Our easy Thai red curry chicken recipe is an amazing, flavorful dish that can be prepared effortlessly in under 30 minutes. With its aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for Thai curry. Whether you're a lover of Thai food, or if this is your first time trying it, this easy Thai curry recipe is perfect for you.
Why This Recipe Works for Home Cooks
Quick and Convenient: With a cooking time of under 30 minutes, this Thai chicken curry recipe is perfect for busy home cooks who want a flavorful meal without spending hours in the kitchen. The easy-to-follow steps and readily available ingredients make it a convenient option for a weeknight dinner or a festive meal.
Versatile and Customizable: This recipe offers flexibility in terms of ingredients. Home cooks can easily adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less Thai red curry paste, and they can customize the vegetables based on personal preference, or what's in season or available in the pantry.
Rich and Authentic Flavors: The combination of coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and aromatic spices creates a rich and authentic Thai flavor profile in this dish. Home cooks can savor the complex blend of sweet, savory, and tangy notes. It's a surefire way for an easy delicious dinner of homemade curry.
- Coconut oil: A nutty and slightly sweet flavored oil used for sautéing. It adds a traditional touch of flavor to Thai cuisine.
- Chicken breasts: Convenient and quick-cooking, boneless and skinless chicken breasts are ideal for super easy preparation. Cut them into 2-inch chunks to ensure they cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the curry.
- Onion: Adding a savory depth of flavor to the curry, this recipe calls for a chopped yellow onion.
- Yellow and red bell pepper: These vibrant bell peppers bring a nice pop of color and a sweet, crunchy texture to the dish. Cut them into 2-inch chunks so they hold their own in the curry mixture, adding visual appeal and a delightful bite.
- Zucchini: This versatile vegetable adds a mild, slightly crisp element to the curry, enhancing its overall texture and taste.
- Freshly grated ginger: To infuse the curry with a traditional, warm, and aromatic note, include freshly grated ginger. A ½ square chunk of peeled fresh ginger will yield approximately ½ tablespoon of grated ginger. Alternatively, you can use grated ginger from a jar for practicality.
- Garlic cloves: Garlic is a key ingredient that adds incredible depth and flavor to every dish. In this recipe, 3 cloves of minced garlic are used. If you prefer to use minced garlic from a jar, you will need approximately 1-½ teaspoons to achieve the same intensity as fresh cloves.
- Coconut milk: Providing a creamy and rich base for the curry, coconut milk imparts a distinct Thai flavor. Ensure you use full-fat coconut milk from a can rather than a coconut milk drink to achieve the desired creaminess in the curry.
- Cornstarch: Used for thickening the sauce, cornstarch helps create a velvety consistency that clings to the chicken and vegetables.
- Thai red curry paste: An authentic Thai ingredient, Thai red curry paste is made with red chilies and a blend of aromatics such as turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, and onions. It often includes coarse salt and shrimp paste, adding a robust umami element to the curry.
- Soy sauce: This versatile condiment enhances the savory and umami flavors of the curry.
- Lime juice: Balancing the richness of the curry, lime juice adds a tangy and refreshing element that brightens the dish.
- Jasmine rice: The perfect accompaniment, white rice is a traditional dish that effortlessly absorbs all the wonderful flavors of the curry, complementing it with a filling and neutral base.
- Thai basil leaves and cilantro leaves are optional but make a wonderful bright garnish.
- Chicken thighs can be used as a substitute for chicken breasts. In many cases, you may prefer dark meat because it is more flavorful and moist. Reduce the sautéing time for thighs by about 2 to 3 minutes as they cook faster.
- Onions - yellow or white onions can be exchanged for what you have on hand. The white onions will have a milder and sweeter.
- Green beans - you can omit the zucchini and use fresh snipped green beans. The add a nice crunchy texture. If you like them softer, add 2 minutes to their cooking time.
- Fish sauce makes a great addition to Thai curry. It adds umami and not a fishy taste to this already amazing dish. It is considered a staple in Thai curry by many.
- Tamari can be used in place of the soy sauce.
- Bamboo shoots are a fun and tasty addition to curry. The add a nice crunchy with a mild flavor.
These substitutions allow for flexibility in ingredient availability and personal taste preferences while still delivering a delicious Thai red chicken curry experience.
Before you begin, make sure to prep all your ingredients including measuring, slicing, grating, and mincing. Since each step only takes a little time, this will ensure everything is ready to go when needed.
How to Cook Curry Chicken
- Start the jasmine rice, according to the instructions on the package. The cooking time will take approximately the same about of time as the chicken curry.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Let it heat up until the oil shimmers.
- Add the chicken breast chunks to the hot skillet. Cook them, turning frequently, for about 5 to 7 minutes. The chicken is ready when it is no longer pink.
- Add the chopped onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, zucchini, grated ginger, and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender. Stir the vegetables often while cooking.
- Stir in the coconut milk and cornstarch. Continue stirring everything together until the ingredients are well combined. You want to create a smooth, velvety texture.
