I’m a firm believer that the key to a fantastic tasting thai curry – is in the paste that you use (or make). After four thai cooking courses and plenty of experiments later, I believe that for a “quick to prepare” curry – the best paste to use is Maesri Green curry paste (which is made in Thailand). If you are in Australia, you will find it in most asian grocery stores that stock products from Thailand – a quicker way to find it is in the asian grocery section of most Woolworths stores.
Follow my recipe the first time, then the next time you make it – you can use different vegetables. I have found that using different vegetables will change the spiciness of the curry as some vegetables (such as broccoli) do absorb some of the heat of the curry.
See the notes of the recipe to find out where to buy coconut sugar (or for a non paleo version, you can substitute with 2 tablespoons of white sugar).
Boiling the paste in the milk, then adding the chicken is a method of cooking which I have picked up from Thai cooking classes. Once you have chopped up all the vegetables and sliced the chicken, making the curry is really very simple as it uses one pot or large saucepan.
I have made this curry time and time again for friends and they all love it.
Adjusting the recipe
If for whatever reason, you want to make less curry – follow the same principles but adjust the chicken and vegetables that you use. As for the coconut milk and cream it is really very simple. You boil half of the milk or cream, add the desired quantity of paste, allow the paste to boil in the milk, then add the chicken, stir until chicken turns white, then add your vegetables and the other half of the milk. Wait for the curry to boil, then reduce the heat until the chicken and vegetables have cooked. Add in fish sauce and sugar to taste. Add a little extra coconut cream if it is too hot (ie. spicy) for you.
- 500g chicken breast
- 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
- 2 x 400ml cans coconut cream
- 1 x 114g can Maesri Green Curry Paste (see notes)
- 1½ cups (150g) sliced fresh green beans
- 1½ cups broccoli florets
- 2 carrots, finely sliced (90 – 120g)
- a small to medium zucchini sliced into half moons (100 – 200g)
- 150g mushrooms, cut into quarters (or sliced)
- 1 x 225g tin bamboo shoots (see notes)
- 6 fresh kaffir lime leaves
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (see notes)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
- 1 packet of fresh bean shoots
- 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder (optional, used to thicken sauce)
- A backup can of coconut cream (see notes)
- Before you start, you need to prepare the vegetables & chicken
- PREPARING THE VEGETABLES
- Remove ends and slice the green beans into 1½ cm lengths
- Slice mushrooms if large, slice in half if using button mushrooms, or quarter them if using medium sized mushrooms
- Slice zucchini in half lengthways, then slice (into half moon shaped pieces)
- PREPARING THE CHICKEN
- Slice the chicken into thin bite sized pieces. To do this, see my tip in the notes section.
- PREPARING THE CURRY
- Empty the can of coconut milk and half a can of coconut cream into a large frypan (or pot)
- Place frypan (or pot) on stove and heat until the coconut milk starts to boil
- Add 3 level tablespoons of the curry paste and stir until combined (see notes)
- Allow mixture to boil and continue stirring whilst boiling for a further three minutes or until the curry paste starts to show up in darker green bubbles on the outside of the pan.
- Add the raw chicken to the mixture and allow it to sit until the milk starts to boil.
- Stir the chicken and the coconut cream until the chicken has turned white (not until it is cooked through, just until all the chicken bits are white and you can see no pink bits).
- Add in carrot and stir until it starts to boil
- Add in green beans, bamboo shoots, broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini and the remaining coconut cream – stir until combined.
- Tear the kaffir lime leaves and add to mixture.
- Stir until mixture starts to boil then reduce heat to simmer
- Simmer until vegetables have cooked.
- Add in fish sauce and coconut sugar and mix through.
- Taste the curry (see notes) and add a little more fish sauce (if it needs to be saltier) or a little more sugar (if it needs to be sweeter).
- If the curry sauce needs to be thickened, add arrowroot powder and stir until well combined and sauce starts to thicken.
- Pour the curry into a large serving bowl.
- Top with fresh been shoots and shredded basil.
- Serve with cauliflower rice, on its own, or pour curry on top of a bowl of steamed vegetables.
Its much easier to slice chicken thinly if the chicken breast is partially frozen (or partially defrosted).
If you want a mild curry use 2½ tablespoons of curry paste. Personally, I prefer 3 tablespoons. I suggest using 3 tablespoons and simply add additional coconut cream at the end if you feel it needs to be less hot (this is where having a backup can of coconut cream comes in handy).
When tasting the curry at the end, remember that the curry by itself should be hotter – as the heat is absorbed a little when you add rice (or cauliflower rice).
Cant find coconut sugar? You can order it (and other coconut products) online with delivery throughout Australia capped at $10 (or often free if you purchase over $79 of products) – via the online store at http://www.ganodirect.biz/
Alternatively, for a non paleo curry – use 2 tablespoons of normal white sugar.
Bamboo shoots – in Australia, you will find them in the asian section of Woolworths or Coles, usually on the bottom shelf near the coconut milk.