Gulai Pakis, sometimes gulai paku, is a delicious Indonesian classic dish of fiddlehead ferns cooked in a rich coconut sauce spiced with chiles, galangal, and ginger. Fiddleheads are available in late spring and throughout the summer in gourmet stores or Asian markets. They look like deep green coils and are technically the stage of a fern before its leaves open fully. Select the tender, smaller ones (no more than about 1 1/2 inches in diameter) with the least amount of tail end. The bigger they are, the more fibrous they are.
Fresh or frozen galangal and turmeric can be found in Southeast Asian markets or on the Internet. If you cannot find fiddleheads, substitute yard-long beans or regular green beans, and cut into 2-inch-long pieces.
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