Several years ago my mom discovered that the local junior college offered weekend cooking classes. They were themed and only one or two Saturday mornings per theme. We only took one class, Curries of the World, but I came out of it with a super easy and super awesome Thai red curry recipe.
Something I love about this recipe is that it’s really quick, only takes about 10 minutes to cook, and you can customize it. The more curry paste you put in, the spicier it is. Also, you can use green or yellow curry paste as well. It was interesting to learn that green curry paste is spicier than red, and yellow is the mildest. You can make one spicier by adding more paste, but if you have the same amount of each, green is the spiciest followed by red then yellow.
Thai Red Curry
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 lb top loin steak, thinly sliced
- 1 can coconut milk, 14 oz.
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, rolled and sliced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp fresh sweet basil leaves
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander leaf, chopped
Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir for 2 minutes. Add the beef and stir firy for 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and lime leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the sugar, fish sauce, and soy sauce. Cook for 2 more minutes. Garnish with basil and coriander.
So I definitely altered the recipe a bit. I decided to add some veggies this time, but it is still really tasty without them. I also tend to eyeball the measurements for my oil and curry paste. As long as the oil just covers the bottom of my pan it tends to be enough.
After I sauteed the curry paste I added some onion. I knew they would take longer to cook than the meat so I wanted to get them going sooner.
At this point I was also prepping my zucchini. I had already pre-cut and cooked the carrots.
There were milanesa steaks on sale so that was what I used. It does overcook really easily though, so as soon as there was no pink showing on the meat I knew it was time to add the veggies and the coconut milk. I didn’t have the kaffir lime leaves, but it definitely adds to the flavor when I can find them.
When we made this in class we were using a thicker steak and “shaved” it. The instructor tossed it in the freezer for a bit, just enough so it was a little hard, and then you could take a sharp knife and get really thin slices. It was really good and definitely a technique I’ve used on other things since then.
You can use coconut milk or cream, the cream is a little bit thicker but I’ve never really been able to tell the difference. I also will only buy coconut milk, or cream, at the dollar store because it is so much more expensive at the grocery store. I also tend to add about 1/4-1/3 of a can of regular milk just to rinse the can and mellow it out a bit for my husband (he tends to think I make this too spicy).
Once that is boiling turn it down and add the brown sugar, fish sauce, and soy sauce. At this point I tend to just let it simmer until the rice is done. I start the rice, about 3 rice cooker cups, when I start the curry but it tends to take a few minutes longer.
And then you’re done. I’ve never actually garnished it with the sweet basil or the coriander.
This was my attempt at making it look pretty. It tends to come out more brown than red for me because I tone down the spice for my husband. Again, if you want it spicier, just add more curry paste.
This is one of my favorite recipes and it’s so easy and yummy. You’ll find that pretty much anything I do is easy – I don’t have time for anything else!