Thai Yellow Curry (Vegetarian Dish)

This dish relies on Mae Ploy Yellow Curry Paste which is the only entirely vegetarian paste Mae Ploy manufactures. In Thailand, Mae Ploy is considered to make the finest food preparations. In keeping with the paste’s vegetarian status, this recipe contains no meat or fish.

My Thai food teacher and I aren’t the only ones who believe in Mae Ploy. Consider this “ode” to Mae Ploy found on the web.


Serves 4-5

Pictured: Mae Ploy Masaman Curry Paste, Mae Ploy Coconut.


2 tbsp yellow curry paste
1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ lb potatoes (Yukon gold by preference)
½ lb peas
2 cans coconut milk
1 can vegetable broth or water
¼ lb carrots, finely chopped into coins
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
¼ tsp red pepper powder
½ cup whole cashews or peanuts
1 tbsp lime juice
2 cups Jasmine rice
1 lb chicken dark or breast meat (optional, if you don’t want or care about the dish being vegetarian)


1. Fancy-cut and prepare the potatoes using a mandolin and baking them at 350° in the oven for about 25 minutes.

If adding meat, put it in after blooming the spices in the next step if dark meat chicken. If white, cook partially in a separate pan with some (more) of the curry paste and set aside until time to merge potatoes into the pot. Adding 1 lb of meat will increase the yield of this dish by about 2 persons.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or pan and bloom curry paste and pepper (do not burn them, however). If you want more flavor out of the onion, add it in now and begin to clarify it. Cook for a couple of minutes.

3. Add some of the coconut milk. Add some of the broth (or water) and stir well then add carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce a bit, then cover and simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Add onion and pepper then simmer a couple of minutes more.

3. Add rest of coconut milk and stir well. Add potatoes, peas and the nuts. Continue to simmer for a couple of minutes. Thin with more broth according to taste. Add lime juice and serve over rice.

Preparing the potatoes...

My approach to the potatoes in this recipe is an attempt (and a successful one) to imitate the vegetable preparation of curries at one of my favorite Thai restaurants. It is not really necessary to cook the potatoes separately. To simplify, just throw them in raw a bit later than the carrots. But, if you do this, you must positively never use Russets—only golds or reds.

Vegetables to put into Thai Yellow Curry...

The secret is to cook vegetables enough, but not too much.