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Hot and Sour Red Curry Sauce

  • ACTIVE: 20 MIN
  • SERVINGS: makes 2 1/2 cups


  1. 1 small red bell pepper
  2. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  3. 1 small carrot, finely diced
  4. 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  5. 2 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulbs only, thinly sliced crosswise
  6. 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  7. 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  8. 1 lime leaf, thinly sliced (optional) or 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  9. 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  10. 2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (1/3 cup)
  11. One 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  12. 1/4 cup water
  13. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or other Asian chili sauce
  14. Salt
  1. Roast the bell pepper directly over a gas flame or under a preheated broiler, turning, until blackened all over. Transfer the pepper to a plate and let cool. Peel off the charred skin and discard the stem and seeds. Coarsely chop the pepper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the carrot and roasted red pepper and cook over low heat until the carrot softens, about 5 minutes. Transfer the carrot and red pepper to a food processor and add the fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, lime leaf, paprika and ginger and process to a fine paste. Return to the saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sambal oelek and season with salt.
Make Ahead
The curry can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.