Cravin’ curry

California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and the Basic Needs Initiative team hosted their weekly Cooking with CSUMB virtual demonstration led by faculty and staff on Feb. 25. Featuring Basic Needs Student Assistant Sabrina Lee, Lee guided viewers through the process of making Southeast Asian red curry, also known as kapoon. 

A versatile and spicy dish boosting flavors of garlic, lemongrass and green onion, Lee began preparation off-screen, making a delectable homemade chicken stock. Simmering for around three hours prior, Lee boiled and set aside vermicelli noodles that she covered, protecting the noodles from drying out.

Those looking to conserve time have the option of using store-bought chicken or vegetable broth. Using half of a whole chicken, Lee shredded the meat and combined ground pork to the sizzling skillet. 

Basic Needs intern Misha Arnold advised viewers of meat-free customizable modifications complimenting the meal. Incorporating jackfruit or tofu and soy sauce, allowing the garlic to steam in vegetable broth, opposed to oil, provides vegan adaptations. 

“If you’re using raw meat, make sure to cook it first, then add the cooked meat,” Lee said. 

Using two types of red curries – one vegetarian and one containing shrimp paste – Lee coated the chicken, cooked ground pork and browned garlic, adding her secret ingredient: a big spoonful of shrimp paste with bean oil. Combining a can of sliced bamboo shoots to the skillet, Lee carefully spooned the mixture into her pot of chicken stock before stirring in coconut milk emulsifying a creamy, thick texture.

“Taste and adjust,” Lee said. “That’s how you become a good cook and your palette will guide you.”

Tossing in a can of quail eggs as the curry simmered, Lee prepped the garnishings. Cilantro, cabbage and a squeeze of lime are all it takes to twist the richness and elevate the flavor. Serving a single portion of vermicelli noodles, topped with curry sauce, Lee produced a drool-worthy bowl that left viewers desiring a bite.

Otters who attend Cooking with CSUMB have the opportunity to win $25 e-gift cards, applicable towards groceries. Tune in next week for Dr. Leininger’s recipe of veggie scramble with country potatoes on Mach. 4. Basic Needs and Associated Students are also hosting a virtual kitchen bingo event on March 21 where students have the chance to win magic bullet blenders, air fryers, iPads and more.

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