Chicken/ Hearty Dinners/ Spice

Chicken Thai Green Curry (from scratch!)

March 23, 2021 by Chris Collins

This authentic Thai green curry is made with a simple homemade paste. It’s so easy to make and takes just 30mins!

If you’ve never made your own Thai green curry from scratch you’re in for a real treat. This recipe was kindly passed down from a Thai family member of mine so it has very authentic roots! Just altered VERY slightly by myself 😇. Don’t worry if you’re a total novice with curries, this is an awesome one to start with because it’s so flipping easy! Follow me…

black serving spoon digging in to large pan of green curry

Thai Green Curry Paste

Thai green curry paste has a unique flavour profile. It’s incredibly vibrant & fragrant and known for being very aromatic. As such, it’s important to really nail the paste to get the best out of this curry. The difference between store bought curry paste and homemade curry paste is huge. You can find some reputable brands, but in my experience they not only differ a huge amount, but even the most reputable brands can be somewhat lackluster. As such, in my opinion you’ve gotta go homemade. That or fly to Thailand where you’ll have some of the best curry of your life!!

Thai Green Curry Paste Ingredients

What you’ll find at your regular supermarket:

  • Green Chilli – You’ll need to deseed them to remove the intense heat.
  • Coriander Roots & Stems – Traditionally you’d use coriander root, but they’re quite hard to find (even in some Asian shops). As such I recommend you buy a plant pot of coriander/cilantro (growing in soil) so you can pull out the coriander, wash the ends and snip them off.
  • Coriander Seeds – Lightly toasted in a dry pan (to release the flavour) then crushed.
  • Shallots – Don’t sub onion, shallots have a slightly sweeter flavour.
  • Lemongrass – Rough parts removed.
  • Salt & White Pepper – Must be white pepper! Much more traditional in Thai cooking.

What you’ll have to get online or at an Asian Supermarket:

  • Shrimp Paste – You only need a small amount of this because it’s very powerful! It’s integral to a green curry though, so don’t omit.
  • Galangal – This is somewhat like ginger, but has a slightly more unique flavour. You actually might be able to find this in some regular stores at a stretch.

Thai green curry pasta ingredients

How to make Thai Green Curry Paste

Look I’m gonna level with you here. I promised a traditional Thai green curry, and that I stand by. BUT, do we need to be using a pestle and mortar to make a paste? Some argue yes, I argue no. I’ve got the go ahead from my step mum (the creator of this recipe) so that’s what I’m sticking with 😅. That and when I took a Thai cookery class in Thailand our teacher said it’s more than okay to make in a food processor too. So, that’s my justification!!

Thai Green Curry Paste in a blender

  • High power – Make sure you’re using a high power blender, something with a bit of ‘umph’ behind it! Green curries are smooth and creamy, so you really want to blitz the ingredients into a smooth(ish) paste.
  • Water – You may need to add a dash of water to form the paste, just to bring everything together.

What gives Thai green curry its colour?

It mainly comes form the green chilli and coriander. BUT, you’ll be surprised by how dim the colour actually is once you blitz everything together. To give it a more vibrant colour I recommend blitzing in some coriander leaves.

How do you store green curry paste?

You can absolutely make the paste ahead of time. It’ll last 1-2days tightly covered in the fridge, for longer you’ll want to freeze it.

2 step by step photos showing how to make Thai green curry paste

Chicken Thai Green Curry

Once you’ve made the paste it’s all plain sailing from there. You can use a variety of different meats in green curry, but it’s most traditional to use chicken.

Chicken Thai Green Curry Ingredients

What you’ll find at your regular supermarket:

  • Chicken – I use chicken breast, but you could use thigh. Must be boneless/skinless in both cases.
  • Coconut Cream – Coconut milk is more traditional, but I prefer coconut cream for a slightly thicker texture and richer flavour.
  • Chicken Stock – I recommend a low-sodium brand, just so you’ve got more control over the saltiness of the curry.
  • Fish Sauce – Don’t worry if you don’t like fish, the flavour is very mellow. This is more so used as a salt substitute.

What you MIGHT find at your regular supermarket:

  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – You’ll definitely find them at an Asian store, but I have found them (usually dried) at the supermarket!
  • Thai Basil – Again, it’s rare but you can sometimes find fresh Thai basil in regular stores.

What you’ll have to get online or at an Asian Supermarket:

  • Thai Eggplant – The cutest eggplant you’ll ever see! A non-traditional sub would be regular eggplant/aubergine.
  • Palm Sugar – This isn’t a deal breaker as you could sub regular sugar, but if you can get it then go for it!

chicken Thai green curry ingredients with labels

How to make Chicken Thai Green Curry

The curry itself is incredibly easy to make. 3 things just to keep in mind:

Fry the paste

A crucial step in a Thai green curry is frying the paste. This is a trick used in a lot of Thai cooking, and will help release the flavours in the paste. It will also steam out unwanted moisture.

Don’t fry the chicken

Although it’s tempting to fry the chicken in oil, you want to actually part-simmer the chicken to cook it. Once you’ve fried the paste for a couple of mins, stir in half your cream. That’s what you cook the chicken in.

Leave the basil

Instead of simmering the basil, you want to add it right at the last second. This way it keeps some of its texture and offers small fresh bursts of flavour.

