Wednesday 5 December 2012

Thai Red Curry Paste

We had family holidays in Bangkok and Phuket over 20 years ago and the happy memories of fresh and fragrant meals has always lingered. Tastes of garlic, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar and chillies which are carefully balanced to produce unique dishes.

I've never made my own curry paste as some of the ingredients are hard to find but this recipe from AboutThaiFood looks quite do-able. There are also green and yellow pastes as well as massaman from the south which has added spices.
As well as being the flavour base for luscious curries made with coconut milk the pastes can be added to omelettes, used as a marinade and added to fried rice.

Last night I made some basic meat patties/burgers, simply mixed these ingredients together and shallow fried them, they are wonderful on the BBQ too.

500gms of minced meat, I used beef but any meat will do
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
2-3 tablespoons of red curry paste
1 teaspoon of fish sauce

What makes them and many other foods very special is this easy condiment...sweet and sour cucumber relish:

boil for one minute the following
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 vinegar
3T water

pour over finely chopped
1/2 a cucumber
1/2 a carrot
1/2 an onion
fresh coriander

Garnish your food with chopped peanuts, fresh herbs and serve with jasmine rice for a very different and delicious summer time meal.

Another special treat to use some red curry paste is the Thai fish cake called Tod Man Pla...

500gms of white fish fillets
1 egg
2 T red curry paste
1 t sugar
1-2 t fish sauce

Process this until you have a smooth paste and mix in a very finely sliced spring onion and 1/2 cup of very finely sliced green beans/french beans, the Thais use snake beans!
Shape into patties and shallow fry, again serve these with the cucumber relish.

There are so many wonder Thai recipes that you can easily make at home. I find them especially good in summer when appetites are jaded by the heat. Look on-line for recipes or bring home some cookery books from the library...happy eating!

Love from Sue

PS the photos are actually Mum's taken in Kota Kinabalu!


  1. Beautiful photos and what you write about the food: it looks very lekker/delicious. Here we eat in the winter often stews: kale stew with sausage, sauerkraut stew with bacon. The children would rather eat different potatoes, lettuce, egg, hamburger, applesauce) Thank you for your comment on my blog yesterday. Very nice! xxx

  2. Absolutely gorgeous pictures! Our son, Ian is going to Thailand in January for a 4 month stay. He loves Thai food, so he'll be in his element :)