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The Countrytown Cookoff: Brooke Schubert’s Gaeng Tae Po (Red Thai Curry)

16 May 2024 | 7:38 pm | Ellie Robinson

“When my husband and I moved to the Sunshine Coast, I discovered Thai food and instantly became addicted to the flavours...”

Brooke Schubert’s Gaeng Tae Po

Brooke Schubert’s Gaeng Tae Po (Supplied)

Just last month, Brooke Schubert returned with her first new release for 2024, an infectious country anthem called Baby Blue Lies.

Co-written with Nolan Wynne and Nat Pearson, and produced by Jared Adlam, it’s an undoubtably spicy new addition to Schubert’s flourishing catalogue – so it makes sense that for her Countrytown Cookoff feature, the multi-talented stalwart chose a dish that is sure to get your tastebuds tingling...

THE COUNTRYTOWN COOKOFF

BROOKE SCHUBERT’S GAENG TAE PO (RED THAI CURRY)

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This, unfortunately, isn't a proclamation of my culinary skills, but rather a home cook’s favourite easy go-to meal. You know the one where you want to feel like you're having takeaway, but you're not? This is it for our family.

Growing up in Central Queensland, it wasn't the cultural epicentre, as you could imagine. We grew up on steak, sausages, veg and whatever else the truck bought in that week. So when my husband and I moved to the Sunshine Coast, I discovered Thai food and instantly became addicted to the flavours, smells and crazy ingredient lists that I'd never experienced before. Not to mention, the people are just so lovely.

Gaeng Tae Po, also known as Red Thai Curry, is my favourite dish to make for my family. I'm a footy mum, so where I can, I try to make double to cover for two nights. This is absolutely one of those dishes. Sometimes I also halve the batch so I can make one lot with less heat for the kiddies.

You can choose your protein, which is great when you're working with what you’ve got left over in the fridge! Chicken, pork, prawns – you name it, you can use it! If you're in a hurry (like I always am) you can half pre-cook the chicken, then add it in again while the sauce is simmering. Or if you have a couple of hours (and patience), slow cook your chosen protein on low. It's worth doing it, even just once. Delicious!

Enjoy, and send me photos when you make it!

THE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (Gang Kua is best, but Gang Ped also works)

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 2-4 cups water

  • 1 fresh kaffir lime, sliced in half

  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar (raw sugar also does the trick)

  • 3 cups water spinach leaves and stems cut into three-inch pieces

  • 1 cup beans

  • 1 cup chosen protein (in this instance, pork belly with skin removed, sliced into thin pieces)

  • 6 kaffir lime leaves, deveined and torn in pieces (you can also buy these pre-cut in a jar)

  • 2 cups jasmine rice

Method:

  • Scoop the top third cup from a can of coconut milk to obtain the thicker coconut cream portion. Heat the coconut cream over medium to medium-high heat in a wok until it starts to separate into its oil and milk layers.

  • Add the red curry paste, stir to incorporate into the coconut cream, and then let it fry until a sheen of oil can be seen on top, being careful not to let it burn.

  • Add the pork belly slices, coat them in the curry paste, and allow to cook for one to two minutes.

  • Add the remaining thinner part of the coconut milk as well as one cup of water, and bring to a gentle boil.

  • Allow the pork belly to cook, uncovered, until it is very tender. This should take at least one hour and up to three hours, depending on your heat and the size of your pork belly slices. During this process, additional water may be necessary to ensure that the pork belly is covered in liquid.

  • Once the pork belly is cooked through, season the curry with tamarind paste, fish sauce and palm sugar. Taste the curry and adjust these seasonings according to which brand of curry paste you used and your personal taste preferences.

  • Cook rice to your liking.

  • Serve!