Thai Red Curry Beef w Mae Ploy Curry Paste

thai red curry mae ploy

As the weather becomes nicer I start to really resent making dishes that take hours. I type this after having the last two and a half hours of my life cooking/cleaning. It makes me positively nostalgic for quicker, more flavorful dishes like this Thai Red Curry Beef made with Mae Ploy Curry Paste. Mae Ploy is a Thai brand which sells curry pastes ( on amazon!) that are bigger on flavor than insipid grocery store ones. By the time I am done ‘fixing’ those I often feel that I may as well have made the paste myself! But that runs counter to my whole wanting to spend less time cooking thing. That said, when I first used this paste I found it unpleasantly punchy. However, with some tweaking I have found ratios that work well for me. 

thai red curry mae ploy

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Thai Noodle Salad – A Guest Post at Aharam

There are some bloggers whose frequent and delicious looking posts lead me to believe that if I were to drop in unannounced any day of the week they would offer up the kind of food I make for guests. Aruna at Aharam is one of them. Not only is she always whipping up something amazing, but she also has a knack of seamlessly relaying some really interesting information about different traditions and the provenance of many foods.

When she asked me if I was interested in writing a guest post for her blog the answer was a resounding yes and while I was tempted to share something sweet – you know, largely because I wanted to eat it – I instead chose to go with this lovely noodle salad that has big bold flavors, incredible freshness, but with the comfort of noodles. My friend Marium introduced me to this salad and suggested the addition of the jalapeno, but the original recipe is from the beautiful blog Noni’s Place.

To read more hop on over to Aharam and do check out Aruna’s other posts. Happy reading!

 

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Thai Crunch Salad with an Absolutely AMAZING Peanut Dressing

Okay so here’s the thing. I am originally from Pakistan and well… traditionally back in the motherland we aren’t so big on raw food i.e. salad. The only ‘traditional’ salad is ‘kachumbar’, a desi spin on pico de gallo. It basically involves some chopped cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, green chilies with a hefty amount of lemon or vinegar and a little salt/pepper.

But this salad – or rather this dressing – this dressing changes everything. I could eat it with anything and everything and had this immensely irrationally urge to hoard it and sit in my closet and eat it all (with the actual salad itself ofcourse). It admittedly has a lot of parts, but they come together so beautifully (and quickly) that I would – and will – make this ten times over. The velvetiness of the peanut butter, the sweetness of the brown sugar, the tartness of the lime – it’s a big ol’ party in my mouth.

Crunchy Thai Salad with an AMAZING Peanut Dressing

At this point I realize it’s a little odd to gush about salad dressing so much, but trust me, this is 100% gushworthy. The recipe is from the amazing blog Once Upon a Chef. I made some changes to the greens, but out of convenience more than anything else which is why I am posting the recipe as it was originally written.

Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
Serves 4
 
Thai Peanut Dressing:
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2-1/2 tablespoons sugar (I used brown)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
 
Salad:
4 cups chopped Napa cabbage or shredded coleslaw mix (I like to toss in a little shredded red cabbage for color)
1 cup prepared shredded carrots
red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 small English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
2 medium scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
 
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Line up all the ingredients, pull out your blender and combine everything but the cilantro in the blender until smooth. Then, add your cilantro and pulse a few times – too much and you will have a green dressing.  Refrigerate until ready to serve
 
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For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn’t get soggy.
 
 
Thai Crunch Salad w an AMAZING Peanut Dressing
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Spicy Thai Noodles

I like recipes that are quick, easy, and spicy. When this one at A Small Snippet checked all three boxes then I knew I had to give it a try. I tweaked it a little and have written the recipe as I made it. I do confess though that the ‘dressing’ for the noodles made a lot more than I needed. What I love though is that I have been able to keep it in the fridge, shake it up and add to noodles with whatever veggies I have on hand and some lime and it’s delicious every time.

This recipe is infinitely adaptable, feel free to play with it as you go along, especially with spice levels, my family (minus the tot) likes things pretty spicy which is why I use a full 2 tbsp of chilli flakes and add in diced green chillies. If you wanted to make it more ‘substantial’ then you could even add protein to the mix in the form of shrimp, tofu or chicken. Or, for a purely vegetarian version, omit the fish sauce.

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The original recipe calls for cooling the dressing and noodles, I had mine warm – it was raining and warm spicy noodles really hit the spot.

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