Today I would like to reintroduce an old recipe friend and favorite. It’s a five minute sauce/dressing that packs a BIG PUNCH of flavor. No chopping required, one measuring utensil, a jar and a shake and you’re in business. We’ve made this in the last two cooking lessons I taught and I was surprised by the excitement it inspired. Among the comments: “OMG this is going to be my new dressing - I’m putting this on EVERYTHING!” and my favorite: “That’s it?! That’s all you have to do?”
This sauce was in my 2017 Recipe Calendar as part of the Avocado Endive Bites recipe. It does taste especially great on/with avocado, AND it works as a salad dressing, a dipping sauce for lettuce wraps, and in all other instances in which a sauce could be used - ie, on anything! You can use either red curry paste OR miso to make it. I’d start with the red curry version - it has a nice bright red color and a vibrant flavor (whereas the miso version is richer with more umami).
Cost of Red Curry Paste at SF Grocery Stores (from Instacart)
$3.39 Whole Foods
$3.99 Molly Stone’s
^Isn’t this fascinating how much the price varies?!?! Further evidence for why I don’t like Safeway! Rainbow wins!
If you’ve never tried red curry paste, it’s a staple Thai ingredient that can be found in the international section of most grocery stores. This is the kind I usually buy (note that’s it’s a 6-pack), although this one also looks very good. In the store, one jar will cost between $3-5, so I’d recommend buying it there over Amazon, since you probably won’t want a 6-pack if it’s your first time buying it. A little goes a long way, so this small jar lasts me a few months in the fridge.
Five Minute Red Curry Sauce
1 T red curry paste (OR use miso for an alternate version)
1 T soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
3 T toasted sesame oil
1/2 T honey, agave or maple syrup
5 T olive oil
dash of sriracha (optional)
squeeze of lime (optional)
Instructions: Measure curry paste (or miso) into a small jar. Add the soy sauce and whisk/mash with a fork until well blended (this is especially important if using miso). Add the rest of the ingredients, put the lid on and shake it up until well blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
If you’re curious about how else you might use red curry paste, here are two other recipes you could try. I haven’t made either, but I added some notes on what I’d do differently after glancing at these:
Veg option: Rich Red Curry with Roasted Vegetables from Minimalist Baker - her recipes are solid (and healthy and delicious). From glancing at this - I’d say you don’t need curry powder on the veggies, I’d just roast them plain with oil, salt and pepper. Curry powder is a very strong flavor and there are so many different kinds, so I think I’d rather let the red curry paste flavor shine through here. I also prefer full fat coconut milk so I’d use that over light. I’d make sure to cut the sweet potato in small chunks so it cooks through in that short roasting time (I have a pet-peeve against undercooked sweet potatoes). This would be a great use of the immersion blender too!
Meat option: 20-minute Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup from Kenji at Serious Eats - another highly trusted source - Kenji is THE MAN, and I actually met him a few weeks ago!! I love this cooking method of simmering chicken in soup and then chopping it after it’s cooked - I do it all the time in other recipes. This lends flavor to the broth AND produces super tender, melt in your mouth chicken. I would use chicken thighs over breasts (thighs are more forgiving - if you overcook them, they remain moist; and in my opinion, thighs are also more flavorful). I would cut the hot chicken on a plate with a knife and fork versus using my hands like he suggests. Lastly - I’d sub zucchini noodles and would simply add them to the pot to cook for the last 5-10 mins.
Hmm… I think I’ll have to try these recipes myself - reading them got me excited! If you make any or all of the above, please report back! Happy cooking!