06 December 2013

Fall chores and a warming Thai curry

Now that the leaves have finished falling, it's time to start picking them up. Walt got the rake and wheelie bin out yesterday and started the job.

In the kitchen, I had the rest of the Shanghai choy to deal with. This time, I decided to make a Thai-style coconut milk curry to serve with it. I made a red curry, using a kind of home-made curry paste to color, flavor, and spice up the cocnut milk.

The main two ingredients in the red curry paste are Sriracha sauce, a sweet-hot Thai pepper sauce, and tomato paste — about 2 tablespoons of each. To that, I added a tablespoonful of finely grated ginger and the same amount of finely chopped basil leaves, both out of jars that I bought at the Asian market in Tours.

For good measure, I put in a couple of pinches of piment fort (cayenne pepper) and a tablespoonful of Tandoori Massala, which is a red curry powder from India. That might sound like a lot of spice, but the paste has to be pungent enough to flavor 400 milliliters, or about 1½ cups, of coconut milk. A good squirt of Thai fish sauce added flavor too.

We made the Thai curry dish with tofu, and with a few shrimps as a garnish. The vegetables were carrots, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and baby corn (from a tin, of course). Again, stir-frying things separately or in batches, depending on how much cooking time a specific vegetable needs to be cooked to the right degree, worked really well. At the last minute, you put all the prepared and pre-cooked ingredients back into the pan with the curry sauce and just let everything heat through.

For the tofu, I cut it into pieces and put them on a silicone pad in the oven at high temperature to brown them slightly and dry the tofu out a little. I put the tofu pieces on top of the curried vegetables and noodles because they were fragile, and the shrimp on top, too, as a decoration. We cooked some noodles to go with the vegetables and tofu, and I cooked the choy as I did last time, braising it for two or three minutes in simmering water. Serve it separately.

This is a really easy recipe to make if you can get the ingredients, and it can be as spicy as you like it.


  1. Years ago, once a week, Frank and I used to go to a Thai restaurant, here in Arlington, in our shopping center. We always had #42 for dinner because we weren't adventurous enough to try something else! N° 42 didn't look at all like what you cooked here. As I recall, it was some beef with rice or noodle and some other odd things. It was good, though! Now, I switched to a newer Japanese restaurant and I like that better.

    Is that pan really non-bâton [non-stick]?

  2. Anything with coconut milk, and I'm in!

  3. I love thai and japanese food. The photos are so pretty, I am sure the food was delicious.

  4. Inspired. Everything sounds delicious with red curry sauce! And your sauce sounds quite special.

  5. Ken, I need to put some plastic over my computer, since I am drooling so much! Brilliant to brown the tofu in the oven, to avoid the extra fat!

  6. Why tofu? I've always heard it has no taste.

  7. C in Calif., LOL.

    Starman, I guess you could say the same thing about other fairly bland foods like rice, noodles, potatoes. They are good to eat though and they convey the flavors of the other ingredients they are cooked with, n'est-ce pas? Tofu is good for you, I think.


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