Thai curry pastes make the base or foundation for numerous Thai dishes, from soups, to curries, to stir fries. You can easily go to the market in Thailand and buy freshly made pastes, but they just don’t taste nearly as fresh as if you make it yourself. Also, you could go to the supermarket and buy your Thai curry paste in a can or plastic tub, but again, it would lack the fresh flavors that you’ll get when you make it fresh yourself.
In this recipe, I’ll be making Thai red curry paste (พริกแกงเผ็ด), known in Thai as “prik gaeng ped”. It’s a combination of dried red spur chilies, with a host of other ingredients that include shallots, kaffir lime peel, garlic, white pepper, among other ingredients. There are a couple of ways to make this Thai red curry paste recipe (พริกแกงเผ็ด), but I think the best method is by hand, using an authentic Thai mortar and pestle to grind all the ingredients to a paste consistency. This does take some serious work, but the effort of slowly pounding the paste, ensures all the ingredients are pounded to perfection and all the oils of everything are released. Making it by hand, this recipe will take about 20 – 30 minutes or more to prepare, so it does take some time and energy to make by hand, but I can assure you that the final taste is amazing. Alternatively if you don’t have a Thai mortar and pestle, you could blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor – but if you have the time and muscle, go for it by hand.
Here are all the ingredients that you’ll need in this Thai red curry paste (prik gaeng ped พริกแกงเผ็ด):
3 teaspoons white pepper corns
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
8 dry red spur chilies (soaked in water for about 10 minutes to soften them)
½ teaspoon salt
10 – 14 small cloves of garlic
5 small shallots (Thai shallots are the size of grapes, so it’s about 2 tablespoons worth)
1 tablespoon finely sliced lemongrass
1 tablespoon finely sliced coriander roots
1 tablespoon finely sliced galangal
Skin of ½ kaffir lime
½ teaspoon of shrimp paste
The directions on how to make this recipe are pretty easy, as long as you have all the ingredients and the equipment you need. In Thailand you’ll find all these ingredients at just about every market, they are extremely commonly used in Thai cooking. However, even in the United States, at Asian supermarkets, I’ve seen all these ingredients – so it shouldn’t be hard to get everything together. Basically for the directions, all you have to do is first pound and mix the dry spices, including the white pepper, coriander powder and cumin, then set them aside. Then pound all the other ingredients together (watch the video for the best order), and just keep on pounding until you have a nice buttery Thai red curry paste. It took me about 20 minutes or more to get a nice paste, but the end result was so flavorful and so incredibly fragrant.
Once you have made this Thai red curry paste (พริกแกงเผ็ด), you can then go on to make a number of other Thai dishes that use this paste. One of my favorite Thai street food dishes is gai pad prik gaeng (recipe coming soon).
Full recipe here: http://wp.me/p4a4F7-2u8
Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network
Produced by Mark and Ying Wiens
Eater at: http://migrationology.com/blog & http://www.eatingthaifood.com/blog/
Are you interested in more Thai food? Check out my “Eating Thai Food Guide” for the serious Thai food lovers: http://www.eatingthaifood.com/eating-thai-food-guide/
Authentic Thai recipes: http://www.eatingthaifood.com/thai-recipes/
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See you on the next food video.