Thai Foods Ep.6


Authentic Thai Green Curry Chicken

by Thomas M. Tillman
Thai green curry chicken is my most popular recipe If you want a completely authentic recipe, and one that maximizes deliciousness, this is it right here. It is one of the best known dishes of Thai cuisine, and despite its complex flavours, it is actually quite easy to make at home. It's also gluten free, and adaptable for vegans!

Ingredients

  • Thai basil
  • Bamboo shoots, canned
  • Red bell pepper
  • Green curry paste
  • Makrut lime leaves
  • Full fat coconut milk
  • Fish sauce
  • Palm sugar (sub granulated or light brown sugar)
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • Chicken stock, unsalted

How to Make Thai Green Curry

Steps for making green curry chicken steps 1-4
  1. Optional step: Pound green curry paste and Thai basil leaves for an extra vibrant colour.
  2. Get the paste as fine as possible.
  3. Reduce the coconut milk until very thick
  4. Add the curry paste and saute for a few minutes.
Steps for making green curry chicken steps 5-8
  1. Toss chicken with the curry paste.
  2. Add coconut milk
  3. Add chicken stock
  4. Add makrut lime leaves.
Steps for making green curry chicken steps 9-12
  1. Add fish sauce and palm sugar.
  2. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is fork tender.
  3. Add bamboo shoots and cook for a minute until the curry comes back to a boil.
  4. Stir in red bell pepper and turn off the heat.
Steps for making green curry chicken steps 13-14
  1. Add Thai basil and stir just until wilted.
  2. The green curry is now ready to serve with jasmine rice!

How to Make Green Curry Vegan

With a dish so flavourful, making it a vegan is very easy. Here are modifications I suggest:
  • Use any vegan protein of your choice, and if using tofu I recommend medium-firm tofu, or fried tofu made for soup which I use in this laksa recipe.
  • You can also do an all-veggie green curry without any protein. I recommend hearty vegetables such as Asian mushrooms and Japanese eggplant. Sauteing or roasting the vegetables first so that they are browne will make it more robust-tasting.
  • Replace fish sauce with soy sauce, salt, or vegan fish sauce.
  • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is hotter, red or green curry?

This is a difficult question to answer because with any Thai curry you can make a very spicy or a very mild one. It just depends on who made the curry paste and also how much curry paste is used. But if you're using store bought curry paste, usually green curry tends to be hotter than red curry.

What is green curry sauce made of?

Green curry sauce is quite simple and is made of mainly green curry paste and coconut milk. Water or broth is usually added to lighten the curry, and seasonings are simply fish sauce and sugar. To find out what's in green curry paste.

What does green curry paste taste like?

If you've never had green curry before, it'll be a flavour experience you've never had. If you're thinking of an Indian curry, it is completely different in every way. The flavours come mostly from fresh herbs rather than dry spices, so it won't have that "curry aroma" you associate with dishes made with curry powder. Texturally it's also much lighter and brothier, more reminiscent of a soup, rather than a thick stew.

More Thai Curry Recipes You'll Enjoy

Once you've made green curry, other Thai curries will be easy because the basic steps are the same. You're just changing up the curry paste, the meat and veggies, and modifying the process slightly to match the different ingredients used.

Ingredients

  • 1¾ cup coconut milk, divided
  • 50 g (~3 Tbsp) green curry paste, store bought or homemade (see note)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, unsalted
  • 1 lb chicken thigh, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces (if using chicken breast, see note)
  • 2 Tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped (can substitute brown or granulated sugar, see note)
  •  - 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn
  • 1½ cup bamboo shoots, canned (can use sliced or strips)
  • 1 cup Thai basil
  • 1 spur chilies or ¼ red bell pepper, julienned
  • Jasmine rice for serving

HOMEMADE GREEN CURRY PASTE (WATCH THE VIDEO HERE)

(This  makes 4-5 Tbsp, probably more than you need for this amount of curry, but you can add more for extra spiciness is desired. The paste can also be frozen.)
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 15 green Thai chilies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 Thai basil leaves, finely julienned
  • 3 Tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp galangal, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp kaffir lime zest, finely chopped (or sub lime zest)
  • 2 tsp cilantro roots, finely chopped, or 2 Tbsp cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste (gapi)

Instructions

  1. Reduce ¾ cup coconut milk until thick and coconut oil starts to separate from the coconut milk (if the oil doesn’t separate after it has reduced until very thick, it's okay, just proceed with the recipe).
  2. Add curry paste and sauté, stirring constantly over medium heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. If paste sticks to the bottom of the pan, you can deglaze with a little bit of the remaining coconut milk. 
  3. Add chicken thigh and stir to mix with the paste. (See below if using chicken breast).
  4. Add kaffir lime leaves, chicken stock, remaining 1 cup of coconut milk, palm sugar and 1 Tbsp fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and let simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender.
  5. Once the curry is done simmering, add bamboo shoots and bring to a boil. If you prefer your peppers to be more cooked, add them at this stage. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  6. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or sugar as needed.
  7. Stir in Thai basil and spur chilies or bell peppers.
  8. Serve with jasmine rice

IF USING CHICKEN BREAST:

  1. After sautéing the curry paste, add kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, chicken stock, palm sugar and 1 Tbsp fish sauce; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add chicken breast and cook until chicken is about 70% done, about a minute. Add bamboo shoots and bring to a boil. If you prefer your peppers to be more cooked, add them at this stage. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  3. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or sugar as needed.
  4. Stir in Thai basil and spur chilies or bell peppers.
  5. Serve with jasmine rice. 

FOR THE CURRY PASTE

  1. Toast coriander seeds by adding them to a dry sauté pan and stir constantly over medium-high heat until the seeds are aromatic and slightly darkened, about 4 minutes. Cool on a plate. Repeat with the cumin seeds.

  2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind toasted coriander seeds, toasted cumin seeds, and white peppercorns into a fine powder. Remove from mortar and set aside.

  3. Cut at least 8 green Thai chilies in half horizontally and, with a paring knife, scrape off and discard the seeds and pith, then finely chop along with the remaining chilies. Note: The seeds and pith are removed from some of the chilies to tone down the heat, you can remove seeds from all of the green chilies if you wish to tone it down even more
  4. Add chopped chilies and salt to a heavy-duty mortar and pestle; pound into a fine paste. If the mixture feels too wet at any point, add some of the ground spices to absorb the liquid.
  5. Add basil leaves; pound into a fine paste.
  6. Add lemongrassgalangal, kaffir lime zest, and cilantro roots; pound into a fine paste.
  7. Add shallotsgarlic, and any remaining ground spices; pound into a fine paste.
  8. Add shrimp paste and pound to mix.

Notes

  • When using store bought curry paste, the saltiness and spiciness can vary greatly between brands. I would suggest starting out with about 50g (~3 Tbsp) of paste, and you can always add more after.
  • If using chicken breasts, marinate in 2 tsp fish sauce while you prep other ingredients
  • If subbing granulated or brown sugar, start with just 2 tsp and taste and adjust from there.