Quick Thai Curry
A few nights ago I ran in the house after a long day at work and threw this meal together. Desperate for something other than rice and beans or stir-fry for dinner, an open can of coconut milk inspired this meal, and surprisingly, it took very little time or effort. You can use any veggies or protein you like (chicken, tofu, fish, etc...) and alter the sweetness and spiciness to your taste.
Curries are a staple of many cuisines around the world. There are tons of details when it comes to specific spice mixtures and techniques for making these curries. This recipe is my loose interpretation (read not traditional) of a type of Thai curry, using the ingredients I had in my cabinet. The flavor is like a Panang curry, but it looks yellow, rather than red, because I didn't have red pepper or curry paste in the house. The basic elements that give this curry a Thai flavor are the fish sauce, ginger, coconut milk and raw sugar. To keep this dish on the lighter side, I used only half a can of coconut milk mixed with water, rather than a full can or more of coconut milk as the base. Feel free to play with this recipe to make it your own.
Simple Thai Curry
Serves 4 to 6 people
2 medium onions, sliced in medium wedges
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon ginger, finely grated
3 Tablespoons neutral oil
Half of a hot pepper, thinly sliced or a few pinches red pepper flakes (spice to your taste)
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used a red sambar masala powder* that is strong in flavor, you may want more curry if yours is not so strong in taste)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, for color (optional)
1 pound tofu (firm), cubed, or other protein, sliced chicken, white fish pieces etc...
Veggies of your choice, I used 2 large zucchini's and 2 small heads broccoli (sweet peppers, green beans, frozen peas, snow peas or any other vegetables you like are also great).
1/2 of a 14oz can of full fat coconut milk (approximately 1 cup)**
2 cups water
1 to 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (made from anchovies and salt)
2 Tablespoons raw sugar (or brown sugar) - less if you like it less sweet
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 cups of rice cooked - I topped mine with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and chopped scallions
1 lime sliced in wedges
Cilantro leaves (for those who like it)
- Put Rice on to cook while you make the curry.
- Sauté onions in oil in a heavy bottomed sauté pan or medium pot, over medium-high heat until translucent, but not browned. Turn heat down to low and add garlic, ginger and hot pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally so they don't burn, and the raw edge is taken off of them. Add curry powder, turmeric, and salt and stir in.
- Add water, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
- Add tofu or other protein and cook for 2 minutes. Add vegetables. Cover and cook at a simmer until protein and vegetables are cooked through. If using broccoli, you might want to cook it separately in a steamer and add in at the end, so it is more green in color, but it's also fine to cook it all in one pot.
- Serve over rice with lime wedges to garnish, plus cilantro if you enjoy it.
*My favorite Sambar Masala Curry Powder (Indian, not Thai)
** My favorite canned coconut milk Aroy-D
What are some of your favorite quick meals? Please comment below!