Thai green curry is the most well-known Thai food outside Thailand.
It has a distinct green color that distinguishes it from Indian curries, mostly red or yellow. As the name implies, this Thai green curry recipe is prepared using fresh green chilis, making it taste different from Thai red curry paste.
You need many spices and some exotic ingredients to prepare authentic green curry. The list of ingredients sounds complicated, but this post will show you how to do it using store-bought green chili paste, which will cut down the preparation time by half. The green chili paste comprises more than ten ingredients, which is quite a time-consuming task to make.
A. How to make Thai green chicken curry- A Step-by-step guide
1. Reduce the coconut milk
To begin with, pour half of the coconut milk into a pot and simmer it over low heat until it thickens. The coconut oil will start to separate from the water phase. Cook until the coconut oil separates from the liquid. The oil will form a thin layer on top.
2. Add the green curry paste
There are two ways you can do this- mix your blend of green curry paste and get a good quality store-bought Thai curry paste.
3. Add the chicken
Add the chicken thigh meat when the coconut oil bubbles around the curry paste. Chicken thighs have a better flavor than breast meat and will not become tough after prolonged cooking.
Alternatively, you can use chicken breast meat for this recipe. You should add the breast meat at the end of cooking since it will become tough if you add it to the curry in the early stage.
Note: Although this is a Thai green curry chicken recipe, you can substitute the chicken with other ingredients by following the same method. For example, by following the same steps, you can make Thai green curry shrimp and prepare the vegetarian Thai green curry by removing the chicken.
4. Include the remaining ingredients.
a. Coconut milk and chicken stock
Pour the remaining coconut milk and chicken stock into the pot. Simmer over low heat for ten minutes until the chicken is cooked and tender.
Chicken stock is my preference as I do not like to use MSG. Water can be a substitute, but it will never match the full-body flavor with the stock’s additional real chicken flavor.
Please note that some manufacturers interchangeably use the phrases coconut cream and coconut milk. The item we used to cook is the full fat coconut milk pressed from the shredded coconut, which looks like milk. It should be in its pure form, with a fat content of about 25%. It can not be consumed as a beverage.
b. Other ingredients
Add the remaining ingredients- palm sugar, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves. Let it simmer for another ten minutes until it is slightly thickened.
Eggplants, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, squash, and green beans (or snow peas as the substitute) are the common vegetables used in Thai green curry.
This recipe uses Thai eggplant, king oyster mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. Add them to the curry and cook for two minutes. Then add the cut red chili and Thai basil.
5. Do a taste test
Do a taste test when the curry is almost done and the liquid is reduced and thickened.
The saltiness depends on how much the liquid is left, which means the best time to adjust is when it is done. I normally add fish sauce instead of salt if it is not salty enough. Make the flavor strong, as the curry is not intended to be eaten alone. Trust me, the flavor of the curry sauce is heavenly when mixed with steamed rice. Lastly, add a squeeze of lime juice to accentuate the taste, and garnish with cilantro leaves. It is best to serve with Jasmine rice.
B. The major ingredients used in Thai green curry
The green curry prepared in one region differs, and no standard recipe exists. The Thai green curry is authentic as long as it does not omit any essential ingredients.
It is like adobo in the Philippines, where different people vouch their recipes are the most authentic.
The following explanation is helpful to let you understand the key ingredients you must include and the critical aspects you should pay attention to when preparing your own green curry paste.
Galangal is the main ingredient of Thai green curry. You cannot substitute it with other ingredients. It is also called ‘blue ginger’ in some Chinese-speaking countries in Asia, but the flavor is very different from the regular fresh ginger.
The useful part of lemongrass is the white section, the lemongrass bulb. Remove the upper section, green, and the outer layer of the lemongrass, much like removing the outer layer of an onion. Slice the fresh lemongrass thinly before putting it into the blender (or food processor), as it contains a lot of fiber.
3. Green chili
You cannot substitute the green chilies. These are the premature red Thai chili. Never substitute with green bell pepper (capsicum); it is different!
