Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dude's Guide to Cooking Thai Quickly, Yo!

When I first got into cooking it was to pick up chicks. It work(ed). Now, in a town where the Teriyaki Roll is comprised of cold rice with pieces of breaded chicken fingers wrapped inside, my skills have naturally blossomed.

So, Recipe #1 is my evolving basic, quick Thai curry that can be tweaked with almost anything available. This is easy easy easy, and I wish I knew it when I first started cooking. I would have picked up more chicks.

Basic Thai Curry
1 14oz can coconut milk - I like Arroy-D brand, cheaper stuff is too watery.
1 tbsp curry paste (green, red or yellow). Thai Kitchen brand is fine.
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves - shredded (use scissors) - I get these at Chinese grocers.
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I use the cubes)

1) Heat big pan or pot (which has a lid) at moderate heat (5).
2) Add 2-3 tbsp of condensed part of coconut milk. Add curry paste, mix together to ensure you have a consistent mixture without any clumps of paste.
3) Add remainder of coconut milk.
4) Add fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir. Add lime leaves and stock. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer on low for ~20-25 minutes, depending upon what you add.

That's it for the basics. It now depends upon what kind of curry you want. I like to stick with two to three vegetables and a meat or tofu, and sometimes I will add caramelized onions as a topping. I serve it with jasmine rice.

Recommendations (add once the curry is simmering):

Green Curry
Paste - green
Veg - green pepper (add at end 5 minutes before serving)
Veg - mushrooms or eggplant
Meat - chicken or pork (add once you have the curry on simmer)

Red Curry
Paste - red
Veg - red pepper (same as above)
Meat - chicken, beef slices.

Paste - red + 1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is best)
Veg - red pepper
Veg - potato (cut into thin slices, these will take ~ 25 minutes to cook).
Meat - chicken or beef


  1. Hmmm...Recipes are stretching the limits of the definition of "culture"...but I'll allow it for now.

    Nam Jai Brand curry paste is what they sell at Thai Away Home and some of the other Asian Supermarkets. It's pretty good.

    Do you use lime leaves or Kaffir Lime Leaves?

    As well, try making your own curry paste sometime. It's pretty easy. Gordon Ramsay has a Malaysian Curry recipe with some decent's pretty similar. Throw in some cilantro and you're halfway to a green curry paste.

  2. I forgot. Star Anise is a nice touch to add at the same time as the lime leaves. As well, some cinnamon bark never hurts either. And some lemon grass.

  3. I used Kaffir Lime Leaves. Never thought about Star Anise. Will try. This is all I got for culture right now, unless you want to hear about subchondral bone density at the proximal tibia and the effects of osteoarthritis?