Authentic? Probably not. But a quick stir-fry with a few Thai flavoring notes can be just the ticket for a speedy dinner on a weeknight. Adjust the spicing as you wish: more curry paste, or the peppery chili-garlic sauce sriracha, for more heat. Go slow, though. Once it's too hot, there's no going back.
As with all stir-fries, do all the prep before you heat the skillet. Then cook over high heat - yes, it's scary! - and keep everything moving by stirring and shaking the skillet.
We suggest shrimp here, but bits of boneless skinless chicken breast, tidbits of turkey or nubbins of boneless pork would work just as well. Time their entry into the wok or skillet so they're cooked through before the vegetables go limp.
Robin Mather Jenkins writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe and analysis.
Speedy Shrimp With Thai Curry Vegetables
Serves 4 -- Total time: 38 minutes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons each: roasted sesame oil, red curry paste
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks
1 each, cut into matchsticks: zucchini, yellow squash
1 white onion, cut vertically into eighths, or 5 green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 pound medium shelled tail-on raw shrimp, thawed if frozen
chili-garlic sauce (such as sriracha), lime wedges, fresh chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts, bean sprouts (optional)
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, sesame oil and red curry paste; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, bell pepper and broccoli. Stir-fry until vegetables soften slightly and their colors become very bright, about 4 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to a plate; set aside. Add shrimp to skillet; stir-fry until shrimp turn pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet; remove from heat. Divide among 4 plates; add garnishes as desired.
Per serving: 187 calories, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 168 milligrams cholesterol, 11 grams carbohydrate, 20 grams protein, 222 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber
Speedy Shrimp with Thai Curry Vegetables
Steamed white rice
Cut vegetables such as zucchini, carrots and bell pepper into like-sized matchsticks so they all cook in about the same amount of time.
Packaged shredded carrots can shave a few minutes off the prep time.