Which Thai curry is the best Thai curry?

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Which is the best?

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Green - coconut milk, kaffir 13
Red - chilli base 12
Massaman - sweet, peanuts 12
Penang - like red, but less spicy 7
Yellow - turmeric 5
Other? 1


flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 13 September 2019 20:37 (two months ago) link

posited on probably never having had a very authentic take on any of them green is my favourite

a wagon to the curious (Noodle Vague), Friday, 13 September 2019 20:40 (two months ago) link

was always a red fan but i mostly just get the noodle dishes these days

ciderpress, Friday, 13 September 2019 21:32 (two months ago) link

yellow

sarahell, Friday, 13 September 2019 21:33 (two months ago) link

while I have had a lot of thai curry I feel I am nowhere near discovering the answer to this

ogmor, Friday, 13 September 2019 22:01 (two months ago) link

I do not know the objective answer to this and have probably never had a super-authentic Thai curry*, but lately I've been going for about 50/50 Penang vs Massaman

* the guy behind me at work for a while brought lunches in prepared by his Thai wife, and an amazing dense fog of aerosolized chilli and fish sauce smell would be unleashed when he reheated them - I like Westernised Thai food but if the real thing is that spicy I probably need to sit it out. the fragrance was a bit much for a poorly ventilated office tbh

a passing spacecadet, Friday, 13 September 2019 22:23 (two months ago) link

red - don't think i've had
green - great
yellow - don't think i've had
massaman - haven't had
penang - great

i'm not a "foodie"

brimstead, Friday, 13 September 2019 22:43 (two months ago) link

I love curry but coconut milk is a time delay event.

Yerac, Friday, 13 September 2019 22:49 (two months ago) link

I always get option paralysis at Thai restaurants

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Friday, 13 September 2019 22:53 (two months ago) link

green

theRZA the JZA and the NDB (darraghmac), Friday, 13 September 2019 23:26 (two months ago) link

Used to be yellow, now I favor red.

WmC, Friday, 13 September 2019 23:34 (two months ago) link

green w/ fresh bamboo shoots and eggplants 'n' stuff

forensic plumber (harbl), Friday, 13 September 2019 23:38 (two months ago) link

I get massaman lately, exclusively

shd probly give yellow a spin

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 13 September 2019 23:40 (two months ago) link

I thought the green was nearly the same as red but with heaps of cilantro. Anyway, it is roasty khao soi.

Mitch C. Palace (Sufjan Grafton), Friday, 13 September 2019 23:52 (two months ago) link

green is made from green chilies

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 14 September 2019 00:02 (two months ago) link

Also is usually spicier?

Seany's too Dyche to mention (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 14 September 2019 00:03 (two months ago) link

Than red ime

Seany's too Dyche to mention (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 14 September 2019 00:03 (two months ago) link

hmm idk bout that

provisional ilx (darraghmac), Saturday, 14 September 2019 00:04 (two months ago) link

yes, it is

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 14 September 2019 00:40 (two months ago) link

Pumpkin underrated vegetable for curries probably because of the disgusting thanksgiving pie and spiced latte industrial complex

Philip Nunez, Saturday, 14 September 2019 01:22 (two months ago) link

pumpkin otm

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 14 September 2019 01:28 (two months ago) link

green but i've only tried green, red, yellow. massaman seems kind of like my jam

sock fingering, baby (rushomancy), Saturday, 14 September 2019 01:31 (two months ago) link

Massaman rules. The tradition version is potato and peanut heavy. Might get my vote I haven’t decided yet

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 14 September 2019 01:44 (two months ago) link

all are classic, penang the only one that has sometimes trascended into A Perfect Taste

alomar lines, Saturday, 14 September 2019 04:07 (two months ago) link

green

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 14 September 2019 04:13 (two months ago) link

theres a vegan thai place about 5 minutes from my house and their green curry is the business

wario in the streets, waluigi in the sheets (m bison), Saturday, 14 September 2019 04:15 (two months ago) link

love the green and red equally. supposedly red is traditionally the spiciest (made from dried red chiles which are more intense than fresh green, so makes sense to me) but Westernized versions don't always adhere to this

interesting thread timing, was thinking of doing a Japanese curry project

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020451-japanese-curry-brick

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 14 September 2019 14:54 (two months ago) link

