*Sigh* The end of (another) vacation. Returning home this time, I think I may actually be ready to get back to work. I even spent the first of my two flights working on some data analysis. (*Nerd alert, nerd alert*).
We went out for dinner most days, but Saturday night we (and by we, I mean my friend) made an awesome red curry dinner. I’m told the key to good curry is fish sauce. I see this in a lot of recipes, but usually in such a small amount that it doesn’t seem like it would make a difference taste-wise. Until recently, I always left it out. Does anyone know if a good vegetarian substitution is available?
The other (obvious) key to curry is the curry paste. I used to use the Thai kitchen brand, but I don’t really like it and it isn’t anywhere near as good as what you get in restaurants. Then I got this from my friend (imagine a halo above this can, it is that good).
You know it’s going to be good when you can’t read the package.
You really only need a couple ingredients to make a good red curry stir fry or soup. But the quality of your curry paste can make it or break it. If you have a good Asian market in town, you’re lucky. If not, hopefully you have a friend like mine.
This recipe is based on a Curried Sweet Potato Soup recipe from The Modern Vegetarian (one of The Daily Green’s Best 9 Cookbooks of 2009) . True to form, I made some substitutions based on laziness what I had. The major change I made was subbing a kabocha squash for the sweet potatoes, which I didn’t peel (I’m lazy like that), hence the green-ish hue you see.
Curried Kabocha Squash Soup (makes about 3 servings)
500 grams kabocha squash (about 1/2 a medium squash)
water, to cover squash
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
¼ tsp coconut extract
1 tsp Bragg’s (or soy sauce)
¼ tsp fish sauce
Cube squash and put in pan with just enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer, covered, until squash is tender (about 10-15 minutes).
Remove pot from heat. Puree with immersion blender until desired thickness.
Add the rest of the ingredients and return to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5-10 minutes for flavors to meld.
Note: You could simmer the squash in a can of coconut milk and then omit the milk and coconut extract; I just didn’t have any. Using coconut milk adds in about 15 grams of really great healthy fat per serving.