Vegetarian Green Curry Puffs
Or Thai Samosas
I always give my boyfriend a hard time about his eating habits because he loves sweet things so much. Since I love to bake, this is a bad habit that I find myself enabling a lot, but who can say no to someone who loves to eat your food? But I myself also have a horrible food habit, I love fried foods.
I don’t mean I love fried foods like McDonalds or KFC, I love samosas, egg rolls, and these sesame balls filled with red bean paste I get at IG. All so yummy.
While I know that fried foods will never be good for me, I feel that if I at least make them myself, and thus can limit the amount of salt and other preservatives (read as poison) that gets added to a lot of frozen foods they are not so bad.
Another thing making my own food allows me to control is that I’ve made these vegetarian. I have a lot of vegetarian friends and when we get together, I prefer to cook foods that everyone can eat. The original recipe (which can be found in Thai & South-East Asian Cooking & Far Eastern Classics) called for Fish sauce, which believe it or not, is actually made from fish. I know in America we’re used to ketchup not really being made from tomatoes and orange juice generally coming from concentrate so you probably wouldn’t think that fish sauce was made from fish but it is. Actually some varieties of fish sauce are the Asian equivalent of hot dogs, it’s the mystery fish. By the way soy sauce is made from soy. Who would have thunk it?
24ish wonton wrapper
As an alternative you can buy egg roll wrappers which are much bigger and about the same price and cut them into 4 equally sized pieces
3 tablespoons peas
3 tablespoons corn
A few springs fresh cilantro (coriander)
About 1-2 tablespoons when chopped
1 fresh chili
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon green curry paste
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
Oil for deep frying
Boil the potato in slightly salted water until a fork easily pieces the potato in the thickest part. You do not need to peel the potato before boiling it; it is much easier to peel after it has been boiled. In fact, you don’t need to peel the potatoes at all as long as you wash the skin very well before you boil them; the peel actually has fiber and nutrients that are good for you. One caution to this is to not eat the skin if the potato is under-ripe or has a green tinge.
If you are using frozen peas and corn, as I did, take them out of the freezer and defrost them while the potato is boiling which will take 15-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the potato. If you want to use fresh ingredients you will need to cook them. I suggest boiling them until they are just tender.
Drain the potatoes and let them cool to make them easier to handle. Once you can handle them easily mash them, peeled or not, with either a potato masher or by hand.
If you are using frozen peas and corn measure them out together into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 1-2 minutes, stir and then microwave again for 1 minute. This is to ‘cook’ them, but also to try to melt any residual ice and to evaporate a little of the water. If the microwaved mixture is very wet drain it before adding it to the mashed potatoes.
Finely chop the cilantro (coriander) and the chili. As a note, since you are using chopped chili it is difficult to evenly distribute a little bit of diced chili into a proportionally large amount of potatoes. This leads to some of the puffs being very spicy, and others having a slightly sweet taste. If you would like a more even incorporation use ground pepper, preferably dried pepper that has went through a food processer. The amount used would depend on the level of spiciness you would like.
Add the cilantro, chili, lime juice, soy sauce, green curry paste, and sesame seed oil to the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
The next part is a little messy. I suggest filling the wrappers on a cutting board, I used a wooden one.
Get some water in a bowl or cup that it is easy to dip your fingers into. You’re probably going to want around ½ cup of water. Place a wonton wrapper on a flat surface, such as a cutting board. Dip your fingers into the water and brush the wonton wrapper so that the entire surface is moist, but not wet.
Take about 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon of the mashed potato mixture and place in the center of the wrapper.
Fold in half to form a triangle and press the edges down well. It’s okay if the edges don’t come together exactly; the important part is that you make a good seal. If some of the mixture comes out, brush it away with your fingers and re-seal the edges.
Repeat until all of the potato mixture is used. Depending on how full you stuff your puffs, this may make more than 24, the last time I made these I was really conservative with my filling and I got about 30. Stuffing the puffs takes about 45 minutes.
After you’ve made all your puffs heat your oil over medium heat. Don’t try to heat the oil earlier, it takes much less time to heat the oil than it does to stuff the curry puffs. You can use pretty much any kind of oil you want. Peanut oil is the best for deep frying, but it’s also the unhealthiest. I generally use vegetable or canola oil since they are so much cheaper and are not as unhealthy.
You want to use enough oil that the puffs will be completely covered when they are dropped in. This will mean that you probably want at an absolute minimum 3 inches of oil in the bottom of your pot; I used something between 6 and 7 inches of oil. If this sounds like a huge amount, don’t worry, you can filter the oil and save it to use it again.
To filter the oil, after it’s cooled, take a paper towel and a funnel. Fold the paper towel into quarters, or more if necessary, and put it in your funnel. Put the funnel into an empty container and pour the used oil into the funnel. The paper towel will act as a filter and remove any food particles that are left in the oil after cooking, and then you’ve got the vast majority of the oil back for use at a later date. Generally oil can be used at least 4 times, but if it turns black or starts to smell bad it has gone bad and should be pitched.
Heat the oil until it’s about 400OF or until a small piece of onion cooks when dropped in. Do not get impatient and try to cook the puffs before the oil is hot, they won’t cook and will taste like oil. If your oil is so hot that when you drop in the onion or puff in it sputters up in your face like a small volcano, back away, turn the stove down and try again in a few minutes.
Drop your puffs in one at a time. Depending on the size of your pot, you’ll probably be able to cook multiple puffs at one time, but don’t over crowd your pot. I cooked 5 at a time.
The puffs will cook in about 5 minutes. When you first drop them into the oil they will sink to the bottom but as they cook they will rise and puff up from air trapped inside. They have a tendency to want to float on one side, so you might have to turn them a few times to get them evenly cooked on both sides. Cook until the body of the puff is a golden brown, the edges will probably be a red brown before the body is golden.
Serve hot. The puffs will gradually deflate as they cool. If they need to be reheated re-fry them for 30-45 seconds. If they are reheated in an oven or a microwave they will get rubbery.
Serve with sweet chili or tamarind sauce.
Entire cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.