- To achieve that authentic Thai taste, add the red curry paste, soy sauce, and lime juice. These ingredients add the complex taste we are looking for. Stir well to incorporate all the flavors and to evenly coat the chicken and vegetables.
- Bring the curry mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Once the curry reaches your desired consistency and the flavors have melded together, it's ready to be served.
- Ladle the chicken curry over a bed of cooked white rice.
- For the finishing touches, garnish your curry with lime wedges. Torn fresh basil leaves and cilantro bring a burst of freshness and visual appeal.
Now, you're ready to enjoy your homemade Thai chicken curry. It's a simple yet impressive dish that will make you feel like a culinary pro. Like many, you may even put this on your weekly meal rotation.
- Start the jasmine rice just before starting the steps to make curry. Do not cook the jasmine rice well in advance as it can produce unhealthy bacteria if let sitting too long.
- Thai curries can range in taste from spicy to mild. Different brands will also taste differently. Experiment with different types of Thai curry paste to find your preferred spice level. If you prefer a milder curry, start with a smaller amount and adjust according to your taste.
- To achieve a creamy texture, refrain from shaking the can of coconut milk before opening it. This will allow the creamy layer to separate and rise to the top, which can be easily scooped out and added to the curry.
- If the curry is too spicy, you can balance the heat by adding a bit more coconut milk or a squeeze of lime juice to mellow the flavors.
- If the sauce is too thin, you can create another cornstarch slurry by mixing cornstarch with water and adding it to the simmering curry. Stir well and continue cooking until the desired thickness is achieved.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
If you have leftovers, store the Thai red curry recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Thai chicken curry can be kept for up to 3 days. When reheating, gently heat the curry on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is heated through. Add a splash of water or coconut milk to prevent it from drying out
Taste the curry and adjust the seasonings if needed. You can add more soy sauce for saltiness, lime juice for acidity, or Thai red curry paste for extra spiciness, according to your preference. Adjust the seasonings if needed, as flavors can intensify over time.
Do not store and reheat leftover rice. The quality diminishes significantly and can easily contain be contaminated.
- This easy Thai chicken curry is best enjoyed with jasmine rice. Place a generous portion of the cooked white rice on individual serving plates or bowls, and ladle the fragrant Thai chicken curry on top. The rice will absorb the rich and aromatic sauce, creating a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
- For an extra touch, garnish the curry with fresh cilantro leaves or Thai basil, which will add a burst of freshness and visual appeal.
In just under 30 minutes, you can create a tantalizing Thai chicken curry that bursts with flavors. This easy recipe allows you to enjoy the authentic taste of Thai cuisine at home and without spending hours in the kitchen. With a perfect blend of spices, creamy coconut milk, and tender chicken, this dish is sure to become a family favorite.
Frequently Asked Questions
The spiciness of Thai red curry chicken can vary depending on the amount of red curry paste used. It is typically moderately spicy, but you can adjust the heat level by adding more or less curry paste according to your preference.
The secret to good Thai curry lies in balancing the flavors of its key components: the curry paste, coconut milk, and additional seasonings. Using high-quality ingredients, such as fresh herbs and spices, and allowing the flavors to meld together during the cooking process, helps create a rich and aromatic Thai curry.
Thai restaurants achieve the creamy texture in their curries by using full-fat coconut milk. The thick, rich consistency of coconut milk adds a creamy element to the curry. Additionally, some restaurants may also use techniques like reducing the curry or incorporating ingredients like coconut cream to enhance the creaminess.
Red curry and Thai red curry are essentially the same. "Red curry" refers to the type of curry paste used in Thai cuisine, which is made from red chili peppers, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, galangal, and other aromatic spices. So, Thai red curry is a specific type of red curry that is associated with Thai cuisine.
Thai red curry is often served with steamed jasmine rice, which helps balance the spiciness of the curry and absorbs its flavorful sauce. Additionally, Thai red curry pairs well with other accompaniments like roti (flatbread), noodles, or even a side of fresh vegetables or a Thai salad for a refreshing contrast.
30-Minute Thai Curry Chicken
- 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice see notes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 2 inch cubes
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped into 2” pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper chopped into 2” pieces
- 1 zucchini sliced and halved
- ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 lime juice of
- Lime wedges
- Fresh basil optional
- Fresh cilantro optional
- Start cooking the Jasmine rice according to the package directions. This timing will ensure the rice is cooked and ready at the same time as the curry.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and heat. Add chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the bell peppers, zucchini, ginger, and garlic. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk and cornstarch until thoroughly combined. Stir in the red curry paste, soy sauce, and lime juice.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Serve over cooked Jasmine rice. Garnish with lime wedges, basil, and cilantro.
- If you prefer a thinner sauce, add chicken broth a little at a time to thin it.
- Thai red curry paste, full-fat coconut milk in a can, and fish sauce can be found in the international aisle of grocery store. I like to use Thai Kitchen brand but feel free to choose your favorite.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, pour the Thai curry into a saucepan over low heat. Add a little chicken broth to thin the sauce until warmed through.