Thai Shrimp Curry

Some people think Thai flavors are a wonderful symphony of sweet, salty, sour and spicy…others find them kind of revolting. Thankfully, I am in the former group. I adore Thai food, and there are few things easier and more versatile to cook than Thai curries. You can experiment endlessly with the components and they are pretty quick to make, too.
Today I made Thai Shrimp Curry for dinner and it was dee-licious!
Here are the ingredients:

1.5 lbs raw, deveined, peeled shrimp
14 oz can of coconut milk
2 tbsp red Thai curry paste (I bought mine at an Asian market but have also seen it in the "ethnic" section of the regular grocery store)
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 cups snow peas
2 cups carrots
1.5 cups chicken or fish stock
3 kaffir lime leaves, chiffonaded (check Asian markets-I got mine off my own tree)
juice of 1 lime
cilantro to garnish
rice to serve alongside

1. Heat a large wok or saute pan over medium flame. Skim the cream off the top of your coconut milk and add it to the pan with the curry paste.

2. Whisk them together and let simmer for a few minutes. This really helps the flavor, for some reason, so don't skip this step and dump all your coconut milk in at once.

3. When your cream and curry are bubbling merrily, you may add the rest of the coconut milk, stock, lime leaves, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Then add your carrots, reduce to a simmer, and cook til they are tender.

4. Now add the shrimp and continue simmering until they are pink (don't overcook your shrimp!).

5. Now add your snow peas and cook just long enough to warm them-these are much tastier when they still have some crispness to them.

6. Serve over white rice and garnish with cilantro. This cilantro was an experiment-I found it in the frozen food section of my grocery store. It claims that it's as good as fresh. I tried it because I have a very hard time keeping fresh cilantro around for when I need it. It is not as good as fresh. It's marginally better than dried, but don't get your hopes up too high-it still lacks that wonderful spicy-cool character that fresh cilantro has.
Nevertheless, my curry was really tasty. You can substitute any protein or vegetables you like, and also adjust their proportions. And I firmly believe that the kaffir lime leaves are worth a hunt. They're a gorgeous addition to the flavor.

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