Thai Red Curry & Riesling

This time of year as we suffer with the cold wet winter days comforting warm foods keep us going. Thai food has been big in Seattle for years, and when I moved to the city for college way back when I quickly fell in love. I love the fresh flavors and warmth that Thai food brings.

Recently my friends at Pacific Rim Wines sent me a bottle of their J Riesling. Riesling is such a great wine that pairs well with almost all styles of food they asked me to create an Asian meal to pair with their wine. Just like I had done with the Dry Riesling a couple months ago. The J Riesling is “Just Right” since it is set between the Dry Riesling and the Sweet Riesling. Knowing that this wine had some sugar to it I wanted to pair it with something spicy! What better dish to pair it with than a Spicy Red Thai Curry.

Red Thai Curry is one of my favorite dishes, I love the coconut milk, the spice and the umami flavors from the fish sauce. For my take on this classic I created my own Red Curry Paste, yes you can buy store bought but it’s so simple to pound out your own paste and you can see what exactly is going into it. With a mortar and pestle it’s fun to take your aggressions out and make something spicy and delicious.

Once you have the paste it’s time to create the dish. This version is just tofu and vegetables but you could easily add shrimp or chicken too. It’s a quick and easy meal as you don’t need it to cook long as you don’t want mushy vegetables. Serve over a bowl of nice white rice or brown if you want to be healthy along with a simple side salad and you have a perfect winter meal.

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Thai Red Curry

A ‘go to’ comfort food in our house. 
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Author Shaun Myrick

Ingredients

Red Curry Paste

  • 16 dried Thai chillies soaked in hot water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 shallots
  • 3 tbsp cilantro stems chopped
  • 1 tbsp galangal grated (similar to ginger but citrusy)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 3-4 inch lemon grass
  • 2 lime leaves
  • 1/2 tsp shrimp paste I have used 1 tbsp Fish Sauce as subsitute

Thai Red Curry

  • 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cans coconut milk 1 full fat, 1 low fat
  • 2-3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup bamboo shoots
  • 2 cups mushrooms mix of chopped cremini, shiitakes, beech
  • 1 can baby corn cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 small zucchini cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 bell pepper red, yellow, or orange
  • 1 block firm tofu drained, cut into 1 inch chunks and patted dry
  • Thai basil garnish
  • 1 lime cut into wedges

Instructions

Red Curry Paste

  • Drain the chillies and gently remove as many seeds and stems as possible. 
    In a mortar and pestle grind the chillies until they are paste like and then add 1 ingredient at a time and keep grinding until all ingredients are combined into a rich nice paste. If you need to loosen it up, add a bit of the water from the chillies to get to the right consistency. 
    Store in an airtight container in fridge for upwards of a month, or freeze in tablespoon size amounts 

Thai Red Curry

  • Start by heating the oil in a pan, add in the red curry paste and sauté until fragrant.  Add in the mushrooms and sauté until they are golden and have released their juices. 
    Now add in the coconut milk and the tomato paste, stir to incorporate. 
    Add in the fish sauce and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables and tofu lower to a simmer and simmer everything to your desired tenderness. I like my vegetables to still have a crunch so I only simmer until the tofu is heated thru. Taste for seasoning, you want balance, it may need more umami or more sweetness, so add fish sauce or brown sugar to desired level. 
    Serve over rice and garnish with basil (Thai basil if possible) and a squeeze of lime. 

Notes

The leftovers are great, this reheats marvelously and the spice will mellow. 

Pacific Rim Wines are available pretty much everywhere and at a price point of $12 a bottle they are a good affordable option for an everyday drinker. If you love white wines and wish to change up your routine add Riesling to your cellar. I love to find a great deal on a good Washington Wine.  Pacific Rim knows Riesling, 90% of what they produce are varieties of Riesling, from sweet to dry. They source the grapes for these wines in the Columbia Valley

how good is that

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