Who else loves a good Thai green chicken curry? It's literally the only thing my wife orders from the Thai take-aways. It's how she judges the takeaway. To be honest, she isn't wrong. I think every one of us has had a green curry at some point in our life so we can all compare good ones to bad ones. Whether you got a watery, bland one from your local, a too spicy one or used shop-bought curry paste to make on yourself, we all know what to expect. The truth is an excellent green curry should be (generally) too spicy for our western palates, but luckily we can choose light, medium or spicy. I think we all air on the medium side. We want that hit, but more importantly, want to taste the wine we are drinking with the curry too 😉 My green curry paste is made to a medium heat, but if you want to ramp up the spice or drop it back then read on to see how to do so!!
This Thai green chicken curry didn't last long when I made it the other day, well, actually last week at this stage as I have spent WAY too many hours being interrupted by my near 4-year-old as I tried to type up this piece!! On that note, SUPER proud moment as I watched Mrs. AnotherFoodBlogger cook in the kitchen for the 2nd time in at least 5 years with our daughter. They were making muffins, and my wife stood holding a vanilla pod, wondering what to do. Said (nearly) 4-year-old told her, "I've got this mum" and proceeded to show her to hp remove the seeds from the pod!! It shows how many times I have made these RIDICULOUS chocolate brownies with her!!
THAI GREEN CURRY
Where did it come from? Thailand, of course!! After all, it is a THAI green curry, would it?? Curry though, as far as the records tell us originated in India but nowadays is insanely popular through all southeast Asia. In Thailand, you will see words such as agent used - the direct translation, but it can also be written as gang, geng, or kang on menus. We know curry as any wet savoury dish that is thickened using a paste. Typically we buy a pre-made paste in our local supermarket, fry it off in a little oil, add some coconut milk and veggies, and we are done. The truth is curry paste is both easy and hard to make. Traditionally it would be pounded with a pestle and mortar (my favourite way to do it), but nowadays, a food processor generally does the trick.
HOMEMADE GREEN CURRY PASTE
As mentioned above, I use a pestle & mortar to make mine, but don't stress, you can use your food processor just as quick - if not quicker. I just like the authenticity if the pestle & mortar, and I feel it brings out a little more flavour and releases a little stress too by bashing the Sh1t out of some lemongrass!! Anywho - what do we use in homemade green curry paste
This is where it starts - this is what makes a green curry GREEN! When I made this, I used what my local store had, which were green cayenne chillis. Bare in mind each chili has a different spice rating, so if you aren't sure of different strengths or what to use when following this recipe, best to stick to the classic green supermarket chili. Other varieties used are Thai green chili - most authentic and defo hotter. For example, a green cayenne chili is 30-50,000 Scoville units (chili rating system), and Thai green chilis are 50-100,00 units. So if substituting bare this in mind. Another tip is the heat comes from the white pith and rib of the chili, so leaving it in (which I did) will make the chili spicier.
Galang what? Don't worry, most supermarkets and veg shops should stock the cousin of ginger. Similar in appearance and taste to ginger with a few simple and subtle significance to help you tell them apart. Galangal has a slight red hue to it, and the taste is more of a sharp citrus taste, whereas ginger is sharper and spicier. Essential in Thai cookery but doesn't often play the starring role.
Grass that tastes of lemon? What is this fella on about! Characterised by mild citrus notes, lemongrass is very popular in Asian cuisine. The stalk is pink at the base, tough outer husks, and a white core. The bottom 4 inches is what is typically used; however, don't waste the rest of the stalk. Steep it in the curry, and it will add a whole other layer to the curry! When using the bottom 4 inches, remove the outer layers and give it a good bash and chop finely or pound with a pestle & mortar.
Another super common ingredient used in Asian cooking. From stir-fries, curries to salads, it adds a spicy kick to many dishes. Commonly used in soup, roasted veggies, hot and cold drinks, and even desserts, it's super versatile. A little bit goes a long way, so be wary. The best way to use it is to peel it with a spoon for maximum yield and grate it using a microplane
Leaves, zest & juice, are all used in Asian cuisine and in this recipe. The zest is used in the paste, leaves in the cooking of the curry, and a little squeeze of juice to finish the dish. I think lime is an ingredient I couldn't live without!
