Thai Green Chicken Curry

thai green chicken curry

Thai Green Chicken Curry

I still remember the first time I had a thai green chicken curry. It really blew my mind with the fragrance and flavour, the lightness and the rich creaminess all in one. I’ve included a recipe for green curry paste but most of the time I don’t bother and just use a jar of commercial Thai green curry paste.

Enough for: 2
Takes: 20 minutes

2 small chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk (400g / 14oz)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
small handful basil leaves, optional
for the curry paste:
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves & stems
1 small onion
6 large green chillies, deseeded
3 stalks lemon grass, sliced OR zest of 1 lemon
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, chopped

1. Whizz the spice paste ingredients with 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor until you have a chunky puree.

2. Heat a few tablespoons peanut oil in a large frying pan and stir-fry the chicken for a few minutes or until starting to brown. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

3. Add the spice paste to the pan and cook, stirring for about a minute or until the spice paste smells fragrant.

4. Add the coconut milk and fish sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

5. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Taste, season and serve hot.

Prepare Ahead?

Curry tends to improve with a day or two in the fridge. So feel free to make in advance and gently reheat before serving. You could also make the curry paste in advance and either freeze for a few months or keep it in the fridge for up to a week.


vegan or vegetarian – replace chicken with tofu or the same weight of cooked lentils or even some diced eggplant or a combination of these. And use sea salt to season the curry instead of the fish sauce. I’m also a fan of the green chickpea curry 🙂

other meat – any tender cut will work such as beef fillet, pork fillet, pork neck, lamb backstrap or lamb fillets.

pescetarian – replace chicken with chopped salmon or other fish fillets.

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with steamed rice.

short on time – use a commercial Thai green curry paste.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

chicken – freeze asap.

coconut milk, fish sauce, onion – pantry.

basil & coriander (cilantro) – either make a herb oil or pesto and keep in the fridge. Or freeze them.

chillies, lemon grass, ginger – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks if not months. All can be frozen.

Problem Solving Guide

bitter – if the spice paste gets burned, before you add the tomato, you’ll get bitter flavours. Be careful at this step.

tough chicken – if the chicken is cooked too long it tends to go tough, Next time make sure you cook it less.

too hot – chillies vary considerably in their intensity. And people vary considerably in their sensitivity. Always err on the side of adding less chilli, you can always add more if you like, but it’s hard to cool a curry down once it’s cooked.

not hot enough – see above regarding chilli variability. Serve extra green chillies on the side or serve dried chilli powder or chilli flakes so your guests can adjust the heat level themselves.

watery – sounds like you haven’t simmered the sauce for long enough. It only takes about ten minutes but without the simmering the sauce won’t be very thick.

can’t find lemon grass? – just substitute in the zest of one lemon.

can’t find fish sauce? – no problem. you could just season with salt or try a little soy sauce – the flavour profile won’t be as light and clean but it will still be lovely.

can’t find coconut milk? – substitute in half water half whipping cream (that’s pure cream for the Australians). Again this won’t taste as authentic but will still be lovely.

prefer to use commercial curry paste? – just substitute in 3-6 tablespoons commercial curry paste for the paste in the recipe here. Since they do vary in strength, you’ll need to tweak the amount to get it right for your palate.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with steamed rice or simple lentils.

Leftover Potential

Will keep for up to a week in the fridge or even a few months in the freezer.

related links


back to Twenty Minute Curry Class Overview

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