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Red Thai Vegetable Curry

By Trollaxor in Culture
Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 05:36:40 AM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)

This week I purchased the ingredients for Red Thai Curry, a fantastic dish I was first introduced to at Bangkok Pavilion in my wonderful home of Kansas City. It has fantastic, varied texture, a medley of rose-tinted colors, and a scent sure to get any curry enthusiast's saliva glands working overtime.

After returning from the grocery store with my bag of goodies, I wasted no time in preparing my meal.

My shopping list included:

  • 1 bag sticky sushi rice
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Red Thai curry paste
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh anise leaves
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • lemon grass

Total time from preparation to serving is about 45 minutes, so set aside at least an hour just in case there's an unforeseen complication.

You Have No Chance -- Make Your Rice

In all honesty, you can use anything as the starchy substratum for your dish. Rice is traditional. I've also used Thai rice noodles and couscous. Whatever it is you'll be using, put it on now so that it's done by the time the Red Thai Curry is finished. Rice will take 20 minutes to cook, noodles slightly less time, and couscous only a few minutes. Add a pinch of salt and some olive oil to prevent sticking.

Curry Sauce Preparation

In a blender, add the can of coconut milk and 1 tbs. of the Red Thai curry paste (this amount can be adjusted to taste, but remember a littl bit goes a long way). Blend for several seconds until the coconut milk and curry paste are well-mixed.

Next, dump the coconut milk/curry paste mixture -- the curry sauce -- into a pot and put on low heat. Add to this several bay and anise leaves to taste. Usually, 3-6 of each is plenty.

Leave the pot and its contents to heat, but keep a wary eye against boiling.

Bouillant les Pois Vivants

You'll now take the frozen peas and heat them in a pot of water until they're fully thawed and rehydrated. Don't overcook them, however. And don't even think of adding butter to them -- that wold be disastrous for the taste of the final dish! Water and a pinch of salt will do fine.

It's Time Cut Vegetables

Dice the tomato, taking care to scoop out its watery parts, as you generally only want the denser bits. Too much tomato juice can alter the taste of the curry sauce and throw the entire dish off-balance, leading to a dissatisfaction with Red Thai Curry.

Cut the stem and very bottom off of the pepper and core it with care -- pepper seeds are not part of this dish or its texture, and to include them would make obvious to all involved that you're a sloppy curry chef. Wash to make sure any seeds are removed, as well as nasty store chemicals. This is supposed to be a healthy dish. Proceed to cut the pepper into strips.

Opinions on how best to include the onion in this dish vary wildly, with some camps claming dicing works the most favorably while others prefer to cut the onion into longer pieces like the pepper. I am of the latter school of thought, but feel free to deviate on this part in whatever manner suits you. Peel the onion, cut its top and bottom off, and choose wisely from this point on.

Cut the lemon grass into strips of similar size to the pepper.

Set all of these vegetables in a large dish full of water and salt.

Putting It All Together

Drain the peas and vegetables and stir them into the now-simmering curry sauce, making sure the vegetables are well-covered in their milky orange-red bath. Place a lid loosely on the pot -- so as to allow steam to escape, thickening the sauce -- and let simmer for 20 minutes. Set a timer to ensure you don't overcook the veggies. Flimsy vegetables with no crunch at all will ruin this dish and your reputation in your curry circles. You want the veggies to retain their texture and crunch.

Serving Red Thai Curry

Place 1 cup of your rice or noodles in a bowl, followed by 1-3 ladles of Red Thai Curry. Repeat as necessary, and enjoy an icy mint tea to accompany it.


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Favorite Thai Curry?
o Green 47%
o Red 41%
o Yellow 11%

Votes: 34
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
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o Also by Trollaxor

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Red Thai Vegetable Curry | 48 comments (21 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
A six pack of Singha would be a good choice (2.83 / 6) (#2)
by Adam Rightmann on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:01:47 PM EST

to complement this meal, as well as a pot of green tea. At least that's how I take my Thai.

In my experience (2.00 / 5) (#8)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:48:38 PM EST

Singha (or any beer, for that matter) doesn't go well with Thai. I prefer my Thai with lubricated extra-strength Trojans. Ribbed, for her pleasure.

"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"

[ Parent ]
"Her"? (2.33 / 3) (#16)
by Dr Gonzo on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 12:18:51 AM EST

Are you sure about that?

"I felt the warmth spread across my lap as her bladder let loose." - MichaelCrawford
[ Parent ]

Well, a hole is a hole is a hole /nt (none / 1) (#28)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 09:19:00 AM EST

"What's next, sigging a k5er quote about sigging someone on k5?"

[ Parent ]
Shame on you! (none / 1) (#34)
by wobblywizard on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 03:39:21 PM EST

For that blatantly obviuos sexual connotation! What were you thinking... 0!

You never win an argument with anyone who fucks you or signs your paychecks. I just smile, bite my lip and sip my drink. --Philalawyer
[ Parent ]

curry paste (3.00 / 4) (#9)
by forgotten on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:46:34 PM EST

it makes a huge difference what you use as your curry paste. the supermarket ones are pretty reasonable these days but its worth the effort to look into homemade recipes.

when i first visited thailand i was on some village tour group and along the way watched a woman making green curry paste. absolutely incredible flavor - they were selling the paste separately (of course) and i bought heaps of it*. it was just sold in tiny plastic bags with a twist top. with that paste you couldnt go wrong, i made the most delicious curries i have ever tasted.

also, why do you recommend sushi rice? jasmine rice suits thai food much better.

