Mae Ploy curry pastes

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BT
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2006/10/25 23:05:08 (permalink)

Mae Ploy curry pastes

I've been enjoying Thai food regularly for 25 years in San Francisco, but since I started spending winters in southern Arizona, I've been in the position some other Roadfooders may be in of not having convenient access to a good Thai restaurant. For several years now I've tried to deal with that by shopping in San Francisco for Thai groceries that make the preparation of common favorites like curries possible at home. Finally, I've found a canned curry paste that, when used according the directions on the can and without other ingredients I can't get here, produces something quite close to the curry from my favorite Thai places in SF. It's the Mae Ploy line of curry pastes. Tonight I whipped up some chicken "masman" (variously spelled "mussamun", "massaman" etc) curry just according to the label on the can and it was excellent. And the best news is that this Mae Ploy line seems readily available by mail order on the internet including from an Amazon marketplace seller.
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    zataar
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/10/25 23:28:37 (permalink)
    I've been using Mae Ploy curry pastes for a long time. Great products. It's easy to add different flavors to the various curries to freshen them up. Cinnamon sticks, wild lime leaves, a few whole dried red chiles, cardomom pods, the choice is yours. It beats pounding 27 different ingredients together to get the same results. Glad you posted this, BT. I think some mussaman will be on the menu here this weekend.
    #2
    V960
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/10/26 09:13:07 (permalink)
    Have to agree. Good stuff.
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    Ashphalt
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/10/26 09:42:58 (permalink)
    Maesri also makes good curry pastes. Mae Ploy seems to be more commonly available, but the Super 88 chain in Boston usually has Maesri. I'm more used to Maesri but I will buy either and I've never been disappointed.

    We love the red curry, just spicy enough. We frequently make it with scallops, snow peas and some other vegetable (maybe baby corns). Green curry was a little over the heat index for us, maybe it was the recipe (I can't remember if it came from a Tommy Tang or a Yan book) but I'm not eager to try it again.

    Love that Massuman, as well. Most of the recipes I've seen are different from most other Thai dishes in that they are more of a stew than a stir fry. Frequently beef or lamb with potatos. Great cold weather food.

    Sadly, I can't find fresh Thai Basil in the burbs where I live now. It's a common garnish for a lot of the stir-fries, and I used to make a thai-basil and ginger chicken or pork that was great. I've tried growing it from seed but had little luck.
    #4
    BT
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/10/27 21:06:59 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashphalt

    Maesri also makes good curry pastes. Mae Ploy seems to be more commonly available, but the Super 88 chain in Boston usually has Maesri. I'm more used to Maesri but I will buy either and I've never been disappointed.



    I used to use Maesri which, contary to what you say, I think is actually more commonly available in San Francisco. But I'll compare the ingredient lists off the cans of Maesri and Mae Ploy Masaman:

    Maesri: Chili, garlic, onion, "spice", tamarind juice, sugar

    Mae Ploy: Dried red chili, lemon grass, garlic, shallot, salt, galangal, shrimp paste, coriander seed, cumin, kaffir lime peel, star anise, cardamon, cinnamon.

    In the case of Maesri, the recipe on the can calls for adding coconut milk, meat, potato, onion and peanuts. Mae Ploy says to add coconut milk, meat, potato, onion, peanuts, tamarind juice, sugar and fish sauce.

    Now I'll admit, I'm not real sure what "spice" means in the case of Maesri, but here I use the canned pastes both for their convenience and because I can't easily get ingredients like lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime (or leaves). I did bring with me some fish sauce and tamarind concentrate. But in the case of Mae Ploy, those essential Thai ingredients are in the can, whereas with the Maesri, I'm not sure what's in there. Anyway, I also liked the results better with Mae Ploy.

    #5
    andypants
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/11/25 23:13:26 (permalink)
    I just bought a tub each of the Mae Ploy curry pastes from this place, it seems cheaper than Amazon for this at least.

    http://importfood.com/chilipaste_cookingsauces.html


    So far I've tried using the green curry twice and haven't really cared for the results.
    #6
    BT
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/11/27 02:54:20 (permalink)
    I can't speak for the green curry. I never get green curry even in restaurants. My favorites are "mussamun" or Panang or, sometimes, red.
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    MikeS.
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/11/27 04:17:29 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Ashphalt


    Love that Massuman, as well. Most of the recipes I've seen are different from most other Thai dishes in that they are more of a stew than a stir fry. Frequently beef or lamb with potatos. Great cold weather food.


    Asphalt, could you post a recipe for this stew?

    MikeS.
    #8
    Ashphalt
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    RE: Mae Ploy curry pastes 2006/11/28 18:46:45 (permalink)
    Mike,

    I've only made this a couple of times and I looked at a lot of different recipes, on the net, in a Tommy Tang book we have, and on the can of curry paste. I found the following in my recipe file, so I think I sort of followed this and the can directions, and improvised.

    This printout of this recipe is from a site at www.fbnr.com/Recipes/ It included a recipe for making Masaman curry paste whice I did not print. I'll give you the recipe, then share my ideas.

    Masaman Curry Paste (quantity is from recipe, I'd start with 2-3 tbs.)

    4 Tbs. oil (I use peanut)

    1 medium onion, cut into strips

    1 1/2 lbs. boneless beef chuck cut in 1" cubes

    2 cans (app. 14 oz. each) coconut milk (not cream of coconut)

    3 tbs. fish sauce

    2 lbs. boiling potatoes

    1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips

    1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped

    2 tbs. lime juice

    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or cilantro leaves

    1 - Peel potatoes, cut into 1 1/2" cubes. Set aside in cold water

    2 - Heat 1 tbs. oil in wok, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion. Stir fry until golden then remove to a bowl.

    3 - Add 1 tbs. oil, increase heat to high, stir-fry half of beef until brown and remove.

    4 - Repeat with remaining beef

    5 - Add remaining 1 tbs. of oil, add curry paste and cook, stirring to scrape pan, 2-3 minutes until paste is fragrant. Add coconut milk and fish sauce and stir and scrape bottom of pan.

    6 - Return beef to pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

    7 - Add potatoes and onion, cook 20-30 minutes until meat and potatoes are tender. Add red pepper, cook until heated through.

    8 - Stir in peanuts and lime juice, sprinkle with basil. Serve over rice.

    My notes:

    I usually don't bother with basil in Thai dishes unless I can get Thai basil, at most I'll dust a pinch of dried in the dish for just a hint of flavor.

    I think I added carrots, cut in disks, to this. Don't know if it's authentic, but I see plenty of carrots in cheap Thai restaurants. We liked it.

    Two cans of coconut milk is a lot. I might think of using one can and adding a cup of broth. BTW - don't bother with "Lite" coconut milk, in looking at the labels I've found they are just the regualr stuff with water added. Also, avoid any product with sweeteners.

    Tommy Tang makes his version with lamb and says that's unusual, but I saw several references to lamb masamun curry in my research. Masamun is apparently the Thai word for Muslim and lamb, I understand, is the primary meat in the Muslim world, so it makes sense.

    Go ahead and play with this, let us know if you come with with any great inspirations.
    #9
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