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Thai Green Curry with Chicken recipe

Thai Green Curry with Chicken recipe

Succulent chicken thighs and a good curry paste give this Thai curry an authentic umami flavour that is bound to win over your family and/or guests.

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  • 2 tablespoons of a good Thai green curry paste (I highly recommend Mae Ploy brand)
  • 300 g mixed vegetables of your choice (I used red bell pepper, baby corn, mange tout, tender-stem broccoli
  • 1 red chili pepper, finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 300 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into chunks
  • 1 can coconut milk, left upside down for at least and hour before cooking
  • 1 tsp fish sace
  • 1 tbsp demerara sugar
  • small bunch of basil, finely chopped
  • 3 dried kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil


  1. Heat tablespoon in a medium saucepan or wok over medium/high heat. Add green curry paste and stir fry for a minute or two until fragrant. Then add chicken and stir fry for another few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, turn coconut milk tin right-side up and open. There should be a thick layer of cream at the top of the can. Once chicken is slightly cooked, scoop off this coconut cream and add to pan. You may also want to add some more of the coconut liquid depending on your thickness preference. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
  3. Once the chicken has simmered for 10 minutes, remove cover and add vegetables. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or longer depending on the cooking time for the vegetables you are using.
  4. Add most of the red chilli (reserve some for garnish), fish sauce, sugar, basil, and kaffir lime leaves to the curry. Stir and taste sauce, adding more of any of these ingredients to suit. Simmer for a few minutes more until desired consistency reached.
  5. Plate and serve alongside fragrant jasmine rice. Garnish curry with red chili slices.

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Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat until smoking. Add the green curry paste and stir fry for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the chicken strips and stir until coated in the curry paste. Continue to stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, or until the chicken has browned on all sides.

Add the coconut milk, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar and stir well. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Continue to simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Add the green beans and asparagus and continue to simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring regularly, until just tender. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon the rice into four serving bowls, then ladle over the Thai green chicken curry. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves.

Recipe Tips

Chicken thighs are very tasty and much cheaper than chicken breasts, perfect for cooking on a budget.

Easy Red Curry Chicken

Green, Yellow, and Red - the three colors of the most popular Thai curries. There are many versions of red curry - two others are included on this list (see "Jungle Curry" and "Penang Curry" below). What makes Thai red curry red? Chili, of course! So if you like spicy, you'll love this red curry chicken recipe. Like yellow and green Thai curries, red curry is fragrant, and healthy too. As a bonus, this red curry is very easy to make. ENJOY!

The major ingredients used in Thai green curry

The green curry prepared in one region is different from another, and there is no one standard recipe. The Thai green curry is authentic as long as it does not omit any essential ingredients.

it is like adobo in the Philippines, where different people vouch their recipes are the most authentic.

The following explanation is helpful to let you understand the key ingredients that you must include, and the critical aspects you should pay attention to when you prepare the Thai green curry paste.

1. Galangal

Galangal is the main ingredients of Thai green curry. You cannot substitute it with other ingredients. It is also called &lsquoblue ginger&rsquo in some Chinese-speaking countries in Asia, but the flavor is very different from the regular &lsquoyellow&rsquo ginger.

2. Lemongrass

The useful part of lemongrass is the white section, the bulb of the lemongrass. Remove the upper section which is green and the outer layer of the lemongrass, much like removing the outer layer of an onion. Slice the lemongrass thinly before putting it into the blender as it contains a lot of fiber.

3. Green chili

You cannot substitute the green chilies. These are the premature red Thai chili. Never substitute with green bell pepper (capsicum) as it is totally different!

4. Thai basil leaf

You can substitute it with other types of basil if Thai basil is not available.

5. Kaffir lime leaves

The flavor of kaffir lime leaves is different from the ordinary lime and lemon. Try to get this ingredient for your curry.

6. Palm sugar

Palm sugar has a distinct smoky aroma and a complex flavor. Substitute palm sugar with brown sugar if it is unavailable.

Note: If you like Thai curry but prefer a less spicy version, check out this Massaman curry recipe. It is a Southern Thailand curry which is milder, with some Indian and Malay influence.

Thai Green Chicken Curry

Danielle Centoni is a Portland-based, James Beard Journalism Award-winning food writer and cookbook author whose idea of a perfect day always includes butter, sugar, flour, and an oven.

