This is a nearly vegetarian version of the Thai red curry, and despite its long list of ingredients, is really quite easy to make on weekdays. You can use any combination of vegetables that you happen to have in the fridge. Sometimes, I make it with carrots, peas and potatoes only. You can add more or less vegetables and adjust the water and chicken stock up or down. As with any Thai dish, you are balancing heat, sweet, salt and sour and binding the flavors together with fish sauce. Fish sauce can be (poorly) substituted with soy sauce. But purchased red curry paste still contains animal products. So unless you make your own curry paste, this will not be a vegan dish. This dish is also as unauthentic as you can imagine, but I really don’t care as long as it tastes good. In any case, half of these ingredients did not originate in east Asia (potatoes, peppers, cilantro), so what’s authentic?
1 cup onion, diced
½ “ ginger, finely minced
1 cup zucchini, peeled and diced
½ cup small sweet peppers, coarsely chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
1 medium sized potato, cut into 1” cubes
½ cup peas
1 can lite coconut milk
2 tsp panang or red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy)
3 tbs. fish sauce
2-2 ½ tsp. sugar or to taste
salt to taste
2 tbs. basil, finely sliced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped fine
Rind of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
½-1 cup water or chicken stock as needed (I used ½ cup)
Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Skim the coconut fat off the coconut milk can and add to the pan. Add the curry paste and fry together until the oil separates. Then add the ginger and the onions and sauté for a few minutes till the onions just begin to turn translucent. Then add the zucchini, potatoes, broccoli and peppers, peas and sauté for a few min. longer. Then add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, basil, lime juice, lime rind and half the cilantro. If you don’t have enough liquid at this point, add ½ cup of chicken stock. Taste and adjust with more salt, sugar, fish sauce and lime. Cover and let cook until the potatoes are fork tender about 15 min. Garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve with rice.
Note: 2 tsp of the panang curry paste is plenty hot (mine had also sat in the fridge for a while). If you don’t like this much heat, start with 1 tsp and balance the sugar, salt and sour. It will still taste quite good. If you like more heat, sauté bird peppers in with the onions so that the heat is to your taste.