There are few foods I'm more perplexed and disgusted by than Japanese curry

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:31 (two months ago) link

Does anybody pound their own paste? I don't remember where I read it, but apparently it's extremely entirely necessary to pound your own paste. I cook some (lots) of Thai food at home but seldom (rarely) make curry, oddly enough. I don't think I can bring myself to not pound the paste and yet pounding the paste seems like a lot of work especially for wimps like me with a decidely non-industrial mortar/pestle situation

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:34 (two months ago) link

have been known to

provisional ilx (darraghmac), Saturday, 14 September 2019 15:40 (two months ago) link

probably not the best recipe out there but I’ve made this multiple times, including making the paste: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-khao-soi

untuned mass damper (mh), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:17 (two months ago) link

that looks great

forensic plumber (harbl), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:19 (two months ago) link

i love japanese curry but imo it's supposed to be a kind of shit convenience food, putting all this time and effort into it and doing it artisanally is a betrayal of its heritage as some westernized shit the british foisted on them imo

that's just japanese curry though

sock fingering, baby (rushomancy), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:21 (two months ago) link

that's like saying one should only eat instant ramen, wtf

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:54 (two months ago) link

sorry for derailing thread

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:54 (two months ago) link

idk J-curry is just like currywurst as far as I'm concerned: no thanks

That Khao Soi recipe looks delicious I'm gonna make it

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 14 September 2019 16:56 (two months ago) link

I am also perplexed by japanese curry.

Yerac, Saturday, 14 September 2019 17:05 (two months ago) link

The nicest one I ever had was massaman
At home I used to make green under the incorrect impression it was less spicy than red (it's just based on green chillies as harbl said and is likey more spicy)

Man I really want a massaman curry now

I had a pumpkin/squash Burmese curry once and it was one of the best things I've ever had

kinder, Saturday, 14 September 2019 17:20 (two months ago) link

tbh i've always had the same suspicion, walking by boxes of the stuff in Japantown supermarket - looks like some nasty boxed gravy or whatever. But that recipe looks like it has some actual curry authenticity, but with a Japanese twist- kombu and shiitakes added to a pretty typical-looking (curry) spice blend. i also like the idea that instead of coconut milk, the roux from the curry will thicken up the sauce. now i *really* want to make this, but thread also reminded me i have some khao soi paste in back of fridge that i ought to finish first
xpost

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Saturday, 14 September 2019 17:28 (two months ago) link

supposedly red is traditionally the spiciest (made from dried red chiles which are more intense than fresh green, so makes sense to me) but Westernized versions don't always adhere to this


interesting - in the UK shop-bought red curry (as a ready meal or as a kit or paste jar) is usually spicier than green, but in Thai restaurants here green is usually spicier than red, so I had thought that green > red was more authentic

I have never been anywhere near Thailand and can certainly believe that an extra level of authenticity flips the comparison again though

I don't really do spicy so I am wary of restaurant green curry due to unpredictable spice levels, and I definitely stay far away from jungle curry (kaeng pa? I assume it has some other canonical name in the US since nobody has mentioned it itt yet) as I have seen it make true chilli aficionados weep and sweat from body parts I didn't even know had sweat glands

a passing spacecadet, Saturday, 14 September 2019 17:47 (two months ago) link

do y'all's thai restaurants not allow for you to specify spice levels?

wario in the streets, waluigi in the sheets (m bison), Saturday, 14 September 2019 18:13 (two months ago) link

the menus often have a rating next to each dish to say how spicy they are, but some places don't do that. the rating helps although is obv kind of subjective. or you can ask the waiter, but again, subjective and may depend on the waiter's English skills, or your Thai skills

generally the menus I've seen don't outright specify that you can vary the spice level but if you ask then they're usually happy to ask the chef to do so

(my Dad often asks if things are spicy because he likes things to be very spicy, and then the waiter usually replies "we can make it milder for you" and then he tells them "oh no, I like it spicy" and then the waiter is either totally confused or at least not totally convinced the white guy actually wants a spicy curry; I am not sure if this conversation actually helps him get the desired spice level)

a passing spacecadet, Saturday, 14 September 2019 18:25 (two months ago) link

I think in (some?) Indian restaurants in the US they ask what level of spice you want it. That's unheard of here in the UK ime. But what's classed as 'medium' varies from restaurant to restaurant!

kinder, Saturday, 14 September 2019 19:02 (two months ago) link

The Indian over the road from my old flat in Edinburgh always asked us how spicy we wanted curries because they knew we were chilliheads - it was great ordering up super spicy Dhansaks.

