Rice paddy frog curry

Rice paddy frog curry

Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Stuart Scott

Frog meat is tender, delicious, high in protein, low in fat — and an aphrodisiac, Thai men tell me. I had a fantastic time catching my own frogs. When rice farmers pluck their rice stalks out of the paddies, all the wild animals — eels, snakes, field crabs and  field mice — are left exposed, ready to be caught and eaten. But if you can't catch your own frogs, you can use quails here instead. The curries of northern Thailand are not the heavy coconut cream curries found in the centre. The northern style is drier, with loads more chilli in the paste.


Quantity Ingredient
2 frogs, skinned, cleaned and butterŽflied
100ml vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 snake beans, cut into 2 cm lengths
3 wing beans, cut into 2 cm lengths
10 pea eggplants, (see note)
4 fresh betel leaves, torn
1 handful ivy gourd or pennywort leaves
4 sasbania Žflowers, stamen removed
or 4 pumpkin or zucchiniŽ flowers
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
5 bird’s eye chillies, smashed
1 tablespoon fish sauce

Thai chilli paste

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped, white part only
3 tablespoons fresh galangal, finely chopped
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
4 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons red asian shallots, finely chopped
13 dried chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon shrimp paste
2 tablespoons mam ruoc

To garnish

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon spring onion, sliced
1 tablespoon coriander, sliced
2 sasbania, pumpkin or zucchini flowers


  1. Heat a barbecue chargrill or chargrill pan to medium. Chargrill the frogs for 10 €minutes on each side. Chop o‚ff the feet, then chop each frog into eight€ pieces.
  2. To make the Thai chilli paste, add each ingredient, one at a time, to a large mortar or food processor. Pound with a pestle or process each ingredient well before adding the next one; keep pounding until a smooth paste forms and all the ingredients are well incorporated. Transfer 2 €tablespoons of the chilli paste to a bowl; seal the rest in a clean screw-top jar and refrigerate for use in other Thai recipes.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of water to the mortar, cleaning both the mortar and pestle with the water. Pour the water out and reserve it for the curry.
  4. Add the vegetable oil to a hot wok. Add the garlic and the reserved 2 €tablespoons of chilli paste and sauté over medium–high heat for 3 minutes, or until fragrant.
  5. Now add the frog meat and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the beans and eggplants and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Add the betel and ivy gourd leaves, sasbania Žflowers and reserved chilli paste water. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the kaffir lime leaves, chillies and fish sauce. Stir-fry for a further €minute.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with spring onion, coriander and your choice of Žflowers and serve.


  • Apple eggplants are green or white and about the size of golf balls. Pea eggplants, also called baby Thai eggplants, are green marble-sized eggplants, sold in clusters like grapes. They are used whole and burst when bitten into. You’llŠ find them both at Asian markets.
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