“There are three items in Thai cuisine that I absolutely love: Thai Iced Tea, Fried Banana with Coconut Ice Cream, and Chicken with Thai Peanut Sauce. Finding the right Peanut Sauce recipe necessitated a little research into Thai Curries. I don’t handle spice well, but Thai Peanut Sauce wouldn’t taste right without a little curry. I found a blog which suggested Massaman Curry Paste for a more mild flavor, and it was exactly the flavor I was looking for.
From my Grandma’s recipe I used ‘cream of coconut’ (since I had it in the cupboard) which is a sweetened coconut mixture used in making Pina Coladas. Hint: look for it in the liquor isle of the grocery store. When using cream of coconut, be sure to buy unsweetened peanut butter, or the sauce will turn out a bit too sweet. A more traditional way to make this would be to start with actual coconut milk, still use unsweetened peanut butter, but then add sugar to taste.” – April Ferre
2TablespoonsMassaman Or Red Curry Paste (** see note)
Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until well combined and heated through. Do not let the mixture scorch the bottom of the pan. Remove sauce from heat and cool slightly.
Serve over chicken or fried tofu with parboiled bok choy or fresh spinach and rice.
Sauce will keep in the refrigerator for weeks or it can be frozen. Refrigerated peanut sauce may need to be thinned with a little water or coconut milk upon reheating.
* Or one 13.5 ounce can Coconut Milk and 3/4 cup sugar (or to desired sweetness).** The amount of curry paste can be adjusted to vary the heat to your taste. Use Red Curry Paste for spicier palates or Massaman Curry Paste for a milder, though slightly different flavor.
“This was my first experience with Thai food, both cooking it and eating it, and it was definitely a good one. The thickened coconut milk is really a must with this, and I highly recommend garnishing with hard boiled egg slices as well.” – April Ferre
The night before, sweeten coconut milk with sugar to taste. Reserve a small amount in a small bowl and combine with cornstarch. In a small saucepan, bring the remainder of the coconut milk to a simmer. Add cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened. Cool. Refrigerate overnight.
In separate bowls, soak the rice noodles and dried shrimp in cold water for 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and set aside.
Heat a large skillet until hot, then add oil. Add the garlic and dried shrimp; stir-fry. Add the noodles and stir-fry until translucent. It may be necessary to reduce the heat if the mixture is cooking too quickly and the noodles stick.
Add the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind juice and paprika. Stir-fry the mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the tofu and egg.
Turn the heat to high and cook until the egg sets, stirring gently. Thoroughly combine the mixture, and continue cooking over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until most of the liquid is reduced. Mix in the chives, peanuts and bean sprouts.
Place on serving dish and garnish with any of the following: bean sprouts, chives, banana blossom, lime wedges, hard-boiled egg slices. Additionally, top with thickened coconut milk and/or more fish sauce.
“I had dinner over at Hon and Samen’s apartment one night, and she served this over fried whole fish with rice. I think it was the first time I was presented on the table with a whole fish looking at me. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, but the polite thing is to eat what you are served. I ended up really liking it. The sauce itself takes a little bit of getting use to, as Thai fish sauce is quite pungent and a very different flavor. This is the sauce to use over whole trout.” – April Ferre