Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thai Red Curry BBQ Sauce

I imagine that many people in non-barbecue-famous states believe that bbq sauce is one of those magical substances that exist only in bottles on supermarket shelves. Most of these people have the fixins for a classic sweet tomato-based sauce in their own fridge and pantry. A lot of ketchup, some brown sugar, onions, garlic, and various savory seasonings are all one needs to make a perfect topping for grilled chicken, ribs, and pulled pork. And there's no limitations to the kind of savory seasonings that can be used. For the sauce here (pictured on pulled pork), I cleaned out the last 2 tablespoons from a jar of red curry paste and finished up a big bottle of fish sauce. If Alabama can make white barbecue sauce with mayonnaise, and North Carolina with loads of vinegar, then why can't I make a sauce with flavors borrowed from Thai food?

I can. I will. And I did. And it was pretty tasty.

I had that supermarket red curry to use up, and that stuff is pretty mild. If you want some real kick to your 'que, then use the Maesri brand paste they sell in Asian markets, or, if you have the wherewithal, make your own.

Thai Red Curry BBQ Sauce

1/2 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
1 tablespoon light soy
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

In a medium saucepan, cook the onion in the olive oil and pinch of salt over medium heat until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook an additional minute or two. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning; if you think it should be saltier, add more fish sauce. More tangy, add more lime. Thai Kitchen red curry paste is mild/not hot, so if you want heat, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.

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