Southeast Asia’s Contribution to the Humble Curry!
To be fair, while the menu of Southeast Asia is perhaps the most interesting, complex, fresh and colorful cuisine in the world, many people from abroad struggle with the unique and often pungent flavors typical of this food. The widespread use of fermented fish sauce in many of the Thai dishes is one thing; the side-effects of consuming copious amounts of chili is another! Yet, the range of curries – usually made from coconut milk or cream, fresh vegetables and a meat (generally chicken, seafood or pork) - are so universally delicious that foreigners are at least given a few days to acclimatize to the rest of the cuisine before starving or worse; falling back on McDonalds!
The most popular curries in Thailand – popular to foreigners that is – are green, red and yellow curry. The first, Thai green curry is a classic and extremely popular addition to the menus in both local Thai restaurants and those abroad. Then of course there’s Penang curry, Massaman curry, Thai shrimp coconut curry, Jungle curry (northern), Northern Pork curry, Thai fish curry… and the list goes on and on! As a result of the complex spicy flavors, creamy coconut backdrop, wholesome crunch of fresh vegetables and savory finish of your choice in meat, the contribution of Southeast Asia to the humble curry deserves an Oscar for culinary performance.