I made a thai coconut curry dish tonight - chicken, veggies, coconut milk, fish sauce and some red curry paste. It came out well, but bland. How can I spice it up some? What's the magic ingredient to give it the spicy kick you get in Thai restaurants? Basil? THANKS!

  • Posted by: dr98
  • January 7, 2011
  • 1423 views
  • 8 Comments

8 Comments

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healthierkitchen
healthierkitchen January 7, 2011

while thai basil and/or lemongrass might add another flavor the kick should come from the curry paste. You might want to experiment with adding more of that to the mix, a little at a time.

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gingerroot
gingerroot January 7, 2011

I agree with healthierkitchen - the spice comes from the curry paste. If adding more does not work, you can make your own with your own selection of chiles. That should kick up the spice. I also think that you need enough salt (fish sauce in this case) and acid (squeeze of lime and/or kaffir lime leaves) to balance the flavor of the curry.

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katiebakes
katiebakes January 7, 2011

Here's what I do: saute garlic, minced fresh ginger, and onion in toasted sesame oil and canola oil until onions are soft. Add 2 tbsp. red curry paste for a medium curry stirring constantly for about a minute. I then add in tamari or soy sauce, mirin, and chili garlic sauce. You can then follow up with your coconut milk, chicken, veggies, etc. The basil doesn't add any kick, just a light flavor. I have found that letting a curry simmer for 30 minutes brings out its flavor. You may need to add a dash or two of sugar to mellow the flavors.

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nutcakes
nutcakes January 7, 2011

Use a good chile paste like Mae Ploy brand.

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna January 7, 2011

Lime comes to my mind, and maybe the Thai basil or cilantro?

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aqua
aqua January 8, 2011

if you blanch your vegetables and chicken beforehand and put in the curry last minute your curry will be less blend because all the ingredients still have there naturel taste. I always finish with tasting and then adding dried chiliflakes, fishsause and sugar till it tastes right.

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Kayb
Kayb January 8, 2011

It's a different spice note, but I find sriracha is always a good addition to Thai curry.

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dr98
dr98 January 9, 2011

Thanks, everyone!

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