Did you know that folks in Thailand generally don’t use chopsticks? Yeah, I didn’t either – not until after I took these photos. D’oh.
But you know what? I think that’s okay. This recipe for Roasted Winter Vegetables in Thai Red Curry (with optional chicken for the meat-eaters!) isn’t super-duper authentic Thai, either, and I like both the photos and the recipe just fine. Okay, truthfully, I was pretty happy with the photos … and I love the recipe. So hopefully nobody else takes offense.
I really don’t make many Asian dishes, at least not in the nearly two years I’ve had this blog up and running. I didn’t think much about that fact until recently.
I wish I could share some sort of awesomely cool epiphany with you, but really, it was just sort of like, huh. I don’t do much Asian food. I’m leaving out all types of cuisines that I actually adore. And I really need to start making more of them at home. Super exciting! Not.
And so, here we are. A big batch of oven-roasted, season-appropriate, slightly caramelized vegetables – parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes – swimming in rich, spicy-sweet Thai red curry sauce. You can’t really see the swimming part because my bowls are too deep (I did NOT think out these photos!), but it’s right there under the surface, ready to be slurped and devoured.
No fish sauce in this recipe, by the way, to keep it vegetarian/vegan – I substitute a bit of soy sauce to try to mimic some of that indescribable saltiness. It’s not a close match, but still plenty delicious, I think.
A handful of other veggies – mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper – and a generous hand with the fresh Thai basil bring this wonderful dish together. And, of course, chicken for the carnivores.
This recipe seems a tad labor-intensive – you oven-roast the veggies, simmer the sauce on the stove in a big pot, and cook the chicken in a separate skillet. But it all actually goes really smoothly and fairly quick. And it keeps remarkably well for leftovers – Thai lunch the next day, anyone? Yes, please!
I think it’s a terrifically easy recipe, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to become a staple in our kitchen.
Just, you know, no chopsticks. Gotta keep it real.
Roasted Winter Vegetables in Thai Red Curry with Optional Chicken
- 1 medium sweet potato (peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups diced))
- 2 medium parsnips (peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup diced))
- 1/2 medium head cauliflower (cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups))
- 2 medium carrots (peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup diced)(or 1 cup baby carrots))
- 1 medium red bell pepper (seeds and stem discarded and cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 small yellow onion (peeled, quartered and then cut into eighths)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 approximately 14-ounce cans lite coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 8-ounce package sliced white button mushrooms
- 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil (lightly packed and roughly chopped (plus more for serving if desired))
- White or brown rice for serving
- Fresh lime slices and Sriracha sauce for for serving (if desired)
If adding chicken to half:
- 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, and onion in a large bowl and toss with oil until coated. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast veggies, turning occasionally, for 30 - 40 minutes, until tender and browned on parts.
- While the vegetables are roasting, start the sauce. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, mushrooms, and basil to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If adding chicken to half, add a little olive oil to a skillet heated to medium high and add the chicken. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is completely cooked through and browned on some sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Pour the oven-roasted veggies into the sauce, and stir gently to combine. Transfer about one-third of the veggie and sauce mixture to the skillet with the chicken, and mix.
- Serve in individual bowls scooped over rice, if desired, along with fresh lime wedges for squeezing over the top (essential in our book!), fresh torn basil, and we also like a good squirt of Sriracha sauce, too.