Thai Green Curry with Chicken. This was a dish I was scared to try when I was first introduced to Thai food. Don’t ask me why. I was probably just used to eating some vaguely orange midwestern version of curry and the color green kind of freaked me out. (This is the same psychology that lead me to refuse to try green peppers until I was like 12.) Luckily I got over my phobia of green foods and eventually stopped just ordering Pad Thai at restaurants and tried some green curry; and after I tried it I just couldn’t get enough.
(Note- my love of green foods has not yet extended to kale territory. I take baby steps..)
Green curry is one of the staples of most Thai restaurants and it’s extremely easy to make at home. As with most Thai dishes you can add whatever vegetables you prefer and also mix and match the protein selection. There are just a few base ingredients you will need to start with, but once you have these prepared this dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. Rachel Ray would be so proud.
This is the brand of curry paste that I always use. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores, or it is available online. This is infinitely better than any of the curry pastes you can find in the international aisle of a regular grocery store- do NOT substitute unless you like lack of flavor. You can also make your own curry paste if you’re so inclined, which I’m sure would be amazing, but I would also extend the length of time requirement for this recipe and I am definitely not about to slave away for hours meticulously pounding herbs. Mae Ploy brand is very good.
Fish sauce and palm sugar- you don’t need much for this recipe. Also you could probably substitute the palm sugar for regular sugar and it wouldn’t be a big deal. DON’T skip the fish sauce though.This is the look you’re going for when you first add the coconut milk. Make sure to simmer it long enough for the oil to separate. I don’t think this affects the flavor at all, but it’ll give you the puddling of oil on the top of the curry when you’re finished, which looks very authentic.Like I said, use whatever vegetables you’d like. I love green beans in curry, and Dave loves red peppers. Other common vegetables for this dish include Thai eggplant and bamboo shoots.
Adding the green beans to the curry. You want to add the green beans at the same time you add the chicken- they take approximately the same amount of time to cook. Add the red peppers just before serving. They will get overly soft if you boil them.
- 2 tablespoons Mae Ploy Green Curry Paste (or more if you like extra heat)
- 2 (14 oz) cans good quality unsweetened Coconut Milk (I use Chaokoh brand- do NOT use light coconut milk)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons palm sugar (may substitute white or brown sugar)
- 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn to release flavor.
- 1-2 cups of sweet Thai Basil (optional)
- In large heavy-bottom stock pot or saucepan, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Add curry paste and saute for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add about 1/2 cup coconut milk to the pot. Whisk together to combine. Allow to simmer until coconut milk has reduced and the oil is beginning to separate.
- Add the rest of the coconut milk. Combine thoroughly. Stir in palm sugar, fish sauce, and add kaffir lime leaves. Cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Slice chicken and red peppers. Prepare green beans.
- Remove kaffir lime leaves from curry.
- Add chicken, green beans, and basil (if using) to the curry. Allow to simmer, covered, for about 6-8 minutes, or until your green beans are crisp tender and chicken is cooked through.
- Turn off heat. Add red peppers right before serving.
- Serve with a side of jasmine rice.