Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry

  • 2 cups (500 ml) canned Thai coconut milk*
  • 1/4 cup (70 g) green curry paste
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 cups (265 g) peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 4 slices galangal
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thai shrimp paste, roasted** (kapi), or Asian fish sauce
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) pea eggplants
  • 8 Thai eggplants, quartered
  • 2 skinless chicken breast filets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 red chiles, slivered, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 cups (300 g) diced pineapple
  • 1 cup (15 g) loosely packed basil leaves


1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat half of the coconut milk and reduce it by about half. Add the curry paste and cook it another minute, stirring constantly to meld the flavors.

2. Add the rest of the coconut milk, the chicken stock, sweet potatoes, galangal, and shrimp paste. Trim off the top one-third of the lemongrass (the very white part can be discarded) and cut the lower parts crosswise into two batons, then crush them under the side of a cleaver or with a rolling pin and add them.

3. Bring the mixture to a low boil and simmer for five minutes. Add the eggplants and cook for another three minutes.

4. Stir in the pieces of chicken breast, and chiles, and simmer until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through. Add the pineapple and simmer another minute, then stir in the basil leaves and serve.
Serving: Curry is best served with rice, to balance the heat. Be sure to advise guests not to eat the pieces of galangal or lemongrass, which remain resolutely firm.

Garnishes could include additional sliced chiles, lime wedges, or a few wisps of cilantro leaves.

Variation: To make pork curry, simmer 1 3/4 pounds (800 g) of cubed pork shoulder in salted water with a small onion halved and a few cloves or star anise, until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Then add the pork instead of the chicken to the curry and use the braising liquid in lieu of the stock called for in the recipe.

*Thai coconut milk comes in various sizes depending on where you live and by brand. You can use one can or carton, which weighs in at 13-16 ounces.

**Some Thai cooks roast the dried shrimp paste in a 400ºF (200ºC) oven, wrapped in foil, for about ten minutes. I did that the subsequent times I’ve made this and don’t know if it made all that much of a difference, but I now do it as a rule.

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