Rabbit Massaman Curry (แกงมัสมั่นกระต่าย): Making Thai Food in Lyon Part Four

Croix Rousse Market - Making Thai Food in Lyon
Another trip to Croix Rousse Market in Lyon, France, resulted in an impromptu dinner of rabbit massaman curry aka something I had never thought I would get to write about let alone make. That’s what happen when you send multiple people to the market and end up with different miscellaneous ingredients for you to put together in an almost Stone Soup style.

With some coconut milk, massaman curry paste, and fish sauce in the cupboard, I was able to turn the cuisses de lapin, some tiny potatoes smaller than the tip of my thumb, and some fresh spring onions from the market into a simple and hearty dinner for 4 in about an hour — plenty of time left for us to go get a good spot around Le Jardin des Plantes where you can get a good view of the Bastille Day fireworks in Lyon.

Croix Rousse Market - Making Thai Food in Lyon
I made this rabbit massaman curry according to the simple recipe for beef massaman curry which I’ve been using for years. The only deviations were:
1. I replaced 2 pounds of tougher cut of beef with 4 rabbit quarters weighing about 6-7 ounces each. It took about 45-50 minutes for the rabbit legs to tenderize. With the potatoes and onions added towards the end, the entire pot of curry took less than an hour.
2. I didn’t have any peanuts or dried spices on hand, so I didn’t use any.
3. I didn’t have palm sugar, so I used brown sugar.
4. I didn’t have any tamarind pulp, so I stirred in a mixture of 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into the curry towards the end. That was an attempt to mimic what one of my friends’ grandmother did when she made massaman curry: adding acidity to it in the form of the juice of fresh bitter orange. The orange juice-vinegar mixture wasn’t ideal and didn’t exactly replicate the flavor of bitter orange juice, but it was adequate.

Dishes previously made from the produce from Croix Rousse Market:
Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetables with Lardons
Duck Breast in Red Curry Sauce
Apricots in Iced Syrup

6 Responses to Rabbit Massaman Curry (แกงมัสมั่นกระต่าย): Making Thai Food in Lyon Part Four

  1. Spikygreengobbermonster July 21, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    You probably already know this and it might defeat the purpose of the these posts but there’s a huge asian supermarket in Lyon called paris store if you are missing a little something.PS Happy holiday!

    • Leela July 21, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Monster – Thank you. I’ll check it out. I did visit Supermarché Asie in the 7ème, however, and was pleasantly surprised by how well stocked it is. The tiny Thai supermarket right across the street from it also packs in a lot of stuff.

  2. gemma @ andgeesaid July 21, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    yum! this looks wonderful, and i love how it was unexpected! the potatoes are so cute! xx

  3. Sissi July 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    Hi Leela,
    This looks like a curry husband would go crazy for (he loves rabbit!). I have just discovered your blog and am in love. I am impressed by your deep research and detailed advice (I have loved your series about Pad Thai! I have learnt finally why it was the only Thai dish I hated: it is served usually sickly sweet and bland, nothing to do with the real thing). You are now my official Thai cuisine reference! Whenever I can I try to cook as genuine as possible and am delighted to meet someone who has such a passion, experience and knowledge at the same time.
    As many fiery food lovers, I am a big fan of Thai cuisine. I cook it quite often and I happen to live in Switzerland where, we have “curry kits” in “standard” supermarkets as you mention 😉 I visit Lyon to shop clothes, eat good French food and … buy Korean products! Sadly we don’t have any Korean grocer here (though we have lots of other Asian shops, which, I have just read, you know very well).
    Anyway, I wanted to say I’m a big fan of your blog and if one day I’m able to prepare at least an average, acceptable Pad Thai it will be only thanks to you!

    • Leela July 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      Sissi – Thank you! 🙂

  4. Martijn December 7, 2013 at 6:43 am #

    Dear Leela,

    I love your blog, it’s the best mix of authentic and original Thai cuisine I’ve ever come across! I’m making this one for Christmas and will report back.

    Thank you for all these great recipes!