20 November 2010

Mae Ploy Thai yellow curry paste gets the thumbs up

By now, I should tell you that I am not wasting your time with the inherited sauces in my fridge that really don’t seem to work (but a tip: don’t buy Pad Thai sauce. It’s flavored ketchup. Just make your own from scratch.)

One of the gems in my new collection of Asian ingredients is Mae Ploy brand yellow curry paste. I have never seen this in the grocery stores near me, but it’s pretty cheap online; amazon.com sells it for about $3.50. As with most curry pastes, it is waiting to be blended with other things to create a sauce for your veggies and meat. I followed the directions on the tub and just added coconut milk, whisked, and then cooked it with my veggies and some leftover meat from our grilling adventure. DELICIOUS. The lemongrass, garlic, and salt are pretty present in the paste (though it becomes much less salty when you add the milk), and it’s just a tad spicy. I did eventually top it off with a little lime juice to brighten the dish a bit at the end, but this paste really does the work for you. I highly recommend it.

Easy Yellow Curry (Thai style)

Serves 4

1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil

½ yellow onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced thinly

1 cup (about half of a head) cauliflower, broken into bite-size pieces

½ cup peas

2/3 cup meat or tofu, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons yellow curry paste

1 can (14.5 oz.) coconut milk

Salt and black pepper to taste

Lime wedges and chopped cilantro for garnish

In a small bowl, whisk together curry paste and coconut milk and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan on medium heat; when oil shimmers, add onion, carrot, and cauliflower. Cook , stirring constantly, until onions are soft and cauliflower is starting to brown slightly, about 5 minutes. If your tofu or meat are raw, cook these at the same time as the vegetables. Be sure meat is cooked through before going on to the next step.

Add the frozen peas, cooked meat if you are using it (I tossed in the leftover grilled beef from our Teriyaki adventure because the sauce was so mild it was almost undetectable), and the curry sauce. Stir to incorporate, cover, and lower heat to medium-low. Allow to simmer 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve over jasmine rice and topped with fresh cilantro and lime wedges on the side.