Thai Green Curry
Recipe video above. This is how to make a really great QUICK green curry by pimping up curry in a jar, OR using a homemade green curry paste! Don't skip frying off the curry paste, this makes all the difference. See Spiciness info in Note 1 (remember, Green Curry is supposed to be spicy!)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 people
Extras - for jar curry paste (Note 2):
- 2 large garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger , finely grated
- 1 tbsp lemongrass paste (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium
- 400 g/14oz coconut milk , full fat (Note 4)
- 1 - 3 tsp fish sauce *
- 1 - 3 tsp white sugar *
- 1/8 tsp salt *
- 6 kaffir lime leaves , torn in half (Note 5)
- 350 g/12 oz chicken thigh , skinless boneless, sliced (Note 6)
- 2 Japanese eggplants, , small, 1cm / 2/5" slices (Note 7)
- 1 1/2 cups snow peas , small, trimmed
- 16 Thai basil leaves (Note 8)
- Juice of 1/2 lime , to taste
- Crispy fried Asian shallots , high recommended (Note 9)
- Thai basil or cilantro/coriander , recommended
- Green or red chillies slices , optional
Heat oil in a heavy based skillet or pot over medium high heat.
Add curry paste (and garlic, ginger and lemongrass Extras, if using) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until it mostly "dries out" - see video. Don't breath in the fumes!!
Add chicken broth and coconut milk, mix to dissolve paste.
Curry in a jar seasonings: Add 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, no salt.
Homemade curry paste seasonings: Add 3 tsp fish sauce, 3 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt.
Add kaffir lime leaves. Mix then bring to simmer.
Add chicken, stir then lower heat to medium so it's bubbling gently. Cook 7 minutes.
Add eggplants, cook 5 minutes until soft.
Taste sauce. Add fish sauce or salt for more saltiness, sugar for sweetness.
Add snow peas, cook 2 minutes until a bit softened, then stir through basil and lime juice. Sauce should have reduced but will still be a be on the thin side, not thick - that's how it's should be. DO NOT keep simmering - sauce will darken.
Serve curry over jasmine rice with garnishes of choice.
* Because store bought curry paste is more seasoned than homemade, if using curry from a jar then use less of these, as directed in steps 4 and 5.
1. Curry Paste - I use a whole can of Maesri green curry paste (114g/4 oz) which I think is the best (by a long shot) and also happens to be the cheapest (~$1.20). Sold at Woolies, Coles, Harris and Asian grocery stores (in Australia) and here it is on Amazon US.
Other brands are fine to use too but the ones I have tried, the flavour isn't as good and they were too sweet.
Green curry IS spicy so if using a jar paste, it's hard to reduce spiciness without affecting flavour, but you can (usually) reduce down to 4 tbsp and still have decent green curry flavour (every brand differs!).
Homemade green curry paste - the volume of curry paste is considerably greater (curry in a jar is concentrated). See the curry paste recipe for adjusting spiciness - can reduce to barely spicy without losing flavour at all.
2. Extras - these are to pimp up store bought curry in a jar and make it taste fresher. Only use if using curry paste from a jar or can.
3. Lemongrass paste - convenience tubes of cold pressed lemongrass paste, the next best thing to peeling / finely chopping fresh lemongrass! Can sub with 2 tsp finely minced fresh lemongrass.
4. Coconut milk - if you use low fat, you will lose coconut flavour because the flavour is in the fat! Also, Ayam is the best brand in Australia - the creamiest and purest. Other brands don't have the same creamy mouth feel. You can also use coconut cream if you want a richer, thicker sauce (green curry is normally a thinner sauce, see video).
5. Kaffir Lime Leaves - find them in major supermarkets in Australia and Asian grocery stores. They freeze super well for months and months. Adds earthy citrus flavour (not sour). Best sub is to use a lemongrass - smash open the white part (where all the flavour is) then use in place of kaffir lime leaves. Last resort is to peel some strips of lime skin (green part only, avoid white part) and pop that in (I'd use the peel of 1 whole lime. Make them big enough so you can pick them out later.
6. Chicken - thigh is best because it'll stay juicy with the prescribed simmering time. If using breast, let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes before adding it.
7. Japanese eggplants - shaped like a cucumber. Excellent sponge to such up curry sauce. Slice into rounds or slight diagonal. Sub with small eggplants, ideally want skin on each piece which holds it together because it gets very soft. Non eggplant sub: zucchini/courgettes
8. Thai basil leaves - tastes like normal basil with a more pronounced aniseed flavour. Sold at major supermarkets in Australia and Asian grocery stores. Last resort, sub with normal basil.
9. Crispy Fried Asian Shallots - sold at large supermarkets in Australia and Asian grocery stores (MUCH cheaper!). Common garnish at Asian restaurants. Deep fried sliced shallots, crispy and salty. Terrific texture and flavour finish for everything Asian from soups to noodles, stir fries, curries, salads. I use extensively even in non Asian dishes.
10. Other ingredients: Use any proteins / vegetables you want as long as they are suited to being simmered and the cook time. The sauce needs to be simmered for 13 - 15 min to get the right flavour and thickness. Some suggestions:
* Vegetarian - Asian eggplant, green beans, zucchini (pictured in post). Other vegetables that go great: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, sweet or normal potato, pumpkin, mushrooms (cook to soft, great sponge!)
* Prawns / shrimp or fish pieces instead of chicken - add towards end, 3 to 5 min cook time
* Beef or pork - Use a quick cooking cut, cut into strips or cubes. I sear beef and pork first before adding into curry sauces, the flavour is better. Use any quick cooking cut, sprinkle with salt and pepper, sear to brown outside but leave inside uncooked. Then add into sauce just to finish cooking through.
11. Nutrition excludes rice and toppings.
Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 659mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4915IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 5.3mg