, you can crush the fried garlic and sprinkle it all over the salad.

To vary the salad, I would suggest adding some bean sprouts and cooked French beans etc.

Salad with Thai Dressing
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Coriander Pork with Pineapples

Sorry I haven't posted anything since 28/2. I just got so caught up in the daily affairs at home. My cool Sister in law came and stayed with us for a week or so before flying back to LA. We enjoyed her company so much that we were so sad to see her go, especially Little One who cried at the train station. A few days after that, I suffered a personal loss (as the saying goes, we never thought it would happen to us), then a few days later, I slipped and fell down the concrete stairs at home (earning myself a big bruise on my back and pigeon size bruises on my right arm). As if to prove that things happens in 3s, I got super lucky and caught stomach flu which lasted for days.:-(

As I was on the mend, Little One caught a virus at the day-care centre (I think). Poor thing (and also poor self) suffered 2 days of fever and the next morning, I gave her water and she cried and stuck her finger in her mouth: 'mommy, bobo. bobo.' (so cute right:-) but so painful to watch her suffer like this). So I had a clingy and cranky baby for 2 days (I was about to pull out all my hairs). Stuck at home for a week as she was super contagious, she got a bit of luck with the doc who prescribed ice cream as medicine. Anyone wants her virus?;-) hmm...think I spoke too soon - I myself caught her super bug. This taught me something: don't eat some chilli while having a really bad sore throat. Duh!

End of my complains and back to food. I would like to share this easy and delicious thai dish that I have prepared for my sister in law with all of you.

Coriander Pork with Pineapples

(Taken from Thai Cooking)

Ingredients
  • 400 g pork loin or fillet (cut into thin slices)
  • ¼ medium pineapple (cut into bite size pieces)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 4 spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves
  • ¼ fresh mint (chopped)
Coriander Pork with Pineapples
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a wok, add the chopped garlic and spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from wok.
  2. Stir-fry the sliced pork in a very hot wok in 2 or 3 batches. Cook each batch for about 3 minutes or until the meat is just cooked.
  3. Return all the meat in the wok together with the garlic and spring onions and add the pineapples, fish sauce and lime juice. Mix it well.
  4. Sprinkle some coriander leaves and chopped mint on it and toss lightly just before serving.
  5. Serve with rice.
The Verdict

This is a nice sweet dish, of course the pineapple dominates but the coriander and mint are what makes the whole thing interesting. My Sister-In-Law loves it very much and the dish was completely cleaned out before end of dinner.

15 comments on this post.

Steamed Mussels Thai Style

After my great success with Moules Marinière, I decided to try cooking some of these clams again, but in a different way. I was curious to see if there was any asian recipe for mussels and as it turns out one of my thai-cooking book had an answer to that question:-)

Steamed Mussels Thai Style

(from Thai Cooking)

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 1 kg mussels
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 stems lemon grass (chopped - white part only)
  • 1 or 2 tsp red chillies (chopped)
  • 1 cup white wine or water
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup fresh Thai basil leaves (roughly chopped)
Directions
  1. Wash the mussels under cold, running water. Pull out any fibrous beard and scrape off any barnacles with a knife. Discard any open ones that do not close when tapped or those with broken shells. Put the cleaned ones aside in a strainer to drain off water.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan, add the chopped onions, garlic, lemon grass and chillies. Cook it for about 4 minutes over low heat, stirring it occasionally.
  3. Add the wine and fish sauce to the wok and cook it for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels to the wok and toss well.
  5. Cover the wok and increase the heat. Cook it for 3 to 4 minute or until the mussels open.
  6. Add the chopped basil and toss well.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.
The Verdict

Personally, I was expecting it to taste very different from Moules Marinière. In the end, they taste quite similar except that the Thai version is very aromatic and spicy due to the lemon grass, basil and the chillies. The sauce was delicious and to my surprise, my 1 year old likes it very much and was happily accepting one spoonful after another. Apparently she doesn't mind a bit of chili.

