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Where can I find Mae Ploy or Nittaya brands of Thai curry paste?

I guess I haven't cooked Thai curry since I have moved to NoVa, but I have volunteered to bring a giant pot of it for something and when I went to get my standard curry paste I tried Lottes-Ashburn, Harris Teeter, Giant, Shoppers, and Global Mart and all I could find was the dreadful and flavorless Thai Kitchen! This was all in Ashburn-Sterling areas.

I am so sad. I make Thai curry really well and now I fear I will end up with flat tasting Thai Kitchen curry.

Have you seen Mae Ploy or Nittaya brands around near to you? So shocked that the two international markets I went to had very well stocked Thai sections and fresh Thai ingredients but NO good brands of curry paste.

For now I bought some Indonesian curry paste (labeled for Opor Ayam) that has similar ingredients to the Thai stuff and will mix it with the Thai Kitchen red curry. I am hoping this will suffice. Plus, I will add some fresh aromatics like galangal and lemon grass as I would have even with the good brands. Thai curry is super easy to make well with the *good* pastes and I hate that my curry may need major doctoring :(

Nittaya can be hard to find, but no Mae Ploy? I am so surprised.

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  1. Not sure about your favorites, but I use Maesri which I get at Bangkok54 grocery. I like them a lot. I think they have 8 or 9 varieties of the little tins and about the same amount of the mid-sized bottles. BKK 54 does have Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli sauce (my favorite), but I haven't seen Mae Ploy in the curry paste section.
    I don't think I have seen Mae Ploy curries at Duangrat's Grocery either, but they did have larger tubs of curry that weren't Maesri, so maybe Duangrat's would be worth a trip.
    I will be curious to see if your favorites are sold near here. I will be looking to check them out if they are.
    I tried to download a picture of BKK54's selection of tinned Maesri curries but the new format doesn't seem to allow for that. Sorry.

    1. I found Mae Ploy today at the Sterling Grandmart. They also had Chao Koh coconut milk and coconut cream, my preferred brand for those items. I am so happy. Mae Ploy is strong tasting and has shrimp paste in the red and green curries, which is why I like it.

      1. mae ploy is also sold in falls church at the asian grocer associated with and adjacent to duangarat's.

        6 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          And while you are at the Duangrat's grocer, grab a meal to go. Their to-go dishes are better than the restaurant's sit down dishes, in my book.

          1. re: Ziv

            i have looked at them, and remember steve's write-up. i haven't been into the restaurant itself in more years than i can say. the market's thai take-out prices are definitely a good value (i presume they are a normal serving size?).

            1. re: alkapal

              Pretty good sized, but they are more lunch sized, not dinner sized. But i have a pretty healthy appetite and like large servings. Others might be a better source on their origin, but it seems like it resembles the food I ate in the north of Thailand, so it may be an Isan version. Very good though.

              1. re: Ziv

                ziv, i can't recall if you've tried bangkok golden. their lao dishes are nice and spicy. i love all the herbs -- more variety in their herbs than thai, in my opinion.

                1. re: alkapal

                  Alkapal, I have only been there for the lunch buffet so I really don't know what their entrees are like. I have had a catfish curry there that kind of nodded to an Isan/Lao influence, it was nothing like the Pad Ped Pladook I get down south, but I just know so little about Isan/Lao dishes that I can't really tell them apart.
                  I miss being able to just sit in a cafe with a big Chang beer watching dishes go by until I see what I want.

                  1. re: Ziv

                    one thing that is absolutely fabulous is the special crispy rice salad with the ground lao sausage. amazingly savory and spicy hot dish. see the thread on this bangkok golden started after a chowdown there earlier in the year.

        2. Hi, I know you are in Nova, but Thai Grocery on Thayer in Silver Spring carries these. Or did last time I was there. Have you checked out Super H? It's Korean, but I have always found a lot of Thai and other Asian specialties there as well. I believe it is in Fairfax, though I could be wrong. Thai food without the right ingredients is hardly worth making, good luck!