Thai Up Your Leftovers

I did something for dinner yesterday that was so brilliant in its future usefulness I couldn’t wait to share it. Not only is it delicious, it’s also extremely quick to make, inexpensive, gluten free, dairy free and easily made vegan. Yes, you CAN have it all, really.

I often make roasted vegetables as a side dish for dinner (especially holiday dinners) because it’s so easy. A basic recipe for any roasted vegetables can be boiled down literally to: Cut, oil, salt, pepper, toss, roast, eat. And because it is so easy, many of us have gotten carried away and roasted, say, a whole head of cauliflower, only to realize that we’ve just made a potluck-size dish for 2 people. And so you take it to work for lunch the next day—great. But by day 3, it’s still not over… and the dog won’t eat it.

This is precisely what happened to me last night. I ended up with a bunch of roasted cauliflower and mushrooms that nobody or animal wanted to eat any longer. So the first chef’s instinct is to turn it into something else, and while analyzing the kitchen inventory, I glanced upon the open carton of coconut milk that needed to be used up, and an idea sparked. I rushed to my Thai shelf (yes, I do have a separate shelf just for Thai ingredients) and found what I was hoping to find—Yellow curry paste. Perfect.

In literally 15 mins I ended up wih a Thai yellow curry with Cauliflower, mushroom, and potatoes that was a million times more delicious than Day 3 roasted cauliflower.  And if you didn’t want to add extra raw vegetables like I did the potatoes, you can have a leftover-turned-Thai-curry completed in 5 mins.

Yellow curry is significantly different from red and green curry. It feels sweeter, not from more sugar, but from the abundance of spices including the pumpkin pie ones, as well as the fact that it’s usually not very spicy. The dish came about when Indian cuisine started having an influence in Thailand during the Spice Trade, so it is reminiscent of Indian dish, making it work especially well with commonly roasted vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower (aloo gobi, anyone?) Yellow curry in Thailand typically has dark meat chicken, potatoes, onion, fried shallots, and sometimes grape tomatoes and carrots.

Enough talk, here is the recipe:


Thai Yellow Curry with Roasted Vegetable

(For my other Thai recipes, visit my YouTube Channel-Hot Thai Kitchen!)


1 packet yellow curry paste. Any brand will do. Typically it’s 50 g. per pack, or about a scant ¼ cup.

 2 cups coconut milk. If you don’t have enough coconut milk, you can also sub soymilk or almond milk to make up the volume, or if you’re only missing less than ½ cup or so, adding water is fine.

Fish sauce or salt to taste. I say to taste because each brand of curry paste has different salt levels. Use salt if you want it vegan.

 1-1.5 Tbsp Sugar

 2-3 cups left over roasted vegetables (come to think of it…leftover mildly flavored meat will work too, like roast turkey or pork.) Anything that roasted well will work well. Potatoes, yams, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, eggplant, broccoli, kohlrabi, celeriac, parsnip…. The only thing I would stay away from is red bell peppers, the mushy roasted pepper tends to bleed red color into the curry and makes it funny-looking and the acidity from it is also a little weird. 


  1. Saute the curry paste with a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil until the fragrance fills the room (1 min). If it sticks to the bottom, splash a little bit of coconut milk into the pan to release it.
  2. Add the coconut milk and/or other liquids, if using.
  3. Bring to a boil and add seasoning. At this point if you have raw veg you want to add in addition to your leftovers, now is the time to add it. Adding onions is a great idea.
  4. Once it comes to a boil, or once your additional veg is cooked, add in your roasted veg. Bring it to a boil one more time.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Done!




One Response to “Thai Up Your Leftovers”

  1. Posted on February 22nd, 2013

    What a fabulous idea. I love Thai yellow curry, especially with potatoes. Will be making note of this to try in the next week or two. :)

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