Steamed Mussels Thai Style
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Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple - a good source of manganese, rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin B1, exotic in fragrance and tangy in taste - my family's favourite but strangely not mine. Frankly tried as I might to like this lovely fruit, I'm still not a big fan of it ... perhaps it's the strange juicy mix of sweet and sour that just doesn't please my palate.

Pierre has been asking me to cook pineapple rice for him ever since he had this dish when we were in this Thaï restaurant in Los Angeles 2 years ago but somehow it has always slipped off my mind:-p I wonder why ...hehehe. Then at the supermarket recently, he casually remarked that the big wagon of juicy delicious pineapples would certainly make a delicious plate of pineapple rice... huuu, what, where, which pineapples?

Pineapple Fried Rice

(taken from Thai Cooking)

Ingredients
  • 1 medium ripe pineapple
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 to 2 tsp red chillies (seeded and chopped)
  • 150 g pork loin or chicken (diced in small bite size)
  • 150 g raw prawns
  • 3 cups cold steamed rice
  • 2 tbsp fresh Thai basil (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves (finely chopped)
pineapple rice ingredients
Directions
  1. Cut the pineapple in half length-ways. Run a knife around the edge of the pineapple and then cut and scoop out the flesh. Cut into small pieces, discarding the core and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok at high heat. Stir fry garlic, onion and chillies for 1 minute.
  3. Add in the pork; stir-fry, tossing constantly, for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the prawn, stirring for another 3 minutes. Then remove all the meat from the wok and set aside.
  5. Reheat the wok and stir-fry the pineapple pieces for about 3 minutes or until heated through and lightly golden; remove from the wok.
  6. Pour the remaining oil to the wok. When oil is very hot, add the rice and stir fry for 2 minutes, tossing constantly.
  7. Then add the pork, prawns and pineapple and stir thoroughly. Remove the wok from the heat.
  8. Add the basil and fish sauce, and toss well.
  9. Fill the pineapple shells with the fried rice. Scatter spring onions, coriander and chillies over the top and serve immediately.
pineapple fried rice
The Verdict

If you like pineapples, you'll certainly like this one. And even if you are not a big fan of it like me, it's in fact quite nice. Sweet and salty at the same time, and it goes well with any spicy meat dish.

Notes

The book said that it is important that the cooked rice be refrigerated overnight before making fried rice and I forgot about it. So I cooked my rice early in the morning, letting it cool down before putting it in the refrigerator and cook it later that evening. It still works. The rice is easy to cook and separate well in the hot wok. Never try to cook fried rice using freshly cooked steaming rice: I have tried that before and the result I get is a big ball of fried rice.:-p

Reduce the quantity of chilies if you are not used to spiciness or simply leave it out. It still tastes good.

Pineapples are chill-sensitive so do not store them in the refrigerator.

pineapple fried rice
20 comments on this post.

Thai Fried Noodles - Phad Thai

Phad Thai or Thai Fried Noodles has always been one of my favourites dishes - it satisfies my craving for Hor Fun which I can't get in Nantes. Although Phad Thai and Hor Fun are two very different dishes, they both use rice stick noodles and are fried. What I love about Phad Thai is that it's very savoury in taste and yet so simple to dish up.

The dish itself is a classic of thai food that you have most likely encountered if you have ever set foot in a thai restaurant. If not, well it's never too late to get hooked:-)

Phad Thai

(taken from Thai Cooking)

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 10-15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 250 g thick rice stick noodles
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 2 tsp red chillies (chopped)
  • 150 g pork (thinly sliced)
  • 100 g raw prawns (peeled and chopped)
  • ½ bunch garlic chives (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts/mung beans
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
  • sprigs of fresh coriander
Directions
  1. Soak the noodles in warm water for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan till oil is very hot, add garlic, chillies and pork and stir fry constantly for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in the prawn meat and stir fry it about 3 minutes. Then add in garlic chives and noodles. Cover and cook for about a minute.
  4. Add fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and eggs to the wok. Toss well with tongs or two wooden spoons until heated through.
  5. Sprinkle with bean sprouts, coriander and peanuts. Serve with a slice of lime, crisp fried onion, soft brown sugar and chopped peanuts on the side.
Phad Thai ingredientsThai fried noodles phad thai
The Verdict

