5-Ingredient Thai Curry in a Hurry

curry in a hurry | foodloveswriting.com

I should start off by telling you my blog friend Megan doesn’t call this recipe curry in a hurry. Curry in a hurry is what I call it—because, my friends, this is a curry that can be on the table in 10 to 15 minutes flat. If the rice and vegetables are cooked ahead of time, or, at least, cooked while you’re off doing something else, dinner prep is barely dinner prep. Dinner prep is as mindless as reheating leftovers or buying one of those ready-made things you dump into a pan on the stove. Dinner prep takes less time than it takes to go pick up takeout, watch an entire sitcom or, you know, blowdry my thick head of hair (which is why I rarely do).

What Megan calls this dish is, instead, red curry with pineapple—because, although this meal is quick and foolproof and faster than a meal from Rachael Ray, it’s also an amazing replica of one of the most popular entrees at Thai restaurants everywhere. The flavor-maker is the red curry paste, made of red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, Thai ginger, salt, shallot, spices and kaffir lime. Combined with coconut milk for creaminess, a little organic soy sauce for more flavor, 1/2 cup of chopped fresh pineapple and red chili flakes to taste, this dish is not just the fastest, but also the best knockoff takeout I know.

curry in a hurry | foodloveswriting.com

The next thing I should tell you is how I am, right now, fighting the urge to delete those first two paragraphs and talk to you instead about The Godfather, which is the movie we watched again Sunday afternoon. On this viewing, which took place with our lingering lunch guests after an Easter pizza party, what hit me more than anything was food: Clemenza teaching Michael to make tomato sauce, a box of cannolis being salvaged from a murder scene, veal Parmesan at a restaurant, Connie’s insane wedding cake in the opening scenes that is probably taller than our front door. I’m endlessly fascinated by the way food backdrops life—from Italian mob movies to self-employed Nashville couples—I mean, here we all are, pursuing our different goals and nurturing our different relationships and fighting our different battles, but no matter what, we all have at least one thing we know in common: We have to eat. Food is the setting against which we do everything else. Even mafia families need spaghetti.

at the table | foodloveswriting.com

Which is to say, Tim and I ate this curry on a weekday in which we were both tired and preoccupied with work, the way we are on many weekdays in this season of life. While I dumped the few ingredients in a pan in the kitchen, my laptop was still open on the table, and he was still propped up on the sofa, typing away. The sun is setting later these days, a fact for which we still give thanks like clockwork, and so when we shared our meal sometime between six and seven o’clock, there was still enough natural light to slow-shutter-photograph the table before we dug in. These simple days are ordinary, full, ones, the kind that send us falling hard to bed, and that lend themselves towards the mindless meal. And Megan’s recipe, while easy to market and perfect for Pinterest, is also this: a part of this last week of living, a backdrop against a full day of life.

5-Ingredient Thai Curry in a Hurry
Serves four when combined with your choice of cooked rice and vegetables

Red Curry with Pineapple

1 14-ounce can coconut cream*
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Red pepper flakes to taste
½ fresh pineapple, chopped into 1- or 2-inch pieces

In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut cream, red curry paste, and fish sauce. Stir to combine. Add red pepper flakes (I like 1-2 teaspoons, which gives it a nice kick. If you don’t like spicy food, just add a little and taste until it’s perfect). Add pineapple, and stir to warm through. Reserve until ready to use.

Serves 4; I recommend serving with jasmine rice and steamed vegetables.

My favorite way to enjoy this curry is with pineapple cooked in, and served over a bed of jasmine rice and steamed vegetables. It’s very versatile, and could be made with chicken, shrimp, or any meat/fish of your choice.

*I get my coconut cream supply from Trader Joe’s, but I’m sure you could find it at Whole Foods or an Asian supermarket. Definitely look for coconut cream rather than coconut milk… it makes all the difference. Coconut milk will also work if the cream is not available.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

18 thoughts on “5-Ingredient Thai Curry in a Hurry”

  1. Curry in a hurry is an excellent name for a dish (and now you having me totally craving that hit of spices) and I love the idea of food being the backdrop to life and a way to bookend our days.

    • Kathryn, I know just what you mean about that hit of spices–I crave it often!

      Also, I brought the Enid Blyton books home for the weekend and showed them to my dad and he was so delighted! Thank you again!

  2. I’ve been looking for more quick recipes lately, as my dinner prep time is going to be very limited once the summer months arrive. This one is definitely going on the list. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I do that when I’m reading books — perk up and pay more attention when the paragraphs turn into deep descriptions of what’s on the characters’ plate. Which explains why I like reading books and blogs that incorporate food in the story. I also like how you describe meals as “a backdrop against a full day of life.” Have I ever told you I love your writing? 😉

  4. Thank you so much for the kind words, Shanna! So glad you made the curry and enjoyed it. And I agree with Jacqui. Your writing is tops 🙂

    • Thanks, Megan — and thanks again for this recipe! I was so excited when I ate the first spoonful: just like the Thai curries I love! A definite keeper.

  5. I was just thinking this exact thing today – how food is the backdrop of life. It all returns to the fact that we have to nourish ourselves. So many layers to that thought! This particular dish sounds so savory!

    • Exactly! I feel that way about so many thoughts — that, once I get thinking about the idea, the layers keep coming! — this is a good one to stew on for a while. : )

  6. Shanna – we all need recipes like this. Nourishing in the midst of real life. PS. The site is looking beautiful – I love the header and the new photo of you guys!

    • Aw, thanks so much, Jess! It might go against everything they say about branding, but I love changing things every month. : )

  7. Love this! I always entertain the idea of making Thai food at home but then I look at how many ingredients I’d have to buy that I would never use again (preserved turnips??) and am instantly discouraged. I think I can handle 5 ingredients though 😉

  8. I am so overdue for a leisurely visit here… Long ordinary days full of life have very much been my reality for quite some time. Sometimes, I am grateful for them, and sometimes I long for more time to take things in… Anyway, I am not very familiar with curries, but you had me at pineapple with this one. Adding to my pinterest recipe to do list. 🙂

    • You are so sweet, Helene. I know just what you mean — I’m ever longing for more time, too. Please tell me what you think if you try Megan’s curry! We were so impressed!


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