Just finished a fine, fine meal of very spicy (9 of out 10) green Thai curry.
So, something that I’ve wondered for a long time, and also came up at the dinner table, what is the difference between red, yellow, and green curries? Is it just a matter of a difference in ingredients? Is one spicier than the other, or better suited for some meats/veggies than another? (I’ve had them all, but can’t ever seem to remember the flavor difference between them when I’m ordering them.) I don’t ever seem to order red curry. Maybe I don’t like it as much? Do most people have a preference?
Also, what chili pepper is used in curry?
I must say, my sinus headache is gone. Screw the Allegra, I’m going to just eat more curry through ragweed season.
The pepper in Thai curries is generally a Thai birds’-eye chili. They’re tiny little peppers, about an inch in length, that pack a powerful punch. Come in red and green varieties, depending on when they’re picked and how long they’ve sat out. Red ones are used in red curries, green ones in green curries.
The basic curry paste used in red and green Thai curries is similar: Chiles, shallots, galangal root, lemongrass, kaffit lime leaves, shrimp paste are the basic ingredients. You can also add coriander and cumin, as with an Indian curry. For a red curry you use red birds’-eye chiles, for a green curry, green. They’re not really all that much different.
For a yellow curry, you have the same basic ingredients, but you also add a few aromatics, like perhaps cadamom, or mace, as well as some Indian-type curry powder, which contains turmeric (for your yellow color), as well as coriander, cumin, perhaps fungreek, etc. The main thing I’ve noticed different about yellow curries is that they’re often paired with meat and potatoes. The other two curries you’ve mentioned, red and green, I’ve never seen served with potatoes.
All three are coconut-based curries.
There’s also sour curries in Thai cuisines, which are most popularly served with fish of some sort. These are soured with either tamarind juice or lime juice.
Also, if you like spicy, give the Kai Pad Bai Kaprow (Thai Basil Chicken) a shot. It’s my favorite Thai dish, a simple concoction of chicken, chiles, fish sauce, shallots, and oodles of Holy Basil. Yum yum.
I happen to have a pail of green Thai curry paste here.
It’s Cock Brand.
The indredients list has percentages and reads:
Fresh green chilli [sic] (43%), Lemon grass (20.3%), garlic (13.5%), onion (13.5%), salt (4.4%), galangal (2%), cumin (2%), coriander seeds (1.3%).
I don’t know. I just have never seen potatoes in a typical red curry. I’ve looked online of the first dozen hits or so on “thai red curry recipe,” none of them contain potato–whereas Thai yellow curry I’ve never seen without potato.
And was* so* pleased with myself that I came up with “Curry Curiousity”!! Believe me, I usually end up going the “Question About Curries” route. I know, it really hooks ya, doesn’t it? :dubious: Whoo-hoo!! Such a wit. I know you are all intimidated.