I had my parents-in-law over for dinner and they like it very much. My mom-in-law who is on a diet after gaining some weight from her recent holiday trips, couldn't resist the temptation of a 2nd helping. They were amazed that this dish, so simple in looks, is so full of flavour: a tint of acidity and sweetness at the same time coupled with the aroma of lime, fish sauce and peanut. Pierre loves it and went for his 2nd helping too:-)

To prepare this dish, your wok has to be kept very hot all the time. I usually stir and mix noodles with the ingredients in the wok before covering it and letting it cook for a minute. I also mix it a little bit after adding the sauces and sugar before pouring the beaten egg over the noodles. Oh, I also toss in the bean sprouts (I prefer bean sprouts al dente than raw) together with the sauces.

Note

You can use chicken, tofu and any other vegetable such as carrot or bell peppers strips or shreds of bok choy, etc.

Some recipes use both lime and tamarind juice. It is said that the tamarind adds some flavor and acidity, but if you don't have tamarind, you can use white vinegar instead.

Thai Fried Noodles Phad Thai
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Glass Noodles Salad

My search for this recipe started about 5 years ago when I had a similar dish at my friend's place. I meant to ask her for the recipe but forgot about it by the end of the evening. Then one day I stumbled upon this recipe by accident : I do not know if it is exactly the same as my friend's but when I did it, it had a similar taste and fragrance.:-) I hadn't made this for 3 years but after my green Thai curry, I had a sudden craving for Thai food and since Pierre didn't recall ever having it, I decided to have another go at it:-)

Glass Noodles Salad

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Makes: 4

Ingredients
  • 80 g glass noodles (soaked in water to soften)
  • 60 g chicken (finely minced)
  • 20 g black fungus/wood ear (cut into fine strips)
  • ½ medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp Chinese celery (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Chinese parsley/coriander (chopped)
  • 12 fresh prawns (shelled and devined)
  • 1 tsp chili oil

Sauce

  • 3 red and green Bird's eye chili (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
Directions
  1. Boil the glass noodles in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute.
  2. Add in black fungus, minced chicken and prawns and boil it for another minute, stirring it often. Then drain well.
  3. Pour the sauce and chili oil over glass noodle salad together with the sliced onions and toss it well.
  4. Serve it with some chopped celery and parsley.
Glass Noodle Salad ingredients
The verdict

This salad is very refreshing and aromatic. I love the aroma of freshly squeezed lime juice mixed with fish sauce with a tint of spicy sourness. The coriander and the onions enhance the taste of this salad further. Pierre likes it almost cold, so I ran it through cold tap water after step 2, before adding the sauce to cool it down.

For the vegetarians, I think this dish would be wonderful also with tofu, enoki (Japanese mushrooms) and bean sprouts - that's all I can think of at the moment.

Note

Bird's eye chili are very hot, hotter than fresh cayenne pepper. So if you are not used to that amount of spiciness, substitute it with cayenne chili or some other chili that is milder. Also dried chillies are hotter than fresh ones.

Cellophane noodles salad
28 comments on this post.

Green Chicken Curry - Curry vert au poulet

We haven't had curry for a quite some time now... so I decided to cook something different. I have been wanting to try my hands at cooking green curry for years, well, ever since I got this cook book from my ex colleague but I never really dared to try it... when I see the (long) list of ingredients - I usually chicken out. So this time, I was determined to do it and satisfy my hunger pangs for green curry.:-)

In Thai cuisine, curries are a paste used in meat, fish or vegetable dishes. They use local ingredients such as chili peppers, Kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, Galangal and coconut milk, and as a result tend to be more aromatic than Indian curries. Thai curries are often described by colour; red curries use red chilis while green curries use green chilis, and yellow is closer to the Indian one.

