A bowl of Thai red curry

Thai red curry

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(64 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4

Forget ordering takeaway and make your own Thai red curry at home. This classic dish takes just 15 minutes to prep and it's bursting with flavour

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal425
  • fat32g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs8g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre2g
  • protein27g
  • salt2.4g
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 5-6 tbsp red curry paste
  • 800ml coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • kaffir lime leaves (ideally fresh)
  • 2 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 brown sugar
  • ½ small pack Thai basil
  • basil or coriander, plus extra to serve



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • 1 red chilli, sliced diagonally
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, cut into matchsticks



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • cooked jasmine rice, to serve


  1. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry 1 tbsp ginger and 1 tbsp garlic paste for 2 mins. Add 5-6 tbsp red curry paste, sizzle for a few secs, then pour in 800ml coconut milk. 

  2. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, stir a little and wait for the oil to rise to the surface. 

  3. Add 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks, and kaffir lime leaves, and simmer for 12 mins or until the chicken is cooked through.

  4. Add 1 tbsp of the fish sauce and a pinch of brown sugar, then taste – if you like it a little saltier, add more fish sauce; if you like it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

  5. Bring to the boil, take off the heat and add ½ small pack Thai basil.

  6. Spoon the curry into four bowls and top with 1 red chilli, a thumb-sized piece of ginger and a few extra basil leaves. Serve with jasmine rice.

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Comments, questions and tips

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11th Jul, 2020
I made this for two using 500g turkey leg meat c. Added half a chilli at the start and a small onion wish the pastes and used 399mk of coconut milk. I cooked for about ten minutes longer in total adding sliced red and yellow peppers half way through and a handful of manger out for the last few minutes. Very mice
17th Apr, 2020
I halved the recipe as it was just for 2 of us and used 1 chicken breast instead of 2 thighs. I also added a green pepper as others have suggested it definitely needs some veg! I used 400ml coconut milk as made for 2 people - there was a lot of liquid but that’s what a Thai curry should be like!! If you’re only use to Indian curries you will find it is a much thinner consistency. Overall a good base you can add different veg and meat too
22nd Oct, 2019
I cooked this at the weekend and it was great. I used Thai sticky rice and used a litre of full fat coconut milk and 1.5Kg of chicken breast. Perfect. It was just the right level of heat, and my Thai friends thought that it was heading for the penang end of the scale and not so much a curry, but for my first attempt at Thai food - I think I did myself proud. Made 7 meals. Does what it says on the tin. Excellent !
Riegan Crofts's picture
Riegan Crofts
12th Sep, 2019
I don't see the point of commenting about ludicrous amounts of ingredients, if one wants to add or replace things, one should do so without critisizing others. For my family, I added 3 harbanero chillis, 2 red onions, capsicum, and a handful of chopped cherry tomatoes. Thank you Elena for sharing this wonderful recipe. Blessed Be
Maddie York's picture
Maddie York
20th May, 2019
Thanks to looking at the helpful comments before deciding to cook this, and knowing a bit from having made other Thai curries, I was able to make some tweaks to this recipe to get the best from it. Everyone’s right: 800ml of coconut milk is ridiculous and unnecessary. Instead I did 400ml coconut milk and 200ml water. Also, the recipe was really lacking vegetables, I felt, so I added three finely sliced shallots and one sliced green pepper - I fried these off first before adding the curry paste. I think other veg could be nice in this too like mushrooms or baby corn. Basically I’d say use this as a rough guide to the basics of Thai red curry and build your own version. Most importantly DO NOT USE 800ml COCONUT MILK!
Amy Stuart
27th Mar, 2019
800ml milk is a ludicrous amount - amystu812
Jenesse Cox's picture
Jenesse Cox
7th Jan, 2019
Incredibly tasty! I made it with reduced coconut milk and you couldn't tell the difference.
16th Dec, 2018
Absolutely delish I used 3 tablespoons of Thai Taste red curry paste I think their suggestion was way too much for this brand it was hot enough as it is. if I would say one thing is essential in this dish it's the kaffir lime leaves it gives it that authentic citrusey Thai curry taste without it it's just not the same. I'm veggie so did mine with tofu carrots and courgettes. Very quick, and so yum.
20th Sep, 2018
Lovely recipe, I added some baby corn, green beans and water chestnuts to mine.. perfect! Easy to make and delicious to eat! Will be making again.
Hannah Dorrity's picture
Hannah Dorrity
28th Apr, 2018
Great recipe and very easy to follow. Will definitely be using this again. I added carrots, green beans and broccoli to mine it was great! Next time I will just add a little more paste as I only used 5tbs. All round great recipe!


15th May, 2020
Living in Italy I can't buy red curry paste, I was hoping for the ingredients! Where can I find a recipe to make my own? It's a bit of a problem making Thai red curry without the red curry!! Thanks
lulu_grimes's picture
18th May, 2020
Hello, I'm afraid we have the recipe for green curry paste on the website but not red, I will add it to the list of recipes to add. The main difference between the two is that the red paste uses dried red chillies that are soaked until soft and then ground with salt to make a paste before adding the remaining ingredients. I hope this helps. Lulu https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/thai-green-curry-paste
Andrea Tymichova
5th Feb, 2020
How many kaffir lime leaves (fresh) and how much coriander?
Josh Brown's picture
Josh Brown
1st Dec, 2018
For those saying 2 cans of coconut milk is too much, you're too used to Indian curries, the Thai version is meant to be more like a soup.
jazza42uk's picture
17th Jul, 2017
800ml of coconut milk is far too much. I used 400ml (one tin) and it was plenty. I also recommend using coconut oil rather than vegetable oil for the frying. Cooked it the night before and reheated for dinner next day -- it was delicious, and I will very definitely be making this dish again.
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