Thai Curry Pastes
May 5, 2010 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Any good uses for Thai curry pastes, besides the usual red/yellow/green curry?

I'd prefer recipes without hard-to-get ingredients or anything really unhealthy (like coconut milk). I also don't care about making authentic Thai food--I just figure that since curry pastes are tasty, they could go in all kinds of foods.
posted by k. to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
You said 'really unhealthy' like deep fried corn cakes made with curry paste, right? You can pan-fry them for slightly less deliciousness.
posted by Weighted Companion Cube at 1:28 PM on May 5, 2010

Add a bit to mayonnaise or unsweetened peanut butter, use as sandwich spread. Victory.
posted by hat at 1:29 PM on May 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

Heidi of 101 Cookbooks has a great recipe for almond soba noodles with red curry paste. Mmmmm.
posted by Spinneret at 1:35 PM on May 5, 2010

Potato salad! You can mix with the (light!) mayo (though I prefer Miracle Whip...) and add a little bit of coconut extract or something to get thai taste without the unhealthiness. Add thai-style ingredients to the mix (thinly sliced red peppers, cilantro or basil, etc) and voilà!
posted by urbanlenny at 1:38 PM on May 5, 2010

OK, from Cooking Light we have Thai Style Chicken:


* 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
* 3/4 cup light coconut milk
* 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
* 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 pound chicken breast tenders
* 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook 4 minutes or until onion is golden, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk, curry paste, and black pepper. Add the chicken; bring to a simmer. Cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring frequently. Stir in cilantro and remaining ingredients, and cook 1 minute.

Also Thai Coconut Curry Shrimp:


* 1 teaspoon canola oil
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/4 teaspoon red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen)
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/3 cup light coconut milk
* 2 teaspoons fish sauce
* 1/4 cup chopped green onions
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and curry paste to pan, and sauté 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar; sauté 15 seconds. Add shrimp; sauté 3 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut milk and fish sauce; cook 30 seconds or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in green onions and basil.

And for a more complex and challenging dish, Thai-Coconut Bouillabaisse


* Cooking spray
* 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (reserve shells)
* 1 cup chopped celery, divided
* 1 cup chopped carrot, divided
* 1 cup chopped onion, divided
* 2 1/2 cups cold water
* 3 black peppercorns
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup chopped tomato
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
* 1 teaspoon red curry paste
* 4 (2 x 1/2–inch) lime rind strips
* 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
* 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed
* 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 (6-ounce) skinned halibut fillet or other lean white fish fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces
* Lime wedges (optional)


1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp shells to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 cup carrot, and 1/2 cup onion to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 1/2 cups water, peppercorns, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl; discard solids.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup celery, 1/2 cup carrot, and 1/2 cup onion to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato, garlic, curry paste, and rind; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in broth mixture and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Add clams and mussels. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes or until clams and mussels open. Remove from heat; discard any unopened shells. Stir in shrimp, basil, and remaining ingredients except lime wedges. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until shrimp and halibut are done. Discard lime rind. Place 2 clams and 2 mussels in each of 6 bowls. Divide shrimp and fish evenly among bowls. Ladle 2/3 cup broth mixture over each serving. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

And from Jillian Michaels, a delicious dish even if it is a curry:

Quick Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry
Curry quick enough for a weeknight supper — especially if you use pre-cut cauliflower and baby spinach.


* 2 teaspoon oil, canola
* 1 medium pepper(s), red, bell, cut into 1- to 2-inch-long julienne strips
* 1 clove(s) garlic, minced
* 1 tablespoon ginger, (fresh) minced
* curry paste, red, 1-2 teaspoons or to taste
* 1 pounds chicken, breast, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 cup(s) broth, reduced-sodium chicken
* 1 cup(s) coconut milk, light
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce, reduced-sodium, Or fish sauce
* 1 teaspoon sugar, brown, light
* 1 1/2 cup(s) cauliflower, florets
* 2 cup(s) spinach, baby
* 1 tablespoon lime juice


Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste; stir to mix. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, fish sauce (or soy sauce) and brown sugar; bring to a simmer. Add cauliflower, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and lime juice; cook just until spinach has wilted. Serve immediately, with lime wedges.

To make ahead: The curry will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
posted by bearwife at 2:14 PM on May 5, 2010

I sometimes use red or yellow paste to spice up my beloved, faithful red lentil soup. Here's a basic recipe; use curry paste in stead of just cumin. I often like to add some chopped veggies, though - carrots, celery, sweet potatoes or whatever I got. You can also sautee the onions first and add some tomato paste if you like. Garnish with fresh basil, or cilantro if you're so inclined.
posted by sively at 3:20 PM on May 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

popping my head in to say that I've cooked quite successfully with the "light" version of coconut milk, so don't eliminate all recipes with coconut milk out of hand.

especially the curry squash soup ones.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:31 PM on May 5, 2010

A coworker of mine recently treated me to a dip made with yogurt spiked with a healthy dose of Sriracha , I've since done it with curry paste, both are awesome both are simple two ingredient dips.
posted by Science! at 3:52 PM on May 5, 2010

risotto (for example, Green Curry Shrimp Risotto)
posted by kbuxton at 5:06 PM on May 5, 2010

I slather it on fish or other things that need crusting/breading, instead of doing the boring egg wash thing.
posted by Freyja at 5:24 PM on May 5, 2010

I often mix curry paste and lime juice into improvised fish cakes (canned salmon or leftover cooked fish, potatoes, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, egg...whatever is around). It's sort of an inauthentic, leftover-y version of tod mun pla.
posted by neroli at 6:23 PM on May 5, 2010

Pad Prik King from Thai Cooking with Jam

Despite the name, the blog rarely uses jam in its Thai recipes

If you're in Austin, try Jam's shop, Thai Fresh

posted by Seamus at 9:11 PM on May 5, 2010

Curried deviled eggs delicious.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:23 PM on May 5, 2010

Thai Coconut Curry Hummus from 28 Cooks

1 can (15.9 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sweetened flake coconut

Combine all ingredients, except for coconut, in food processor and blend until well combined. Remove from processor, place into medium bowl and stir in coconut. This hummus does need to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving for the flavors to get nice and friendly.
posted by tenaciousd at 9:28 PM on May 5, 2010

Last week I made kale chips with red curry paste. I based it off Smitten Kitchen's baked kale chips. Basically remove stems and center ribs, tear or cut the leaves into bite-size pieces, then instead of tossing in olive oil and salt, toss in a bit of canola/peanut oil and a teaspoon or so of curry paste, then bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 min. I also add a pinch of baking soda to the curry/oil mix because I read somewhere that it helps with bitterness.
posted by loulou718 at 11:48 PM on May 5, 2010

It goes really well in pumpkin soup - just fry it off first then add your cooked pumpking etc - gives it a depth of flavour without adding a whole bunch of ingredients.
posted by nothing too obvious at 11:58 PM on May 5, 2010

I like adding my curry paste to canned soups to add a little spice. Also, my favorite receipe for using curry paste is Erin's Indonesian Chicken.
posted by FreezBoy at 6:48 AM on May 6, 2010

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