Home-made curry pastes have of course more flavour than prepackaged. As such I decided to make my own paste and write this recipe is in two parts: first the green curry paste itself, then the Green Chicken Curry.

Green Curry Paste
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp dried shrimp paste (pâte de crevette)
  • 8 large fresh green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup French shallots, chopped
  • 5 cm fresh galangal (peeled and pounded or chopped)
  • 12 small cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (feuilles de Combava), chopped
  • 3 stems lemon grass (citronnelle), white part only - finely chopped
  • 2 tsp grated lime rind
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
Directions
  1. Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and heat for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan constantly.
  2. Place the roasted spices and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or clean coffee grinder and work them until they are finely ground.
  3. Wrap the shrimp paste in a small amount of foil and cook under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes, turning the package twice.
  4. Process the grounded spices and shrimp paste in a food processor for 5 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and process for 20 seconds at a time, scrapping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula each time, until the mixture forms a smooth paste.
  5. You'll get approximately 1 cup of curry paste.
Green curry chilli
Note

Fresh green curry paste will keep for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, place tablespoonful in an ice-cube tray, cover and freeze for several hours; then store the cubes in a freezer bag and use them when required. Allow to defrost for 30 minutes at room temperature before using. Frozen paste will keep for up to 4 months.

For this paste, I didn't have coriander nor cumin seeds, so I used grounded ones instead - the same for the black pepper. I also run out of French shallots so I used 2 French shallots and 1 medium size onion. As for the green chillies, I used only 4 as you can see they are extremely big. If you are not used to spiciness, use 6 instead of 8 and also remove the inside core to lessen the spiciness.

I also couldn't find kaffir leaves so I substituted them with 1 tbsp of kaffir lime zests (equals to about 6 kaffir leaves). Another alternative is to use 1 tbsp of lime zests. Note that fresh Kaffir leaves can be frozen, while dried leaves are much less flavourful, so use twice as many as the recipe calls for if you're substituting them for fresh leaves.

Green curry paste
Green Chicken Curry

(taken from Thai Cooking)

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp green curry paste
  • 1½ cups or 375 ml coconut milk
  • ½ cup or 125 ml water
  • 500 g chicken thigh, fillets (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 100 g green beans (cut into short pieces)
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves (feuilles de Combava)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (nuoc-mâm)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp finely grated lime rind
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander
Directions
  1. Heat the oil in a wok or a heavy-based pan. Add onions and green curry paste to the wok and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the coconut milk and water to the wok and bring to boil.
  3. Add the chicken pieces, beans and kaffir lime leaves to the wok; stir to combine.
  4. Simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.
  5. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and rind, and brown sugar to the wok; stir to combine.
  6. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves just before serving. Serve with steamed rice.
Green chicken curry ingredients
The Verdict

I didn't know what to expect actually, while cooking this curry, the aroma of kaffir lime and coconut flavour filled the whole house... very delightful and mouthwatering.

The chicken curry turned out pretty delicious I must say (a pat on my own back). For the first time, I'm actually satisfied with my own curry.:-) The verdict from Pierre : Nice, fragrant. He likes it. It is spicy but not overly spicy.

I must say that although the long list of ingredients to make this curry (especially the green curry paste) looks daunting, it is rather simple, just put everything into the food processor and let it do the work for you.

Note

Chicken thigh fillets are sweet in flavour and a very good texture for curries. You can use breast fillets instead if you prefer. Do not overcook fillets or they will be tough.

I replaced kaffir leaves and lime zests with kaffir lime zests like I did with my paste. Trying not to waste, I used the kaffir lime juice instead of lime. And I used brown sugar instead of soft brown sugar (I didn't have any of that in my cupboard).

Many of the above ingredients can be tricky to find in western countries, but I have had good success finding them in local Asian groceries.

Green chicken curry currie vert au poulet
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