Thai Chicken Curry

I wanted to make this Thai curry for one big reason. I was hungry for a Thai curry. I don’t get to enjoy them often, because my husband doesn’t like the sweetness of Thai food. Nor are there any Thai restaurants where I live. So occasionally I just crave them and must make one for myself.

Thai curries require Thai curry paste. They can be made from scratch, but then one would need to have on hand exotic ingredients like fresh lemon grass, glalangal and kaffir lime. I’ve never been able to get my hands on these ingredients, which is why I refer to them as exotic.

Fortunately, purchased Thai curry pastes, which are unique combinations of seasonings and aromatics, do all of the work for you.

I’m most familiar with three varieties from Mae Ploy, pictured below. I feel fortunate just to have these available to me!

The green is mostly green chiles and lemongrass.
The red is mostly red chiles and garlic.
The yellow is mostly lemongrass and garlic.

There is a recipe on the back of these curry paste cartons. It’s simply this:

Combine 2 cups of coconut milk and 50 grams of curry paste of choice on the stove, add meat and add vegetables. It’s that easy to make a Thai curry.

So you can just add chicken or shrimp or even tofu to the curry-coconut sauce, and it is easy and delicious.

I prefer doing a stir fry with the protein and vegetables first, then adding the curry-coconut sauce. Basically the same concept, but a few more minutes required.

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Thai Chicken Curry

Oil
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt, Pepper
1 onion, sliced into thin wedges
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin pieces
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
About 3 tablespoons red curry paste – you might start with less and taste first
1 – 13.5 ounce can coconut milk*
Fresh cilantro and/or basil leaves
Cooked rice, optional

Heat some oil over high heat in a large skillet of wok. Add some chicken and cook it until mostly all browned, at least five minutes. You want it about 80% cooked. Season with salt and pepper and place in a serving bowl. Continue with the remaining chicken and set aside.

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Lower the heat to medium-high and add a little more oil. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and mushrooms and cook for about 5-6 minutes; the veggies should have some color on them, but don’t let them overcook. Add the veggies to the bowl with the chicken.

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Place the 2 ounces of curry paste in the skillet or work and add the can of coconut milk. Whisk the mixture until smooth, then heat to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the sauce cook a little.

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When you’re ready to serve, place the chicken and veggies into the sauce and stir to incorporate well. Let everything heat through and serve the curry topped with some cilantro leaves.

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Or, if you prefer, serve the sauce on the side.

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The curry is very good served with rice, but as you can see, I spiralized zucchini, parboiled them for a few minutes, and voila! Zucchini noodles!

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* Make sure to buy canned coconut milk that is not sweetened for making pina coladas!!! There’s even LITE coconut milk if you prefer…

By Published On: February 12th, 201664 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

64 Comments

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller February 12, 2016 at 8:24 AM - Reply

    I love Thai curries – this is delicious! :)

  2. Nadia February 12, 2016 at 8:54 AM - Reply

    I love a good curry!

  3. nowathome February 12, 2016 at 9:01 AM - Reply

    That look so delicious! I love the zucchini noodles too!

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 2:04 PM - Reply

      Such a fun alternative to rice – especially white rice, which I don’t eat at home.

      • nowathome February 14, 2016 at 4:14 AM

        Same here, I do not eat any starches!

  4. Loretta February 12, 2016 at 10:12 AM - Reply

    I too love Thai curries, I just made one this week in my slow cooker and actually had a Thai friend visit. I was afraid it might not have been too authentic for her, but she had 3 helpings, that told me she loved it :). Yours looks great, just wanted to mention that lemon grass comes in a tube now, I got it in my regular grocery store, it gave the dish a boost of additional flavor. Love zucchini noodles too.

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 2:05 PM - Reply

      Lemongrass in a tube! That’s brilliant! Is it as good as fresh?

  5. Gerlinde de Broekert February 12, 2016 at 10:13 AM - Reply

    Hi Mimi, could you invite me the next time you cook this. I’m looks great. I love good curries but only eat them in restaurants.

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 2:06 PM - Reply

      I wish my husband liked Thai food more. He loves Indian curries, just not the sweetness of coconut and all of the additional sugar they seem to add to every kind of dish.

  6. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward February 12, 2016 at 10:59 AM - Reply

    Looks amazing with the peppers and zucchini. I love the traditional sauce!

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 2:07 PM - Reply

      There’s not much better than a Thau curry sauce, I agree!

  7. Chica Andaluza February 12, 2016 at 11:46 AM - Reply

    I think we have that same make of sauce locally and it’s all natural ingredients so very good indeed. Love the spiralized zucchini with it :)

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 2:07 PM - Reply

      I’m really glad I can get it because it’s good, and we have no Asian grocery stores where I live.

