After weeks of slow death by heavy food, my palate craves something spicy and vibrant, and only Thai food will do. Luckily, I’ve been schooled by the best teacher–Jam Sanitchat, owner of Thai Fresh. Her cooking classes reveal how easy it is to master Thai dishes like this delicious curry, and how soul-satisfying they can be when made with local produce and meats. I’ve made a vegetarian version here, but it’s just as delicious with pork or chicken. I love the tangy acidity of the green tomatoes with the sweet and creamy pumpkin and coconut milk. An everyday dish, to be sure, but worthy of its own celebration.
Thai Red Curry with Pumpkin & Green Tomato
1 butternut squash or small pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
2-3 green tomatoes (optional), cut into large cubes
1 Tbs. neutral flavored oil, such as peanut or grapeseed
3 Tbs. red curry paste
2 cans coconut milk
3 Tbs. fish sauce, or to taste
juice of 1 lime
handful or fresh cilantro
1 package flat rice noodles, soaked in warm water until al dente, and drained
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add curry paste and fry briefly, until fragrant. Open the cans of coconut milk without shaking them. There will be a layer of thicker coconut cream on top and more watery coconut juice on the bottom. Scoop coconut cream off top of cans, and add to pot. Continue to fry over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, whisking to combine. Add remaining watery coconut milk to pot and heat to a simmer. Add squash or pumpkin and green tomatoes. Simmer until squash is tender. Balance flavors with fish sauce, sugar and lime to taste. Coarsely chop half the cilantro and add to curry. Place rice noodles in serving bowls and ladle hot curry over the top. Serve with handfuls of fresh cilantro on top, and extra lime wedges for squeezing at the table.