Having recently visited Brick Lane in London to stock up on authentic Asian foods, I knew immediately what my next recipe for the Train Eat Gain website would be. East London is a foodie’s paradise, from the Vietnamese restaurants and supermarkets in Hoxton to aisles upon aisles of Bangladeshi sweets and 10kg bags of rices in Bethnal Green.
It’s easy to find Thai curry pastes in the UK’s major supermarkets, but unless you live in a very diverse area the only options are usually European or supermarket own brand versions which rely on sugar, vegetable oil and preservatives rather than real spices. I treasure the incredible recipes I learned at a cookery school in Northern Thailand, so when I don’t have time to make a paste from scratch I look for the closest ready-made alternative. Happily, the Thai brand Mae Ploy‘s curry pastes are completely free from those additives and are packed with all the fantastic flavours which I enjoyed in Thailand.
My favourite is the green curry paste (ingredients: Green Chilli 31.0%, Lemongrass 21.0%, Garlic 18.5%, Salt 12.5%, Galangal 8.5%, Shrimp Paste (shrimp 83.0%, Salt) 4.0%, Kaffir Lime Peel 2.0%, Coriander Seed 1.0%, Pepper 0.5%, Cumin 0.5%, Turmeric 0.5%), with the Panang paste a close second. They also produce red, yellow and Massaman curry pastes, and at just £1.80 for a 400g pot I’d recommend buying the complete set! The green and red pastes are available in some larger supermarkets, but you can easily find the full range online here.
You can find the recipe for my low carb Thai green curry on the Train Eat Gain website here. Each portion contains 34g of protein, can easily be turned into a plant-based meal and is inexpensive to make: since the paste contains such a rich mixture of flavours, adding fresh kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass is completely optional. I cook in Lucy Bee coconut or lime juice, and use creamed coconut blocks rather than tinned coconut milk to save money and avoid emulsifiers, so spend half an hour cooking up a big batch one evening and you’ll have a perfect dinner party dish or emergency ‘fakeaway’ to store in your freezer.