Red Curry

Thai Red Curry

Red curry, also known as "Kaeng Phet" in Thai, has a rich history dating back to the Ayutthaya period. Its vibrant red hue is derived from red chilies, which are a staple in Thai cuisine. Over the centuries, red curry has evolved and become a beloved dish in Thailand and worldwide.

Red Curry's history is as rich as its flavor. It finds its roots in the Ayutthaya Kingdom, one of the most influential periods in Thai history. Originally, curries were brought to Thailand by Portuguese traders. Thai cooks then modified these recipes with indigenous ingredients and their creativity, giving birth to the delicious Red Curry we know today.

Health Benefits of Red Curry

Red curry is not just a treat for the taste buds; it also offers health benefits. The spices in red curry, such as turmeric and ginger, have anti-inflammatory properties. The coconut milk in the dish provides healthy fats, making it a well-rounded choice.

Red Curry Ingredients

The heart of red curry lies in its unique blend of ingredients. Thai red chilies, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, and shrimp paste are combined to create the distinctive red curry paste. Coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, and Thai basil are also essential components that contribute to the dish's rich flavor.

  • Tofu
  • 1 can (14 oz) of coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons of red curry paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of protein (tofu etc.), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Assorted vegetables (such as bell peppers, carrots, and broccoli), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to taste)
  • Thai basil leaves (optional, for garnish)
  • Cooked rice, for serving


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the red curry paste and cook for a minute or two until fragrant.
  2. Add the protein (chicken, beef, tofu, etc.) to the skillet and cook until it's browned and cooked through.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine with the curry paste and protein.
  4. Add the assorted vegetables and cook until they are tender but still crisp.
  5. Season the curry with fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version) and sugar. Adjust the seasoning to your taste preference.
  6. Let the curry simmer for a few more minutes until everything is heated through and well combined.
  7. Serve the red curry over cooked rice. Optionally, garnish with Thai basil leaves for extra flavor and color.

Red Curry Recipes

Now, let's get cooking! We'll explore three different red curry recipes to cater to various tastes and preferences.

Classic Thai Red Curry Recipe

This recipe will guide you through the traditional preparation of red curry, with step-by-step instructions and tips for achieving an authentic flavor.

Vegetarian Red Curry Recipe

For our vegetarian friends, here's a delightful red curry recipe that substitutes meat with vegetables and tofu while maintaining the exquisite taste.

Red Curry with a Twist

Feeling adventurous? Try a red curry recipe with a twist. We'll experiment with ingredients like pineapple and duck for a unique and exciting twist on this classic dish.

Best Companions for Red Curry

Red curry is often served with jasmine rice, but it also goes well with noodles or crusty bread. Consider side dishes like cucumber salad and Thai omelets to complete the meal.

Presentation and Garnishes

The visual appeal of a red curry dish is essential. Garnish with fresh cilantro, Thai basil leaves, and slices of red chili to make your dish visually stunning.

Cooking Red Curry at Home

Making red curry at home is a rewarding experience. Start by sautéing the red curry paste in a pan, add your choice of protein (chicken, shrimp, or tofu), and pour in the creamy coconut milk. Simmer until the flavors meld and serve with jasmine rice.

Variations of Red Curry

Red curry has numerous variations. You can customize the spiciness level, choose different proteins, or opt for vegetarian versions. The versatility of red curry makes it a favorite for both novice and experienced cooks.

Red curry is a flavorful and versatile dish that has made its mark in Thai cuisine and on global menus. Its unique combination of ingredients, customization options, and health benefits make it a culinary delight for people all over the world.