Dairy Free | Gluten Free | Full of Veggies!
Y'all- I have outdone myself. This is one of my favorite recipes I have ever created.
Let me start by saying, curry, like wine, is a very personal thing. Which is probably why I like it so much- it's made perfectly to my taste! ;)
It all started on a trip in Hawaii- my sister and I were driving back from the Road to Hana in Maui after a 12 hour day, and there was NOTHING to eat- not a restaurant in sight. We finally found this little Thai food truck, and although I wasn't exactly thrilled to be eating from a food truck in a random little town in Maui, I was also prepared to eat my left arm if necessary so I would have eaten anything at that point.
This sweet Thai family made the BEST damn panang curry I've ever had in my life, and from there, I was inspired to create my own that would mimic my memory of Maui.
I also really like mine because I add a lot of veggies to it, making it more nutrient-dense.
When you are making this dish, you should frequently take samples and add more/less of certain ingredients to get it to your liking.
Protein: I like adding shrimp to mine, but you can also add chicken, tofu, beef, pork... the possibilities are endless!
This recipe serves 2-3 people.
1 can full-fat coconut milk (don't buy the "light" coconut milk, it's not the same!)
3 tablespoons red curry paste (see notes)
3 tablespoons fish sauce (I used this one)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sliced white onion
1 cup chopped green beans
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1 red bell pepper, sliced
Juice from 2 large limes
2+ tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
handful of chopped cilantro
handful of chopped Thai basil (try to get Thai basil if possible- it really makes the dish! Otherwise, regular Italian basil will do)
Heat a large sautéing pan on medium, and add the can of coconut milk, then add the red curry paste 1 tablespoon at a time (tasting to make sure it's at the right spice level for you). Add the cumin and fish sauce, then stir well. When it starts to simmer, start adding all the chopped veggies- onion, green beans, carrots, and bell pepper. Allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add the coconut sugar and lime juice, and stir well. Add the peanut butter, one tablespoon at a time, tasting the mixture as you go (I prefer a stronger peanut flavor so I tend to go with 3 tablespoons peanut butter).
If you are adding tofu, stir it in at the beginning (after you add the red curry paste) so it can absorb the flavors.
If you are adding shrimp, stir them in at the end and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
If you are adding chicken, pork, or beef, chop them up into small pieces, cook them in the pan, remove them, make the curry as usual, then add them at the end and all to simmer for a couple minutes.
Once you've got all your ingredients (including protein) mixed together and simmered, add the cilantro and Thai basil at the very end before serving. Serve over rice, quinoa, or eat it like soup! I love it with brown jasmine rice.
Red curry paste: not all curry pastes are made the same. All brands have varying spice levels, so it's important to taste as you go to ensure you get the right spice level. If your curry paste isn't spicy enough for you, you can always add a tablespoon or two of chili paste or chili flake to give it a kick.