In this Thai chicken green curry recipe, we achieve a balance of flavor with the sweetness of palm sugar, tartness of tamarind and lime leaves, and spiciness from green and red chillies.
Whenever we visit Thailand, I immediately search out some of my favorite Thai dishes. Spicy and smoky pad thai with shrimp is a must-do. Chicken satay served grilled on skewers with a spicy peanut sauce is one of my favorite street foods. And just the thought of hot and spicy green papaya salad makes my mouth water.
But Thai Chicken green curry is usually at the top of the list. Thai food is of course known for its balance of flavors and textures. This curry dish brings together a perfect balance of spicy, sour, sweet, and saltiness, all mellowed by creamy coconut milk. Served with a helping of steamed rice to soak of the curry, it’s a must-eat!
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Our recipe is a very typical version of the dish, using ingredients easily obtainable in Thailand. We noted a few ingredients that can be substituted, if you can’t find them locally. We use Thai eggplant, which you can substitute with purple eggplant or other vegetables such as green beans, baby corn and mushrooms.
We’ve also included a recipe for green curry paste, in case you don’t have it lying around, or just want to make some fresh!
Can you make this dish Vegetarian or Vegan?
If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, you can omit the chicken (or substitute it with firm tofu). You can also switch out the fish sauce with the same amount of soy sauce. There are also vegan fish sauces available.
Chiles in the Green Curry Paste
We use two types of chilies in our green curry paste (recipe below).
The first are Spur Chilies (in Thai, prik chee fah). Spur chiles have elongated and slender pods, from 5 to 12 centimeters in length. They are about the same heat as serrano chiles, so if you can’t find this specific variety, serranos can be substituted.
The second variety are Bird’s Eye Chilies, or Thai chilese. This tiny variety is very typical in Thai cuisine. But don’t let the small size fool you – they are very spicy. They range in spiciness up to the heat of a habanero, one of the hottest peppers out there.
As with all chiles, these varieties can vary substantially in the amount of heat per pod. If you don’t want to overwhelm the flavor with heat, or just prefer a milder or dish, start with using half the amount recommended. You can always add more heat, but it’s harder taking it away!
Here are some additional Asian inspired recipes that you might enjoy!
- 1 Chicken Breast, Sliced
- 3 Tablespoons Green Curry Paste*
- 2 Cups (475 ml) Coconut Milk
- 3 Thai Eggplants, Quartered (or 1/2 small eggplant cut into 1" cubes)
- 5 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 2 Tablespoons (10 g) Sliced Galangal (or fresh ginger)
- 20 Thai Sweet Basil Leaves
- 1 Teaspoon (4 g) Palm (or white) Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15 g) Fish Sauce (nam pla)
- 2 Tablespoons (20 g) Tamarind Paste (or White Vinegar)
- 1 - 2 Thai Red Chilies (if desired)
- 2 Cups (500 g) Steamed Rice
- Place cooking oil in a wok or frying pan over medium - high heat.
- Add the curry paste and stir. When it becomes aromatic (about 1-2 minutes) add the chicken, lime leaves, coconut milk and eggplant.
- Continue to stir occasionally until the chicken is cooked thorough.
- Add the fish sauce, sugar, sweet basil leaves and red chili. Allow to combine for another 1 - 2 minutes.
- Serve with steamed rice.
You can substitute pork, beef, or seafood for chicken in this Thai green curry recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 401Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 39mgSodium 234mgCarbohydrates 71gFiber 12gSugar 23gProtein 21g
- 15 Green Spur Chilies, chopped (can be substituted with Serrano Chilies)
- 4 Green Bird's Eye Chilies, Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Lemongrass, bottom 3rd of stalk with outer leaves removed
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Galangal (or fresh ginger) finely sliced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Kaffir Lime Zest
- 2 Tablespoons Shallot, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Ginger, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Coriander Root, chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1/2 Teaspoon Roasted Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 Teaspoon Roasted Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Shrimp Paste
- The paste is most flavorful if the curry is made by combining them using a mortar and pestle. Otherwise, you can use a food processor or blender. Process until found in to a fine paste. It can be stored in a sealed glass container covered with a layer of vegetable oil over the top in the refrigerator for several months.