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Make room in your weeknight rotation for this vibrant vegetarian Thai red curry. Loaded with Southeast Asian flavors like garlic, lemongrass, and red curry paste, this curry is studded with just-tender cauliflower and Yukon Gold potatoes. Coconut milk adds the right amount of creaminess, without adding a cloying coconut flavor. Once the vegetables are cooked through, swirl in a generous handful of fresh basil leaves off the heat for an unbeatable bright flavor reminiscent of your favorite Thai restaurant.

Related Reading: These Easy Red Curry Mussels Will Transport You to the Pacific Northwest

While this dish is ready to go in just under 45 minutes, it actually gets even more flavorful if you let it sit for a few hours, or even overnight, before reheating and serving, making it the ultimate leftovers dish. Serve it with rice or roti, topped with a pile of whatever tender herbs are in your fridge.

Thai Kitchen Red Curry Plaste, $2.55 on Amazon

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The Difference Between Red and Green Curry Paste

Curry paste can be found all over Southeast Asia, from Thailand and Vietnam to Cambodia and Indonesia. Color aside, there are a few key differences between red and green curry paste. This curry uses red curry paste, but you could choose your own adventure and use green if that’s what you have on hand. Red curry paste gets its color from dried red chilies that are paired with cumin, garlic, and white peppercorns. While red curry paste brings some warm, spicy notes, it’s more mild than green curry paste, which packs a punch. Green curry paste is made from fresh green chilies and a mix of herbs and aromatics, like lemongrass, shallots, coriander root, basil, and kaffir lime leaves. You can easily take down the heat level for both types of curry paste by adding more coconut milk to the curry, which dilutes the spice.

The Benefits of a Microplane

Microplanes are useful for so much more than zesting citrus. While you could use a box grater, a microplane gives you a finer result. I use this versatile kitchen tool for grating Parmigiano-Reggiano on top of pasta, garlic for vinaigrettes, and, in this case, ginger for curry. I don’t bother peeling the ginger before grating it, but if you insist on peeling it, use the back of a spoon to easily scrape it off. 

Microplane Zester, $12.95 on Amazon

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Vegetarian Coconut Curry Recipe

Vegetarian Coconut Curry

Prep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 35 minutesServes: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1-inch knob ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, florets removed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to serve
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1½ cups loosely packed basil leaves, plus more to serve
  • Purple basil, to serve
  • Cilantro leaves, to serve
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and peppers and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and lemongrass and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic. Add the red curry paste and stir until fully coated. Cook for 1 minutes, stirring often, until well combined.
  3. Add the potatoes, cauliflower, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Add in the coconut milk and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary.
  5. Stir in the basil and lime zest and juice, and remove the pot from the heat.
  6. Top with basil and cilantro before serving.

Header image by Alexis deBoschnek.

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