#STFFcooks – Jungle Curry with venison and green banana 

7th June 2015

Andy Oliver is a man that knows Thai food and does it extremely well. Having entered the cheffing world via a place in the Masterchef UK final, he went on to work for David Thomson at Nahm in London. A couple of other stops along the way, sees him land at Som Saa at Climpson’s Arch and this is where I first came to hear of him. Marina O’loughlin, the respected Guardian newspaper food critic, gave Andy’s food at Som Saa 10/10 in her review of the restaurant and my interest was immediately piqued. It’s pretty unheard of for her to score a restaurant so highly! So when an email landed in my inbox to try to recreate one of Andy’s recipes in collaboration with Singha Beer in the #SinghaSupper challenge, I jumped at the opportunity. I have never cooked Thai food from scratch (shop-bought pastes don’t count I shouldn’t think!) I was looking forward to the challenge.

Fortunately I have an Asian supermarket on my high street, so I was able to get a lot of the ingredients from there. But most supermarkets now also have a “world food” section where you should be able to find these. Otherwise try the wonderful world wide web!

When you look at the list of ingredients, it seems a bit of a faff. But the results are worth it and it has definitely sparked a desire in me to explore cooking this cuisine even more.


Jungle curry1


#STFFcooks - Jungle Curry with venison and green banana
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • For the venison:
  • 600g lean venison haunch or loin, trimmed of sinew or gristle
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • Pinch of white sugar
  • For the curry paste:
  • ½ cup long dried chillies (deseeded, cut into pieces and soaked in water for 15 minutes)
  • 10 dry bird's eye chillies (seeds left in, soaked in water for 15 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons grachai root, peeled and chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and sliced galangal
  • 3 tablespoons sliced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2-3 coriander roots (or large handful of coriander stems)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai shrimp paste
  • ½ kaffir lime zest (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • For the curry:
  • 850ml chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons plain oil (such as sunflower)
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Tiny pinch of palm sugar or golden caster sugar
  • 1 large green banana or plantain
  • 2 tablespoons picked pea aubergines
  • 2-3 bird's eye chillies, bruised
  • 2 Thai apple aubergines, sliced into bitesize wedges
  • Small handful of Thai long beans or green beans
  • 2 tablespoons of peeled grate, sliced into thin long strips
  • Small handful of Thai Holy Basil
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 4-5 stalks of fresh green peppercorns (optional)
  1. To make the paste use a heavy pestle and mortar and add the sea salt. Drain the chillies and pound until smooth. Now add the rest of the ingredients one by one pounding until smooth before adding the next. Once complete set aside for later. (this can be done up to 2 days in advance)
  2. Now grill the venison. Rub the meat with the fish sauce and sugar and grill over a high heat until nicely coloured and medium rare (about 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of your cut) Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then slice.
  3. For the green banana: Peel and slice into bitesize pieces and place in a pot of salted cold water and bring to the boil. Once it begins to simmer, turn off the heat and set aside. The banana should be cooked through but still have a nice bite.
  4. To make the curry: Add the oil to a pan and place on a medium heat. Add the curry paste and gently fry for 5 minutes to release the flavours. Keep stirring to avoid sticking.
  5. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce and pinch of sugar then add the pea aubergines and kaffir lime leaves and simmer for a further 3 minutes.
  6. Add the apple aubergines, boiled green banana and bruised bird's eye chillies and the green peppercorns (if using)
  7. Simmer for 3-4 more minutes before adding the sliced venison, grachai and basil
  8. Turn off the heat and taste to check the seasoning. add a touch more fish sauce if needed.
  9. Serve with Jasmine rice as part of a shared Thai meal.
I followed the recipe as instructed and found it a little too spicy for my palate, so added a dash of coconut milk to lessen the heat, which worked for me.


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  • Reply Helen 7th June 2015 at 21:52

    Yum, this looks so fragrant and delicious.

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 8th June 2015 at 05:58

      It really was very flavoursome! Definitely give it a try!

  • Reply Andrea Petersen 8th June 2015 at 13:10

    Nothing beats a good curry and that sounds and looks divine Sam! Cooking Thai food at home is ALWAYS worth it, in my opinion 🙂 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 8th June 2015 at 13:43

      It really was tasty! I’ve always hesitated to cook Asian dishes because it requires ALOT of stuff, but now that I have all of it, there ain’t no stopping me! 🙂

  • Reply Frankie The Mayfairy 10th June 2015 at 20:28

    God I love Thai food so much. Time to introduce my husband to your blog, methinks. I’m sure he’d love to cook this for me 😀

    • Reply SamTheFoodfan 10th June 2015 at 20:47

      It was so good! Nearly blew my socks off, but you could taste every flavour! Def recommend he makes it for you! 🙂

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