  8. LivingTheQLife February 12, 2016 at 2:30 PM - Reply

    We love Thai, we’ll have to give this one a try :)

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 2:34 PM - Reply

      I don’t know how anyone couldn’t!!! (My husband…)

  9. Cecile February 12, 2016 at 3:31 PM - Reply

    This looks soo yummy, soo easy and soo delicious! I can’t wait to make this. And, guess what, I recently acquired a spiralizer – HURRAH !! (Adding a link to this on my post of today – thanks again for reminding me about using stew for the biscuit crust pie!!)

    • chef mimi February 13, 2016 at 2:24 PM - Reply

      They’re fun. Not really necessary, but I do use mine more than I thought I would!

  10. Fine Dining at Home (@fdathome) February 12, 2016 at 4:10 PM - Reply

    Hi Mimi, we honeymooned in Thailand. We brought home a curry paste from the local market. It was amazing, I’ve no idea what was in it, but I’ve never found one as good ever again. Only fresh is as good.

    When I cook a Thai curry at home, I fry the vegetables and chicken in the paste with some coconut oil. You then need less coconut milk to get a really good flavour through the dish!

    • chef mimi February 12, 2016 at 4:44 PM - Reply

      I wish I could make a real Thai curry paste – or better yet, have one in Thailand!

  11. memarose3 February 12, 2016 at 10:08 PM - Reply

    Love the Zucchini noodles! Great recipe – now if I can sneak the curry past Hubby, we are all set.

  12. anotherfoodieblogger February 12, 2016 at 10:48 PM - Reply

    My husband doesn’t like most curries too. But probably offering a choice of the one he’d like would make sense, so that is a good idea to have several “in stock” to choose from . I’m eyeing a spiralizer to buy this weekend though! Thanks for the recipe!

    • chef mimi February 13, 2016 at 2:23 PM - Reply

      I have used mine more than I thought I would, so it’s not on the shelving unit with all of the stuff I thought I really needed!

  13. SweetRevelations February 13, 2016 at 7:07 AM - Reply

    Yum! This looks delicious!
    Renee

  14. Moya February 13, 2016 at 8:23 AM - Reply

    One of my favorite curries and love Thai food. Look delicious. Every time a see a spiralizer it make me feel I should have one :)

    • chef mimi February 13, 2016 at 2:14 PM - Reply

      They are fun, and I’ve actually used mine a lot more than I ever thought I would!

  15. eliotthecat February 13, 2016 at 8:39 AM - Reply

    I think I will have to seek out these chile pastes. I am now in the mood for Thai!

  16. chef mimi February 13, 2016 at 2:22 PM - Reply

    I especially love the red variety.

  17. David Scott Allen February 14, 2016 at 10:29 AM - Reply

    I love Thai curries but, because of my garlic allergy, must make my own pastes. It is worth the work and, luckily, we grow both lemongrass and kaffir limes! Beautiful curry, Mimi!

    • chef mimi February 14, 2016 at 1:48 PM - Reply

      That is so sad about your garlic allergy but you must deal with it intelligently, obviously. I have grown lemongrass, but really didn’t know to harvest it without pulling up the whole plant for the root. Maybe you could write a post on that!

  18. Karen February 14, 2016 at 11:17 AM - Reply

    I like your idea of stir frying and serving the sauce on the side for a different version of curry…I’ll have to try it that way.

    • chef mimi February 14, 2016 at 1:49 PM - Reply

      I just know too many people who are worried that what I serve is hot-spicy, or is going to chew up their insides. Personally, I could drink the stuff!

  19. dianeskitchentable February 14, 2016 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    I’ve never tried Thai curries because I’ve always been under the impression that they’re blow your head off spicey. You may finally have convinced me that I need to give them a try…maybe with that yellow one which is primarily lemongrass and garlic? I’d even be willing to try the others if they aren’t in the eye watering category. The fact that you refer to these as a sweet dish also interests me since I’ve never heard them referred to in that way.
    Mimi, this could be a major breakthrough in our household! Any suggestions on where to start (I like flavorful just but just not something that numbs my mouth so I can’t taste anything after one bite) for someone who is a true novice at this?

    • chef mimi February 14, 2016 at 1:45 PM - Reply

      I love hot and spicy but I want to be able to taste it. And I not out to win any chile pepper eating contests. I would suggest that you start with a small amount of the Thai curry paste, and add more if you like the flavor. The sweetness I’m referring to comes from the coconut milk. Plus they seriously do add sugar to just about everything in Thai cuisine – even salads. I would probably start with half the amount of paste that they suggest and go from there. You can always add some cayenne pepper flakes if you want a little kick.

  20. Kiss & Make-up February 14, 2016 at 12:38 PM - Reply

    Looks very tasty and colorful! And I love the zucchini noodles!

