Frugal Food Recipes: How Lazy People Make Thai Curry

Daily Origami is a way for us to record our off the cuff thoughts, feelings and observations about the world around us. Published every weekday, Monday through Friday.

Ivan here.

Jennie and I have an arrangement where I cook from Monday to Thursdays, and she cooks on the weekends. Since I freelance, it gives her time to unwind when she gets home from work. 

I also know that if it were up to her, she’d have Shin Ramen five days a week. For the record, I’m skeptical of her “healthy” ramen recipe, which seems to be just a slower process of self-mummification. 

Cooking for Lazy People

My philosophy on cooking is similar to the way I write this blog: no frills - picking the shortest route from point A to B. Much like writing is a transfer of ideas, food is a transfer of heat and essential nutrients. 

Let’s not make it more complicated than it needs to be. 

All of my meals follow a similar pattern: cheap, Asian, and lazy. Prepared in under 20 minutes from prep to plate. Consisting of: 

  • 1 type of carb

  • 2 types of vegetables

  • 1 type of protein

  • A spice or sauce to make life worth living

Why Red Thai Curry Is The Lazy Person's Meal

Three reasons I love thai curry: 

  1. It takes a real dumbass to fuck it up. 
  2. It’s versatile - you can throw anything in there and it'd still taste good. 
  3. It sets up future meals for the week (like a hockey assist). 

Here’s all you need to get started: 

  • 2-3 tablespoons of Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste ($0.50)
  • 1 can of coconut milk ($2) 
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 types of slow-cooking veggies ($3) - I use black kale & organic beech mushrooms
  • 4-6 cups of brown rice ($1)
  • Thinly sliced pork shoulder ($4) - from the Japanese supermarket
  • 1 Lime, thai chili peppers, and cilantro (optional) 

Total Cost: $10-12 per pot, $2-3 per serving

How To Make The Lazy Person's Thai Curry
Recipe & Instructions

Pop the rice into the cooker. Warm the red curry paste in a well-oiled pan to heat up the spices. Saute the meat until half way cooked, then toss in the vegetables. Add the coconut milk and simmer. Add fish sauce to taste. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice.

Rice is done? You’re done. 


A single pot of curry on a Monday evening will last us through Tuesday. After the curry is gone, I pan fry the leftover rice with store-bought kimchi, mushrooms, and eggs for Wednesday. On Thursday, I take all the vegetables and leftover spices from the fridge to make a soup, throwing in packs of udon noodles to cap off the week. 

Total weekly prep time: less than one hour. 

It's simple, practical, and completely idiot-proof.