Thai chicken curry

Thai chicken curry

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(139 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins - 20 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4

Learn how to make an authentic-tasting Thai curry with this step-by-step recipe

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 2 shallots, or 1 small onion



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3-4 tsp red Thai curry paste
  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 1 tsp sugar, brown is best



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 4 freeze-dried kaffir lime leaves



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 400ml can coconut milk



    A large hairy, brown nut that grows on the coconut tree, found throughout the world's…

  • 20g pack fresh coriander


  1. Peel shallots or onion and cut in half from top to root. Lay the cut sides flat on a board and thinly slice. Very finely slice the lemongrass, starting at the thinner end, stopping towards the base when it gets tough (often described as ‘woody’ and white in the centre).

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan for a couple of minutes until the oil separates (it looks more liquid at this point). Add the shallots or onion. Fry for 3-5 mins, until soft and translucent. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 min, stirring all the time.

  3. Add chicken pieces and stir until they are coated. Add the lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk. Bring slowly to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins until the chicken is cooked. Stir the curry a few times while it cooks, to stop it sticking and to keep the chicken submerged.

  4. While the chicken is cooking, strip the leaves from the coriander stalks, gather into a pile and chop very roughly. Taste the curry and add a little more curry paste and salt if you think it needs it. Stir half the coriander into the curry and sprinkle the rest over the top. Serve with Thai jasmine or basmati rice.

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Comments, questions and tips

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9th Jan, 2015
Hi - Can use a slow cooker for this?
michelle_30's picture
15th Nov, 2014
Oh and i used 3 tablespoons of paste!
michelle_30's picture
15th Nov, 2014
Made this tonight..... It was delicious!!! Did what was advised about the coconut milk..added the water only first, cooked with sweet potatoe, green beans and tigar prawns using sainsburys own thai red paste and Amoy coconut milk. The result was a fabulously creamy well favoured curry. Def worth a try in making yourself, enjoy
17th Sep, 2014
This is a superb recipe for Thai chicken curry. Very easy to make and I have found, through trial and error, that the kaffir lime leaves make all the difference. They can be hard to find but I've found a good and inexpensive source here Plus you only need one or two and they last a long time in the pantry. Hope that's helpful.
Rosie M
13th Sep, 2014
I cooked this dish this afternoon and was pleased with the results (having never cooked a Thai curry before). I used 3 generous tablespoons of red thai paste and added reduced fat coconut milk (all I had in the cupboard). I decided to thicken the curry by adding cornflour mixed with water which worked well. I also added tomato puree which added colour. I didn't have any lime and had to substitute ground coriander however was please with the result!
13th Aug, 2014
1. Never use reduced fat coconut milk to make a Thai curry, that's why it turns watery. "Reduced fat" simply means they have replaced the milk with water & emulsifiers which break down on cooking. Look for at least 45% coconut content and the fewer ingredients listed the better. Step 2. "Heat the oil in a wok or large saucepan for a couple of minutes until the oil separates (it looks more liquid at this point)." You could heat it for several hours, vegetable oil doesn't separate. Coconut milk separates but that's another step and another story.Seriously messed up recipe. Step 4. "strip the leaves from the coriander stalks, gather into a pile and chop very roughly. " In Thai cookery you use the stalks and you would add them with the lemongrass.
2nd Aug, 2014
I make this all the time and my whole family love it. I always use Quorn pieces as we all prefer the texture in this dish. I recommend using Mae ploy curry paste as it is stronger and spicier than the usual uk supermarket options.
3rd Jun, 2014
Have just cooked this and I followed it exactly, simmered for 15 minutes as instructed and the sauce is like grey greasy dishwater - it has completely split, it has the consistency of water. I don't know what I did but I noticed another comment about it splitting too. Maybe its the juice from the chicken, maybe its the coconut milk, I've always used coconut cream before with no problem. Whatever it was, I'm embarassed to put it in front of the family! Not the creamy texture you expect of a Thai curry.
8th Sep, 2014
there could be two reasons for your sauce turning into greasy dishwater. 1. the best way to cook chicken is to first marinate the chicken, leave it for 30 mins or so or if you have the time leave it overnight in the fridge. In a fry pan, pour a tbsp of veg oil and fry the chicken for about 5 mins or just as much time needed to seal the chicken. You will see some water and grease coming out of the chicken, leave the chicken to cool and it will bring out more liquid, drain and keep aside to use when you are ready to make the curry. 2. Cooking with coconut milk is very tricky, ensure not to use any salt while cooking as this will split coconut milk and never boil a curry once you have added coconut milk into it. If you are using coconut milk from a can, open the can, take a spoon/knife and move the cream in the top to a side until you start seeing water at the bottom. While cooking, first pour in this water to cook your chicken, but at a low flame. One chicken is almost cooked, reduce flame to the lowest possible and then add the thick coconut milk/cream. Never allow to boil and keep stirring in intervals until chicken is cooked. Try this and your coconut milk will not split and you will end with a proper creamy curry. If you are adding salt, add it once the curry is slightly cool. Hope this helps.
7th Jun, 2014
Did you use light coconut milk because I did once and mine went thin too?


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