Thai cooking class – Massaman Curry Chicken

Chef Ben started out by carving a beet rose using an X-Acto knife, an operation of such precision and peril that I stopped watching for fear I might actually try this at home. However, what we could safely try at home was his recipe for Massaman chicken curry.

This is the monthly cooking class taught at Krua Thai restaurant in Stuart, Florida. Chef Ben Wongprom, charming and enthusiastic, teaches them throughout the year on Sunday afternoons.

Put the curry in the coconut and shake it all up
Put the curry in the coconut and shake it all up

Ben said that Massaman curry is the world’s favorite. It’s sweeter than other, such as red or green, Thai curries. Fennel and cumin give it the yellow color. It’s used more for dark meats like beef and lamb than for chicken, but that requires more time for simmering.

Massaman Chicken Curry by Ben. Leave the beet carving to the skilled.
Massaman Chicken Curry by Ben. Leave the beet carving to the skilled.

Random┬ánote: Massaman curry paste in the can is the only one cooked before canning; red and green curry pastes aren’t cooked before canning, but you still have to cook all of them in oil to release the spices and aromas. Yum.