We are familiar with “Thai green curry chicken”, “massaman beef” and “red duck curry”. But there’s an art to selecting the right protein to make the perfect curry.
For example, pork tends to be tough when used in quick curries. Chicken breast a little dry. Beef needs to come from the right part of the animal, and even vegetarians should be selective about their proteins. Silken tofu, perfect in Japanese hotspots, is too soft for the boisterous curry. Certain mushrooms like shiitake impart an odd flavours that clash with the spices in the curry.
So here’s our TOP 5 protein recommendations to make the best curries!
1) Boneless Chicken Thigh
You can use virtually any part of the versatile chicken in curries but for guaranteed juiciness, nothing beats boneless dark meat. Don't overcook it, chicken doesn't need long.
2) Chickpeas or any other Sturdy Legume
A ubiquitous ingredient in Indian-style curries, the hardy chickpea is also a wonderful vegetarian protein for Thai and other South-East Asian curries. Pre-soak dried peas or for convenience, use them out of a can. Choose chickpeas or black-eyed peas which are hardier than say cannelini or kidney.
3) Roast Duck
Red duck curry is the go to Thai curry when we feel like something special, something exotic. But it’s Super easy to make at home, the secret is store bought roast duck! Get it from the local Chinese roast meats takeout, chop into bite sized pieces and toss into the curry for a quick simmer before serving.
4) Mild Mushrooms (straw, button, iinoki)
The vegetarian meat. Choose juicy, mild flavoured ones so they absorb the flavours of the curry, rather than the other way round.
5) Fried Tofu Puffs
Anyone who has had traditional Nonya laksa would have experienced the life-changing joy of curry bursting from sacks of fried tofu, filling the mouth with glorious sauce. Please do repeat this at home