Thai Coconut Curry over Jasmine Rice is a saute of onions, peppers, and mushrooms swimming in a slightly sweet, silky sauce. Jasmine rice, a traditional rice of Thailand, is a favorite variety around the Garden Dish offices. But other options are whatever variety of brown rice you like, or try brown-rice pasta (usually found in the asian section of the grocery store) instead. We’ve even seen the curry poured over a baked sweet potato to make a yummy and filling lunch.
Do you know someone who doesn’t care for coconut? Among our customers and friends there seems to be a clear dividing line when it comes to the coconut-flavored food. They either love it, or consider it the ruination of many an otherwise good meal. So we’ve included a trick in this recipe that will let you satisfy all of your diners. Instead of using coconut milk, which would permeate all of the sauce, you can use use soy milk in the recipe, divide the sauce among your eaters, and add a tiny amount of coconut extract just for those who will appreciate it. One recipe, two variations, and a happy crowd around the dinner table.
Let’s meet two ingredients in this dish that may be unfamiliar to you. First, let’s talk about coconut sugar. When we first started learning to cook Thai in our American kitchen we bought all the traditional Thai ingredients we could find, including coconut sugar. According to Wikipedia, “Coconut sugar (also known as coco sugar, coconut palm sugar or coco sap sugar) is a sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. Coconut sugar has been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years in the South and South-East Asian regions where the coconut palm is in abundant supply.” Many Thai recipes we researched while learning to cook a few classic Thai dishes recommended brown sugar as a convenient and less expensive alternative to coconut sugar in American kitchens. After some experimenting and taste testing, we agree. You’ll see both coconut sugar and brown sugar listed as options in this recipe, in case you’d like to try it for yourself. Dr. Andrew Weil offers an interesting discussion of coconut sugar vs other natural sugars here, because of all the hype lately surrounding coconut products.
Second, let’s talk about red curry paste. It’s a blend of chili peppers, lemongrass, garlic, and assorted other traditional Thai spices and seasonings. This is good stuff to have on hand for all kinds of Thai dishes. After a round of online research proved less than convincing to us as to which brand to buy, we consulted our friend Joy, who is an excellent Thai cook. Her recommendation, Maesri Thai Red Curry Paste, proved to be highly flavorful, and oil-free. We love the stuff, and it’s what is now stocked in the Garden Dish pantry.
- 2 16 oz pkgs - frozen peppers and onions stir-fry blend
- 6 - garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 3 tsp - red curry paste
- 5 1/2 cups - soy milk, plain and unsweetened
- 2 Tbs - coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 tsp - coconut extract
- 2 Tbs - mushroom soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
- 4 Tbs - cornstarch
- 6 cups - cooked brown Jasmine rice, or your favorite brown rice
- In a large skillet over medium heat, dry saute the peppers and onions with the garlic until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to prevent sticking.
- Stir in the curry paste, soy milk, coconut sugar, coconut extract, and soy sauce and cook another 5 minutes. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of cold water and stir into the hot mixture. Cook another minute or two, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
- Serve over warmed rice.
Nutrition (per serving): 474 calories, 74% calories from carbohydrates, 15% calories from protein, 11% calories from fat, 9g fiber.