In this Thai green curry recipe, you’ll learn exactly how to make authentic Thai green curry.
We’ll start from scratch by pounding Thai green curry paste, chopping up the chicken, and finally combining it with coconut cream, for Thai green curry that’s loaded with flavor.
Thai green curry ingredients
For the green curry chicken:
- 1 whole chicken – 1.4 kg. in total weight (ไก่บ้าน) – I think a free-range chicken gives you the best Thai green curry paste
- 2 cups of water to first boil the chicken
- green curry paste (เครื่องแกงเขียวหวาน) – all of the green curry paste below
- 2 – 3 cups of coconut cream (หัวกะทิ)
- 1 eggplant (มะเขือเปราะ)
- 6 – 10 stems of Thai sweet basil (โหระพา)
- 2 red spur chilies (พริกชี้ฟ้าแดง)
- 3 Bay leaves
- zest of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp. salt (เกลือ) – or salt to taste when you’re cooking your curry
For the green curry paste (เครื่องแกงเขียวหวาน)
- 150 grams Thai green chilies (พริกขี้หนูเขียว)
- 1 head garlic (กระเทียม)
- 3 shallots – small shallots about 2 tbsp in total (หอมแดง)
- 1 thumb-sized chunk of galangal (ข่า)
- 5 cilantro roots (รากผักชี) coriander
- 1 lime – just the peel (ผิวมะกรูด)
- 2 stalks lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
- 1 tbsp. black pepper ground
- 1 tsp. coriander seed (ลูกผักชี)
- 1 tsp. cumin seed (ยี่หร่า)
- 1 tsp. salt (เกลือ)
- 1 tbsp. shrimp paste (กะปิ)
To make Thai green curry, there are three main steps:
- Pound the curry paste
- Prepare the chicken
- Cook the curry paste with the chicken and coconut cream
- The first step is to prepare your ingredients to pound your green curry paste. Remove the stems of the Thai green chilies, peel the garlic and shallots, thinly slice the galangal, cilantro roots, and lemongrass. For the kaffir lime, delicately slice off all the green bumpy peel. For the cumin and coriander seed, dry roast them in a hot skillet for 30 seconds to bring out the aroma.
- Pound all the green curry paste ingredients in a stone mortar and pestle part from the shrimp paste, which you’ll add at the very end. Pounding can take 1 – 2 hours, and you’re looking for a smooth pureed paste. One good measure of a Thai curry paste is that you shouldn’t see any chili seeds remaining in your paste, they should all be pounded out.
- Once your paste is finished, add the shrimp paste, and mix and mash until it’s evenly mixed in. Set your green curry paste aside.
- Prepare your whole chicken by gutting and cleaning it. Chop the entire chicken into bite-sized pieces. Alternatively, you could use typical pieces like drumsticks and thighs, or boneless chicken breast.
- In a pot, add 2 cups of water, the green curry paste, your pieces of chicken, and toss in about 10 kaffir lime leaves broken in half (this is for a citrusy fragrance).
- Boil the chicken for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and most of the water has evaporated, leaving mostly the thick curry paste and chicken at the bottom of the pot.
- While the chicken is boiling, prepare the Thai eggplant by cutting them into quarters. Pluck the Thai sweet basil off the stems so you just have the leaves and set them aside. And finally, julienne the red spur chilies.
- After about 10 minutes of boiling the chicken, add in the coconut cream, and bring it to a boil stirring delicately. At this stage, you can taste test your curry to see if it needs more salt. Add salt accordingly, I added in about ½ tsp. of salt.
- Next, add the eggplant and red spur chilies and boil for just 2 – 3 minutes.
- The final step is to toss the Thai sweet basil, turn off the heat, and just let the sweet basil wilt into the curry
NOTE: You could use a food processor instead of the mortar and pestle to make Thai green curry paste much faster, and that would work well and would still be better than buying canned green curry paste. However, when using a blender or food processor you won’t be able to extract all the flavor oils from the ingredients unless you pound them by hand slowly. But I do understand if you don’t have the time to pound.
Thai green curry chicken (แกงเขียวหวานไก่) is an amazing Thai dish and a unique Thai curry. After you’re finished cooking a pot of green curry, eat it along with freshly steamed rice.