Aromatic, spicy kroeung provides the base to many Khmer (Cambodian) recipes. Not unlike its Thai equivalents, this curry paste is easy to make at home and a perfect ingredient to keep around for when you want a quick and easy dinner- fry it up with your favourite vegetables, blend into soups, or craft delicious curries.
I hate hand making curry pastes. It's not a case of being lazy (for once), because they're not exactly hard to make, but the process of having to deal with those damned shallots. They're the bane of my existence; all I have to do is look at one and I'm crying like a twitching baby. But I hate to be defeated, especially in my own home, so ha ha shallots! I've come prepared this time. Seriously, invest in some stylish swim goggles to add to the kitchen utensil junk drawer, and you won't regret it.
Vegan Khmer Cambodian Kroeung
- Remove any tough outer layers from the lemongrass stalks and chop into thin rounds (it's very stringy, so don't try to pound it as is).
- Add all of the ingredients to a pestle and mortar, a spice mill, or whatever you've got that makes things paste like, and go to town. A little bit of chunky is okay in my book, but smooth as possible is best.
- Refrigerate and use in curries, stir fries, and soups.