Thai chicken curry

Thai chicken curry

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(173 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 Jul, 2015
My neice cooked this when we went to visit her and she was upset to find it tasteless and watery. I read the recipe and saw it said 3-4 teaspoons of curry paste which surprised me as that is a very small amount of curry paste for that amount of chicken. Scrolled through the comments and sure enough there were many people saying it should be 3-4 tablespoons not teaspoons.The other problem is the coconut milk as others here have said, I know from experience that some brands are mainly water and are useless for Thai curry. Maybe the reason it works for some people is that they are lucky enough to get the right brand. There is a very good page on coconut milk that I got a while back from the Thai green curry recipe on Bbc good food,its called cooking with coconut milk at They make brilliant pastes too.
10th May, 2015
If you like creamy, aromatic and slightly spicy food you need to give this a go. I cook this now on a regular basis I love it so much. Also, I made this for my whole family and my mum -who is not a fan of spicy food- coughed and complained for a while... and then went for seconds and thirds! Therefore, I wouldn't recommend this recipe if you are a vindaloo kind of person but otherwise I highly recommend it. Also, if you don't have kaffir lime leaves, the juice and zest of a lime and soy sauce are the perfect replacement.
27th Jan, 2015
This was my first time ever attempting to cook an oriental dish beyond a simple stir fry. It was easy to follow and tasted delicious. I added potatoes to the dish and it worked really well. Yum Yum
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.


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