Thai Yellow Curry

One of the many benefits of living in a big city like Seattle is you never run out of amazing places to eat. Particularly with such a diverse city like Seattle, you never run into the issue of being able to find the type of food you're craving at any given moment. Craving Indian? It's just a tap away on PostMates. Craving Thai? There's four different options to choose from less than two blocks away (thanks, Yelp). Whatever you're craving, we pretty much have it all. I definitely do not take it for granted the variety and sheer quality of amazing global cuisine we have here in this amazing city!

Growing up in Olympia, Washington we weren't spoiled with copious amounts of global cuisine like I am here in Seattle. Let me put it this way: "global cuisine" meant divey El Sarape or the Emperor's Palace that was delivered to us via a car with a bright, yellow phone on top. Supes authentic! 

The cuisine I did gain exposure to, though, was Thai food. My favorite Thai restaurant to this day comes from my hometown called Lemongrass. Growing up, my mom and I would go out to lunch or a mom/daughter dinner date at Lemongrass because my brother was a weirdo and didn't like Thai food (still doesn't!) We would get the same thing every time too: pork and prawn fresh rolls, pad see ew and most always yellow curry. While I love pretty much any and all Thai food, there is nothing to me quite like a good yellow curry. And Lemongrass has, hands down, the best yellow curry I've ever tasted. 

What makes their yellow curry so special above all else is the consistency of the curry. It's not too soupy, but not too thick. It's decadent, luscious and 100% worthy of plate licking. It's also the only curry to get what's in the curry completely right, if you ask me. While other yellow curries will just feature potatoes and onions, maybe some carrots or sometimes even tomatoes which I find to be totally wrong, Lemongrass gets it right with onions, carrots, potatoes and sweet yams. It creates for a curry that's rich and well-balanced with savory, sweet and spicy flavors. It's truly divine! 

I never even considered trying to replicate curry at home until I started poking around on the interwebs to realize it wasn't all that difficult. After some research and noodling on how I could make my own version of Lemongrass's perfect yellow curry, I think I finally found a method that makes a pretty spot on version. 

Ok so at first glance this recipe is a tad unconventional for me just for the sheer amount of ingredients and steps. But take a closer look and it actually uses your average pantry ingredients and staples you'd have on hand anyways. You could buy a store bought curry paste to cut some time, but I highly recommend taking the extra few steps to make your own homemade curry paste both for this recipe and to have on hand as a pretty awesome cooking enhancer in general. Stay tuned for a quick and easy marinade recipe I have featuring the paste!

The curry sauce itself is silky smooth and reaches the ideal consistency. That paired with my perfect veggie combo and tender pieces of chicken makes for one hearty meal. And intimidating as it may be, this one-pot meal still manages to be very affordable and it will feed a crowd or at least yourself for a week. 

Bonus: because it's made with coconut milk, it's actually perfect for Whole30 or Paleo diets! Simply omit the chicken and you also have yourself something that's vegan. Wow, who am I? Well there's that Seattle life for ya. Enjoy, friends!

Thai Yellow Curry

Inspired and adapted mainly from Pinch of Yum's Thai Yellow Curry 

Ingredients

Yellow Curry Paste

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons ginger paste or chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass paste
  • 3 tablespoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 large handful cilantro leaves 
  • 3 tablespoons tumeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1-2 tablespoons red chili flakes (depending on how spicy you like it! I used two tablespoons and it resulted in a medium spice curry, so use that as your baseline)
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Thai Yellow Curry 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 2-3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Cilantro for serving

Directions

Yellow Curry Paste: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle shallots with olive oil and salt and wrap in a foil pouch. Cut the pointy top off garlic heads so the cloves are partially exposed. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap each head in foil. Bake foil packets for 35 minutes.

Put everything in a food processor and puree until it reaches a thick, paste-like consistency. Store in mason jars. For whatever you don't use for this recipe, use for marinades and/or freeze!

Thai Yellow Curry: Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium low heat. Add onions and saute for a few minutes until the onions are fragrant and softened. Add chicken and curry paste and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots and sweet potatoes and stir to coat with the curry paste.

Add coconut milk and water and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked. Stir in the fish sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve over cauliflower or jasmine rice and top with cilantro. Tastes just like better than takeout!

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