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Malaysian Rendang Ayam (Chicken Rendang)

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Happy Mooncake festival to my dear friends, hope you have a nice gathering with your family. Living in the US without family, we celebrate most of the Chinese festivals with our friends. So grabbing a bite of mooncake and just hanging around friends, nothing better than just chill. Back home in Malaysia, traditionally we will light up lanterns, eat mooncake with Chinese tea, and sometimes we will do hot pot. Here we basically just have simple dinner.

Anyhow I wanted to make Chicken Rendang (Malaysian Rendang Ayam) for a long time. This week I finally did it. Rendang is a dry curry version of stew meat dish, slowly cooked in coconut milk and other spices. It is an authentic Malay cuisine, yet a very popular dish served during celebrations or special occasions. The meats are stewed for several hours depending on the meats used. Chicken or duck uses shorter time, beef needs to cook for 2 up to 4 hours.  The slow cooking process allows the meat becomes tender and absorbs all the spices and herbs. Some of the herbs used are galangal, tumeric, ginger, lemon grass and chillies.

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Yellow Curry

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Yellow curry is another kind of Thai curry, commonly found in the Thai restaurants in Los Angeles here. Comparing with other Thai curries, yellow curry is normally creamier and richer. This is because coconut cream is being used instead of coconut milk. However, I preferred watery curry instead of a creamy one, so I used the coconut milk this time.

Potato is a must-have ingredient to be added in the yellow curry as I heart potato for life. Who doesn’t? Other than potato, I put in okra (lady’s fingers), carrot and red chili peppers as well to give it a more colorful version.

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Green Curry

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If you’re not tired of Thai curries, here is another one for you – green curry. I am so into the Thai curries lately after I started off with panang curry and then red curry. The green curry is hotter than panang curry and it tends to be as hot as red curry. The names of most Thai curries are derived by their colors such as red curry and yellow curry. So does the green curry.

The cooking method of green curry is similar as the previous Thai curries. No fancy skills are needed for this dish. You might need to know the right ingredients to go well with the curry. Eggplant is always a good ingredient to go with Thai curries or some Asian curries. I used it in the green curry this time together with green bean. The result was great and it was cooked as yummy as those in Thailand.

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Red Curry

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After the Panang Curry, I decided to continue my Thai curry recipes. Red Curry was next in my mind since I have the red curry paste sitting in the kitchen cabinet. Yes, here is another curry dish to be tried out. Red curry is one of the popular dishes to be ordered when dining in the Thai restaurants. You can’t miss it. I personally like the Panang curry more than the red curry. This is because I like the syrupy and spicy savor in Panang curry which makes it extraordinary.

Seriously, as I always mention, it is easy to prepare curry at home. Essentially, all you need is the curry paste and couple key ingredients to accomplish the mission. The Thai red curry paste is conveniently be found in Asian food markets. I used Mae Ploy brand red curry paste but there are several brands to be selected. Some common additives in the red curry are eggplant, bamboo shoots, fish sauce, red chili, sugar and basil but this time I used potato and carrot as substitutions for the eggplant and bamboo shoots. However you can put in tofu, green pea, green bean, yardlong bean or preferable veggies.  Chicken, beef, pork and shrimp are few common meats to be used. Enjoy!

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Panang Curry

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I got to know more about the Thai cuisine after I came over to United States and I was fortunate enough to work as an assistant chef in a local Thai restaurant when I was in college for a summer. It was pleasant by learning to cook a lot of typical Thai food especially Thai curries! Talk about curries, I heart them. I grew up by eating a lot of curries in Malaysia – Chinese, Nyonya, Malay and Indian.

Panang curry is my big time favorite whenever I dine at the Thai restaurants. I love its flavor for being not too spicy with the aromatic coconut taste. Cooking the Panang curry isn’t as complicated as you think. In fact it’s simple! A variety of imported Panang curry pastes can be found in the Asian markets, which save you a lot of times and work. So you don’t need to make the paste from scratch.

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Lama Kitchen is a food and cooking blog fills with savory food with great cooking recipes and ideas for those of you who love food and home cooked meals. Read more