5 Steps to Making Thai Curry WITHOUT a Recipe
It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve posted a recipe on the blog, but this one is way worth it. In the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to get back to some healthy habits that have gotten away from me a little. One of those habits being eating WAY better than I have been. So in honour of such a journey, I’m sharing with you one of my fave easy dinners to make when I’m feeling lazy, but want something nutritious and delicious. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to make Thai curry without a recipe. Surprise, surprise, it’s only a few base ingredients, but the rest is making it completely your own! Here are my 5 easy steps to making this sweet, savory, and spicy dish like the total master chef that you are:
The foundation of a good Thai curry is your aromatics. Think ingredients such as garlic, ginger, sometimes onion, and if you can get your hands on them, kaffir lime leaves. They add major depth to the dish and can bring out the flavours of your curry paste in a big way. These ingredients, or some combination of them, are typically the base for most Thai recipes. And the best part: they make your kitchen smell like heaven. Start by cooking them off in a large wok or skillet, accompanied by an oil with a similar flavour profile like coconut oil or sesame oil and set yourself up for succulent success.
2. CURRY PASTE
Any good Thai curry needs a good curry paste. This is one of the other major flavours in Thai curry (the name says it all..), so finding one that works for your preferences is a necessity. Typically, green curry will be the spiciest, as it uses young green chilis to make the paste. If you prefer a medium heat level, opt for a red curry like the one we like to make. It combines red chilis with aromatics like lemongrass and fish paste to give a more dynamic flavour than that of a green curry. And if you really can’t do the spice, try out a yellow or even penang curry instead. These two choices are sweeter and more mellow than the previous two options, but still possess that rich curry taste.
At this point, you can add literally whatever protein you want to your dish. We prefer to add chicken because it keeps it light, but thinly sliced beef, or even chucks of tofu work as well! Just make sure you cook the protein off with the aromatics and curry paste to really infuse the flavours into every bite. Most people (including Adrian) don’t like flavourless proteins, which makes total sense. So by cooking everything together, you get a punch of flavour every time. And make sure you cut everything into bite sized chunks to help cut down cooking time!
Same goes for veggies. Feel free to make it your own, but we usually go for Thai staples like onion, pepper, mushroom, and even sugar snap peas. If you like broccoli, add some broccoli. If you are obsessed with watercress (I am not..), then go wild with the watercress. The best part about cooking without a recipe is that you can cater it to your taste and preferences (with some consideration of those you’re cooking for obviously). That being said, you also can substitute protein/meat for a ton of veggies and make the dish completely vegan!
5. COCONUT MILK
The final step to making a BOMB Thai curry without a recipe is adding coconut milk. It adds a luxurious creamy texture and taste to your curry, and in my opinion is what makes Thai curry so unique. In combination with all your other ingredients, coconut milk adds sweetness and helps to cut the spice a little. If you’re going for a healthier version, use light coconut milk for less fat and fewer calories. Use it to simmer off your ingredients and add another layer to this dish’s crazy deep flavour profile. Once you’ve let the flavours mingle for a while, you’re pretty much ready to plate it up!
Serve your fabulous curry over rice, and garnish with some green onions, Thai chili, or fresh herbs like cilantro and basil (or all of the above!). You will not regret mastering the skill of making this tasty dish without a recipe. Whip it up whenever you don’t know what to make for dinner for yourself, the fam, or if you’re trying to impress your friends with your professional grade cooking abilities.
I know what I’m having for dinner. What are some of your fave DIY meals? I need some more go-to healthy meals, so share with me in the comments!