Luscious. I love that word and hate the fact that my Thai tongue has difficulty in getting around it to pronounce it properly! However, to me it’s a word that truly describes the combination of King prawns in a Thai red curry sauce. Despite the fact that I always have a bag of prawns in the freezer (and a packet of curry paste knocking around:-)), this is not a dish I eat often. The reason for that is simply that it is one of my all time favourites and so I keep it as a treat. This dish just works. It looks great, tastes wonderful, and yet takes only minutes to prepare. Treat yourself!
I like to buy my prawns with the shell on and peel them myself. However, I know that not everyone likes to peel prawns so use peeled prawns if you prefer. I use up to about 500g of prawns depending on how many I’m feeding. The important thing is to make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before going into the sauce as you only want to cook them for a few minutes to keep them tender. Defrost them under running water if necessary.
If I only have cooked prawns available I defrost them and just add them into the heated sauce and then remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. I’m also using some mild red chilies, and as ever, some lime leaves from the freezer for garnish. These are optional, you can buy them frozen in Asian stores or in the UK M&S have started stocking fresh leaves. The pastes are complete but it is always a good idea to have a little lime juice to hand to adjust sweetness, if needed, to your personal taste at the end of cooking. You also adjust saltiness by adding a little more fish sauce or salt if required.
Make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary or if you would like to see the difference between different brands of coconut milk the full article is here, Cooking Thai Curry with Coconut Milk. Just use half a can to start with, if it has separated in the can to a thick part at the top of the can then use the top part. You can add the remaining coconut liquid later depending on how thick you want your curry to be.
Put the paste in the pan, heat until it bubbles and add half the can of coconut.
Heat through while stirring
Add the defrosted prawns and sliced red chillies. Stir through adding the remainder of the coconut milk if needed.
Simmer gently for a few minutes taking care not to overcook the prawns or they will become tough. Top with desired garnish and serve with Thai jasmine rice.
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