Thai Red Curry with Squid and Sweet Potato

Cook Time 45 minutes

Servings 4


650g whole cleaned squid tubes
1½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
40g grated palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
800ml coconut milk
1 small sweet potato, peeled and sliced into rounds
Juice of 1 lime
250g bean sprouts
handful of coriander leaves
40g (¼ cup) unsalted peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
30g (¼ cup) fried shallots, roughly chopped
Steamed jasmine rice and lime wedges, to serve

Red Curry Paste

2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp white peppercorns
4cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 lemongrass stem, pale part only, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small red onion, chopped
Handful of coriander, roots, stalks & leaves
Zest of 1 lime
2 long red chillies, chopped
10g shrimp paste
1½ tsp sweet paprika
1½ tsp ground coriander
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tbsp vegetable oil


To make the red curry paste, toast the star anise, cinnamon and peppercorns in a frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute until fragrant. Place in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse powder. Place the ginger, lemongrass, garlic, onion, coriander roots and stalks, lime zest and chilli in a food processor and pulse until a rough paste forms. Add the shrimp paste, all of the ground spices and blitz until smooth, then continue processing as you gradually add the oil. (You can make this up to a week in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge.)

Use a small, sharp knife to cut through one side of the squid. Flatten out, with the inside facing up, and score the surface diagonally. Cut into 5cm pieces. If the tentacles are included, separate the tentacles and cut in half.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté for 2–3 minutes until softened, then stir in the red curry paste. Cook, stirring constantly so the paste doesn’t stick, for 1–2 minutes until fragrant. Add the palm sugar and allow it to melt and caramelise, then deglaze the pan with the fish sauce.

Pour in the coconut milk, stir to combine and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat to low, add the squid and sweet potato and cook for about 15 minutes until the squid and sweet potato are tender. Add the lime juice, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.

Divide the curry among serving bowls and top with the bean sprouts, coriander leaves, peanuts and shallots. Serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges.


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