The key to creating an outstanding Thai curry lies in the meticulous crafting of the right paste: the paste is the arbiter of aroma, the curator of flavor, and the masterful artist painting the visual feast.
No singular ‘perfect’ curry paste recipe exists. Curry pastes are as diverse as the dishes they enhance and the paste must complement various proteins such as chicken, pork, seafood and others.
This article introduces “permeability” – the interaction between the paste and the ingredient; the concept recognizes that the paste will assertively contribute its character while selectively enhancing inherent flavors.
Achieving optimal permeability requires fine-tuning the paste’s diffusion properties to suit each protein type. Lighter pastes go well with delicate seafood, allowing the subtle flavors to prevail. Robust meats benefit from thicker pastes, which permeate the protein’s density without muting its rustic, gamy qualities.
While recipes offer valuable wisdom, permeability focuses attention on core principals of balancing roots, herbs and spices to achieve the ideal synergy between curry paste and main ingredient.