Thai Red Chicken Curry
March 19, 2011
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While Indian curries usually start with dry spice mixtures, Thai curries are made from one of a number of pastes of different colors. Most common are the red, green, and yellow curry pastes as well as Mussaman curry paste, so-called because it is associated with Muslims in the country. The list of ingredients for a Thai curry paste is rather lengthy so many Thais use store-bought pastes. Today these are available not only in Asian markets but in many well-stocked supermarkets as well. I suggest tasting the paste before using it because some can be quite spicy. The other ingredient that is essential to Thai curries is coconut milk. As I discussed in a recent post this is not the liquid in a coconut but rather is made from fresh or dried grated coconut—or you can buy it canned. I adapted this recipe from the back of a container of Maesri brand Red Curry Paste.
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 4 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 12 ounces chicken breast cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1½ Tbsp. Thai fish sauce
- 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch diagonals
- ½ cup green beans, I used French cut for a texture contrast
- ½ tsp. cayenne, optional or to taste
- 2 or 3 red chilies and a few Thai basil leaves to garnish
Put a wok or other pan over medium heat and 1 cup of coconut milk. Stir in 4 Tbsp. of the red curry paste and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often and being careful that it does not burn. Add the chicken and boil gently until done, about 5 or 6 minutes.
Add the carrots, the rest of the coconut milk, and the fish sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the green beans and stir in the cayenne if using. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so until the sauce thickens a bit.
Serve immediately over jasmine rice garnished with chilies and basil.