As a Thai, I cannot deny that we love our food spicy. Fiery hot curries are a staple in Thai cuisine, and it's not unusual to see Thais dunking rice into a pool of red-hot curry without batting an eyelid. However, I understand that not everyone has the same tolerance for heat, and some might find our beloved Thai curries too spicy to handle.
There's no need to worry, though. Contrary to popular belief, not all Thai curries are unbearable to the palate. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can successfully tone down the heat in your Thai curry without sacrificing the flavor.
In this article, I'll be sharing ten tips and tricks to tame the heat in your Thai curry. Whether you're a rookie cook who wants to make a Thai curry for the first time or someone who loves Thai food but can't handle the spiciness, this article is for you. So, let's dive in and learn how to make our Thai curries milder without losing that distinctive Thai taste.
Coconut Milk to the Rescue
If you're a fan of Thai curries, you know how they can pack a spicy punch that can leave your mouth burning. But don't worry, there are several ways to tone down the heat and still enjoy the complex flavors of your favorite curry. Here are our top 10 tricks:
Coconut milk is a classic ingredient in Thai curries, and for good reason. Not only does it add a creamy texture and flavor, but it also helps to cool down the heat. When making your curry, make sure to use full-fat coconut milk as it has a richer and creamier texture. Also, don't be afraid to add extra coconut milk if your curry is too spicy. The extra liquid will help to dilute the heat level.
Add Sugar or Honey
Adding a little bit of sweetness can balance out the spiciness of your curry. Sugar or honey work well for this trick. You can add a teaspoon or two towards the end of cooking, or use palm sugar for a traditional Thai touch. Just be careful not to overdo it, as too much sweetness can throw off the balance of the flavors.
Dilute with More Broth
Another way to tone down the heat is to dilute the curry with more broth. This is especially useful if you accidentally added too much chili paste or peppers. Simply add more broth or water to the curry and let it simmer for a few minutes. This will mellow out the heat level without sacrificing the flavor.
Use Milder Chilies
Not all chilies are created equal when it comes to spiciness. Thai cuisine uses a wide variety of chilies, from mild to extra spicy. If you're sensitive to heat, choose milder chilies such as long green chilies or Anaheim peppers. These still have plenty of flavor without being too spicy.
Remove Chili Seeds
If you're using fresh chilies in your curry, you can remove the seeds to reduce the heat level. The seeds and the white membrane inside the chili contain the highest concentration of capsaicin, which is the chemical responsible for making chilies spicy. You can use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and membrane, or you can slice the chili in half and pull out the seeds.
Add Acidic Ingredients
Acidic ingredients such as lime juice or tamarind paste can help to balance out the heat in your curry. These ingredients have a tart flavor that can cut through the spiciness and add a refreshing touch to the dish. Simply add a tablespoon or two of lime juice or tamarind paste to your curry and taste test to make sure it's not too sour.
Serve with Cooling Sides
When all else fails, serve your curry with cooling sides that can help to soothe your taste buds. Cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, and fresh herbs such as cilantro or mint are excellent choices. You can also serve your curry with a side of plain yogurt or raita to help cool down the heat.
Thai curries are delicious, but they can be too spicy for some. With these 10 tricks, you can tone down the heat and still enjoy all of the complex flavors that Thai cuisine has to offer. Whether you choose to use coconut milk, add sugar, or serve with cooling sides, there are plenty of ways to make your curry less spicy. So next time you're feeling brave, try making a spicy Thai curry and use these tips to help you keep your cool.