How do I make Thai Yellow Curry from Mae Ploy paste?
- elmomonster Nov 1, 2005 12:17 PM
Okay, I'm going to but Mae Ploy's Yellow Curry Paste today.
I've got about two boneless skinless chicken breasts, a lot of raw russet potatoes.
I'll get some cans of coconut milk and maybe a can of chicken broth.
What else do I need to make Chicken and Potato Yellow Curry?
And once I get the ingredients, how do I proceed?
You have the basic ingredients. Skim the cream off of the coconut milk and sautee the curry paste in the milk cream until mixed. Throw the chicken into that and sort of brown it. Add the stock and the remainder of the coconut milk and simmer until tender. At some point, throw the potatoes so it will all be done at the same time. There are 8-10 ingredients in the curry paste, so it doesn't have to have anything else.
You can add palm sugar for some sweetness, a bit more red pepper if you want it hotter (this curry isn't terribly spicy), fish sauce for some earthiness, and soy sauce for a little more salt/flavor. Thai basil or some other herb/green in abundance works well. You may want to "correct" the final consistency of the sauce with a rice flour or cornstarch slurry.
I make a version of this that has green peas and cauliflower along with what you have. It's good.
if you can find it the tetra-pak Arroy-D coconut milk is un-homogenized/un-emulsified, no preservatives either. Otherwise, for the canned, look at the ingredients, if there are emulsifiers listed then the probability is that the cream will not separate. I can't remember exactly which brands, but some cans have only preservatives, no emulsifiers, whereas some have both.
You're right about the spiciness. I thought the curry was quite spicy while I was stir frying, but it was just the fumes sort of choking me. When I actually tasted it, I wish I'd added some cayenne power or sauteed slices of jalepenos with the curry.
Do stand back, though. The fumes can really get you.
I assume that you've converted the instructions on the label from grams to tablespoons etc so I won't go into that.
As was mentioned, frying the paste in some coconut cream is essential for releasing the flavor into the fat. Cook until the fat begins to separate out.
Since you're going to use chicken breasts, I urge you not to put the thin slices in until the very end or else the pieces will be dried out. Also consider parboiling the potatoes for a few minutes in water before. Otherwise all of your curry sauce will get absorbed into the potatoes as they cook. Finally, depending on what your proportions are for curry paste, coconut milk, and broth or water, you will likely need to add salt and so add fish sauce to taste.
Yellow curry is not meant to be very spicy but following the package instructions will result in a reasonably hot curry to western palates. It's better and more authentic to offer condiment dishes of chiles (pickled and sauces) and sugar so that the diners can finish off the dish to their liking.
Just a note, because I assume the OP is in the US -- when we are talking about frying curry paste in coconut cream, we mean the very top maybe half-inch of a can of unsweetened coconut milk, which is thicker and rises to the top.
Cans sold "coconut cream" are actually heavily sweetened and intended for use as piña colada (et al.) mix. Read the ingredients on the can -- if you see sugar (or corn syrup or any kind of -ose), it's not meant for curry.
To my curry (no matter what colour) I always add lime leaves, basil, fish sauce, sugar and turmeric. Depending on my mood, I add chilies (fresh or dried) and lemongrass.
I always err on the side of less spicey. I will make the initial stiring of the curry paste at 1/3 the amount called for on the can. Then I taste.
Also if I haven't used the pastes in a while and have just replenished my stash from the local oriental grocery, I will be very cautious about the amount of paste, because I think there is some seasonal variability in the chilis they use.