A recipe for winning friends at your hostel or buying off the friend who has lent you her floor. Feeds four… or more if you have stuffed yourselves at the markets and only want a small light dinner.
If you haven’t already read or heard about Granville island then you better get back to your guide-book and do some proper research – because this is one of the must-visit places in Vancouver, Canada. You can catch a water bus over from the city which costs about $7 or you can walk across the Granville Bridge which takes about 15 minutes and has spectacular views of the Burrard Bridge complete with jutting mountains and shining city. Once there it is hard not to get side-tracked by the street performers that are monopolizing the square – old-fashioned sword swallowers are making a comeback though they compete for the crowd against some ethereal Canadian folk singers and teenage comedians.
Break away from the courageous people who make a spectacle of themselves for your entertainment and head into the giant food market. Just inside the doors you will probably stop and blink while taking a few deep breaths to steady yourself.
Your eyes have been assaulted by the amount of colour and your stomach has just been reminded by the wafting combination of smells that you could eat (even if you are full, being around so much amazing food will make you feel as though you “could” eat).
- Salmon: $20 (Because I was in Canada I really wanted to make a dish with Wild Salmon as I have only ever eaten farmed salmon, I definitely have to say that there is a huge difference in taste and colour as well as the obvious environmental impact. This was a huge expense that I would have avoided if I hadn't been saving money by crashing at a friend’s place. So the cheaper version is to do everything the same but with chicken which you can still buy at the market for $6 for two large breasts.)
- Variety of Vegetables: $9.25 (this is really up to your taste buds and what’s in season. The only required vegetable is a brown onion, for the rest I pick about 6 different vegetables that are colourful and crunchy such as asparagus, capsicum, zuchini, broccoli, celery and cheery tomato’s. I also wanted to get some bok-choy but it wasn't the best quality so I gave it a miss in favour of other more ripe vegetables)
- Red Curry Paste and Coconut Milk: $3.75
- Brown Rice: $3 (tie the bag of rice up with a hair tie… or a rubber band if you are super fancy, and take it with you to the next hostel for another meal)
- Put the water for your rice onto boil
- I like everything to be prepared before I cook anything so I spend a chunk of time chopping things up beforehand (this also allows for me to enjoy a glass of wine and some gossiping when the actual cooking process is in motion). Finely chop the onions and keep separate. Chop up all of your other vegetables, I like to cut them into different sizes and shapes so that there is a little more “fun” when eating, leave them together. Chop up your salmon or chicken into chunks, not too small, you want them to be nice big meaty pieces.
- Start cooking your rice, but wait until the rice is almost cooked before you complete the next steps– the dish doesn’t take very long to make that’s why I don’t start until the rice is ready so you don’t overcook the vegetable and have them turn mushy and floppy.
- Brown the onions in the large saucepan/frying pan/wok.
- Throw in the salmon or chicken. If you are using salmon, turn the pieces gently until they are all sealed but don’t overcook. If you are using chicken you will need a little longer as you will want to make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through.
- Throw in your vegetables and toss everything together
- Add in your curry paste – see packet for instructions in relation to amount. Because I like my curry strong and jam-packed full of flavour I always do more than the suggested amount, but if you aren’t big on the “curry” flavour you could do less. Ensure that all of the vegetables and the salmon are coated in the paste.
- Add in the coconut milk slowly – stirring as you go. I would turn the heat down at this point so the milk gently simmers. Once again pour as much as you like, I like my Thai Curries really runny as I like to drink the sauce, however if you prefer a thicker constancy don’t add as much milk. Leave to simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Serve on top of the brown rice and eat!
- A stove top
- Large frying pan or wide saucepan – a wok will also do if you are improvising
- A knife
- Chopping board
- A smaller saucepan (for cooking rice)
- A colander (if you don’t have one, use a lid or plate to help you drain out the excess water – just remember to wrap your hand in a tea towel or your sleeves first to avoid steam burns)
- With Wild Salmon $36 or $9 if you split the cost in four. With Chicken $22 or $5.5 if you split the cost in four. (Canadian Dollars)