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 759
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 21g 105%
Cholesterol 147mg 49%
Sodium 567mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 61g
Vitamin C 28mg 138%
Calcium 105mg 8%
Iron 9mg 52%
Potassium 1024mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Curries are an essential part of Thai cuisine. Colorful, fragrant, and powered with an army of fresh flavors, curries have many versions, but they all follow some basics and they all rely on some vital ingredients to achieve the classic depth of flavor. Green curry is thick, creamy, filling, and bright. Between red, yellow, or green, the latter is one of the most famous and sought-after dishes—beautifully vibrant thanks to the addition of Thai basil, cilantro, and makrut lime leaf and peel.

Although green curry is usually made with chicken or beef, there are also versions with fish dumplings and others that replace the animal protein for extra firm tofu. A perfect balance of salty, spicy, sweet, and sour, this aromatic Thai green curry is beautiful over jasmine rice, or for a fiber-rich dish, use steamed quinoa instead.

Our recipe uses the classic protein of chicken and has all the easy instructions to make the curry paste from scratch by combining an assortment of fresh and dried herbs with fish sauce and coconut milk in a food processor. For a perfect dish, be mindful of cutting the chicken into smaller pieces so the meat can be cooked thoroughly and soak up all of the flavors, and to always use full-fat canned coconut milk.

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Thanks for sharing the information, I would like to ask that how much spices and herbs we can use to make chicken curry?

I followed the recipe, I bought incorrect ingredients too. I used creamy JFC coconut milk. Really good and thick. I mistakenly bought Thai Basil. I also bought Thai Chili and Asian green pepper that was long and thin and hot. I cooked the chicken in a skillet diluted the fish sauce and poured it over the chicken as a deglaze. I used Maggi Green Thai curry paste. I loved it. I'll make it again because I got the bucket size curry.

The other reviews do a great job of showing why this recipe is in error: You need to add Keffir Lime Leaves (Frozen are fine), and Thai Basil (not regular Basil - completely different herb). Those two flavours are essential. Removing the lime juice and French Basil is also essential. Also need Coconut cream, not milk, or add a thickener. Add ball eggplant if you wish. Jasmine rice accompaniment is also part of the dish. Be great if someone adds a recipe that just modifies the ingredients to match this.

This recipe was just what I was looking for. I used a Thai green curry paste from They blend the paste right before shipping so it is truly the freshest Thai paste I've had and I love using it with this Thai green chicken curry recipe.

This recipe also uses italian Basil, you need THAI basil, they are 2 completely different flavours, Thai has a very strong anise flavour and aroma, which is actually not needed for this recipe, but if you can't find or grow your own thai basil, don't use the other, it'll change the taste drastically. yuk

Also: If you are looking for a really good curry paste and you have access to a asian supermarket or a "chinatown", look for Mesri brand paste, they come in small little cans, that are the perfect amount for one meal, and the taste is as good as it gets. you don't need shallots or fish sauce, literally the paste, the keffir leaves and the cream will make you an exact version of what you find in any thai restaurant. Throw some green and red peppers and some thinly sliced bamboo shoots in there along with some jasmine rice on the side and you'll be stunned how easy it is to make a restaurant quality thai curry. Trust me, i've made it a mission to make this right, and it's surprisingly simple to make. if you are using meat in it, cook it in the curry before serving, do not cook before you put it in the curry, and if you are making it ahead of time, again cook the meat in it just before serving. and you may not want to add certain veggies until then as well so they don't go mushy. This meal can made in less than 30 mins. so Sauté the paste with a little coconut cream in the pot first for about 2 minutes to wake up the aroma and flavour of the paste before adding the rest of the cream.

If you want to make the perfect restaurant style Thai Curry, this is what is exactly missing in this recipe. The Two things this recipe fails at is the use of coconut "Milk" and the lack of Keffir Lime leaves, using lime/juice will not work, it's highly acidic and it doesn't offer us the same aromatics and most importantly the flavour this recipe so desperately needs. Smell is almost as important as flavour when it comes to this dish. in fact Limes/lime juice will curdle the coconut milk. Part of The issue with the "Milk" is that it's too thin, it's more water than cream, so it won't give you that velvety texture you find in the restaurants, the secret is to find unsweetened coconut "cream", this is the stuff the restaurants use. so save yourself the disappointment and get out there and find the unsweetened cream, it usually comes in 19oz cans which is the perfect amount for a meal for 3-4 people. And of course don't bother making it if you can't find keffir lime leaves either, this is a MASSIVE part of the flavour and aroma of this dish.

