Leaves of Asian basil punctuate this dish with anise-like flavor. Glistening oils float on its surface, revealing the essential technique of “frying” the curry paste in separated (“cracked”) coconut milk, the only way to truly unlock the flavors hidden in the paste. For a one-dish (plus rice) meal, add vegetables to the simmering curry, such as bamboo shoots, peppers, or tender snow peas. The sauce can be made ahead, and served with roast duck or seared beef in place of chicken.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.