Thai curry pasta: what is it?
These famous curry pastes ready to use allow you to make ultra simple recipes and they guarantee bouquet of flavors pretty incredible. Thanks to these culinary preparations, the essential chicken with curry immediately takes on another dimension. And you no longer have to go to Asian grocery stores to get them, they are sold in most supermarkets.
You can also prepare them yourself, the dough will be even more fragrant. There are as many recipes as there are cooks, but the curry pasta usually contain garlic, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, shrimp paste, shallots, coriander, Thai basil and of course chili.
The chilli pepper is essential, even the color of the pasta depends on it: green chilli for green curry pasta, red pepper for Red curry paste. On the other hand, the yellow pepper does not necessarily enter into the composition of the yellow curry paste, it is especially the turmeric which gives it its color.
You never know too much which color to choose, and there are even debate on the most spicy color! The yellow dough is the sweetest, but it is between the green and the red that it gets complicated: in general, among the pots that are found in the supermarket (on which the power is sometimes indicated), it is the the most spicy red curry paste, certainly because in the minds of consumers, red is associated with danger! In contrast, in Thai restaurants, it is usually the green curry recipes that are the spiciest.
Fortunately, the Thai people all agree: the color of the curry paste has no effect on its strength, it depends on the one hand on how it was prepared, and on the other hand amount of dough used in the recipe.
Thai curry pastes: how to use them?
With a jar of curry paste and coconut milk, you can improvise a multitude of very simple recipes.
It’s faster with a wok, but you can also prepare curries in a pan or in a frying pan.
We always start by return curry paste in sesame or coconut oil, but it works with all neutral oils.
Then we add a little all that we have on hand, usually someonion or someshallot, of ginger, of the citronella crushed,garlic, a little of nuoc man to salt, and a touch of sugar to soften the chili fire. In Thailand it’s palm sugar, but it works very well with honey or even caster sugar.
Next come the ingredients for the recipe: meat, poultry, fish, seafood or vegetables, which are quickly browned before pouring in the coconut milk.
We can also reverse the order, and poach the ingredients directly into the heated coconut milk. Chicken, for example, will be particularly tender if it is just poached.
And as in most Asian recipes, the ingredients must be cut into small pieces to allow very quick cooking.
Curry paste should always be diluted in liquid. We usually use coconut milk, but it also works with broth. And to get a smoother sauce, you can mix coconut milk with coconut cream, or even add a good spoon of heavy cream.
To make a green curry, chicken or shrimp, then add small Thai eggplant diced, but when you don't have time to go to the Asian grocery store, you can use traditional eggplants, or even cut green beans, mushrooms or peppers.
We can then add some cashew nut (unsalted) crushed, which can be replaced with almonds, peanuts or sesame seeds, just to bring a crunchy touch to the recipe.
Finally we perfume with leaves of kaffir (the tree that gives the combawa), or lemon tree, but this is optional, unlike the fresh herbs that are added when serving. It’s usually about coriander and leaves thai basil, with an anise flavor so typical, but again, for lack of Thai basil, classic basil will do the trick, and if we only have parsley or chives, we improvise with the means at hand!
The principle of Thai curry is that you can adjust it to its sauce, depending on the contents of the fridge and cupboards.
Ditto for the choice of colors: we generally use yellow curry paste for fish recipes, green for chicken or shrimp, and red for meats such as minced beef. But then again, we can make chicken with red curry paste if that's the one we prefer, and we dose the paste according to its fire resistance of the pepper!
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