This recipe is missing something. Don't know what, but it's just not right.

Not authentic Thai but unable to get kaffir lime leaves right now. Worked in a pinch but definitely needed to more than double the curry. The lime juice is heavy. We will hunt down some fresh kaffir leaves and once we locate them in this area we will go back to Thai Home Cooking book's recipe. We use also Thai Kitchen green curry alot.

A good basic start. We usually add more curry and lots of veggies.

Fabuloso. I've tried many green curry recipes and this one is the best. You can change it up with pork, prawns, veggies or add as much thai red chillies as you like for the fire that suits your palate:)

Not sure why people think this is bland - its a basic Tai green curry recipe! Can't get much more simple than this. Like others have commented, Iɽ add more curry paste, but it's certainly not required. The brand of curry paste you use is going to dictate the taste of the dish (I prefer Mae Ploy), and I also use Thai basil, and ginger root shavings. Vegetables can be anything (I used cabbage the other day, but don't cook it through - should be almost crispy). I do light on the fish sauce (trying to keep sodium down), and heavy on the lime juice.

Anemic on flavor. Added more green curry paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, thai green chilies, and red pepper paste and this dish was still lacking.

This recipe was very good. I always add more vegetables like broccoli and carrots. I often have a problem though that the coconut milk gets broken. Can someone comment on how to prevent that?

As everyone else has said, you have to increase the curry!! I buy my thai green curry at my local asian grocery, which comes in a large 500 gram bin and I used 3 heaping tsps. As long as you do this, the recipe is no fail . . . and highly adaptable. Use shrimp or tofu instead of chicken add already cooked green beans, potatoes, eggplant or bamboo shoots or mushrooms. It is very very easy and tastes like good thai restaurant food.

So delicious! This was the first curry I ever made at home and it turned out very well. I followed the advice of many of the other reviewers and added almost the whole jar of curry paste and doubled the fish sauce and it was very good. I also added some onion chunks and small potato pieces and was as good as many curries I have had at restaurants. Will be making this again for sure.

I made this once as written, and found it lacking something. Made it again tonight with the following modifications, and my husband and I both thought it was restaurant quality 4 star. I added 2 tbsp each of ginger and garlic to the shallots, and I increased the amount of curry paste to 1/4 cup (the brand I used was World Foods, and it was very mild). I also increase the fish sauce to 2 tbsp. I added 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of Sriracha, and I put some small broccoli florets in with the red pepper. Served it over jasmine rice. Excellent!

just had this at my daughter's and she added double the amount of thai green curry paste, water chestnuts,bamboo shoots,habanero peppers, sliced, and the seeds to the sauce, cilantro and more basil which brings this up to a definite four forks

Really bland. Came out like a bowl of chicken soup - chicken should be pre-cooked and drained.

As written, this is a two star recipe. I followed the excellent advice of other reviewers and added more generous portions of fish sauce and curry. I used over a tablespoon of curry paste and 4 teaspoons of fish sauce. The result was yummy, comforting and mild.

Ok. As-is, this is REALLY bland, but it has a lot of potential to be great. I definitely should have read the reviews beforehand. It needs chilli peppers for heat, you'll need to double (maybe even triple) the amount of curry paste and fish sauce, add some bamboo shoots (⟊use it ɺin't Chicken Curry without bamboo shoots), and add cilantro.

Ok. As-is, this is REALLY bland, but it has a lot of potential to be great. I definitely should have read the reviews beforehand. It needs chilli peppers for heat, you'll need to double (maybe even triple) the amount of curry paste and fish sauce, add some bamboo shoots (⟊use it ɺin't Chicken Curry without bamboo shoots), and add cilantro.

I made this with onions instead of shallots, added bamboo shoots and cilantro, and served it with lime basil rice. It was pretty tasty and quick to make. In the future, I would add some fresh chilies to give heat.

This recipe came out disappointingly bland. I followed everything. I think it had too much coconut milk and not enough of the green curry paste and fish sauce. Half way though eating the dish, I ended up adding another 2 tsp of fish sauce and 2 tsp of green curry paste.

