Every once in a while I’ll spend a Sunday afternoon making some Thai curry paste. Like I mentioned in my recipe for panang curry paste, a quick trip to the Asian market for a few hard to find ingredients and about an hour in the kitchen with your mortar and pestle will set you up for a good month of authentic Thai cooking at home.
As far as I’m concerned, this stuff is money in the bank. It keeps for a up to a month in the fridge and is perfect for pulling together a bona fide Thai meal in minutes. Stir-fry the paste, some meat and a few handfuls of seasonal vegetables in your favorite wok, add in some stock, palm sugar, fish sauce and Thai basil, throw it all on top of some sticky rice and you’ll be set up for some truly delicious eating.
Unlike a red, green or yellow curry, phrik khing is considered a “dry-style” curry, free of any coconut milk. Instead, the paste is fried in oil and moistened with a bit of stock to create a sauce that clings to the protein and veggies. The resulting dish can be characterized as smooth and a bit peppery with fragrant notes of galangal and lemongrass throughout.
So, next time you’re looking for something to cook on a lazy Sunday afternoon, consider making some homemade curry paste and look forward to reaping the rich culinary dividends of delicious Thai meals in the weeks that follow.