4. Thai basil leaves
You can substitute it with other types of basil if Thai basil leaves are unavailable.
5. Kaffir lime leaves
The flavor of kaffir lime leaves is different from ordinary lime and lemon. Try to get this ingredient for your curry.
6. Palm sugar
Palm sugar has a distinct smoky aroma and a complex flavor. Substitute palm sugar with brown sugar if it is unavailable.
C. More tips to make a better Thai Green curry
1. Store-bought Thai green curry paste.
Many people prefer to use the ready-made Thai green curry paste. Some excellent Thai green curry pastes are available in the Asian market. But if you want to enjoy the fresh flavor of green curry and control each ingredient’s spiciness, you must try to prepare it from scratch. Unfortunately, you need many ingredients to prepare the curry paste, and they may not be available to you, especially if you live outside of Asia.
Homemade green curry paste consists of a long list of ingredients. The curry paste ingredients include coriander, cumin, Thai chilies, and Thai shrimp paste. I will use store-bought curry paste to simplify the cooking process in this recipe.
2. What if I like the flavor but can’t take the heat?
You can reduce the amount of chili paste if you like a milder curry. However, the other ingredients in the paste will be reduced proportionately, which results in a curry of inferior flavor.
The best way to solve this dilemma is to reduce the amount of green chili while preparing the paste. Doing so lets you add enough chili paste to the curry without worrying about it becoming too spicy and yet getting the full flavor of galangal, lemongrass, shallots, and others. Of course, you can only do this if you make your own.
3. How do you make the curry with a bright green color like those in the restaurants?
Add the green curry paste once the creamy coconut milk is reduced to a thick sauce. Saute until the curry paste turns aromatic.
The amount of curry paste required depends on the level you want. You can use less curry paste as indicated in this recipe, but the curry will likely become paler than in a Thai restaurant. There is a way to make it look green naturally without adding artificial color. The trick is to blend some basil leaves with the remaining coconut milk and add them to the curry. It will instantly boost the color of the curry to a beautiful natural green.
4. How long can I keep the Thai green curry?
The curry is food for two days in the refrigerator. You can store it in an airtight container in the freezer if you intend to store it for a few weeks.
Note: If you like Thai cuisine but prefer a less spicy version, check out another Thai curry called Massaman curry. It is a milder Southern Thailand curry with some Indian and Malay influences.
- 70 g Thai green curry paste (store-bought)
- 500 g chicken breast meat (or chicken thigh)
- 375 ml (1.5cups) of coconut milk
- 8 sprigs Thai basil leaf (use the leaf only)
- 125ml (half cup) chicken stock
- 70 g eggplants
- 70 g king oyster mushroom
- 4 pieces kaffir lime leaves
- 30 g palm sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red spur chilies
- Cut the chicken meat into 1cm to 1.5 cm cubes.
- Cut the eggplant to the same size of the chicken pieces.
- Shred the king oyster mushroom into small pieces.
- Place half of the coconut milk into a pot. Heat it gently until it starts to boil. Reduce it to a thick sauce.
- Add the green curry paste. Saute until it turns aromatic.
- Blend 2 sprigs of basil leaves with the remaining coconut milk. (To boost the green color). Add to the curry paste in the pot.
- Add the chicken and chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant, mushroom, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Cook until the eggplant turns soft.
- Stir in the chopped red chilies and the remaining basil leaves. Let it boil for half a minute. Serve.
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Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine Green Curry Paste 70g
Red Boat - Fish Sauce, 8.45 Ounce - Chef’s Grade, Gluten Free, Sustainably Sourced & Artisan Processed, 100% Pure, Protein Rich, No Added MSG or Preservatives.
Nature's Greatest Foods, Organic Coconut Cream, No Guar Gum, Unsweetened, 13.5 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Navitas Organics Coconut Palm Sugar, 16 oz. Bag — Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, Sustainable
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 684Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 170mgSodium: 1938mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 65g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 5/22/2019