Ever wonder how to make Thai Chicken Curry? This easy tutorial will have you creating your favorite take-out recipes at home in no time!
HOW TO MAKE THAI CURRY
Here’s the basic formula for an easy Thai-style curry:
1 pound chicken, beef, or pork thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
2 pounds vegetables and/or fruit, cut into bite sized pieces
Aromatics, such as lime leaves, and herbs, such as basil (optional)
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
Fish sauce to taste
Palm (or brown) sugar to taste
Set a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and allow it to get screaming hot. Swirl in a bit of oil.
Add your densest vegetables (i.e., those that take the longest to cook) and cook until browned on each side.
Add in any quick cooking vegetables (onions, snap peas, etc.) and cook for one minute.
Add the curry paste to the pan and use the back of a wooden spoon to mash it into the hot oil.
Add in any aromatics, if using. Pour coconut milk and water into the pan. Let it come to a boil, then add the meat. Simmer until the meat is cooked through.
Turn the heat off and remove aromatics. Stir in any fresh herbs, if using, along with fish sauce and sugar to taste.
Serve hot with a side of cooked rice or noodles.
DOS AND DON’TS:
Prepare all of your ingredients before you begin to cook. Curries cook very quickly so you will not have time to do any dicing or slicing once you have food in the pan.
Cut all of your ingredients into similarly-sized pieces to promote even cooking.
Prepare your rice or noodles before you start your stir-fry.
Give in to the power of wild lime leaves! If you ever feel like something is missing from your home-cooked Thai food, it’s probably wild lime leaves. You can pick them up at most upscale grocery stores, practically any Asian supermarket, or buy them online if you need to. If you buy a bunch of them you can keep them in your freezer almost indefinitely.
Add food to a cold pan. Any time you add ingredients to the pan it should make a satisfying sizzling sound.
Try to avoid using fish sauce. There’s really no substitute. If you are a first-timer, here’s the fish sauce I buy on a regular basis.
Use an oil with a low smoke point, such as olive oil. Canola and peanut oils are your best bet.
Worry about not having the right type of pan. Any high-sided pan will do! I like using my ‘Everyday Pan.’
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO TRY:
Dense: Carrots, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Pumpkin, Potatoes
Quick-Cooking: Onions, Celery, Zucchini, Bok Choy, Pineapple, Mango, Scallions
To make things easy for you, I’m including a recipe (below) for the delicious chicken, bell pepper, and pineapple red curry that I made for all of the pictures in this post. Enjoy!
How to Make Thai Chicken Curry
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper - chopped
- 3 scallions - roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 3-5 wild lime leaves - optional
- 1 pound boneless - skinless chicken breasts, very thinly sliced
- 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 cup basil leaves - about 1 bunch
- 1 tablespoon palm or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick wok or skillet. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped peppers and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the chopped scallions and red curry paste to the pan and fry for 1 minute, using a wooden spoon to mash the curry paste into the oil.
- Add the coconut milk, ½ cup water, and the wild lime leaves (if using) to the pan and turn the heat down to medium.
- Allow the mixture to come to a boil over medium heat, then add the chicken pieces and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove the wild lime leaves from the pan. Stir in the pineapple and basil. Turn off the heat, then stir in the sugar and fish sauce. Taste and add more sugar or fish sauce as needed.