Simple Thai Coconut Curry

This is a pattern recipe, which means you can make it a bunch of different ways, and it will always be yummy. But it also means that the instructions are a little bit vague, similar to Either-Or Oriental Chicken Salad.

1-2 onions, diced

1 sweet red pepper, seeded and diced

1 T olive oil

3 T Thai red curry paste

14-oz can coconut milk

1-2 pounds of fish, shrimp, chicken, beef, or vegetables (see below)

Great big handful of cilantro, chopped

Lemon juice or rice vinegar, to taste (it always takes more than I expect)

Soy sauce or fish sauce, to taste

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onions until soft. Add the pepper and continue cooking for a few minutes. Stir in the curry paste and saute for a minute or two, then slowly add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

At this point, you can add fish (cut into 1- or 2-inch pieces) or shrimp and simmer it until done (with timing based on the type of fish).

Or, if you want to make it with meat, you could have sauteed cubes of chicken, beef, or pork with the onions and peppers, then aded the curry and coconut milk and simmered it.

Or, after you make the sauce, you could stir in a bunch of steamed vegetables and some tofu cubes and cut-up hard-boiled eggs.

At the end, just before removing it from the heat, add the cilantro, the lemon juice or rice vinegar (adds a sour component), and the soy sauce or fish sauce (adds a salty component). Serve it over rice or noodles…or thin it with more coconut milk and water and call it soup. Garnish with some additional cilantro leaves.

Be prepared for accolades and autograph requests.