TKT: Thai Red Curry with Pork and Veggies ft. ALDI products

I finally went grocery shopping last week after a three-week hiatus and a massive, nose-wrinkling refrigerator cleanout. It was so bad, a tupperware had a fork still in it and I contemplated living with an incomplete utensil set and tossing the entire thing into an incinerator. I saved the fork and am convinced the tupperware was a portal to the upside down. I’m sure the mold had a heartbeat! Anyways…

With a tiny kitchen, tiny fridge, and tiny budget, it was time to hit up my local Aldi. When I was younger, I remember being really label conscious about everything, but now I am all for whipping up some kick-ass dishes on a dime. Aldi has really expanded their organic, gluten-free, and specialty food selection, so finessing some fancy shit has been an enjoyable challenge.

For some time, I have been eyeing their sauces ($1.99): Thai red and green curries, Indian korma and masala, and Chinese stir-fry. I already have my own stir-fry sauce recipe and I need to expand my palate for Indian food past “butter chicken,” so I went for the Thai red curry sauce. It did not disappoint.

I grabbed the mini peppers, baby carrots, garlic, onion, potatoes and pork chops from Aldi too. The peas came from an uncharacteristically brief trip to the Target across the street.

aldi-red-curry-1-of-16

The recipe on the bottle said to use a pound of chicken, and 1 1/2 cups of vegetables. I picked the pork chops because I like pork cubes in curry and I prepped way more than 1 1/2 cups. If you prefer curries more soupy, prep only a cup and a half. I packed at least 4 cups of vegetables into the curry and thought it was perfect.

Before going into how I made the curry, I just want to talk about the flavor profile of the sauce. Normal pre-made curry pastes or blocks are concentrated and a separate can of coconut milk is often added. The bottles at Aldi already have coconut milk/cream added. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the red curry, because I’ve only had yellow or brown curry before. From the bottle:

“A medium spiced sauce based on red chili puree with lemon grass, ginger, garlic, garam masala, cumin, fenugreek and coriander. Rich and creamy from coconut crème with a touch of sweetness.”

This sauce definitely has a strong citrus flavor and bright acidity because of the lemongrass and vinegar. Medium spicy is definitely accurate, but its a plesant slow heat that builds the more you keep eating. It was definitely more citrusy than my personal taste, so I tampered mine and made it saltier using a Filipino condiment called patis. It’s made from the liquification of salted fermented fish. Sounds weird, but it’s similar to soy sauce and other southeast Asian countries have their own versions too.

After how well this turned out, I’m looking forward to trying all the other sauces. If you want to skip the scenic route, jump to the end of the post for the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 c. diced potatoes
  • 1 c. diced carrots
  • 1 c. thinly sliced peppers
  • 1 c. peas (I used frozen)
  • 1 lb. pork, thin cut chops
  • 1 bottle Aldi Thai Red Curry Sauce
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fermented fish sauce (optional)

aldi-red-curry-2-of-16

So what I did for pretty blog pic purposes was prep and arrange the ingredients in the order I’m adding them to the skillet.

  1. Red chopping board: Pressed garlic and minced onions
  2. Green chopping board: Cubed meat
  3. Blue bowls: Diced potatoes and carrots
  4. Pink bowls: Peas and julienne sweet peppers

NOTE: After making this dish, I’ve decided that the potatoes and carrots (being root hard veggies) should either be added before the meat, or par-boiled/steamed to soften them a bit. I realized my mistake and had to compensate by closely monitoring the pork  – which was thinly cut – from overcooking and being tough/chewy and praying the potatoes or carrots wouldn’t be crunchy. The official recipe below will reflect the ammended directions.

First, I poured 2 tbsp. of coconut oil to to a skillet on medium-high heat, added the  garlic and onion and sauteed until fragrant.

aldi-red-curry-5-of-16

Then added the pork,  potatoes, and carrots. I used salt and pepper here to season the meat and cooked it until the pork looked like it was halfway done.

aldi-red-curry-7-of-16

I unfortunately waited too long and the pork looked completely white on the outside, in hindsight, continue wiht the next step when the pork still looks pink.

aldi-red-curry-8-of-16

Then add the full bottle of sauce, peas and peppers. Mix together and cover.

aldi-red-curry-9-of-16

Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity to cook rice to accompany the meal.

aldi-red-curry-10-of-16

Check to see if the carrots and peas are tender before removing from heat.

aldi-red-curry-12-of-16

Plate over rice and serve. OPTIONAL: Add salt, fish sauce, or soy sauce to taste.

aldi-red-curry-14-of-16

Thai Red Curry with Pork and Vegetables

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A globally-inspired, quick and hearty meal


Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 c. diced potatoes
  • 1 c. diced carrots
  • 1 c. thinly sliced peppers
  • 1 c. frozen peas
  • 1 lb. pork, thin center-cut chops
  • 1 bottle Aldi Thai Red Curry Sauce
  • Coconut Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Fermented fish sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. Pour 2 tbsp. of coconut oil to to a skillet on medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and sautee until fragrant.
  2. Add potatoes and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add cubed pork, salt and pepper. Sautee until almost cooked.
  4. While there is still pink in the middle of the pork, add the full bottle of sauce, peas and peppers. Mix together and cover.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. This is a great opportunity to cook rice to accompany the meal.
  6. Check to see if the carrots and peas are tender before removing from heat
  7. Plate over rice and serve. OPTIONAL: Add salt, fish sauce, or soy sauce to taste.

NOTES

  • You can substitute differeent vegetables, just add to the skillet in the order they need to be cooked. I would keep the amount to 4 cups.
  • You can substitute chicken, tofu, or just use vegetables. When cooking protein, add the sauce to the mixture before it is fully cooked to prevent it from being over-cooked.
  • OPTIONAL: Garnish with lime wedge and/or cilantro.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s