Process shots: fry paste in oil (photo 1), add half coconut cream (photo 2), stir (photo 3), add chicken (photo 4), stir and simmer (photo 5), add second half of cream (photo 6), add chicken stock, sugar, eggplants, lime leaves and fish sauce (photo 7), simmer then add basil (photo 8).

8 step by step photos showing how to make Thai green curry

Serving a Thai Green Curry

Once the chicken is cooked and the eggplants are soft, you’re good to go. Green curries have a fairly thin consistency so don’t worry about thickening the sauce. I love to garnish with a few slices of red chilli, just to add a pop of colour! Serve with basmati, sticky or jasmine rice.

If you’re after another authentic Thai recipe check out my Thai Fried Chicken!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Easy Curry Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chicken Thai green curry shall we?!

overhead shot of green curry in a small white bowl

How to make Thai Green Curry (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of green curry in a small white bowl

Chicken Thai Green Curry (from scratch!)

This authentic Thai green curry is made with a simple homemade paste. It's so easy to make and takes just 30mins!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Calories per serving: 586kcal
Cost per serving: £4 / $5

Equipment:

  • Powerful Food Processor/Blender
  • Large Pot or Pan with Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Jug (for stock & Cream)
  • Serving Spoon

Ingredients (check list):

Green Curry Paste (see notes)

  • 5 Green Chillis, deseeded & diced (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup diced Coriander Stalks & Roots (plus a handful of leaves to boost colour)
  • 3 Shallots, finely diced
  • 3 stems of Lemongrass, rough layers removed then finely diced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 packed tbsp finely diced or grated Galangal
  • 1 heaped tsp Shrimp Paste
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds, toasted in a dry pan then crushed (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Salt, White Pepper

Chicken Thai Green Curry

  • 1lb / 500g Chicken Breast, diced into bite sized chunks
  • 1x 14oz/400g can of Coconut Cream (can sub coconut milk - see notes)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Chicken Stock
  • 4 Thai Eggplants, halved if they're very small, quartered if they're not
  • 6 Kaffir Lime Leaves, torn (see notes)
  • 1 small bunch of Fresh Thai Basil, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Palm Sugar (can sub brown sugar, work to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Instructions:

  • In a powerful food processor add green chillies, coriander roots & stems, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste, crushed coriander seeds, white pepper and salt. Turn on motor and pulse into a fine paste. Stop and scrape the sides a few times, using a dash of water to form a paste if you need to. Blitz in a handful of coriander leaves to boost the green colour.
  • Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large deep pan. Add the curry paste and fry for 2-3mins (important to release the flavours and steam out the water). Stir in half your coconut cream, then add the diced chicken.
  • Reduce to medium heat and cook the chicken for 5mins, or until nearly white through the centre, then stir in the rest of the coconut cream. Add chicken stock, eggplants, lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar. Give it all a good stir then simmer for 10mins, or until the chicken is cooked right through the centre and the eggplants have softened.
  • Taste test for seasoning (more fish sauce for more saltiness, more sugar to sweeten) then stir through fresh basil leaves at the last minute.
  • Serve over rice and enjoy (don't eat the lime leaves!).

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Coriander Roots/Stems - Traditionally you'd use coriander roots, but it's quite hard to hunt these down, even in some Asian shops. As such I recommend you buy a plant pot of coriander/cilantro (growing in soil) so you can pull out the coriander, wash the ends and snip them off. The roots and stems give the paste a much deeper, earthier flavour, which is great for a green curry.
b) Coriander Seeds - Toast these in a dry pan for a few mins until they lightly brown. Crush them either in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin, or in a pestle and mortar.
c) Cream vs Milk - I prefer cream as it offers a richer flavour and thicker texture. However milk is more traditional (Thai curries tend to be quite thin). In both cases make sure you're using full fat! Low fat will alter the flavour.
d) Kaffir Lime Leaves -  Asian supermarket will definitely sell them, usually frozen. You might also find them in your regular supermarket in the herbs/spices section or in the Asian section. They sometimes come dried.
e) Where to find ingredients - A lot of these ingredients will only be found in Asian supermarkets or online (shrimp paste, Thai eggplants, palm sugar). Some you might actually find in your regular supermarket (galangal, Thai basil). I know if you're in the UK Tesco sells Thai basil!
f) How spicy is this curry? - Green curries are supposed to be hot! 5 regular medium green chillis give you a medium-hot finish. Certainly nothing overbearing. If you're concerned about heat then start off with less chilli, then dab your finger in the paste to check for heat then blitz in more chillis in 1 by 1. If you want it spicier either add more chillis or leave some or all the seeds in. In both cases the paste with taste spicier than it is once it's cooked.
g) Can I make the paste ahead of time? - Best used fresh but will last a couple of days tightly stored in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Thai Green Curry (from scratch!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 586 Calories from Fat 208
% Daily Value*
Fat 23.06g35%
Saturated Fat 18.833g94%
Trans Fat 0.008g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.896g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.947g
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 875mg36%
Potassium 946mg27%
Carbohydrates 67.75g23%
Fiber 5.8g23%
Sugar 58.84g65%
Protein 29.33g59%
Vitamin A 556IU11%
Vitamin C 18.6mg23%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 1.9mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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