When asked to choose a favorite ethnic-style of food, Thai usually rises to the surface. Why? Their cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge—right up my alley. Thai chef McDang characterizes their food as demonstrating “intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, good flavor, as well as care being given to the food’s appearance, smell and context.”
Traditional Thai cuisine loosely falls into four categories: tom (boiled dishes), yam (spicy salads), tam (pounded foods), and gaeng (curries)—the last of which, we are concentrating on with this recipe. Found on DamnDelicious.net, this Easy Thai Red Curry tastes just like a restaurant-version, except perhaps better and certainly cheaper!
Do you recall the homemade red curry paste I blogged about not too long ago? You may even have made some of your own since then. Well, it will come in real handy here. Of course you can always use a store-bought brand, but the flavors may be less prominent.
Because I had one on hand, and for a bit more veggie nutrients, I included a yellow bell pepper (red or orange would also work nicely). To raise the bar on your cooked basmati rice, use homemade chicken broth instead of water.
Interesting fact: In 2017, seven Thai dishes appeared on a list of the “World’s 50 Best Foods”, an online poll of 35,000 people worldwide by CNN Travel—Thailand had more dishes on the list than any other country.
Easy Thai Red Curry
- 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow (red or orange bell pepper), seeded and cut into 1/4″ x 2″ strips
- 3 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 13.5-oz. can coconut milk
- 1 bunch broccolini, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
- Heat canola oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken, shallots and garlic to the stockpot and cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add in bell pepper strips, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in red curry paste and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Stir in coconut milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Stir in broccolini until just tender, about 3 minutes. (I covered the pot and it still took 10 minutes to soften the broccolini.)
- Remove from heat; stir in green onions, cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately with rice and garnish with more cilantro and scallions.
Adapted from recipe on damndelicious.com