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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Secret to Good Thai Curry: A Good Recipe

We've been making Thai coconut-milk curries for years, with mixed results. Sometimes they're too heavy and greasy, sometimes they're too spicy, sometimes they're too bland. Sometimes they're pretty good, but we've never stopped searching for a better recipe. We've scoured Thai cookbooks and the Internet. It never occurred to us to simply consult the curry paste jar.

Thai Kitchen curry paste is widely available in supermarkets—just check the Asian aisle. We use both the green and red varieties, bearing in mind that the green is much hotter. For most dishes, we prefer the red. Actually, we own many different brands and colors of curry paste, but we tend to reach for the Thai Kitchen most often, simply because the glass jar is easier to deal with than a can. Little did we know that the jar label offered the best curry sauce recipe we've found so far.

Here's the version we made:

Thai Red Curry

1 t. peanut oil
1 1/2 T. red curry paste (spice lovers may want to use more)
1 can coconut milk
2 T. fish sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 package fake-chicken strips*
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced into quarter-inch strips
1 handful sugar snap peas
6 ounces cooked wheat noodles**
Cilantro, basil, or both to garnish

1. In a good-size saucepan, heat the peanut oil, then fry the curry paste for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk and let the mixture simmer for about five minutes.

2. Add the fish sauce, sugar, and broth, and bring back to a simmer. Add your protein, red pepper, and snap peas, and let them cook for a few minutes.

3.  Add the noodles and heat through.

4. Garnish with herbs and serve.

* Any protein would work well with this sauce, including real chicken, tofu, shrimp, or meat.

**Normally, we would serve the curry over rice, but we're once again trying to draw down our pantry stockpiles, so we used a package of curry-flavored noodles we bought a long time ago at Trader Joe. They were wonderful. Rice noodles would also be good.

1 comment:

  1. Love Thai food...all kinds, and great to have good kinds of ready curry that isn't full of concoctions with ingredients unheard of to the common person!