I agree that the "I" is a pretty heavy concept (fionnland), Saturday, 14 September 2019 19:42 (two months ago) link

unrelated to spiciness but I miss the now-defunct Chinese over the road from my flat which would give us the Chinese menu (just because we went in there way too often and liked to order something new each time, and it had extra items not on the regular menu) and be very patient and indulge us asking what everything on it was

(o/h knows a little Japanese so could recognise some glyphs but not translate the actual menu items)

a passing spacecadet, Saturday, 14 September 2019 19:53 (two months ago) link

I had a pumpkin/squash Burmese curry once and it was one of the best things I've ever had

― kinder, Saturday, September 14, 2019 10:20 AM (two hours ago)

yes! i feel like my preference for yellow Thai curry is lol colored by its similarity to this

sarahell, Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:22 (two months ago) link

My spice preference varies from pepper to pepper. I believe Thai typically gets the head from raw bird’s eye chilies? Very hot! Too acidic or something for me, I’m a medium.

With Chinese tho, (arbol or similar for the spicy, Sichuan for the numbing) I can go max spicy and one time I smoked too much weed and ate the grandma sauce right out of the jar with a spoon

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 14 September 2019 21:12 (two months ago) link

agree, I can go the hottest ever for indian food but the hottest ever for thai food just wipes out my palate and I can't taste anything.

Yerac, Saturday, 14 September 2019 21:40 (two months ago) link

ok, this thread persuaded me to go out for curry

the wife had a pumpkin panang curry, it was very good

i had a lamb shank massaman curry HOLY SHIT that was nice, went well with the bloody mary with thai chili as well

if i could change my vote it would definitely now be massaman

sock fingering, baby (rushomancy), Sunday, 15 September 2019 00:07 (two months ago) link

I've only ever had the colour-named ones. Massaman sounds/looks very tasty, must try. I still have some lamb shank in the freezer..
Out of red, green and yellow I think I prefer the latter, though it's all good basically. Thai restaurant around the corner in the city I used to live had a great yellow one with onions, potatoes, and thai basil, damn I miss that place.

willem, Monday, 16 September 2019 12:06 (two months ago) link

mussaman is best at first but the deep cut long-timer is panang for sure

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Monday, 16 September 2019 12:09 (two months ago) link

Green 4 Lyfe

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 16 September 2019 12:40 (two months ago) link

Yeah I am a big massaman fan but it’s too sweet to be quotidian curry, unlike green/red, both of which I am so enamoured, I would gargle either sauce like mouthwash

flamboyant goon tie included, Monday, 16 September 2019 15:19 (two months ago) link

I think I really want to vote for fish curry, which is a strong contender for my favourite food in the world, but I'm not sure how it fits into this taxonomy. is panang just a sub-category of red? there is a lot to consider here, & the deeper we go, the more shapeless it all seems

ogmor, Monday, 16 September 2019 15:29 (two months ago) link

There's fish sauce in green, probably in all of them I guess, standard Thai ingredient I thought

a wagon to the curious (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 September 2019 16:36 (two months ago) link

i made a red curry yesterday because of this thread. with paste from a can so nothing too involved, but was tasty enough. served with rice noodles, carrot, cauliflower, mushrooms and crispy baked tofu

Seany's too Dyche to mention (jim in vancouver), Monday, 16 September 2019 16:37 (two months ago) link

Ain't no curry like a green thai curry cause a green thai curry don't stop

☮ (peace, man), Monday, 16 September 2019 18:52 (two months ago) link

I wouldn’t vote for it, but jungle curry is something else. Thinner other curries and very sour, with whole green peppercorn clusters throughout. Yikes.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:37 (two months ago) link

Than.

