Thai vegetable curry is one of my go-to meals. It is easy, delicious, and healthy. I can cut up the vegetables earlier in the day and then finish the dish right before dinner. You do need to buy a few “specialty” type ingredients, but once you have them you may find that you use them all the time. IT’S THAT GOOD!
Ok, so I’m going to give you a play by play of how I make the dish.
Below you can see our cast of characters:
8 or so cups of Mixed Veggies
1 Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk
1 1/2 T of Curry Paste
1-2 t of Fish Sauce
2 t of Sugar
You can choose any number of your favorite veggies. This time I went with onion, red pepper, baby broccoli and asparagus.
Start with a curry paste, which you can easily buy through Amazon. I don’t have any affiliation with Amazon, but I am pretty sure they were made specifically for spoonies. The brand of curry paste is important. It will not be delicious if you use an American brand from your local grocery store. I promise there is a big difference. I like the Mae Ploy brand. This time I used the Massaman paste, but they also have Red, Green, and Panang, which are all just as delicious.
Take about a Tablespoon and a Half of the curry paste and put it in your wok or other pan.
Turn the heat on medium low and let the paste brown for just a minute or so. You can toast it in a little bit of oil or without oil if your pan doesn’t stick. Toasting the curry paste before you get started ensures the flavor will be fully developed in the final dish. Just be careful not to burn it!
After a minute or two of toasting, add your can of coconut milk. Use a full-fat version, because I have tried it with the low fat kind and the difference was huge. Not nearly as good!
At first, it will look like a mess. It will take a few minutes of stirring for everything to meld together. I take a spatula and smoosh the pieces of paste against the bottom of the wok, which really helps incorporate everything. After a few minutes of smooshing….
The mixture should look something like this, with varying color depending on which type of paste you use. At this point, you add about 1-2 teaspoons of fish sauce and another two teaspoons of sugar. I get my fish sauce at a local Asian grocery store, but you can also order it online. Please don’t be grossed out by the fish sauce. It will not taste like fish in the end. It simply adds a deliciously salt, umami flavor that can’t really be replicated with anything else that I know of. If you are scared of it, do be sure to add a bit of salt though.
After the fish sauce and sugar comes the veggies. This time I added them in two batches based on cooking times.
I added the baby broccoli and onion first because I thought they would take longer to cook. The whole time you are cooking the coconut milk mixture and veggies, be sure your heat is on medium low to low. You do not want the coconut mixture to boil or else it will develop into a not quite as pleasant texture. I don’t know the technical details, just that it tastes so much better if it doesn’t boil. This is so important – it will make the difference between the end result being ok and amazing. So, make sure it only simmers!
A few minutes later I added the red pepper and asparagus. Please, please don’t overcook the vegetables. Mushy vegetables are gross. Well, in my opinion I like to keep quite a bit of crunch in my vegetables, so I am quite careful to not overcook.
Today I decided to serve the curry over rice noodles, but usually I use brown rice. Today I had extra spoons, so I went with the rice noodles. Hurray! They are delicious.
The finished product turned out amazing. The sauce is thick, rich, and spicy. The vegetables fresh and crispy. Together with the rice noodles it tastes better than the Thai take out around me. So much better. The recipe sounds complicated, but it is honestly incredibly easy once you get the hang of it.