This spare though luscious dish is traditionally made with pak grood—young, wild ferns that grow in the jungles of southern Thailand. Fiddlehead ferns make an ideal substitute.
- 3 cups (about ½ lb.) fresh or thawed frozen fiddlehead ferns
- 8 large shell-on shrimp (about ½ lb.)
- 1 cup coconut milk, well-stirred
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 2 1⁄2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- 3 red thai chiles, stemmed and thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- Salt, to taste
- Jasmine rice for four
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add fiddlehead ferns, reduce heat to medium, and cook until just tender, 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer ferns to a bowl and set aside; return water to a boil. Add shrimp, reduce heat to medium, and boil gently until almost cooked through, about 1 minute; drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and devein shrimp; set aside.
Combine coconut milk and water in a medium pot. Bring just to a boil, add reserved ferns, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add reserved shrimp, lime juice, sugar, thai chiles, shallots, and salt. Cook until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes.
Ladle curry over steamed jasmine rice.