Recipe: The Easiest Thai Green Coconut Curry

Thai food was my gateway to cooking. I was traveling to Los Angeles frequently for work and discovering the pleasures of wildly spicy and tangy laap, the pan-fried noodle flavors of pad kee mow, and the sweet relief of creamy Thai tea. The flavors sang, intense and heightened — all new to this Midwestern girl.

Back home I had a friend, Joe, who was Thai and who brought curries and noodle dishes to weekend dinners with friends. It was Joe who offered me my first glimpse into how these dishes were built. It was tantalizing and fun — a delicious way to understand what my Thai, Indian, and Chinese friends wanted to eat and how, ultimately, one dish, like green curry, can be something new that wakes you up, then something that you learn by teasing it out like a knot, and then, after you’ve learned it by heart, continues to be a point of connection that ties you with your past and your present.

Green curry wasn’t just the dish that got me into cooking in earnest (and for that it would have to fight it out with laap and great bolognese and also South Indian pork vindaloo). It was also the dish, it turned out, that happened to be a favorite of my now-husband, a man I met on one of those trips to Los Angeles, and who ended up following me back to Ohio, where — I am sorry to say — the average quality of Thai restaurants simply does not match up to Los Angeles. But not many places do.

So Joe’s green curry became one of those dinners that I carried straight on into a new household and a new life, with a guy who still gets very romantic about the fact I can make spicy curry at the drop of a hat. And every time I make it I remember Los Angeles, before we got to know each other over mouth-numbing seafood and noodles at places like Sanamluang and Yai Thai, and before I knew you could make good green curry at home.

But you can, and while I enjoy the authentic processes of cooking Thai from scratch — see my review of Pok Pok to see just how committed I can be — there’s a lot to be said for opening up a couple cans and making fabulous curry in 20 minutes. That’s what happens here. In fact, this recipe calls for fewer ingredients than almost anything else I make.

A 20-Minute, 5-Ingredient Curry

You open a can of good green curry paste, found at almost any Asian grocery and even in some grocery stores, not to mention Amazon, and sauté it with a little oil. Then add coconut milk and chicken, and simmer. There you have it: green curry.

For the curry paste I usually buy the Maesri brand, which is in little green cans you can find at your local Asian grocery. Good-quality coconut milk is important, too I like the Thai Chaokoh brand.

I also like to add cuttlefish balls, which are chewy, savory balls made out of pressed squid. (Find them in the frozen section of the Asian grocery.) They add a slightly funky, fishy element to the curry that I really like, but they’re completely optional — you can leave them out.

And finally, this recipe is easily adaptable to vegetarians — just use the zucchini and leave out the meat and fish, or add some fried tofu squares at the end. Or skip the zucchini and use what Joe always used — the small round eggplants you can find at Indian or Chinese grocery stores. I use zucchini because it’s more accessible, but either will be delicious in this sauce.

I made this again last weekend and took it to a gathering of friends. Joe and his family moved back to Chiang Mai a few years ago, but many of our mutual friends have stayed here. After my friends and my husband raided the curry, scooping out almost every bite, I took a photo of the lone remaining fish ball and the last of sauce, and sent it to Joe: “Songsdhit here is your green curry — once again the hit of the party.”

Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup canned unsweetened light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh lemon grass or 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 medium green sweet pepper, seeded and cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup packaged julienned or coarsely shredded fresh carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown basmati rice or regular brown rice
  • ¼ cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • Fresh cilantro

For sauce, in a medium bowl whisk together coconut milk, broth, curry paste, cornstarch, and lemon peel (if using) set aside.

Coat a wok or large nonstick skillet with cooking spray heat wok over medium-high heat. Add sweet pepper and onion cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, and lemon grass (if using) cook and stir about 2 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from wok.

Trim fat from chicken. Cut chicken into thin bite-size strips. Add oil to wok add chicken. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Push from center of wok.

Stir sauce add to center of wok. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Return vegetables to wok stir all ingredients together to coat with sauce. Cook and stir about 2 minutes or until heated through.

What is Thai green curry?

Thai curry in Thai cuisine is made from curry paste. There are different types and colors of Thai curry such as yellow, red, and green curry. In general, yellow curry is mild. Red curry is medium hot and green curry the hottest.

In addition, Thai green curry is made from green chilies, other herbs, coconut milk, vegetables and meat. The combination of the spicy green curry paste and coconut milk make this dish very flavorful. Besides, Thai green curry chicken is one of my favorite Thai foods and it goes great with jasmine rice.

