This is the red curry paste I usually use, the package that says Penang curry is also very good. This same company makes red curry paste in a small jar and you would think it is the same, but it is not! It is not good for this recipe so avoid it. I have bought red curry paste in many different ways around the world and often the ones in small cans are good as well. If you don't have this type in your area, it is trial and error. You can always make your own but then this recipe is no longer a quick one for a weeknight dinner.
Let's talk coconut milk and curry paste. This dish will not turn out if you don't have the right paste or milk. It is important to have coconut milk with a high fat content, if you use a light milk, the curry will not have that thick, rich flavour and texture. The test to use when going to the grocery store is to shake the can and if you can feel and hear the milk slosh around, it is not good. If you can't feel anything shaking, it's good.
3 - 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces (beef, pork, fish or tofu could also be used)
~ 3 cups of chopped veggies
1/2 cup of torn basil leaves
1 can of full fat coconut milk
1 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tsp of fish sauce
1 -2 tbsp of red curry paste (I feel 2 tbsp is perfect but we are fans of spicy in my family)
1/3 cup of ground unsalted peanuts (optional)
2 tbsp of veg oil
In a frypan, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add the chicken. Cook chicken, tossing regularly, for 5 - 7 minutes. When the chicken is almost done, add the curry paste and stir well. Be sure not to burn the paste, continue to stir for 4 - 5 minutes. Add the veggies that need longer to cook first and cook for a few minutes. Then add the coconut milk but do so carefully. I add all the cream and leave the clear liquid in the can. Add any other veggies and stir everything to combine well. Cook for a few minutes. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce and peanuts if using. Let simmer for another few minutes and then taste test. At this point you could add more curry if it isn't spicy enough for you, also taste for sweetness and saltiness. Add more sugar or fish sauce according to your tastes. If it needs to be thinned, add some of the liquid from the coconut milk.Turn off the heat and add the basil. Serve with rice.