Mazzy Tsar (PBKR), Thursday, 19 September 2019 20:38 (two months ago) link

Jungle is what I usually order when I visit the good local Thai restaurant. I keep tins of green and red curry paste in the pantry, they make for quick dinners, and I suspect they're used by the bad local Thai restaurant.

hedonic treadmill class action (Sanpaku), Friday, 20 September 2019 02:07 (two months ago) link

My understanding is that many Thai people use Mae Ploy curry paste at home. Green curry benefits a lot from being made fresh but I think red curry paste is fine.

lost IDM classics (lukas), Friday, 20 September 2019 02:24 (two months ago) link

The other night I made the error of making a masaman from a jar of paste - instead of a rich, brown, cinnamon / anise experience it looked and tasted like a sweet red curry, even with a heavy lick of tamarind paste, a couple of star anise and some cardamom pods. I have no idea why it was so different but the times I've made it from scratch it's been amazing; this one was merely nice.
This is the good stuff - it's a lot more work but mmmmmmm: https://www.cooked.com/uk/Charmaine-Solomon/Hardie-Grant-Books/The-Complete-Asian-Cookbook/Thailand/Kaeng-masaman-recipe

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Friday, 20 September 2019 05:41 (two months ago) link

Sorry guys, I'm gonna have to go with Steph.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 20 September 2019 06:47 (two months ago) link

To curry favor, favor curry.

☮ (peace, man), Friday, 20 September 2019 11:08 (two months ago) link

What are your Thai cookbooks! I've always just referred to Vatcharin Bhumichitr, not by choice, but because it was the cookbook that was in the shared house I was living in when I got into cooking in like 2003 or so.

fgti (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 20 September 2019 11:58 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 30 September 2019 00:01 (two months ago) link

*bites nails*

cheese canopy (map), Monday, 30 September 2019 04:38 (two months ago) link

xxp i've got a few, including the big pink david thompson book that doesnt get a lot of use because it is so authentic and therefore so time consuming

just sayin, Monday, 30 September 2019 05:00 (two months ago) link

Ah good tip, I'll check it out. I don't remember the exact wording but I love that moment when Steingarten said that in his time in Thailand, he ate dozens of meals and they were all of them diverse and different and all of them absolutely memorable. I've never been

i could chug a keg of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Monday, 30 September 2019 13:39 (two months ago) link

Massaman is my fave.

If you are in SF, and have some money, try Kin Khao - a Michelin-starred Thai restaurant downtown. It's delicious! My only issue is that they make things hella-spicy, with no option to tone it down. I usually end up drinking way too much water when I go. But it's really good.

DJI, Monday, 30 September 2019 20:15 (two months ago) link

Hard disagree. There's lots of good-great Thai in SF though, Kin Khao is not one of them.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 30 September 2019 20:17 (two months ago) link

What are your faves?

DJI, Monday, 30 September 2019 20:21 (two months ago) link

voted massaman but they're all super good

davey, Monday, 30 September 2019 20:24 (two months ago) link

i voted red because that is the one i make and it's rather good imo

(•̪●) (carne asada), Monday, 30 September 2019 20:26 (two months ago) link

What do we get if we voted for the winning curry?

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 30 September 2019 23:26 (two months ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 00:01 (two months ago) link

goddamn i was literally the deciding vote on this, and i changed my opinion after voting

Calpico Girlfriend (rushomancy), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 00:05 (two months ago) link

You're the Jill Stein voter of this poll.

DJI, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 00:09 (two months ago) link

surely the jill stein voter is whoever voted "other"?

Calpico Girlfriend (rushomancy), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 00:18 (two months ago) link

I voted for Hillary and khao soi (other)

Tart Prepper (Sufjan Grafton), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 01:38 (two months ago) link

Yellow and Massaman are my two favorites.

Pauline Male (Eric H.), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 01:40 (two months ago) link

Ok time to investigate Penang, I guess!

i could chug a keg of you (flamboyant goon tie included), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 03:11 (two months ago) link

thanks for the cookbook recs itt. ready to makemy own paste

alomar lines, Tuesday, 1 October 2019 05:12 (two months ago) link

fwiw when i was in culinary school we had a Asian food demo. class and i remember the instructor recommending mae ploy thai curry pastes. used to use the green one a fair bit and it's quite good. think i'm gonna pick up a panang since i've never had that. ime depending on where one lives and seasonality, procuring all the ingredients (like galangal and lime leaves, even lemongrass) can be a challenge

one charm and one antiup quark (outdoor_miner), Tuesday, 1 October 2019 17:00 (two months ago) link


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