We've been making different versions of this recipe for just about 8 years with mixed results. I finally took a thai cooking class just this past week, and made some curry I can write home about! Thank you Jam and Thai Fresh of South Austin for showing me the way :) Check out her blog at : Thai Cooking with Jam. There's some recipes on there that I am hitting up any day now....
I learned a few really helpful tips- one, thai soy sauce is nothing like the japanese soy sauce, and they cannot be substituted for each other without effecting the recipe. Thai curry is a process- like risotto, and not a reference to the spices, and so you can follow the same recipe and swap out the paste to make yellow, green, and massaman curry, too. Finally, unless you want to have the experience, flavor-wise, it is not worth it to make the paste from scratch. And if you choose to, be prepared to pound the ingredients with a mortar and pestle for a solid 15-20 minutes.
I was amazed at how simple the recipes and methods are. It's all about the ingredients. I will post more- I also learned how to make coconut soup, pad thai, and sticky rice- and maybe I'll eventually learn how to even make pad khee mao and pad see ew!! You might have to do some specialty shopping, but at an Asian grocer, it shouldn't be too hard to find most of the ingredients.
1 can red curry paste- Mae Sri brand (If you prefer less heat, use 1/2 a can for mild or 3/4 for medium)
1 and 1/3 cans coconut milk (Chao Kho, Aroy-D, Mae Ploy brand)
Water or stock (about 3/4 of the coconut milk can)
2 cups cubed tofu or pan sauteed chicken in oil and cilantro (this is how Ryan likes it!)
3-4 cups yellow squash or zucchini
green beans or snap peas
red or yellow bell pepper
THAI soy sauce, 2 tbsp (If still too spicy at the end, add more of this to curb the heat)
1-2 tsp sugar
1 cup/ a large branch of thai basil (can sub regular basil...but should be easy to find thai basil)
4 kaffir lime leaves (just leave them out if you can't find them)
2 handfuls fresh cilantro
1. Scoop in the 'cream' of one can of coconut milk. (Only the thick white part, let the clearer milk remain in the can for now.) Scoop in the red curry paste, stir in, and turn to medium/low. Allow the curry paste to fry in the coconut milk (don't stir), for about 3-5 minutes, until red cracks form in the coconut milk.
2. Add in the remaining coconut milk and water and bring it to a boil. Add in the meat/tofu and the vegetables and simmer until the veggies are tender.
3. Add fish sauce or thai soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, and the basil and kaffir leaves. Turn off the heat and serve over rice.