The cooler cousin to the onion. Shallots are a little sweeter than onions and less pungent. Used regularly in salads and the base of many curry pastes. Check out my crispy shallot recipe for a great way to add texture to salads and curries!
Ground cumin is earthy & nutty in flavour. It has slight lemony aromas. Toast it in the pan first to bring out maximum flavour.
Like marmite/vegemite, it's a love-hate relationship. Personally, we love it here. Happy to put it on most things from tacos, on top of my pineapple chicken wings, this Thai green chicken curry, stir-fries, and salads. Characterised by lemony lime flavour there is defo a group that say it's like dishwasher but well............no comment. The stalks offer TONS of flavour so don't be like my wife and just use the leaves!!
Probably one of the most common ingredients used in savoury cooking, other than salt! When a recipe calls for 2 cloves, I'm more of a 4 - 6 clove kinda person!! Don't worry, this recipe is accurate, so don't stress 😉 Smash it with the back of a knife to remove the outer layers and grate it with a microplane for speed.
A fishy sauce made from fish or krill that have been coated in salt and fermented for at least 2 years. A little dash goes a long way, so be careful when using it. An ESSENTIAL ingredient in Thai curries it adds a salty, umami & savoury flavour. Often used as a dipping sauce or drizzled over the top too. Mix it with palm sugar, chili & lime. More on that delight in future posts!!
WHAT CUT TO USE IN THAI GREEN CHICKEN CURRY?
For me, the best cut to use is the thigh. Brown meat (thigh and drumstick) hold up best to being cooked in a curry or liquid. They have more fat running through them so more flavour and they won't dry out. Personally, I'm a big lover of bone-in thighs but with a green curry it's all about eating it with a fork or spoon, on the couch with a nice glass of wine so I don't have time to be cutting up bone-in thighs!! Here, I used the wonderful local Inglewood Farms Organic Chicken. If you are looking for a bird with flavour that's been reared in top quality conditions with minimal intervention then these are the chicks for you 😉
Alternatively, you can pan-fry chicken fillets, chicken breast and then pour the green curry sauce over them at the end so they don't dry out. Another great way to use up a whole chicken is to slowly cook it in stock or slow cook one in the oven and pull it like you would pulled pork/lamb or for chicken noodle soup. It would be a different texture but it's moist, juicy and will go a long way!
CAN I USE SHOP BOUGHT PASTE?
100% you can. There is a reason there are so many out there on the shelves! If I was using a shop-bought, why not add a little extra zing to it by adding fresh garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and some coriander stalks into the curry when making it. Personally, I find a thicker paste is better when buying a shop-bought one. Generally, I steer clear of the jar sauces that have coconut milk already in them. I like to use the paste so I can tailor the spice levels to my liking. Don't scrimp on the garnish, though, as this is what will take your Thai green curry to a whole other level even if using shop bought paste!
WHAT VEGETABLES GO INTO A GREEN CURRY?
Just because it's a green curry, it doesn't mean you have to only use green veggies. For this recipe, I used baby corn - fresh or tinned will do, bamboo shoots and green capsicum/pepper. But you can use anything from sweet potato, sugar snaps, green beans, onions, mushrooms, courgette/zucchini, or eggplant/aubergine. Bare in mind, different veggies will cook differently depending upon the type and size, so before you grab a whole load of random ingredients, have a think if what works together and even cooking times!!
CAN I USE OTHER PROTEINS OR VEGETABLES?
In this recipe, I used the amazing Inglewood Farms Organic Chicken that I HIGHLY recommend. The beauty of curry is you are making a base for which to add whatever you want. Most commonly in Thai restaurants, you see chicken, prawns & tofu, but a good curry sauce will work with pretty much any and all proteins and, as discussed above, veggies. So if you can't get hold of chicken thighs, then don't be afraid to try a whole fish, mussels, pork, or a whole load of veggies. You won't be disappointed either way.
