It is no secret that I love Thai food. I love the spiciness and flavours that come out of the food. I have taken note of ingredients at various Thai restaurants I have visited and one thing I have noticed that there aren’t really any rules for what ingredients go into a Red Thai Curry. The one thing common in all the recipes I have tasted is coconut milk, red thai curry paste and rice of varied kind. The meat is by choice and the vegetables are pretty much the choice of the chef on the night.
Today, while visiting the Oriental supermarket I frequent regularly, I spoke with a lovely Thai woman who was most helpful in directing me to what pastes I should buy. To paraphrase what she told me – Always go for the pastes which are written totally in Thai, they are generally the pastes used by the natives.
My recipe below is basically what this “chef” enjoys. I have, however, included other ingredients which are just as good. The meal takes about 30 minutes to cook and prepare.
Red Thai Curry Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons of red Thai curry paste
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 300 – 400 grams of chopped meat – prawn, chicken, beef, duck or firm fish
- 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 shallots peeled and sliced root to shoot
- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (or palm sugar)
- couple dashes of fish sauce
- olive oil or rapeseed oil
- 1 cup of rice (personal choice of variety)
- ½ a lime
- few coriander leaves
- vegetables – choose 4-5 from the list below (I have * my favourite)
- * young green beans cut into 2 inch length
- bean sprouts
- * fresh pineapple chunks (ideal when using chicken or duck)
- bamboo shoots
- halved cherry tomatoes
- * bell peppers (red, yellow or green)
- * carrots peeled and sliced diagonally through
- small outside broccoli spears
- small outside cauliflower spears
- * baby eggplant (brinjal or aubergine)
- baby courgette
- baby corn cut into 1 to 1½ inch lengths
Thai Red Curry Cooking Directions
Start cooking the rice prior to preparing the ingredients.
Don’t be afraid to chop the vegetables slightly more chunky than you normally do.
Mix the Thai red curry paste together with the coconut milk. Don’t worry sometimes the coconut milk has separated just make sure you mix well until smooth.
In a cold pan add a couple dashes of olive oil and veggies except if you are using tomatoes or pineapple, they should be added later.
Turn the heat onto a medium-high temperature when you begin hearing the sizzling, add the meat and garlic. If you are using prawn, don’t add them yet.
After a minute of stirring and tossing the ingredients in the pan, add the coconut and curry paste and stir.
Add the fish sauce and sugar.
Turn the heat down to a medium heat.
Wait until the liquid begins to boil add in the tomatoes or pineapple if being used and if you are using prawn, you can add this now too.
Turn the heat to very low for 2-3 minutes, then remove the heat altogether.
I like to make a dome of rice by placing the rice into a small bowl or cup and pressing it firmly into the bowl before placing it onto a plate. It takes me back to the days of building sand castles. To make it slightly easier, you can place the plate over the cup and them turn them both upside down and releasing the rice.
Dish up the curry around the rice and fill up with the balance of the sauce.
Squeeze the lime over the top of the curry and sprinkle some coriander leaves over the top.
Serve and enjoy.
This recipe will be pretty damn tasty the first time you try it, but you will find things that you like more than others and will tweak it each time you make it. It gets better each time and your guests will be impressed.