Despite its introduction by India monks journeying along the famous Silk Route, curry never really caught on in most of China. However, curry is frequently used in southern China to lend flavor to seafood, vegetable and noodle dishes.
Of course, it's a different story in Southeast Asia! Curries from Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia have a delightfully different flavor due to the incorporation of local ingredients. Lime and lemon grass are often used in curry pastes or powders. Coconut milk is frequently used as a thickener, although - contrary to popular opinion - not all Thai curries are made with coconut milk! Nuts often make their way into curries, and candlenut - a white nut shaped like a walnut or hazelnut - is a popular ingredient in Indonesian and Malaysian curry pastes.
As the above information indicates, curries are extremely adaptable. Feel free to experiment, adding your favorite spices and other ingredients. If you're not comfortable making your own curry paste, the Vietnamese brands available at specialty food stores have a sweet flavor and are generally quite good for Southeast Asian dishes. However, for southern Chinese recipes most experts recommend sticking with the traditional Indian pastes.
Depending on the type of chilies used, the strength of both red and green curry pastes can range from comparatively mild to fiery hot. It's not always easy to tell the flavor of a paste from the container, so ask store staff if you need help. One final cooking tip: the secret to making a successful curry is to allow it simmer for a long period, bringing out the full flavor of the spices. Mmmm...
Chinese Beef Curry - To appeal to western tastes, this recipe uses a larger amount of meat than normally found in Chinese cooking.
Cantonese Beef Curry - a quick and easy stir-fry
Chinese Chicken Curry with Rice - a quick and easy dish that is low in calories
Curry Shrimp for Two - an easy Chinese stir-fry made with curry powder, includes suggestions for varying the vegetables.
Curry Shrimp - another easy stir-fry recipe, using curry paste.
Singapore Noodles - This Chinese inspired dish is made with rice noodles and barbecued pork.
Singapore Noodles - this version uses shrimp
Japanese Curry Rice
Curry Chicken With Rice (slow cooker recipe)
Thai Chicken With Green Curry - here is a recipe complete with step by step photo instructions from Darlene Schmidt, About's Guide to Thai Food.
Low-fat Thai Chicken Curry - from Fiona Haynes, About's Guide to Low Fat Cooking. This version of the popular Thai dish is made with lite coconut milk.
Orange Chicken Curry - from Linda Larsen, About's Guide to Busy Cooks, who says it is one of her husband's favorite dishes.
Butter Prawns - a Malaysian specialty, prawns are gently simmered in curry leaves and coconut milk in this fusion dish that combines Chinese and Indian influences.
Fish Curry - The ingredients used to make it show a mix of both eastern and northern Indian culinary influences.
Thai Green Curry Paste
Thai Red Curry Paste
Thai Yellow Curry Paste
Learn more about Chinese cuisine by signing up for my free bi-weekly About Chinese Cuisine newsletter