Monday, January 6, 2014

Thai Red Curry

Hands down, my favorite Thai dish is red curry.  Salty, sweet, with just enough heat, I think it's a great way to spice up the average weeknight.  After a lot of tweaking and plenty of mediocre curries, we've finally got the recipe just right that yields a great curry time after time.  And best of all, it ends up being pretty quick!

You'll notice that I use prepared red curry paste as part of this recipe.  Though I'm very much a from-scratch type of girl, I did some research and quickly learned that making my own curry paste was not an easy thing to tackle.  

Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry
serves 4-6

1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
1 small chopped onion
1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, diced
2.5 tablespoons jarred red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is the most accessible)
1 can regular coconut milk
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons red chile-garlic paste (adjust to your heat preference)
1-2 pounds raw meat of choice, cubed or sliced (optional - omit for a vegetarian or Meatless Monday meal)
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
Assorted vegetables, cut to your preference, such as bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, etc
1/2 cup rough chopped basil (Thai basil, if available)

Heat oil in a large wok or skillet.  When hot, add chopped onion and ginger, and stir until onions soften, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the diced garlic and the red curry paste.  If you're using heartier vegetables that need time to soften, such as carrots, add them now.  Stir fry 1-2 minutes.

Add the light and regular coconut milks to the wok.  Stir to incorporate the red curry paste.  Add chicken stock, and bring to a very light simmer (do not boil).

Stir in the brown sugar, fish sauce, and chile-garlic paste.  Keeping the mixture at a low simmer, add the raw meat and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until meat is fully cooked.

Sift the cornstarch lightly into the curry, stirring constantly to ensure the cornstarch gets fully incorporated into the sauce without clumping.

Add any remaining vegetables that have a quick cook time or should remain slightly crunchy ("tender-crisp"), such as bell peppers or pea pods.  Also add the basil.  Simmer for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve with freshly cooked rice, and enjoy!


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