Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
Nettle looks similar to members of the mint family (such as spearmint or catnip) only with longer leaves which are very toothed. Covered with fine but visible hairs, this plant should be handled carefully, as it will sting you when touched. Nettle can grow to be up to six feet tall, and often favors rich soil. After flowering, it develops drooping green (then brown) seed clusters. If you’re unsure as to the identification of nettle, go ahead and grasp a good handful. If it hurts like hell (think: being stung by a jellyfish), you have yourself some nettle! Note: Due to its stinging properties, nettle is typically blanched before eating. In this case, cooking the nettle directly in the curry will suffice.
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon green curry paste
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
1 cup lightly packed nettle leaves (can substitute other mild wild greens such as lambs quarter or orache)
2–3 cups pre-cooked vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, zucchini, red pepper, peas, leftover chicken, etc. (or meat)
Optional: Warm rice for serving. Thai basil for garnish.
In a medium-sized pan, melt the solid lump of coconut fat (scraped from the top of the tin of coconut milk) over medium-high heat.
Add the curry paste and sizzle it for 2 minutes’ until it becomes intensely fragrant.
Stir in the remaining liquid from the coconut milk can, as well as the water, fish sauce and sugar. Bring the mixture to a light boil, with small bubbles breaking the surface.
Drop the nettle leaves into the bubbling curry and let them cook for 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the stove and set down on a heat-proof surface. Using a stick blender, blend the contents of the curry until smooth, then return the pan to the heat and continue to let simmer until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Stir in your pre-cooked vegetables (or meat) and let them heat through.
Adjust salt to taste and serve the curry over warm rice.