Neighborhood Eats: Bennie's Thai Cafe

April 30, 2010 3:07:26 PM PDT
One of the great things about New York is the amazing restaurants hidden around the city. You might not stumble upon them unless you know exactly where they are.

One of those places is Bennie's Thai Café, located below street level in the financial district.

The menu varies from your traditional Pad Thai to something called Jungle Curry.

Jungle Curry is made from red curry chili paste, chicken stock and then your favorite vegetables with a little fish sauce, shrimp, some red peppers, and basil to top it off.

When Bennie first moved to New York, she owned a sandwich franchise, but she secretly fed her staff Thai food.

Word got out about her cooking, and so gave up sandwiches for Thai.

Jungle Curry with Shrimp

  • 6 med sized shrimp, cleaned and peeled
  • 1/4 cup Eggplant, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1/4 cup Bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup Mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup Baby Corn
  • 1/4 cup Broccoli or any leafy green veg will do.
  • 1/8 cup bell peppers and/or chili peppers
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1/2 cup Chicken stock (or Veg stock or H2O)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
  • 1/2 tsp, rhizome (similar to galanga root)
  • 6-8 basil leaves, whole

    Heat oil in a large saute pan or wok.
    Add garlic and red curry paste and saute for a minute or two
    Add stock, bring to a boil..then to a simmer
    Add 1 tbsp fish sauce and sugar
    Add Vegetables, simmer for 1-2 minutes
    Add kaffir lime leaves and rhizome, simmer
    Add shrimp, simmer until shrimp is cooked through and opaque.
    Add remainder of fish sauce ONLY to taste.
    Add basil leaves.