    • chef mimi February 23, 2016 at 12:25 PM - Reply

      I’m so sorry, I just found this in my spam folder! Thank you for your comment!

  21. kathryninthekitchen February 14, 2016 at 8:26 PM - Reply

    I thought of one of your recent posts which mentioned tomatillos which are exotic to me……I have lemon grass and a kaffir lime tree growing in my tiny garden…… It’s all about availability and perspective isn’t it? We have an abundance of Thai restaurants and produce in Sydney…. but alas no tomatillos ☺️

    • chef mimi February 14, 2016 at 9:13 PM - Reply

      Exactly! That’s why I wanted to explain why I considered those ingredients exotic! I’m a bit jealous, but then, I have my tomatillos!!!

  22. ChgoJohn February 14, 2016 at 11:50 PM - Reply

    This looks fantastic, Mimi, and is just the sort of creative dish I knew you’d prepare once you mentioned that you, too, had a spiralizer. Better still, a cousin just returned from a tour of SE Asia and brought me a selection of curries. I wouldn’t have considered using them with spiralized noddles. I will now, though, thanks to you. :)

    • chef mimi February 15, 2016 at 7:18 PM - Reply

      Oh how exciting! Real. Curries!!! I’m not fond of white rice, unless I’m eating sushi, and then I sacrifice my views on processed white foods! So the zucchini noodles are really a fun substitute!

  23. Julie is Hostess At Heart February 15, 2016 at 10:39 AM - Reply

    This dish looks and sounds delicious. We when out for Thai on Saturday and everything was just drowned in the sauce so the flavor was very singular and disappointing. I loved that you explained the difference in curries too!

    • chef mimi February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM - Reply

      That sounds like bad Chinese buffets! Terrible!!!

  24. CakePants February 15, 2016 at 7:10 PM - Reply

    This looks delicious! I’m lucky enough to have several good Thai restaurants nearby, which is probably why I’ve never attempted Thai food at home, although I would certainly like to sometime. I’ll have to keep an eye out for curry pastes!

    • chef mimi February 15, 2016 at 7:25 PM - Reply

      The really good thing about whipping up a Thai curry, unless you just really want to go out, is that you can change out the ingredients so easily, and they’re quick and really inexpensive to make. But I’m a little jealous!!!

    • chef mimi February 23, 2016 at 3:05 PM - Reply

      I’m so jealous! If you can find the pastes, you could make lots of varieties with different proteins and veggies, which would be fun.

  25. Debbie Spivey February 15, 2016 at 8:45 PM - Reply

    We love thai food and curry. I also love zoodles!

  26. Sue/theviewfromgreatisland February 17, 2016 at 4:56 PM - Reply

    Well, we have lots of Thai restaurants around here, but none of them are great, so I really rely on making my own. The only problem is, the ingredients can be hard to track down, so I’m so happy to learn about Mae Ploy, it would be so nice to have the exotic flavors already blended and ready.

    • chef mimi February 18, 2016 at 5:43 PM - Reply

      Exactly, that’s the problem for me. I can get most of the curry ingredients in dry form. Yeck!

  27. dawnyucuiscooking February 17, 2016 at 5:55 PM - Reply

    I don’t have any Thai restaurants where I live either, so I have never tried it before. Your Thai chicken curry looks delicious.

    • chef mimi February 18, 2016 at 5:43 PM - Reply

      If you can get your hands on this curry paste, you would get a good idea of what a Thai curry is like. Probably nothing like in actual Thailand, of course! But good!!!

  28. Summer Daisy February 18, 2016 at 9:33 AM - Reply

    This looks amazing! Nicely done ♥

    summerdaisy.net

  29. camparigirl February 19, 2016 at 6:21 PM - Reply

    I have no problem tackling any Chinese or Indian recipes, but Thai and Vietnamese remain out of my realm. It doesn’t help that I have a great Thai shack really close to home. Maybe I should start with this.

    • chef mimi February 20, 2016 at 7:34 AM - Reply

      I don’t know if it can compete with Thai Shack! But it’s cheap, easy, delicious, and terribly satisfying!

  30. The Gourmet Gourmand February 21, 2016 at 8:27 PM - Reply

    Mae Ploy is my favorite brand! Maybe one day I’ll try making curry paste myself, but in the meantime it’s a great option. Your curry looks perfect :)

    • chef mimi February 21, 2016 at 9:34 PM - Reply

      Thank you! At this time, Mae Ploy is my only option!

  31. mvbarroeta February 23, 2016 at 11:18 AM - Reply

    I love thai curry and yours looks delicious!

  32. gwynnem March 9, 2016 at 5:20 PM - Reply

    I need to stop looking at your blog before dinner. I want to try all the food!

    • chef mimi March 12, 2016 at 8:53 AM - Reply

      Hahaha! Thanks, that’s quite a compliments!

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