On Jean-Georges Vongerichten's most recent trip to Bangkok, he ate at a small restaurant where the waitress set out bowls of curry sauces alongside platters of cut-up raw vegetables, herbs and rice noodles. (You could also serve chicken or fish.) Customers assembled their own meals. At home, Vongerichten now offers several curries at the same time because he likes the balance of sweet, spicy and herbal flavors.
Slideshow: More Great Condiments
2 cups packed chopped cilantro leaves and stems
3 green Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (3 tablespoons)
In a food processor, combine the cilantro, chiles, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, coriander, cumin and water and process to a fine paste.
In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, chicken stock and the spice paste and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.
Beer Wine is a tough match for these spicy curries, but cold beer is ideal. Lager beers tend to be light in color, brisk and moderately hoppy (the floral-bitter character imparted to beer from the flowers of the hop vine, used in brewing).
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