Here is a recipe for a Thai green curry that I made for the first time this summer. It was one of those experiences where you eat something at a friend’s house—this time it was an amazing curry at my friend Katie’s house, who had recently taken a Thai cooking class in the Bay Area—and desperately want to make it. So you give it a try, never having made curry before in your life, and bam!
I’m tooting my own horn here (I know, not very polite) but I ended up with some of the best curry I have ever eaten. With thanks to Katie for the inspiration, I am so excited to share this recipe with you!
I live near a Thai grocery store, so getting things like curry paste and kaffir lime leaves and Thai sweet basil (which tastes different from regular basil) is no issue. For curry this fresh and this good, it’s well worth a bit of a trip. Plus you can freeze kaffir lime leaves for later usage, if you like. And you can even freeze the finished curry for another night when you don’t have time to cook… I have some in my freezer right now.
We followed up this dinner with fried bananas and dulce de leche ice cream. It was my first time deep-frying, and it must have been a charmed night, because my bananas were bananas. Stay tuned for that recipe, and enjoy!
P.S. After the other day’s chicken-salad-meets-salt-shaker debacle, I got a second chance. I had some more leftovers that I am happy to report were successfully converted into delicious curried chicken salad. Phew. I’ll post the recipe when I do a more traditional version of it. Until then…
- 3-4 tbsp. Thai green curry paste, Mae Ploy brand or similar
- 2 15-oz. cans coconut cream, Savoy brand or similar, plus up to a can of additional water (to taste)
- 1 lb. chicken breast, de-boned, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
- 1 red onion, chopped coarsely
- 6 scallions, whites and light green parts only, chopped
- 6 fresh purple and green Thai eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch long Thai green beans, cut in 3-inch pieces
- 1 lb. small heirloom potatoes, halved
- 4 small zucchinis, halved and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 fresh (or thawed, if frozen) kaffir limes leaves
- leaves of one bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
- crushed red chili paste
- vegetable oil
- olive oil
Par-boil potatoes in rolling water for 5 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Strain potatoes and pat them dry. Toss the potatoes in a generous amount of olive oil. Salt lightly and bake until they are tender. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil and half the garlic til very hot. Pat chicken dry, and cook on high heat until the edges are seared but not completely cooked through. Salt lightly and set aside. In the same pan, add more oil, and cook red onions. Once onions begin to soften, add squash and eggplant, and cook until browned on the edges and nearly cooked through. Turn off heat and set aside.
In a large stew pot, heat oil and remaining garlic. When oil is hot, add scallions. When the greens turn bright, add curry paste, and stir until curry is fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, and dash of red chili paste to taste (about 1/2 tsp. or a heaping tsp. to get medium heat). Bring to a simmer. Add chicken mixture and vegetable mixture and enough water to cover. Place long beans on top of the curry to steam. Cover and cook until vegetables and chicken are cooked through. Salt if needed (or add a dash of fish sauce instead), and add cilantro to taste.
Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.