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This was really good! It was too hot for me, but I blame myself because I did not do what my Mama always told me and taste my food along the way, lol. I should have backed off of the chili oil. Thank you!

/>Sarah says

haha you’re welcome, Akayla!

This is such a delicious recipe. I’m bored of bland, Midwest-American cooking of casseroles and meat/potatoes. This blog is my favorite cooking blog!

I’ve made this several times, substituting a jalapeño (with seeds and ribs) for the chili or chili oil because I had it on hand. I also use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and throw a little lime juice in place of the leaves. I’ve made it without basil and with Italian basil. I like it better with the basil, but it’s fine without.

Thank you Sarah and family for your incredible recipes!

/>Sarah says

So glad you’re enjoying the blog, Kelsey, and that you enjoyed this particular recipe! :)

I just made this and it was great! PSA for those reading, I was short a halt pound of chicken and added a pound of cubed firm tofu. It worked well, and probably would with even just a pound of chicken. I used 1 cup of chopped broccolini, a 9ࡨ inch zuccchini, two skinny carrots, a bag of mini red and yellow sweet peppers in coarse strips and a third of a small jar of pickled daylily veg I kept forgetting to throw in a pile of stirfried noodles. The broc was soft but ok, no more carrots needed, peppers and lilies crisp but not offensively so. Maesri Green curry paste is on the high side of mild (meaning it isn’t uncomfortable to eat after a minute on the table, but it leaves a lasting low heat on the lips/mouth. Sweet pepper only people may take a pass on this one. Don’t fear the fish sauce, it blends and in a week you’ll be adding it to everything. I think it needs bean sprouts, but I think everything needs bean sprouts. Oh and this FILLS a 12 inch skillet. You also need a tennis racket when you open the red boat fish sauce. For the cats. Sarah, semi-random question, as far as chili oil goes, how far off would using the lao gan ma with beans instead of just the chili oil throw the flavors? I can see it working where there is deep dark soy, but what about others? Oh and thank you for addicting me to the stuff, I’ve put it on peanut butter sandwiches. I also poach, drain and pan-dry a full bag of the fermented beans (cuts the salt), then run two jars of the sauce through a food processor then again adding the beans and add it to everything. eggs, rice, bananas, canned mango over rice, the stuff is crack.

/>Sarah says

The chili oil with black beans could be substituted!

Do you think you could substitute firm tofu for the chicken? I don’t see why not… I plan on making this later in the week, but already have 2 chicken dishes planned, so need to do vegetarian one night.

/>Sarah says

Yes you can! I would suggest pan-frying the tofu first. Instructions here:

Another great recipe! I found this recipe a bit too spicy though. Any tips on how to make the curry milder next time? I’ve made at least 10 recipes from your site this past year and they’ve all turned out fantastic! As a Chinese American who’s grown up eating at authentic Chinese restaurants, these are restaurant quality recipes.

/>Sarah says

Hi Winnie, you can always reduce the amount of curry paste you put in depending on your spice tolerance! You can also increase the amount of vegetables to make a larger batch, and increase the amount of coconut milk.

Can you do frozen vegetables with this recipe in Step # 3 instead of fresh vegetables?

/>Sarah says

Hi Linda, frozen soft vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) are quite soggy, and I don’t necessarily think they’d do well in this recipe, but you could definitely use frozen carrots and frozen peppers, as they do freeze quite well.

I really enjoyed this recipe! Tasted authenic and tasty like the restaurants!

/>Sarah says

Love hearing that, Mel! So glad you enjoyed it!

So Good! my husband loves green curry and said it was restaurant quality. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

/>Sarah says

Yay! So glad you and your husband enjoyed this dish. On to the next! :)

Thank you so much once more! This is probably the 3rd or 4th recipe I’ve tried from your website, though it is my first venture into Thai cuisine. And your recipes are foolproof – every, single one has been super delicious and easy to follow! This actually tasted like a green curry chicken dish I’d get at a Thai restaurant. (Admittedly, I did accidentally add a tablespoon of chili as opposed to a teaspoon, but a little extra spice never hurt anyone!) This is now my go-to resource if I’m looking for an Asian recipe (and I’m spreading the news to all my friends who love to cook). Tomorrow, I’m trying out the “Poor Man’s Thai Noodles”!

/>Sarah says

You’re welcome, Andrew!! We hope you enjoy those noodles as much as you enjoyed this curry. :)