Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Thai Roasted Carrots with Cilantro Lime Coconut Creme

Thai Roasted Carrots with Cilantro Lime Creme (all photos from Deborah Brooks)

If you’ve been following my recipe column for a while, you know that my favorite  preparation for vegetables is roasting them in a hot oven to elicit their intense flavor. Sometimes simply with a good swirl of olive oil and kosher salt and sometimes with more intricate ingredients. Today is the latter.  These Thai Roasted Carrots are layered with complex flavors yet are quite easy to prepare thanks to three ready made Thai seasoning products instead of a long grocery list of herbs, chilis and dried spices.  Served with a cooling Cilantro Lime Coconut Creme, to offset the heat of the Thai peppers, this zesty and colorful side dish will perk up your dinnertime meals. 

Now…let’s talk carrots. The good old fashioned orange variety. To me, these carrots still get a bum rap in the vegetable world. Usually second string players in soups, sauces crudités and stews, they don’t garner the bougie sexiness of broccolini and white asparagus or the obsessiveness of kale and cauliflower. Growing up, carrots were diet food in my realm, eaten raw in mass quantities as we starved our way into fitting in the high cut jeans we bought two sizes too small to look skinner.  Oh, the agony of fashion. It wasn’t until I the new food movement plated roasted baby carrots with a bit of their stems still intact that carrots went from mundane to haute cuisine, but only for a moment, as heirloom varieties of vegetables such as romesco, ramps and sunchokes edged them out at restaurants. 

Peeled Organic Carrots with Stems

Time to go back to basics! Do try this delectable version of the kitchen workhorse of veggies  and decide for yourself if its time to elevate good old fashioned orange carrots back to haute cuisine. 

Prepped Carrots ready to roast

Chef’s Tips

  • While it’s not absolutely necessary to buy carrots with stems, they usually are sweeter and the presentation is very pretty. Do try to find bunches of similar sized carrots that are a bit smaller. One absolute is to always buy organic carrots. Personally, I can taste the pesticides in non-organic carrots. Organic carrots with stems are available at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market and local supermarkets.
  • All of the Thai products pictured were purchased at Ralph’s. Gourmet Garden Thai seasoning paste is refrigerated and is located in the produce department. Sriracha and Thai Kitchen red curry paste are in the Asian foods aisle.
  • Sriracha is optional as the Thai seasoning paste has a bit of heat.
  • If you’re in the “I hate cilantro” camp replace with basil, dill or Italian parsley, depending on your palate.
  • All ovens are different so cook times will differ.
  • These carrots are also delicious at room temperature or chilled so no problem to make ahead. If you need to reheat do so gently in a pan on the stove with a bit of oil. Be careful not to burn. 
  • You can also warm them in a 300 degree oven on a lightly oiled foil lined pan. Again check to see that they don’t burn. 

Thai Roasted Carrots with Cilantro Lime Coconut Creme

Serves 4

2-3 bunches fresh carrots of similar size with stems intact
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1.5 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste
3 T Gourmet Garden Thai seasoning paste
Juice of half a lime, about a Tablespoon
Sriracha to taste, optional
Coconut Creme, recipe follows
Fresh cilantro leaves and cut lime wedges for serving, optional
Make coconut creme ahead and refrigerate if you want a thick sauce. Otherwise make it while the carrots are roasting for a pourable sauce. 

Heat oven to 400 degrees convection or 425 regular.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper

If using fresh carrots with stems, cut off the leafy stems leaving an inch of stem intact.

Wash and dry the carrots well. Peel the carrots and dry again. 

In a large bowl, rub the carrots and stems with olive oil. Set aside

In a small bowl mix the red curry paste, Thai seasoning paste and lime juice until very well combined. Taste for heat. Add Sriracha sauce to taste if you want it spicier

Rub the carrots but not the stems with 2/3 of the seasoning mix. It’s a bit messy, the hardest part of this recipe.

Place the carrots in a single lay on the sheet pan. If some of the marinade falls off just put it back on the carrots. 

Roast for 20 minutes

Turn the carrots over and baste with the additional marinade using a silicon food brush 

Roast another 10-15 minutes until softened.  Turn the oven up 25 degrees for the last 5 minutes to get a good char on the veggies, if so desired. 

Serve immediately with the creme sauce on the side. If you want to get fancy, put the sauce in a squeeze bottle and create ribbons of sauce on top of the carrots. 

Serve with cilantro and cut limes on the side. 

The creme sauce is delicious with jasmine rice so it’s a good side to serve with these carrots. 

Refrigerate leftovers. I don’t recommend freezing

Cilantro Lime Coconut Creme

1/4 cup canned coconut cream.  Make sure to stir up the canned cream before measuring as the coconut cream separates in the can.
1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp of salt, or to taste
2 T fresh chopped cilantro leaves, or to taste

Whisk up the coconut cream, lime juice and salt until well combine. Taste for seasoning and acid. Adjust to your liking. Stir in the cilantro leave until well combined, Again, taste to your palate and adjust. This sauce thickens in the fridge. 

Refrigerate leftovers. I don’t recommend freezing. 

Thai seasonings
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Deborah Brooks
Deborah Brooks
Deborah is currently a documentary film producer. She is also a former certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition coach. The shutdown of business due to Covid-19 and the implication of an animal wet market connection caused her to rethink her high animal protein food lifestyle. She has spent the last year exploring the world of plant based eating for her own health as well as the health of the planet and all of its sentient beings. Her recipes can be found on Instagram. She would love you to follow along on her journey.

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