Yum Pak Grood (Fern Curry with Shrimp)
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.