Put nam prik paste in ceramic or wooden bowl. (Just don't use metal. It may react.)
Before you open the coconut milk, shake it vigorously. On the shelf, it separates into solid and a thin liquid. It's nearly impossible to get it to smooth out after it's been opened, but a little "shake that groove thang" on the can before you open it does the trick. So put on some funky music and work it!
Stir in coconut milk into paste little by little.
Add small chunks of fish, shrimp, or squid, mixing thoroughly. Add more milk if it becomes too thick to stir.
Add egg, nam pla, sugar. Mix vigorously after each addition.
Blanch basil leaves. Place one blanched basil leaf in the bottom of each small cup.
Divide mixture between cups - fill them to the brm.
Place in preheated bamboo steamer
, steam covered 10 minutes.
Remove lid, garnish. Cover, steam an additional 1–2 minutes. Serve warm.
On curry paste
Curry paste and curry powders are not interchangeable. I'll tell you the Thai Curry Story sometime. Just let me say that if there's black smoke roiling off your pan, and people are fleeing the kitchen, even the faithful hound...you've got some spicy stuff on your hands. Make plenty