11 (Tue) May 2021
Pu Phat Phong (Kari) with Shrimp & Bokchoy
-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-
with the Family
T’Asia Kitchen is a Korean brand of instant curry packs. Recently launched, the initial line includes 2 Indian curries and 2 Thai curries.
Reminded of recent successes using curry kits to dress up proteins (see for example 11.364 Grilled Lamb Chops in Butter Curry Sauce), I decided to give the Thai Pu Phat Phong a try. While poonim phat pong kari is one of my all-time favorite dishes, I don’t have access to softshell crab and didn’t want to bother with regular crab and didn’t want to pay for king crab, so I went with shell-on shrimp. Coated in corn starch and deep-fried, the shells turned crispy and delicate, very similar to deep-fried softshell crab. I heated 2 packs of the curry in a wok and tossed in the shrimp, along with a few bokchoy. It looked pretty good on the plate.
The result was okayish. On its own, the curry was laughable, nothing much beyond a yellow sludge. The flavor was vaguely reminiscent of actual poonim phat pong kari, with hints of crab and egg, though nowhere near as creamy or savory, but maybe acceptable for someone unfamiliar with the real deal. Unfortunately, the sauce had turned the shrimp shells from crispy/delicate to soft/rubbery, so we had to peel them as we ate (shrimp tempura might work better). In the end, stirred over steamed jasmine rice, the dish made for a decent meal, though not worth all the effort.
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