* these were examined at the airport, and i assumed they would be opened. but they let them through.


hell (1.25 / 4) (#10)
by speek on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:58:09 PM EST

If we can vote up a chili recipe that leaves out garlic and cumin, we can vote this shit up.

al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

+1 I love Thai curry. (2.66 / 3) (#12)
by Psycho Dave on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 10:20:34 PM EST

Just a few things...

Be sure to add at least four cloves of diced garlic.

Throw in a couple of Thai peppers. If you can't find Thai peppers, substitute serrano or even habanero peppers.

Toss in a red pepper and some carrots as well.

Add you favorite meat. Chicken or cubed beef will do. Frying tofu in sesame oil and adding it to the curry is also wonderful.

And at least half a cup of brown sugar.

Wow, K5 is becoming the Martha Stewart of online communities.

Next stop: prison! [nt] (2.33 / 3) (#21)
by rusty on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 03:17:27 AM EST

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Rice (2.50 / 2) (#14)
by Uber Banker on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 10:55:50 PM EST

Add a pinch of salt and some olive oil to prevent sticking.

Then why use sticky rice? Thai rice (Jasmine) is best and v. easy to find, and should be sticky, that is the point. Though sticky != soggy, use around the same amount as water as rice and cook in a rice cooker, or boil/steam in a saucepan w/ lid until all the water is absorbed.

If you don't have the right kind of cooker (none / 1) (#26)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 08:57:49 AM EST

the rice will glue itself to the sides of your pot. Very annoying. It will still stick to itself just fine after adding the tsp of olive oil.

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it is insane. - Obscure Chinese Proverb
[ Parent ]
Okay everyone (1.10 / 20) (#15)
by Jason the Mathematical Solo Guitarist on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 11:45:25 PM EST

move to vote this piece of shit (lol)

In a math sense this sig is just applied group theory: what we are talking about is the decomposition of the direct product of 2 irreducible representations of the rotation group into a direct sum of irreducible representations

-1 no discussion of the paste (2.66 / 3) (#33)
by hawthorne on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 03:09:19 PM EST

The heart and soul of a Thai curry comes from the paste, just as it does from the masala for an Indian  curry.

To say, essentially, 'to make thai red curry, buy some thai red curry paste and follow the instructions' seems like a bit of a cop-out to me!

Also, what happened to the kaffir lime leaves and nam pla?

use double quotes next time (2.00 / 7) (#39)
by Your Moms Cock on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 12:41:13 AM EST

that was incorrect punctuation you used. this isnt a computer programming environment we are using ENGLISH here people

Mountain Dew cans. Cat hair. Comic book posters. Living with the folks. Are these our future leaders, our intellectual supermen?

[ Parent ]
Amen to that (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by FishermansEnemy on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 06:54:54 AM EST

I agree completely, brought paste is simple a cop-out. Here is my receipe for Thai green curry:


  1. cloves of garlic
  2. Green chillies, 1 whole, 1 seeded and one half seeded depending on taste
  3. inch Gamangal or root ginger
  4. stems of lemongrass
  5. small handfull of kafir lime leaves
  6. zest of a lime
  7. tblsp Nam-pla ( Thai fish sauce ). This is ESSENTIAL
a good bunch of corriander ( about 50g )

Blend this all in a food processor ( or a pestle and mortar if you really don't like yourself ) until it forms a paste.

Heat a wok to a medium-high heat and add a tblsp of vegtetable oil. Quickly fry the paste for a few seconds, this is just to take the edge of the garlic. Add 500g of diced chicken and fry in the paste for a few minutes. Add some veg ( I usually use mange-tout, baby corn and mushrooms ) and fry for a few minutes more.

Add 1 can of coconut milk ( or coconut cream if you prefer a thicked consistancy ) and simmer. While this is simerming cook a large cup of washed basmati rice ( for two people ) in a saucepan for 3 minutes. Taste the rice to make sure it is tender, then drain and serve.

When you are ready to serve the curry mix in the juice of 2 limes, serve onto the rice and garnish with some corriander. enjoy.
------------------- If you think my attitude stinks you should smell my fingers.
[ Parent ]

Incorrect (none / 0) (#45)
by FredBloggs on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 05:49:12 PM EST

> # tblsp Nam-pla ( Thai fish sauce ). This is

Making vegetarian or vegan thai dishes is extremely easy.

[ Parent ]

Fish sauce = suck. (none / 0) (#46)
by Trollaxor on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 07:50:18 PM EST

[ Parent ]
A request (2.33 / 3) (#36)
by EvilGwyn on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 11:34:45 PM EST

Can you follow up with the sequels:

Green Thai Chicken Curry
Blue Thai Curry


lame! (none / 1) (#44)
by emilevl on Mon Dec 13, 2004 at 10:33:38 PM EST

As much as I applaud and share your enthusiams for cooking, a red thai curry with INSTANT PASTE, taking you 45 minutes to finish, is a really lame excuse for it. E

I dont want to sound elitist... (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by tonyenkiducx on Thu Dec 16, 2004 at 09:36:35 AM EST

..but I'm going too. Adding red curry paste to some basic ingredients and adding the completely wrong kind of rice is not a thai curry. Make your own paste with a combination of chillis(Lots of them), corriander, garlic and a little cumin(And anything else you feel like). Thai cooking is based on experiment, so add anything you want and see what it tastes like. Dont let the jar tell you how it should be, just keep trying different things!

I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
Now Now (none / 1) (#48)
by tonyenkiducx on Fri Dec 17, 2004 at 07:11:30 AM EST

Negative rating people who dont like your article is very bad form. I'd learn something from the comments, I'll even share some of my recipes for different pastes if you want? Tony@Work.

I see a planet where love is foremost, where war is none existant. A planet of peace, and a planet of understanding. I see a planet called
[ Parent ]
Red Thai Vegetable Curry | 48 comments (21 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
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