I remember the first time I made curry. In fact, it was a rather shameful experience. I was not particularly fond of the outcome, and though I am my own biggest fan, willing to gulp down most of what I make without so much as a second thought, I could not bring myself to finish that dreadful concoction. The second time I made curry, I wanted so badly to replicate that of my favorite Thai restaurants that I was willing to do whatever it took. I had to redeem myself somehow, you know.
Oh, I should mention that by “second time,” I mean that the following recipe that I am about to present is the result of my second attempt. Don’t worry! I assure you that it is, in fact, edible. I might even say I don’t have anything to change about this recipe. Quite a proclamation, I know. Just trust me on this one – I feel pretty darn confident about it.
Side note: I hope you don’t mind the cold because you might need to open up your windows/doors/check that your fire alarms are working. I’m not getting off to good impression here, am I? The reason for this precaution is because we are going to be “cracking the coconut,” or allowing the hot coconut oil to intensify flavors in the curry paste (or in my scenario, powder), which Everyday Paleo asserts is essential to making proper curry.
- 1 can of full fat coconut cream (found in Asian aisles of most grocery stores. I use coconut cream from the market “Sprouts,” which sells cans that have the upper thick cream and lower liquid part magically separated! This is what you want, so do not shake the cans! )
- 1 lb meat of choice (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, etc) cut into small pieces
- 1 lb of assorted vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, enoki mushrooms, etc) cut into bite sized pieces
- Half of a yellow onion, sliced into half moons
- 1 tbsp of fat
- 1 knob of ginger, minced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp of yellow curry paste or powder
- Fish sauce to taste
- Salt to taste
- In a deep wok or large pan, crank the heat as high as it will go. You want your cooking device to be as hot as possible! Set aside a small skillet with 1 tbsp of fat to be used a little later.
- Open your can of coconut cream (again, do not shake it!) and scoop out the thick, creamy upper part. This is what you are going to plop into the screaming hot pan. When you do so, be careful. It will smoke like nobody’s business. Continuously stir the coconut cream as it melts, and soon, you will see the coconut oils begin to separate from the cream. When it will not visibly separate any more, add your curry paste or power and continue stirring until well incorporated.
- In a separate small skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of fat, then add ginger, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are translucent. You will be transferring this mixture later to the larger pan.
- Add your meat of choice to the large pan and cook until almost done. Add your vegetables of choice and ginger/garlic/onions from the small skillet. Add the lower liquid half of the remaining can of coconut cream, fish sauce and salt to taste. Lower heat to allow flavors to meld and simmer together. I like to let it simmer longer, about 5-10 minutes, to intensify the flavors.