If you’re looking for an introductory cookbook to Thai cuisine, check out Easy Thai Cookbook by Sallie Morris published by Watkins and Nourish. Split into three sections, the book provides an introduction to key ingredients, equipment and cooking methods, 70 recipes with colour photographs, and twelve suggested menus for how to put the dishes together. Read my full review here.
In the meantime, I have permission to share three great recipes from the book with my readers. This is the first, Red Curry Paste (Krueng Gaeng Phed).
The paste is used in a number of different dishes in the book, including this Chiang Mai Curried Noodle Soup with Chicken (Khao Soi Gai) recipe and this Thai Spicy Green Beans (Pad Ped Tou Kag) recipe.
Red Curry Paste (Krueng Gaeng Phed)
- 10 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
- 115 g 4oz red onions or shallots, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 lemon grass stems, lower stem only, sliced and bruised
- 1 cm ½ in piece galangal, peeled and sliced
- 4 coriander/ cilantro stems, stalks and roots only
- 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp grated magrut
- 1 cm cube kapi, see Note
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 8-10 black peppercorns
- 1 tsp salt
Kapi is a key ingredient in South East Asian cooking. Made from shrimp or prawns which are fermented and then pounded into a fine paste, it is usually sold in 225 gram blocks, although the Thai variety is also available in 50 gram plastic containers. It keeps well once opened if rewrapped closely and stored in an airtight container in a cool place.
Blend the chillies, onions or shallots, garlic, lemon grass, galangal and coriander/cilantro to a fine paste with the oil in a food processor. Add the magrut and prepared kapi.
Dry-fry the seeds for a few minutes, then grind to a powder with the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar. Add to the paste with the salt. Blend well. Spoon into a glass jar, cover with cling film/plastic wrap and a tightfitting lid and refrigerate.
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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Easy Thai Cookbook by Sallie Morris. Published by Watkins and Nourish. Recipe published with permission.