Spicing Things Up with Thai Curry
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Trying to narrow the origin of curry down to any one country can be a difficult endeavor, but there’s no disputing the spicy dish enjoys a firm foundation in Indian and Pakistani cuisines, and is a common delicacy in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
Historically, curry, with its zesty spices and blend of herbs, was introduced to Thailand by monks traveling from India centuries ago. One of the modern-day beneficiaries of this dish is Patrick Chang, owner of Bangkok Chef, who invites diners to experience several Thai curries on his menu: green, yellow, panang and red curry.
Red Chicken Curry ($6.25), for example, is served for both lunch and dinner.
“When you go to Thailand, there are many many curry dishes out there. In the streets, there are big pots of curry and rice and you can choose which type you want. It is just part of the everyday life,” says Chang, who now has Bangkok Chef restaurant locations in Nuuanu, Manoa and, most recently, on Nimitz Highway.
Gaeng phet, or curry in Thai, is a unique curry paste made primarily with fresh rather than dried herbs.
“One thing about Thai curry is that we use lemon grass and lime leaf (kaffer). That gives it a good flavor, a beautiful aroma,” Chang adds.
Bangkok Chef’s red chicken curry blends sliced chicken breast, bamboo shoots and eggplant into its red curry paste. The paste consists of red chilies, ginger, honey and a few other added spices, which are all mixed with coconut milk.
“Curry without coconut milk would not taste as good, so coconut milk is one of our main ingredients,” says Chang. Finishing this combination is brown rice, which mingles nicely with the chicken, eggplant and red sauce.
“Our brown rice is super good. It is not like brown rice you get at your market; it is jasmine brown rice,” he says.
- 1627 Nuuanu Avenue
- Honolulu, HI 96817
- 2955 E. Manoa Road
- Honolulu, HI 96822
- 900 North Nimitz Highway
- Honolulu, HI 96817
- (808) 585-8839 (Nuuanu)
- (808) 988-0212 (Manoa)
- (808) 536-8570 (Nimitz)
- 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
- Monday – Saturday
- 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.