Gaeng Mussaman

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I am working on a meal, and am making Gaeng Mussaman แกงมัสมั่น . You can buy premixed curry paste and they make fine food. But, if I am going to go to the trouble of cooking, I am going to make it a real feed, fine food. My last shot at a meal like this included Gaeng Panaeng (the recipe for the paste is further down the blog). It was certainly one of the finest dishes I ever have made. I will vary from tradition and leave out the potatoes as my relationship with them is inverted. I was considering Taro as a substitute but am not because of oxalates. I don’t want any more kidney stones in my future. I am thinking about sweet potatoes and cooked daikon as substitues, I think I will use both.

Like the Panaeng I did my preliminary research on the web. I have fresh Kaffir Lime Skin, Turmeric, Bay Leaf, and Galanga. The turmeric galanga and kaffir lime are terrific. I favor complex recipes so I amalgamated a few to get to the recipe below. I also include lesser ginger everytime I use galangal. I made the start of the curry paste this evening. It is still without shallot cinnamon and hot pepper but is superb.

My two sources for the paste recipe are:

  1. http://honest-food.net/2012/03/15/thai-massaman-curry-with-venison/
  2. http://www.realthairecipes.com/recipes/massaman-curry/

I almost certainly fiddle with proportions as I make it depending and the taste of the peppers I use and freshness of the spices. As normal for me if the recipe calls for galanga I add a bit of lesser ginger.

  • 7-10 dried or fresh hot chiles, Thai, Serrano Piquin or combination
  • 6 cloves
  • 2-inch stick of cinnamon
  • Seeds from one black cardomom pod
  • 1 teaspoon corriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 bay leaves, crushed fine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon Kaffir Lime skin
  • 1/4 cup shallot minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal,
  • 1 teaspoon lesser ginger if available.
  • 2-inch piece of fresh turmeric, or 2 teaspoons powdered
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste

I am not sure if I will make the dish with poultry, beef, fish or seafood. I have had this curry paste with tofu before as well, and may leave out the shrimp paste and go vegan.  I will have to taste the paste and see.

One thought on “Gaeng Mussaman

  1. Louis Katz Post author

    OK, I made this gaeng mussaman. The Gaeng was light on cinnamon. Gail said it needed more. I thought it was awful, but a day of tasting this as it was made seems to have been hard on my ability to taste well. Today it tasted better after refrigeration over night.
    I made it with beef, and substituted sweet potato for potato and added some cooked radish.
    On our first trip to Thailand we bus stops that sold curry. The curry sits out a lot. The oil on top probably provide a measure of protection from bacteria, but we ran scared. It seemed like the curry was out for a long time. We called the places “Stores with Yesterday’s Curry”.
    I also made some Som Tam but used turnip rutabaga and carrot. It was OK. Next time I will use papaya.
    Gail made Miang Kam. It is a simple dish, you take a leaf (we use lettuce) drizzle some Miang Kam Sauce that Gail made on it. The sauce is sweet and fishy. You add a dried shrimp, bit of ginger, hot pepper, toasted coconut, shallot, seems like I am forgetting something but probably not, wrap it up and eat it. Simple…more about flavor than food. It can have the fresh simplicity of good sushi, although flavor wise its in a different ball park.

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