Cooking Experiences

Thai cooking, home style: Bringing the jewel of the Orient to Leeds!

Charlotte, feeling smug after making a cracking midweek dinner, writes today’s blog.  

When it comes to creating home-cooked food of genuine restaurant quality, I don’t normally back myself as much as I do Kyle. I’m not the cooking brains of this relationship and if I fancy something a bit special for dinner, I tend to glance through the recipe books before turning down the corner of a page and handing it straight to Kyle!

However, this week, I surprised myself by making what Kyle has described as the best Thai red curry he’s ever eaten!

This recipe again comes courtesy of a friend from work, so we have her to thank for introducing me to the world of Thai home-cooked cuisine. The dish was quick to make, easy, fairly cheap, and so, so rewarding. I can honestly say that any time I crave a Thai in the future, I’ll just dig out this recipe instead.

Anyone can get the same results I did if you just put some time into sourcing and preparing the right ingredients, so read on…

First of all, chop up an onion and some garlic. I used garlic paste instead of actual garlic as I prefer the intense flavour.

Then, chop up a few chillis (as many as you dare to use – I opted for three bird’s eye chillis!) and, after frying for a few minutes until the onions are starting to take on some colour, add two heaped tablespoons of red Thai curry paste.

This is where you need to be careful. You could just opt for supermarket-bought paste from one of the well-known brands, but I bought a more authentic-looking tub from our local Chinese supermarket. It’s far less oily than its supermarket equivalents and I’ve heard that it’s the same paste some of the Thai restaurant chains use. I think this was a huge contributing factor to the authentic taste of the dish, so if you can get your paste from a Chinese supermarket, do so.

Once you’ve combined the paste and the onions, garlic, and chilli mixture, add a teaspoon of fish sauce. I actually added far too much by mistake because the top of the bottle came off (a classic Charlotte cooking move!) but this didn’t matter in the end.

You can then add the chicken in. I cut the chicken into thin slices as it reduced the cooking time. Simmer the whole thing until the chicken is cooked through and then add one carton (small) of coconut cream. It’s at this point that the smell of the curry will give you a hint of the deliciousness to come!

Once the mixture has simmered away for a couple of minutes, add in a sliced red pepper, some chopped baby corn, a tin of bamboo shoots, and some chopped asparagus tips. Stir well and let it all bubble away.

Once you think the vegetables might be about half cooked, add another carton of coconut cream, along with a crumbled chicken stock cube. I used Knorr. Stir the whole thing to allow the chicken stock cube to melt into the dish properly.

Let the whole thing simmer for about five minutes (not too much longer or else the vegetables might lose their crunch) and then, just as you’re taking it off the heat, chuck in a handful of chopped coriander and stir through.

Thai red curry

Pictures cannot do justice to the flavour and smells!

Serve with a bowlful of piping hot Basmati rice and enjoy because you really are in for a Thai treat with this recipe!

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