A friend of mine (we’ll call him Jeff) quietly confessed his secret. “I dabble in Thai food,” he practically whispered. Jeff must have known he could confide in me. After all, he had reviewed my Chicken Curry & Potatoes with Mustard Seed Hash. So, I quickly reciprocated and confessed, “I’m, uh, thinking of doing a Thai hash.” With a knowing smile, he gave me the thumbs up and thus was born my Thai hashcapade!
|Butternut Squash Sweet Potato and Shitake Mushroom Hash with Thai Yellow Curry
The only problem was what style to make? Veggie? Meat? Red, green or yellow curry? I consulted The Ultimate Thai and Asian Cookbook by Deh-Ta Hsiung, Becky Johnson and Sallie Morris. This massive cookbook full of gorgeous photos and 300+ recipes is my go-to Thai bible, especially for making curry from scratch. I quickly found my culinary muse in a lovely veggie dish called “Sweet Pumpkin and Peanut Curry”. Perfect! Now off to Uwajimaya for the best ingredients for any Asian dish!
|Simple, fresh vegetables and a few canned goods to zip this hashcapade along!
Have you ever been to a place that makes you feel like you’ve landed in a foreign country? That’s how I feel whenever I enter the sliding glass doors of Uwajimaya. Wonderful aromas, Asian characters (fonts, not people!), massive sacks of rice, dried fish flakes and the best place to buy Hiyao Miyazaki DVDs are super concentrated in this Asian cornucopia.
Love exotic produce? Countless veggies and fruits like Chinese long beans and curry leaf or dragon fruit and lychee fruit await the adventurous shopper. In my experience, the anchors of a good Thai curry are galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, lemongrass, and chilies, which Uwajimaya has in abundance. To save time, I opted to buy a can of yellow curry.
|Roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes.
The basic process was simple, lots of hashing of ingredients and roasting of the squash and sweet potato. I had some extra jalapeño and red pepper which I threw in to add a nice bit of color. Once all the ingredients were mixed together, I simply scooped out the curry with a slotted spoon so it wouldn’t be to soupy in the food ring. Add a little bit of cilantro for garnish and voila!
|Another perspective of my Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Thai Hash
The moment I tasted my latest creation, I was giddy with excitement! This was a super flavorful veggie hashcapade that anyone could easily make. As an added bonus, I could tell this would make an awesome soup, which I actually did a few days later – yum! There’s something about an exotic dish that translates perfectly into a hashcapade at Chez Clark. 🙂
Send me your ideas for my next adventure like Jeff did!
Butternut Squash Sweet Potato and Shitake Mushroom Hash with Thai Yellow Curry*
Before you start your journey, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and sharpen your knife!
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and hashed into 1/2″ pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled and hashed into 1/2″ pieces
> Add the squash and potato on a rimmed baking sheet.
> Drizzle with olive oil and add fresh-ground salt and pepper
> Roast at 375 for 20 minutes, or until al dente
> NOTE: While roasting the squash and sweet potato, continue on with the next steps…
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 shallots, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
> Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat, then add garlic and shallots
> Stir until soft to avoid burning the garlic and shallots
1 Cup chicken stock (original called for vegetable stock)
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 Tbsp fresh galangal, finely chopped
> Add the yellow curry paste to the wok and mix in with the shallots and garlic, until it foams
> Add the stock, leaves, and galangal and bring to a boil
> Reduce heat and let simmer gently for about 15 minutes
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, finely diced (set aside a scant tsp for garnish)
5 shitake mushrooms, hashed into 1/2 inch pieces
> Add the rest of the above ingredients and let simmer for 5 minutes
> Remove the kaffir lime leaves and discard
> Add the roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes and gently fold into curry
> Remove from heat and let the squash and potato absorb the curry for 5 more minutes
4 Tbsp top cream of the coconut milk
1/2 Tbsp yellow curry paste
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
> Mix coconut milk and curry paste and spoon almost all on the plate in a circle bigger that the food ring
> Use a slotted spoon to get the squash, potato and mushroom hash out of the wok for the next step
> Using a 4″ diameter, 2″ high food ring, carefully pack the hash to the top
> Spoon the rest of the coconut/curry paste plating sauce, top with a scant spoon of the hash
> Garnish the plate and the hash with cilantro and the jalapeño set aside earlier
NOTE: Makes 1 serving with my 2 inch high, 4 inch diameter food ring. Two days later, I made into a yummy soup by busting out my Cuisinart. I pureed it, adding some more chicken stock and cream until I liked the consistency. Talk about a flavor bomb in your mouth!
* Adapted from The Ultimate Thai and Asian Cookbook
by Deh-Ta Hsiung, Becky Johnson and Sallie Morris. Major modifications – roasting squash (instead of pumpkin) and potato for richer flavor, no peanuts or pumpkin seeds, chicken stock for richer flavor and the extra red pepper and jalapeño.