There are days when I will make a meal from scratch even if it requires 20 ingredients and takes hours for the preparation and cooking - as when I make my beef rendang, and then there are days when I just want to open some cans and make do.
One compromise is to use ready made spices or pastes or sauces that make it possible to have a tasty, nutritious meal in just minutes. For Thai dishes I love these pastes that I get from my regular Asian grocery store. Just combine with some canned coconut milk; add chicken, beef, tofu or seafood and some vegetables (canned baby corn is another standard in my pantry) and in 30 minutes or less you have a great meal.
If you're lucky enough to have leftovers the next day just cook up some rice noodles and top with the left over curry.
THAI RED CURRY SHRIMP
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 cups assorted vegetables ie. baby corn, bell peppers, long beans, bamboo shoots
2 tbsp fish sauce
¼ cup Thai basil or cilantro, torn
- In a wok or pot, combine the coconut milk with the red curry paste and bring to a boil. Add the brown sugar and kaffir lime leaves then lower the heat to a simmer.
- Add vegetables and shrimp, and cook until shrimp are orange-pink in color and vegetables are tender crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in fish sauce and Thai basil or cilantro.
- Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil or cilantro and sliced red chilies.