Three Steps to Comfort Food: Thai Red Curry

Photo courtesy of the author

As our souls turn stone-cold from the dropping temperatures, the second round of midterms, and the loss of daily samosas, we are in dire need of some comfort food. Clearly, these times call for your favourite soup and a grilled cheese, but you don’t need me to tell you that. 

I have always loved Thai food. Something about it makes me feel all cozy inside — especially red curry. Since my local Thai place doesn’t have it on their menu, I thought I would experiment a little in the kitchen. 

It was way easier than I thought. The whole process only took about 35 minutes, including the cooking time, and it only consisted of three simple steps. I was shocked that something I’ve only ever had at a restaurant could come out so good at home. My next endeavour: homemade coconut rice… 

 I have given you all you need to know below. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 4) 

  • 2 tbsp of oil (coconut or olive oil works best)
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely chopped 
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • ½ cup white mushrooms, diced
  • ¼ cup baby corn 
  • ½ cup broccoli 
  • ¼ cup bamboo shoots (optional)
  • 1 package Thai basil 
  • 5 tbsp red curry paste 
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • ½ cup water (plus more as needed)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ lime 
  • 1 tbsp of tamari (or soy sauce, but use less) 
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • Chili flakes and/or cayenne pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes/sides: cilantro, basmati rice, brown rice, chili flakes, or sriracha sauce 

Note: Feel free to switch out any of the vegetables for about 4-5 cups of assorted veggies; these just happen to be the ones that I chose. 

In a large saucepot on medium heat, simmer the oil, then add shallots, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the shallots are transparent, but don’t allow the garlic to burn. If this happens, turn down the heat. 

Add the Thai basil and all your vegetables except for the spinach, and let them sauté. After 5 minutes, taste one of the tougher vegetables and make sure they’re tender. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the curry paste, stir, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 

After the curry has toasted, add coconut milk, water, and sugar, and stir for about a minute. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lime and the tamari, and let it come to a boil. Once it is boiling, turn the heat to low and add your spinach and chili flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes. 

Serve with rice, or on top of steamed greens. 

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