Thai Salmon Red Curry or Vegetable Curry

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Salmon by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

We love Mae Ploy Curry pastes, and Red Curry Paste is used in one of our favorite Thai dishes from a wonderful local Thai restaurant, Khao Niao Thai-Lao.  (If you are ever in Omaha, don’t miss it. It is amazing!) Salmon works beautifully in this curry, but you could really use any firmer fish, or no fish at all. It’s a great vegetarian Thai curry. 

The Red Curry Paste is pretty spicy – so go easy on it the first time.  Love the heat?  Go for the full 1 1/2 Tablespoons! Serve over rice.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup mushrooms, halved
1  to 1 1/2 Tbsp Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste (use less if you don’t like it too spicy!)
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup eggplant, cut into 1″ pieces
1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut in slivers
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can water
2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/2 to 1 lb salmon fillet, skin removed and cut into 1″ pieces
Fresh lime juice (1/2 lime, plus more sliced for the table)
toasted cashews (optional, but wonderful if making a vegetarian version)
fresh basil (optional)

In a large, deep frying pan, heat oil and sautee onions for 3-4 minutes until softened.  Add peppers and sautee another couple minutes.  Add mushrooms and any other veggies (except cauliflower and spinach) and continue sauteeing 3-4 minutes until the water has released and partially dried up.

Form a well in the middle of the veggies and add a little more oil.  Add the curry paste and cook lightly for a minute or so.  Stir to combine with all veggies.  Add cauliflower and ginger and stir again. Add coconut milk, water, sugar and fish sauce.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add spinach and salmon and cook 3-4 minutes, or until salmon pieces are pink through.

Serve over rice, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top. Sprinkle with cashews and fresh basil if using.

Skip the salmon for a vegetarian version.  You can use other vegetables if you have them.  If using a stiffer veggie like carrots or potato, cook them in boiling salted water for several minutes until they are just about done, and then add them with the baby spinach.

So, so good!

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