Yellow Sauce

yellow sauce made with coconut milk and curry
photo by carmen troesser

Curry-based sauces are built layer upon layer – spicy, creamy, a little sweet, a touch of salt. Pour this one over rice and chicken, tofu or anything fried. You can take the base in so many directions: use lime zest instead of lemon, or stir in a teaspoon of tahini for a nuttier flavor. Red or green curry paste can be sauteed in place of turmeric and curry powder. Leave out the lemon and use one teaspoon pungent minced lemongrass instead. Add a teaspoon of minced ginger or shallot with the garlic, or if you like it super spicy, try minced jalapeno, serrano or Thai chile instead of red pepper flakes.


1 13.5-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
2 Tbsp. coconut or vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. turmeric
1∕8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar


• Scoop the thick cream at the top of the can of coconut milk into a small bowl and set aside. Save the liquid coconut milk for another use.

• In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the oil, curry powder, lemon zest, garlic, turmeric and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

• Whisk in the soy sauce, brown sugar and reserved coconut cream and continue whisking until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Tags : Coconut milk