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a bowl of thai green curry with basil garnish

Green Curry Chicken แกงเขียวหวาน (gaeng keow waan)

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Description

Authentic recipe for Thai green curry with chicken and bamboo shoots which is a classic combination. This recipe uses traditional curry making technique with no added cooking oil. You can use store bought curry paste, or make your own. 


Ingredients

  • 1¾ cup coconut milk, divided
  • 50 g (~3 Tbsp) green curry paste, or more if you like it spicy. I recommend Maeploy, Namjai or Aroy-D, not Thai Kitchen brand. You can also use 1 batch of  my homemade green curry paste (see note 1)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, unsalted
  • 1 lb chicken thigh, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-inch pieces (if using chicken breast, see note 2)
  • 2 Tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped and packed (can sub light brown or granulated sugar)
  • - 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3-4 kaffir lime leaves, roughly torn
  • 1½ cup bamboo shoots strips, canned (see note 3)
  • 1 cup Thai basil
  • 1 spur chilies, ¼ red bell pepper, or another mild red pepper, julienned
  • Jasmine rice for serving

Homemade Green Curry Paste (watch the video here)

(You can use the whole batch for the curry, but if you're afraid it may be too spicy, hold back a bit and you can add more at the end. Any extra paste can be frozen.)

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 15 green Thai chilies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 Thai basil leaves, finely julienned
  • 3 Tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp galangal, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp kaffir lime zest, finely chopped (or sub lime zest)
  • 2 tsp cilantro roots, finely chopped, or 2 Tbsp cilantro stems, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste (gapi)

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


Instructions

  1. Reduce ¾ cup coconut milk until thick and coconut oil starts to separate from the coconut milk (if the oil doesn’t separate after it has reduced until very thick, it's okay, just proceed with the recipe).
  2. Add curry paste and sauté, stirring constantly over medium heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. If paste sticks to the bottom of the pan, you can deglaze with a little bit of the remaining coconut milk. 
  3. Add chicken thigh and stir to mix with the paste. (See below if using chicken breast).
  4. Add kaffir lime leaves, chicken stock, remaining 1 cup of coconut milk, palm sugar and 1 Tbsp fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and let simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fork tender.
  5. Once the curry is done simmering, add bamboo shoots and bring to a boil. If you prefer your peppers to be more cooked, add them at this stage. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  6. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or sugar as needed. *If you feel that the curry is weak and needs more curry paste, saute the additional curry paste in some oil in a small pot for a few minutes until aromatic, then add about a cup of the curry sauce to dissolve the paste and let it simmer for a few minutes, then stir it back into the curry. 
  7. Stir in Thai basil and spur chilies or bell peppers.
  8. Serve with jasmine rice

If using chicken breast:

  1. After sautéing the curry paste, add kaffir lime leaves, coconut milk, chicken stock, palm sugar and 1 Tbsp fish sauce; bring to a simmer and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  2. Bring the curry sauce to a boil, then add the marinated chicken breast and cook until chicken is about 70% done, 1-2 minutes. Add the bamboo shoots and bring to a boil. If you prefer your peppers to be more cooked, add them at this stage. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  3. Taste and add more fish sauce and/or sugar as needed. *If you feel that the curry is weak and needs more curry paste, saute the additional curry paste in some oil in a small pot for a few minutes until aromatic, then add about a cup of the curry sauce to dissolve the paste and let it simmer for a few minutes, then stir it back into the curry. 
  4. Stir in Thai basil and spur chilies or bell peppers.
  5. Serve with jasmine rice. 

For the Curry Paste

  1. Toast coriander seeds by adding them to a dry sauté pan and stir constantly over medium-high heat until the seeds are aromatic and slightly darkened, about 4 minutes. Cool on a plate. Repeat with the cumin seeds.

  2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind toasted coriander seeds, toasted cumin seeds, and white peppercorns into a fine powder. Remove from mortar and set aside.

  3. Cut at least 8 green Thai chilies in half horizontally and, with a paring knife, scrape off and discard the seeds and pith, then finely chop along with the remaining chilies. Note: The seeds and pith are removed from some of the chilies to tone down the heat, you can remove seeds from all of the green chilies if you wish to tone it down even more
  4. Add chopped chilies and salt to a heavy-duty mortar and pestle; pound into a fine paste. If the mixture feels too wet at any point, add some of the ground spices to absorb the liquid.
  5. Add basil leaves; pound into a fine paste.
  6. Add lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime zest, and cilantro roots; pound into a fine paste.
  7. Add shallots, garlic, and any remaining ground spices; pound into a fine paste.
  8. Add shrimp paste and pound to mix.

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Notes

  1. I don't recommend Thai Kitchen brand curry paste because it is very weak. If it's all you have, you'll have to at least double the amount. If using my recipe for the homemade green curry paste, you can put the entire batch of paste into this curry recipe (if you're afraid it might be too spicy, you can start with ¾ of the batch). More details in the ingredient section in the blog post.
  2. If using chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch thick, bite-sized slices, and marinate in 2 tsp fish sauce while you prep other ingredients.
  3. If you don't like bamboo shoots, you can also substitute Thai eggplant, cut into thin wedges, or winter melon, cut into 1-inch chunks. But you will need to allow more cooking time: Thai eggplant needs 3-4 minutes, and wintermelon about 10 minutes. If using chicken breast the eggplant/wintermelon will have to go in before the chicken.