Sometimes simple is delicious. If you enjoy Thai (and other Asian foods) as much as I do, you’ll probably enjoy this, and maybe even start making curry at home rather than fork out $10/dish from your local Thai joint. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of other dishes I’ll still want delivered to my doorstep, but a simple red, green or yellow curry is so easy, provided you have a few ingredients on hand.
In the past, I have made my own, homemade curry paste (specifically red curry paste), and it was great. But you need about twenty ingredients. While making it from scratch was enjoyable and better than the canned stuff, there is no shame in wanting curry in a hurry. Mae Ploy curry paste is probably the best you’ll find without doing much work, and with that, all you really need is some lime (fresh is better), coconut milk (I use the light version), some vegetables and a protein, like Tofu or Shrimp. Having recently learned on an episode of Chopped, that it’s better to let your coconut milk reduce a bit before adding the curry paste, I tried that successfully.
Here is your easy to make Red Curry. In the spirit of this site, this recipe allows for one pan of tofu curry, and another of shrimp curry. You can easily make it on one pan and swap out chicken or other seafood. This dish was served over some leftover rice from Indian takeout, but you can easily make some jasmine or other rice to serve with, or use noodles.
Makes about 4 large servings, 2 Veggie and 2 Shrimp
1 13.5 oz (or so) can of light coconut milk
1 1/2 tabelspoons red curry paste (preferably Mae Ploy, but others will do)
1 lime, or just under 1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 pound shrimp, uncooked and shell removed (except for the tail) and deveined
1 container extra firm tofu, drained of liquid, cut into small cubes
1 red pepper, julienned
1 large carrot, julienned
1 medium onion, 1/4″ dice
2 tablespoons cooking oil, such as peanut
In a medium skillet, add about 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium-low. When oil is hot, add onions, carrot and pepper. Continue to cook until onions begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a second skillet, add 1 tablespoon cooking oil over medium heat. Add tofu and begin to cook until you get a nice light brown color on all sides about 10 minutes. While the tofu and veggies are cooking, you can move to the next step, to prepare the curry.
In small sauce pan, add coconut milk and heat over low heat, to reduce the milk slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent burning. Add the juice of half of your lime and the curry paste. Stir to mix. Continue to cook over a medium-low heat until the curry thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
If you are cooking a vegetarian and shrimp version, remove half of the vegetables from the first pan and add to the tofu. Return the remaining vegetables to a burner over low heat. Pour in half the curry to each pan, one with tofu and veggies and one with just the veggies. Stir to mix sauce around. Continue cooking tofu and then add shrimp to your other pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, mixing occasionally, until shrimp are pink and cooked through, but not overdone.
Serve each, tofu and shrimp version over rice or noodles and eat immediately. Enjoy!!