This is a good dish of "adjustable difficulty." The primary ingredient is a can of maesri brand red curry paste. Green or Yellow will work as well, depending on your preference for flavor. After that, you can cook it according to the directions on the can or modify to taste as mom always did. I will try to replicate what mom used to make for this page, but of course I don't think she ever made two curries alike. The proteins I specified are "American Style." The Lao way would be to chop chicken thighs and legs with a cleaver, but that leaves bits of bone in your curry. If you are cooking for people who can't take the heat, you could substitute yellow curry powder for the curry paste.
- 1/2 to 1 can of curry- usually one of those hockey-puck sized Maesri cans or about three tablespoons of Mae Ploy
- A can of coconut milk
- A can of bamboo shoots- mom liked the ones that were julienned. Drain and rinse in a colander to get rid of the metalic taste
- A can of straw mushrooms, also rinsed thoroughly
- 1-2 pounds of chicken(breast) or beef (sirloin) or pork (chops or cutlets) or cubed super firm tofu
- 1/2 bag of peas and carrots, ideally thawed (a more traditional substitute is quartered thai eggplant; sliced bell peppers also go well)
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 5 shredded kaffir lime leaves (totally optional- it's already in the Maesri)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a skillet until shimmering
- Rub some salt and pepper into your chicken/beef/pork (omit if using tofu)
- Cook your chicken/beef/pork in the skillet and let rest (you can also just slice it up and cook it all with the curry if you are in a rush, as mom frequently was
- Heat some more oil under low heat and lightly brown your garlic
- Add the onions and kaffir leaves, cook until just slightly soft
- Dump in your curry paste and smoosh it around the hot pan for a few seconds just to warm it up and loosen it.
- Dump in the coconut milk and stir until the curry is mixed in.
- Add your mushrooms and veggies, raise the heat and cook until softened (or thawed in the case of peas and carrots)
- slice your protein and add it to the mix.
- salt and pepper to taste; you can even add more curry if not spicy enough.