I had my first taste of Thai Red Curry at a little take-out place on Commercial Drive and I never looked back since; I love the bold flavours and colours and the perfect combo of spicy and sweet. Here’s a simple recipe for the Thai food enthusiast, just as easy as counting to two.
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced (I like using red onions for colour)
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 red peppers
Something green (zucchini, green peans, snow peas, brocolli, etc)
2 lbs chicken fillets (or 2-4 chicken breasts thinly sliced)
1-2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar (palm sugar is more authentic, but brown sugar work fine)
1 can coconut milk
Put some jasmine rice on to cook (2 cups for a family 5: 2 adults and 3 small children who love rice)
Heat up coconut oil in a large wok then add the onions and garlic and sautee on medium-high heat until fragrant (around 2 minutes). Then add your pre-chopped veggies and sautee until “al dente” – mostly cooked but with just the tiniest bit of crunch left. Remove veggies and onions from pan and place to the side.
Next, add your chicken pieces and broth to the pan, cover with the lid, and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked.
Once the chicken is cooked through, I recommend setting aside a few pieces of chicken for the kids because now it’s going to get pretty spicy!
Add 2 TBSP curry paste, 2 TBSP fish sauce, 2 TBSP brown sugar, and the juice of 2 limes to your chicken and broth and stir it in well until completely dissolved. (Side Note: the curry paste is quite spicy. You could try starting with a little less but that will also cut back on the flavour.)
Reduce heat to a medium simmer and add the veggie/onion/garlic back into the mix. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer uncovered on medium to low heat to let all the flavours blend together. Salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is an art not a science! I have toyed with this recipe quite a bit and have found the rule of 2 yields great results, but your tastes might differ from mine so go ahead and adjust to taste 🙂 But I recommend adjusting in very small amounts because some of these ingredients really pack a punch. See my adjustment recommendations below.
Here are my adjustment recommendations:
To increase punchiness add more fish sauce (with equal parts sugar)- start with a teaspoon or less. This stuff is intense.
To increase meaty/saltiness try a little bit of chicken bouillion (in cube form)- start with a quarter cube go from there. A little bit of soy sauce might do the trick as well. But just a little bit. Or salt could work too 🙂
To increase sweetness add more sugar. Start with a little bit.
To increase zesty/ sourness add more lime juice. Start with a half or even just one wedge.
Any veggies can work! Yams or Pumpkin (sweet pumpkin is amazing), Eggplant, Bamboo shoots are all great. Anything that would work in a curry or stir-fry works here.