Cooking with Mikaila - Thai Curry
Notes on making Thai curry with a commercial paste for first timers. It is REALLY EASY!!!Once you’ve made it once, you’ll have a quick mid week recipe at the ready
Although there are extras you can include, like kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, fish sauce and (sustainable) palm sugar, you can definitely get away without these. Really, what you need is the paste, a little oil, a can of coconut milk and veggies/protein to go with it.
How much heat do you like? When you go shopping, have a look at the ingredients of the red and green pastes. The most common ingredients are listed first, so if you want less heat, choose a paste where chili isn’t first on the list. If that’s not an option, just use less when you get home. You can buy small glass jars of paste mix, single serve packs and larger packs. Popular brands are Mae Ploy , Ayam and Five Tastes. We’ll be making a Green curry with chicken with a Mae Ploy mix. Some tell you to use a different amount for a can of coconut milk, so follow the amount there.
Step 1: Get your rice on. If you’re a rice cooker user, you know what to do
Step 2: If you’re cooking rice in a saucepan, wash 2 cups in several changes of cold water – until the water remains fairly clear. This process removes excess starch, which makes rice stick.
Step 3: Add your washed rice with 3 cups of tap water to a pot that has 3 x more space than needed, and a tight fitting lid.
Leave the lid off, bring to the boil, then give a quick stir, turn the temperature on low and leave for 10 minutes. Don’t take the lid off! Once 10 minutes is up, take off the hear and rest (with lid on) for 5-10 minutes for the rest of the water to absorb
Chop your vegetables into bite sized pieces (e.g. 2cm, make nice angled shapes)
Chop your protein up– chicken and tofu into 2cm pieces, steak and pork into 1cm thin slices then cut into bite sized pieces. Leave prawns whole. (Only use one protein!)
Get a medium saucepan, on medium heat. Add your oil and curry paste. Follow the amount the pack says for a can of coconut mix, and if you’re not into heat, use half the first time.
Saute the paste until the raw smell is gone. If you’re including onions, add them now, so the raw taste is cooked out
Add the ingredient that needs the most cooking e.g. Sweet potato/eggplant/pumpkin/carrot/chicken.
Saute in the spice paste for a minute or so, then add all of the coconut milk, ½ cup of water and kaffier lime leaves (optional).
Bring to a simmer
Once the heavier ingredients are almost cooked, add the faster ones e.g. beef, prawns, broccoli, tofu/beans. Simmer until all are cooked
Take off the heat and taste. If it’s a bit bland, add some fish sauce / salt (start with 1 tsp fish sauce / ½ tsp salt , stir then taste again). If it’s too spicy, add a little sweetness e.g. 1 tsp sugar (palm sugar if you have it – regular if not). If it’s way too hot, add some extra emergency coconut milk/cream. It will take the heat out, but will also reduce the overall flavor, so put a tbs at a time.
Once you’re happy with the seasoning, add a squeeze of lime and the fresh herbs (if you have them). Serve up!
Choose your protein based on what you like. Chicken is a popular option, but tofu, beef, pork and prawns are good too. Get cuts that are quick to cook, no bone or skin. See what veggies you have in the fridge/freezer and stick to 1-2 (3 at most). Only have one carby or sweet vegetable (e.g. pumpkin or sweet potato), and the rest lighter options.
Here is an image of ingredients I’ve used, with two options for curry pastes – a jar and a single serve pack.
For the curry sauce
50gm Commercial Thai curry paste (Green or Red)
1 tablespoon neutral flavoured oil
1 can of good quality coconut milk
½ cup of water
1 ½ tsp sugar (to taste)
½ teaspoon salt (to taste)
Protein and veggies
400gm of protein e.g. firm tofu / chicken thigh fillets / beef (Sirloin /Round /Flank Steak
400gm of vegetables (1-2 types) e.g. carrots/ zucchini/ pumpkin/ beans/ broccoli/eggplant/peas
2 cups of long grain rice
3 cups of cold water
(or cauliflower rice/konjac rice if you’re eating low carb)
Herbs: half a bunch of coriander or Thai basil
2 fresh Kaffir lime leaves
Fish sauce and palm sugar (or, use the regular salt and sugar you see in the curry section)