Our 9-year-old is a big fan of Thai green curry. When he was younger, he used to call it ‘that browny coloured curry’. Mmmm appetizing!
It’s true though – most Thai green curry pastes are a kind of sludgy brown colour.
We used to buy a green (brown) curry paste that was relatively mild. I think it was the one made by Thai Taste. But in the last couple of years I’ve noticed it’s become spicier. And despite my efforts to find a new mild green curry paste, I’ve constantly found they’re spicy enough that the kids need a pint glass of water to manage their dinner!
So now I’ll often make my own Thai green curry paste.
The green colour primarily comes from the large bunch of coriander (cilantro) and the spring onions, but also from the green chillies too. Most shop-bought (in fact all that I’ve seen) feature green chillies at a much higher proportion than coriander. I swapped these round, so that I’ll always get a lovely green curry paste, even if I only add one green chilli.
The coriander gives the sauce a lovely fresh taste, and being able to alter the number of chillies (or leave them out altogether if you like!) means I can make it mild enough for the kids to enjoy (without the emergency water).
So we start off by adding green chillies (3-6 if you like it hotter or, 1, de-seeded if you like it mild) to a blender, along with spring onions, lemon grass, garlic, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, lime zest and juice, salt, white pepper, ground coriander, cumin, fish sauce and shrimp paste. I use a high powered blender (my Nutribullet<–affiliate link) rather than a food processer, as I find it blends the leaves better. Using a food processor means I’ve have little speckles of coriander in my sauce.
Once that’s blended, I add in a large bunch of coriander (cilantro), stalks included. Blitz again until you have what looks like a green smoothie.
Now cook pieces of chicken in a large pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes. I like to sprinkle in a stock cube at this point – just to enhance the flavour of the chicken. Next add in a tin of coconut milk. Heat it through and then add in veggies – such as sugarsnap peas (snowpeas), bamboo shoots and broccoli. Add a teaspoon of light brown sugar to balance the flavours, and we’re done!
Mmmmmm! So fresh testing and delicious!!
Serve your Thai Green Curry with:
- Boiled or steamed rice (check out the tutorial how to do this at the beginning of my fried rice masterclass)
- A crunchy salad (minus the dijon dressing).
- The cauliflower fried rice from this recipe – fried up with coriander and lime.
- Or how about some pan fried roti from Whitney at WhitneyBond.com
Love Thai food? Try these:
- Thai fishcakes with vegetable ribbons
- Thai chicken salad with peanut dressing
- Thai style Peanut Pork
- Thai sweet potato skins
- Thai fish burgers with sweet chilli sauce
The Thai Green Chicken Curry Recipe:
Thai Green Chicken Curry
Thai Green Curry Paste
- 3-6 green chillies (depending on how spicy you like it - you could reduce further to 1 or 2 and remove the seeds for less heat)
- 6 spring onions (scallions) roughly chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks , outer leaves remove, inner stalk roughly chopped (replace with 2 tsp lemon grass paste if preferred)
- 1 thumb-sized piece ginger peeled and roughly chopped (replace with 2 tsp ginger paste if preferred)
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 6 kaffir lime leaves
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (check for gluten free if needed)
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 large bunch coriander (cilantro) stalks too
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts cut into bite-size chunks
- 4 heaped tbsp homemade Thai Green Curry Paste (see above)
- 1 chicken stock cube , crumbled (use bouillon for gluten free)
- 14 oz (400ml) tin full fat coconut milk
- 1 bunch of broccoli broken into small florets
- 1 cup (150g) sugar snap peas/snowpeas
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots (from a tin, drained)
- 1 tsp light brown sugar
- Boiled rice
- Thai basil leaves
- freshly chopped red chillies
- Start by making the curry paste. To a high powered blender, add the green chillies, spring onions, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, kaffir limes leaves, zest and juice of 1 lime, salt, white pepper, cumin, ground coriander, shrimp paste and fish sauce. Pulse until fully combined.
- Add the large bunch of fresh coriander (stalks too) and pulse again until smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides a couple of times to ensure it's fully combined. Put to one side.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet) over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken and fry for 5-6 minutes until just cooked through. Add the curry pasta you made earlier - you need about 4 heaped tbsp. Stir and cook through for 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle on the stock cube, stir and pour in the coconut milk. Heat through until the coconut milk is very hot but not boiling.
- Add in the broccoli, sugarsnap peas (snow peas) and bamboo shoots and stir together. Heat through for a few more minute, stirring often until the vegetables are lightly cooked, but still crisp.
- Stir in the sugar.
- Serve over rice topped with Thai basil and freshly chopped red chillies.
Can I make a vegetarian Thai green curry instead?Yes! Replace the chicken with mushrooms, roasted sweet potato or quorn. Replace the fish sauce with a vegetarian fish sauce replacement Thai Taste do one). It's difficult to replace the shrimp paste, but I've heard that a good alternative is miso paste - as it's got that nice salt, umami flavour. You'll also need to replace the stock cube with a vegetarian stock cube.
Which Thai curry is the spiciest?Green Thai curry is considered to be the spiciest - as green chillies (of the same variety) are usually hotter and sharper than red chillies. Red Thai Curry comes next, and Yellow Thai curry is the least spicy.
Can I replace the coconut milk?The coconut milk is quite important for a more authentic Thai flavour, but you can replace the coconut milk with 250ml (about 1 cup) of stock and 150ml (about 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp) of double/heavy creamy. You may need to thicken the sauce slightly with a cornstarch slurry made of 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, mixed with 5 tbsp of cold water. Stir it in slowly to the hot curry before serving - until you achieve the desired thickness.
Can I make a lower fat/calorie Thai green curry?Yes, here's my low fat Thai green chicken curry that uses frylite instead of oil, a smaller amount of (half-fat) coconut milk and stock. It's still really delicious though.
Can I make Thai Green Curry ahead and freeze it?Yes. The veggies won't be quite as crunchy, but this curry can be made ahead and reheated. Cook the curry as per the instructions, then cool quickly, cover and refrigerate for up to a day. Reheat in a pan over a medium heat (don't boil rapidly or it may split) until piping hot throughout. To freeze the curry, cook as per the instructions, cool quickly, cover and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Then reheat in a pan over a medium heat (don't boil rapidly or it may split) until piping hot throughout. You may need to add a splash of coconut milk or cream as it will be of a slightly thinner consistency after freezing.
Can I refrigerate the Thai green curry paste?Yes, any extra curry paste can be placed in a sealed container and placed in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutritional information is per serving (without rice).
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