Thai food is so diverse, I never tire of it. The flavors, the smells, the textures. Thai food is truly interesting. Thai red curry chicken is one of my go to weekly meals. It’s so easy to make and you can really adapt it any way you want. You can even do a vegetarian version if you prefer.
Last summer my daughter backpacked through Asia with a couple of her friends. In a couple of the hostels where she stayed she took a cooking class with a local chef. What an awesome experience! She sent us a small cookbook she purchased from the class, and I have adapted the recipe to share with you. This is one of my family’s favorites. I will be joining her in Asia next summer for a similar experience minus the backpacking part, just thought I would clarify that, LOL!
The key ingredient in Thai red curry chicken is red curry paste, a staple in every Thai kitchen. You can purchase it in the Asian section of major stores or you can make your own; soon I will, but for this recipe I have used store bought and it is pretty darn good. Thai curry paste is made by grinding chilies to a paste and adding in garlic, shallots, lemongrass and other spices too.
This recipe calls for lemongrass, another ingredient in Thai food. As always fresh is best, but I have yet to find it fresh. I purchase lemongrass in a jar. It already comes chopped, and keeps really well in the fridge.
Thailand has so many culinary influences, not only from its neighboring countries: Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam , but from western explorers who at one point or another traded with this country. Chilies, for example, are a legacy of the Portuguese traders who brought them from the Americas. Curries were brought by the Indian and Persian traders. The list of influences goes on and on. In this recipe you will find a need for tamarind paste, another key ingredient in most Thai dishes. Tamarind is a brown fruit that comes in a bean-like pod. It is a fruit from the tamarind tree native to Africa. The tamarind traveled to Persia (modern day Iran) where it was named tamar-hindi (Indian date). If you are unable to find tamarind paste you can mix lime juice or white wine vinegar with equal parts of light brown sugar.
As in most Thai dishes that are served in a sauce, coconut milk plays a huge part. I love coconut anything, so Thai red curry chicken is right up my alley. Enjoy it with a serving of jasmine rice; the aromatic, floral quality of this rice is a perfect complement to the spicy flavors of red curry paste. Thai red curry chicken is an easy way to bring an international flair to any weeknight meal.
- 1½ boneless chicken breasts
- 1 small onion sliced
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
- 1 tsp. lemongrass
- 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
- ¼ tsp. brown sugar
- In a skillet heat vegetable oil on medium heat. Quickly saute chicken until it is lightly brown on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and ginger.
- Add the onions and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add in the coconut milk and the curry paste. Stir well.
- Allow the mixture to come to a slight boil. Reduce heat and add the fish sauce, tamarind paste, and lemon grass. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add in the brown sugar and cilantro.
- Serve over jasmine rice.