Thai curry straight from Thailand

Two months ago, in September, my husband and I had our third wedding anniversary, which we happened to spend with a bucket of buffalo chicken wings in a shabby motel somewhere on the road to Las Vegas. We made up for it the very next day in a luxurious hotel where we had a fancy dinner in a Thai restaurant.

We were lucky enough to be able to spend our actual honeymoon in Thailand, on Koh Samui. One day during our stay, the hotel was organising a cooking lesson – I didn’t have to be asked twice whether or not I want to attend it!

Each participant prepared a four course meal that was later shared with a partner. I can tell you that the portions were so generous that we couldn’t even eat half of it (and it’s not because it was uneatable. Or so I hope)

The meals were as follows:

  • Sesame and Prawns Toasts
  • Spicy Prawn Soup – Tom Yum Kung
  • Chicken in Red Curry – Kaeng Phed Kai
  • Bananas in Coconut Cream – Kluai Buat Chi

Today, I wish to share with you the Red Curry recipe that I’ve been making ever since at home

Chicken in Red Curry

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs of red curry paste (but fresh home-made one is preferable!)
  • 1 & half cup(400ml) of coconut cream (I use coconut milk instead)
  • 50g Thai baby eggplant (I can’t get it in Dublin so I use small chopped courgette or eggplant)
  • half a bunch of Thai basil leaves
  • 2 tsp  palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200g chicken fillets, sliced
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • red chilis, sliced (amount depends on how hot you like it)
  • 1 tbs fish sauce

Preparation

  • Fry the curry paste in oil until fragrant, reduce heat and add 1/2 a cup of can coconut cream, a little at a time, stirring until the coconut cream begins to have an oily sheen
  • Add the rest of coconut cream and the sugar. Add fish sauce to taste, and heat. When boiling, add the eggplant, kaffir lime leaves and cook a short time
  • Add slices of chicken and cook a short time
  • Add basil, red chilies and remove from heat
  • Serve with basmati or jasmine rice

I can get most of the ingredients in Dublin (dried kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce is available for example in Tesco) and some are only available in Asian stores. It is easy though to find replacement and use brown sugar instead of palm sugar and our good old European sweet basil instead of the Thai variety. I don’t use coconut cream as I find it perfectly fine, although slightly more runny/watery, with coconut milk. I also like to add a bit or sweet & sour kick to it by adding fresh pineapple

It is a very easy and quick recipe and always tastes delicious. Any suggestion on how to make it even better?

During our cooking class we got a recipe for a home made red curry paste, which is not so complicated at all and most ingredients are easily available. I won’t publish it here as I can’t make out my scribbles and I am not sure about the proportions of the ingredients…

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