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thai curry
Photo: stevendepolo on Flickr

Today, mere lunch food will not satisfy you. There is no burger or sandwich under the sun packing enough exotic flavor to soothe your tastebuds’ wanderlust. That’s because it’s Thai Thursday, and curry is what you crave. Or maybe Thai curry is what we crave and we’re using non-subtle cues to bring you on board. Delivery guys hate bringing food to like, two people. 

You may not know the combination of ingredients that give Thai curry its signature flavors. Does the word galangal mean anything to you? It’s a dense root similar to ginger, but with citrus and wood flavors instead of sharp spiciness and herbal notes. Thai curry simply isn’t itself without it. What about lemongrass? You may have never seen the long, rigid stems of this potently astringent lemon-limey plant, but if you’ve ever had Thai or Vietnamese food, chances are you’ve tasted it. Coconut milk, conversely, is mild, smooth and sweet, and balances out the edge those two essential flavorings impart. The final element, Thai curry paste, brings together galangal, lemongrass, chili peppers, fish sauce (a crucial player in the Mekong region’s cuisine), whole spices, sugar and lime juice to absolutely ensure that all five flavors are invited to the party. 

You can choose from red (red chilies), yellow (milder, turmeric-spiked), green (green chilies and coriander) or Massaman (sweet and peanutty). Thai restaurants will usually tailor the spice level to your preference, but just know that if you order it “as hot as Thai people like it,” …well, you might want to start bequeathing items now. We’ll take your immersion blender, we wore ours out making cooling, refreshing summer soups to counter the burn.