If I had to pick one type of food to live off of for the rest of my life, it would be Thai. I can’t pick a favorite food to save my life (seriously, how can people actually narrow it down to one thing and answer that question?!)but I can easily say with confidence that as a “cuisine”, Thai is the winner.
The funny thing about that assertion is that up until last week, I’d never actually cooked anything Thai at home. Curry pastes, fish sauce, bamboo shoots…not things I ever have on hand and honestly, they scared the heck out of me. It all seems so foreign and overwhelming. But last week I’d had enough. The closest Thai place is 25 minutes away from us so takeout is pretty much impossible unless eating cold pad thai is your thing and the ghetto produce store I go to all the time has an entire 2 aisles dedicated to Asian ingredients. So after staring at the shelves for at least 10 minutes trying to make sense of it all, I realized there are way more intimidating things in life than cooking Thai food, grabbed the red curry paste and fish sauce, threw it in the cart and walked away pretending like I knew what I was going to do with them.
Fake it till you make it.
And guess what? All of that intimidation…totally unwarranted. Thai really couldn’t be easier. Bamboo shoots are lovely, lemongrass is great, but you don’t need any of that stuff to get a delicious curry at home. Curry paste, coconut milk, a ton of veggies and you’re all set.
Is it the most traditional recipe? Probably not, but it beats cold take out.
Give me a week and the fish sauce is next to be tackled.
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 15oz. can coconut milk
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- salt & pepper
- 4 bell peppers of different color, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- ½ cup grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
- juice of 1 lime, divided
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute olive oil and curry paste, pressing the paste into the oil for 1 minute.
- While that sautes, combine chicken, curry powder, salt & pepper in a small bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Add half the coconut milk into the pan and whisk together until it’s incorporated with the curry paste. Then add remaining coconut milk and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add seasoned chicken and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add vegetables, cilantro and half of the lime juice to the pan, stir, cover and cook for about 5-7 more minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove lid, squeeze remaining lime juice on top just before serving.
- Serve over brown rice and garnish with additional cilantro.