I used to think that cooking curries was a long, involved affair which started with a mise en place (read: pre-cooking prep) of 50 ingredients before even getting near the stove. I don’t know why I felt overwhelmed about this, but once I tried it, I couldn’t quite figure out what my problem was.
You see, the secret to cooking these curries is to have a few base ingredients in your fridge at all times. Try it once, repeat with different meat and veggie combos, and be converted. All you need is a bottle of fish sauce, a bottle of lime juice (yes, the squeezy plastic green lime shaped kind), a jar of Thai curry paste (and you can choose any flavour you like), a can of coconut milk and some brown sugar. If you’ve got this, you’re set for life. There, now you know the secret. It’s out. Share it with all your friends.
I most often make this dish with salmon, since I eat salmon once or twice a week, and I find the need to be creative with my fish dish preparations. This is a wonderful way of serving any kind of protein, though if you do use fish, select one with a firmer texture so that it will hold up better in this recipe. You will also want to reduce your cooking time for fish to just a few minutes, so that it stays nice and soft upon serving.
You can also serve this with your favourite rice, or, if you’re partnered with a guy like Meat and Tater Man, it pains me to say, potatoes. Because he will ask. Potatoes totally go against my culinary grain here, so try to convince your other half that you’re going to need those potatoes to serve along side the meatloaf you’re making tomorrow night. (There, now I feel better that I’ve prepared you for that inevitable question. You’re welcome.) Rice or noodles are the right starch for this beauty.
One last thing, and I promise we can start cooking. Cilantro. It’s a love or hate thing. You either want to put it on everything, like I do, or you think it tastes like the inside of a soap box. I hear ya’. No worries, I say. Parsley is an equally fantastic substitute, or, if you’re feeling naughty, leave your curry completely naked and free of green garnishes. I won’t tell anyone.
Oh, did I mention you can get this on the table in under a half hour?
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
Add the cauliflower, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Add the chicken, and cook 5 minutes more. Add the onions and peas, and cook for two minutes.
Place the cooked noodles in two pasta bowls, and pour the curry over top the noodles, and garnish with peanuts (if using) and cilantro. Serve right away.
A quick and easy curry that lends itself to endless combinations of protein and veggies!
- ½ package of rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 2 tbsp curry paste (yellow, green or red)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 can light coconut milk
- ½ small cauliflower, broken into bite sized florets
- 3 green onions (scallions), chopped
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ pound chicken, cut in cubes
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts (optional)
- A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the curry paste, brown sugar, fish sauce and lime juice.
- Add the coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cauliflower, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Add the green onions and peas, and cook for two minutes. Add the chicken, and cook 5 minutes more.
- Place the cooked noodles in two pasta bowls, and pour the curry over top the noodles, and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve right away.