The Thai food industry is booming in the United States, with over 10,000 restaurants open and serving delicious foods like Thai curry daily. The incredible combinations of flavors and spiciness keep people returning for more. Thai curry is one of the best foods you can try when visiting your local Thai restaurant, but it’s vital to know the difference between red curry vs. green curry to find your favorite.
They’re both curries but hit your tastebuds and palate much differently. Knowing if you prefer spicy or sweet Thai and Indian curry will guide you toward the best option for a meal you’ll never forget.
The good news is that you’ve uncovered this guide to the differences between red and green curry and the Indian spices you can add to take your tastebuds for the ride of their lives. Continue reading to find the perfect curry for your palate today!
What Is Red Curry?
Red curry comes from a paste made in Thailand using a mortar and pestle set to grind up the ingredients and spices. Red curry combines dry red spur chilies, ginger, garlic, coriander, shrimp paste, and lemongrass. Add extra zest to the mix to modify the flavor and find the perfect spice level for your curry.
It’s best to use shrimp paste in moderation since it has a strong flavor. You don’t want it to dominate the other Thai and Indian spices when creating the paste. Add some fish sauce to the mix to minimize some of the spice and add a salty flavor.
Add fresh red chilies to the mix when cooking the curry to add the perfect level of fresh spice to your meal. Blend the curry paste you’ve created with fresh coconut milk, and you’re one step closer to completing a savory red curry meal.
Add several tasty protein options to the red curry to increase your enjoyment when eating it. Chicken, shrimp, and pork are the most common protein options. Consider using tofu if you’re looking for vegan options that still pack some protein into the meal.
Tomato paste is an excellent substitute if you can’t find red Thai chilies. You’ll notice a sweet taste and enjoy the deep red color of the curry when you sit down to enjoy your meal! This dabeli recipe will lead you in the right direction to cook the perfect curry.
What Is Green Curry?
Green curry is similar to red curry but uses green Thai chilies to form the paste instead of the red alternative. Use the mortar and pestle to blend the green chilies with coconut milk and coriander roots. It’s a milder option for your tastebuds if you don’t enjoy eating spicier foods.
Several tasty protein options pair well with green curry. Use white fish, chicken, shrimp, or tofu with your green curry recipe. It’s also best to pair your green curry with the green vegetables you can access.
Sugar peas, broccoli, and green peppers are common vegetables in authentic Thai dishes using green curry paste. Green Thai curry is the most popular option, though tofu makes a phenomenal substitute if you adhere to a Vegan lifestyle.
Differences Between Thai and Other Curries
Now that you know the differences between red curry vs. green curry in Thailand, it’s critical to learn how to differentiate between other curries. Thai curry is very different from Indian curry. You’ll protect yourself from food allergies and enjoy a delightful meal when you know what sets Thai and Indian curry apart.
Thai Curry Uses Coconut Milk
The immediate difference you’ll notice when cooking Indian food is the lack of coconut milk for the curry’s base. Thai curry always uses coconut milk. It isn’t an authentic Thai curry dish if the curry doesn’t feature coconut milk.
Indian curry differs because the spices in Indian food are the true stars. Some Indian dishes use coconut milk, but most often, the chef will use cream or yogurt to form the base for the curry. These options pair quite well with a thick and savory tomato sauce.
Thai Curry Uses Paste
Another notable difference you’ll notice with Thai curry is the use of a paste to deliver incredible flavor. You blend the ingredients into a paste and mix that with coconut milk and the vegetables and protein of your choice. Most Thai foods don’t use dried spices and herbs to create the curry’s flavor.
The curries differ between cultures, but you should also consider the rice when comparing the differences between red and green curries and Indian and Thai dishes. Thai and Indian food are similar to curries enjoyed with rice, but they use very different rice options.
Basmati rice is the traditional choice when cooking an Indian curry. Meanwhile, Jasmine rice is the perfect option for red and green curries. Jasmine rice is a long-grain option that features a floral scent when cooked. Try to find Jasmine rice to cook your own green or red Thai curry at home.
Indian food is quite spicy, but the comparison between Thai and Indian spicy levels is as far apart as red curry vs. green curry. Indian food features plenty of powerful Indian spices, but Thai curries feature a healthy portion of fresh red and green chilies to add to the spiciness of the food.
You can modify the spice level when cooking Thai curry at home. It’s helpful to prepare for the heat when ordering red or green curry at an authentic Thai restaurant.
Choose Between Red Curry vs. Green Curry Today
When trying Thai food for the first time, the primary battle you’ll face is deciding between red curry vs. green curry. The differences between these curries come from the ingredients used to create the paste.
Red curry is dominated by Red chilies and a mix of garlic and ginger, while green curry is milder. They also differ from Indian curry due to the spices in Indian food being dried herbs vs. a paste.
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