Green or Red Thai Chicken Curry

My favorite Thai dishes are Pad Thai and Green Chicken Curry (aka ‘Gang Keaw Wan’), but the one I am sharing today is the Green Thai Chicken Curry, which can be replaced with beef, pork or seafood, dependent on your preferences!  As well as the ‘green thai paste’ can be substituted with ‘red thai paste’ if you prefer to make a Red Thai Curry.

I now just make it with a dash of this and a dash of that, but when I initially started making the recipe, it went as follows…

Ingredients

Assuming you are making for 1-2 people.

  • 100-200g chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup cubed eggplant (place in salted water beforehand, let it soak, and then rinse off before use!  This ensure the eggplant isn’t bitter)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (buy the tinned coconut milk)
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP fish sauce (this is obtained from any Asian supermarket, as well as most retail supermarkets these days)
  • 3 Kaffir Lime leaves (obtained from a good spice shop or an Asian Supermarket, usually dried), torn into pieces, ensure you discard the stem
  • 9 basil leaves (I usually leave out and replace rather with fresh coriander)
  • Other vegetables to consider that I usually add, since I skipped the eggplant, are: bamboo shoots (offers an amazing texture and crunch), water chestnuts (not my favorite), tomatoes, baby sweetcorn, mange touts, long beans, carrots, potato, butternut, pumpkin, sweet potato….basically it is what you prefer in terms of texture and taste, but it’s really up to you.  I would suggest vegetables like butternut, pumpkin, potato etc get partially cooked before adding them to this dish! As they say locally “same, same, but different!”
  • steamed rice (my preference is basmati rice, but again, its your preference.  Avoid rice like Jasmine, since this fragrance/taste is overpowered and lost in Thai curries)
  • Green thai paste (either home-made or store bought), add quantity according to how strong you want it to be!  Start with 2 tsp, taste and then decide whether to add more or not!
  • 30-50g Cashew Nuts ground up or broken into tiny tiny pieces (usually it’s peanuts that are used, but I prefer the subtlety of these!).  Again the amount is dependent on the texture and strength you want the nuts to have.  Nuts can be left out the dish!

How to make?

  1. Use a deep saucepan or wok, and place a couple of TBSP’s of coconut milk with a TBSP of oil (I use olive oil) in a wok.  Add the chili paste and stir, until there is the distinct smell of chili.  If there is not enough coconut milk (i.e. it’s too dry to cover the chicken), then add a few extra scoops of coconut milk.
  2. Now add the chicken pieces, and stir whilst the chicken browns, then tip the remaining coconut milk into the wok and stir.  Note, the chicken isn’t cooked!!!
  3. In a separate bowl mix the nuts, sugar, fish sauce together and then throw into the coconut milk/chicken.  Mix it in.
  4. Dependent on the cooking time of the vegetable add the longest cooking time ones in now, the ones that barely need cooking add towards the end.
  5. Cook until the vegetables and chicken are done (make sure you are cooking at a slight simmer and not anything higher), this is usually 20-30minutes at a low simmer.
  6. Just before serving, add the kaffir lime leaves and basil leaves on top.  I replace the basil with the coriander, since I think this is a cleaner smoother taste and finish to the dish.  Serve with steamed rice!
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