THAI GREEN CURRY GARNISH
For me, this is where you can really take your curry presentation and taste to a new level. People often stop once the sauce/veg/protein is made, but the garnish is equally as important. It's what turns a homemade dish into a restaurant-quality dish but can also add tons of extra flavour and a different dimension to the dish too. Here I use beansprouts - another popular ingredient in Asian cuisine. They add a lovely texture to the meal but also a cooling too for a proper spicy Thai green curry. Herbs such as mint & coriander along with chopped snow peas offer fresh and fragrant bursts and chili well because there can never be too much spice, and it's nice for a pop of colour too!
ALTERNATIVE ASIAN INSPIRED DISHES
BBQ Asian Asparagus by yours truly!
Mango Sriracha Chicken Noodle Bowl by Jaimie Archer of 'Jaimie Eats'
Low Carb Keto Butter Chicken by Megan Ellam of 'Mad Creations Hub'
BBQ Korean Chicken by yours truly!
Red Salmon Curry by George Clegg of 'The Homecooks Kitchen'
Asian Eggplant Salad & Miso Dressing by Phenie Ooi of 'The Devil Wears Salad'
Smashed Cucumber Salad by yours truly!
Thai Chicken Meatballs & Peanut Sauce by Kim Morris of 'My Sugar Free Kitchen'
Thai Inspired Prawn Salad by Alexandra Cook of 'It's Not Complicated'
Healthy Beef Chow Fun Recipe by Donna Mansour of 'Whole Food Bellies'
It wouldn't be dinner if wine wasn't involved - would it?? No truer words spoken than these current times. Although I'm a touch groggy after enjoying a couple too many glasses of a delicious shiraz last night!! For me, Thai food is excellent with either an ice-cold beer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or Gewurtztraminer. My wife is a riesling fan, so lately, we have been drinking quite a bit of it and more specifically the Massena "stonegarden' 2018 Eden Valley riesling. Riesling is a wine with bright acidity and tons of aromatics. This helps complement and help keep the palate "clean" too. The Massena riesling has plenty of both citrus zest and juice, lemongrass, and real juicy acidity coupled with a decent length, so it doesn't get lost too quickly.
My advice is to grab a 6 pack as once you make the Thai green chicken curry and/or drink the wine, they will become regulars on your table and in your glass 😉
Happy Cooking and Happy Eating Friends!!!
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 handful fresh coriander and stalks
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 cm piece ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 lemongrass – remove root and finely dice the bottom 2 inches keep rest of stalk for later *see tips*
- 1 lime zested keep lime for later
- 3 green chili chopped
- 1 cm piece galangal grated
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 shallot chopped
- 600 g chicken thighs cut in 2cm pieces
- 2 green capsicum diced
- 100 g bamboo shoots
- 425 g tin baby corn
- 2 lime leaves
- lemongrass stalks that you set aside from paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tsp palm sugar x
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 250 ml chicken or veg stock
- 100 g bean sprouts
- 1 handful mint
- 1 handful coriander
- 5 snow peas sliced finely at an angle
- 1 red chili sliced finely at an angle
- 1 squeeze lime
- Place all ingredients in either a small food processor. Blend until a smooth paste – add more oil if necessary.
- Alternatively use a pestle & mortar to smash it – I find this opens up the aromatics better but DEFO takes longer and requires some elbow grease!!
- Often I will give it a quick blitz in the processor and finish it with a pestle & mortar
- Using a heavy bottom frying pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and fry the chicken for 3 – 4 minutes. Remove and set aside
- Using the same pan as the chicken add the curry paste and cook it out (stirring regularly) for 4 – 5 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, stock, lemongrass stalks & lime leaves. Simmer for 6 – 8 minutes
- Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves and add the chicken and vegetables. Continue to cook on a low heat for 4 – 5 minutes
- Toss garnish together in a small bowl & top the curry with it (if using) and a squeeze of lime.
- chefs knives
- chopping board
- small food processor or pestle/mortar
- heavy bottom frying pan
- wooden spoon
- when using lemongrass, you need to trim the top and bottom of it. You only want to use the bottom 3 – 4 inches. Peel the harder outer layers and chop finely
- curry paste will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. In fact, it often tastes better a day later as the spices have time to hang out
- green curry is typically a thin curry so don’t worry about reducing it hugely. The rice will soak up all the goodness!!