Best Thai Curry Paste?
I tried the Mae Ploy brand red curry paste and while it totally nailed the aroma, something was off in the flavors. Is there something out there which is better or do I just need to try harder next time?
agree with malisa, if you can find those. lime leaves - kaffir lime leaves, not ordinary ones - may be a bit hard to find, but at least use a lemongrass stalk and some fresh ginger, it really brightens the curry.
the other thing to make sure you do (as with all curries and spice bases) is to properly fry the paste and other aromatics in some oil (be careful not to burn) before you start.
your coconut milk is fine, but try not to cut down too much on the paste, if not you won't have enough 'curry ingredients' and that will throw it off balance. if necessary, thin slightly and serve more rice!
i also like to add a spoonful of sugar towards the end. not to defend the brand or anything, but it's the only one i've ever used since i began cooking when i was like twelve or something.
Mae Ploy is also what was recommended to me in a couple of different Thai cooking classes I have had, as well as Nittaya. Either way, you should mix with fresh ingredients blitzed in the food chopper and fry these along with you paste, and you will have to adjust your curry for salt, sugar, and fish sauce. Adjustments to the final taste are normal and don't mean the paste isn't good.
I use maesri brand. These are canned products. You need to freshen them up a bit. I think of it the same way using a jarred marinara. Always add in some fresh basil, garlic, parsley. Same as an Indian prepackaged masala - freshen it up with ginger, galangal, etc.
I actually posted a method recently: