I spent the summer of 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand, on a missions internship through CMF (Christian Missionary Fellowship). As soon as we arrived there everything turned yellow. We came during the 60th anniversary of the king’s ascension to the throne. The King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, began his reign in June 1946. He is the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for 68 years. He is beloved and while I was only there for 8 weeks, I share that love. It’s contagious.
Back to the yellow… it’s his color. Actually, it might be your color too. You get your color based on the day of the week when you were born. He was born on a Monday. Check yours out here. During the anniversary celebration everyone donned yellow shirts saying “I Love the King.” Yellow flags were everywhere. I did not bring a yellow shirt. I don’t own a yellow shirt. I don’t look good in yellow. I stand out enough in Thailand as a white girl with auburn hair; I guess the fact that I wasn’t wearing the right color shouldn’t matter. But if you’ve ever worn the opposing team’s color to a game by accident… think like that, only it’s not 400 fans it’s a metropolitan area of 14 million yellow shirts!
I do love the color though. It’s sunshine. It’s Big Bird. It’s The Man with the Yellow Hat. (We watch a lot of PBS.) And it’s my mom’s favorite (my mother-in-law’s too actually). My mom’s birthday is a week from Sunday and I get to see her a week after that. We’ll have to celebrate her birthday then at our house, so I thought that a food in her favorite color would be cool. I had a can of karee curry in the fridge and Aldi had a special on squash and yellow tomatoes, so I thought I’d try my hand at a yellow northern style curry with all yellow vegetables.
The result: delicious. Eating sunshine. It’s a little less spicy than the red northern style that I do, and because of the yellow tomatoes it’s slightly sour. It’s also only 242 calories a serving and has 169% of your daily value for vitamin C! Because of the fish sauce, the sodium will kill you, so drink your water with this meal. I’ve alluded to saving you money with this blog… so how’s this: (not including the rice) this meal costs $0.88 per serving! I’ll do this again in the summer when I plant summer squash and have them coming out my ears. But why wait? If you live where the winter is still on, I hope this will add some bright color to your day. (To my Thai friends: don’t worry, this is my husband’s plate. I ate mine with a large spoon properly.)
In honor of His Majesty the King and my mom, I offer this recipe I’m calling King’s Curry. I’ve adapted this from Nancie McDermott’s “Northern-Style Dipping Sauce” from Quick and Easy Thai. Happy Birthday Mom!
With most recipes it’s best to do all your prep at once. I chopped all of my vegetables, and boy they looked pretty, so I took a picture.
Then you heat the first tablespoon of oil in the pan and add your onion and garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until they are shiny and fragrant.
Add the squash and bell peppers and stir until softened, 3-4 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside. (I do this because I like my vegetables quite soft in this. If you want them more al dente just add the peppers and squash after the meat is tossed with the onions, garlic, and curry.)
Heat the remaining 2 T. of oil. Add the curry paste and cook, mashing and stirring well to soften, about 1 minute longer. Add the turkey and toss well. (You can use any ground meat you want. The original called for ground pork, but we usually have ground turkey.)
Stir in the tomatoes, fish sauce, and brown sugar, and bring to a gentle boil. Add the cooked vegetables and cook 3-5 more minutes, stirring now and then until meat is fully cooked and vegetables are to your liking. Remove from heat and serve with rice (I used jasmine).
King’s Curry – Print a Recipe Card
- 3 T. veg. oil (divided)
- 2 T. finely chopped garlic
- 2 T. chopped onion
- 1 summer squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
- 10 oz. yellow cocktail tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 2 T. karee (yellow) curry paste (or 1 T red curry paste and 1 T curry powder)
- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 3 T. fish sauce
- 1 T. brown sugar
- In a medium skillet, heat 1 T. of oil over medium heat and then add the garlic and onion. Cook, tossing now and then, 1 to 2 minutes, until they are shiny and fragrant. Add the squash and bell peppers and stir until softened, 3-4 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 T. of oil. Add the curry paste and cook, mashing and stirring well to soften, about 1 minute longer. Add the turkey and toss well.
- Stir in the tomatoes, fish sauce, and brown sugar (add broth or water if you want yours soupier) and bring to a gentle boil. Add the cooked vegetables and cook 3-5 more minutes, stirring now and then until meat is fully cooked and vegetables are to your liking. Remove from heat and serve with rice.
I’ll show you my kids’ plates too. My daughter is a vegetarian (if you can call eating mac and cheese most of the time vegetarian). This way at least they’re getting some nutrition. They nearly cleaned their plates with this meal!