Thai Red Curry

The transition into springtime here in the Twin Cities has been a slow and painful process. There will be one or two days of beautiful weather and then it will be cold, windy and gray. The whole thing has put me in a cooking funk. I don’t want the hearty soups or carb-heavy pastas with super cheesy sauce but it’s not quite the time for summer salads and meals revolving around the grill.

So what to make?

This girl decided that Thai Red Curry is the most delicious compromise. Full of vibrant vegetables swimming in coconut milk served with a bowl of fluffy white rice. Bright and fresh yet still substantial.

This dish has evolved over the years, inspired by my favorite Thai restaurant in Durham, Twisted Noodles. I think I have it just about right now. I’ve tried to estimate the ingredient measurements this last time, but to be honest, I usually just eyeball it.

Thai Red Curry

3-4 cups cooked white rice
3/4 cup cut green beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4-5 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 can coconut milk (~14 oz)
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 teaspoons roasted red chili paste
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
3-4 sprigs of thai basil, for garnish

Start by cooking your rice!

(I have many times in the past, started chopping and cooking my curry without starting my rice and by the time the rice has finished cooking I am starving.)

Meanwhile, chop  the vegetables.

I like:

Green beans.

Red bell pepper


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep-sided pan.

Add the chopped vegetables and cook over high heat, 5-7 minutes.

Add coconut milk and water.

Stir in:

Red curry paste

Roasted red chili paste

Fish sauce

Dark brown sugar

Let simmer over med-low heat, about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice.

What really makes this dish is Thai basil, but I wasn’t quite willing to shell out the $3 at the store for a single ounce of the stuff. You can often find these plants at the farmer’s market and I would encourage all to add it to their herb gardens. It will definitely be in mine. But, even without the basil this is a fantastic dish. I often make it with chicken – cooking the chicken and then adding the vegetables and proceeding as described above.

But really Minneapolis – I am begging you to show your nicer side.


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