The rich flavors of Thai red curry chicken combined with a serving of jasmine rice create and easy and delicious weeknight meal. You will love the flavors of the curry, tamarind paste, coconut milk, lemon grass and ginger.
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 she took a Thai food 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 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.
Thai recipes often call 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.
Coconut milk is the star player
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.
Step by step photos
- Gather all your ingredients and have them ready to go. This dish comes together very quickly so have everything prepared: chicken breast cut into 2 inch cubes, a small onion minced, vegetable oil, salt, ground ginger, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, tamarind paste, lemon grass minced, cilantro chopped and brown sugar.
- In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil on medium then quickly sauté the chicken until is lightly brown on all sides.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent.
- Add the coconut milk and give it a stir and this will deglaze the pan.
- Add the Thai red curry paste and stir well to combine. Allow this to come to a slight boil and reduce the heat to low.
- Add the fish sauce and tamarind paste.
- Add the minced lemon grass and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar and stir in then add the chopped cilantro. Serve over jasmine rice.
Frequently asked questions
- Can I make this dish up in advance? Yes you can make this a day ahead and reheat in the microwave and serve over fresh made rice. It reheats very well but do toss on some fresh chopped cilantro.
- How long can I store this dish? I try to use up any leftovers up within one or two days.
- Can I freeze Thai red curry chicken? I would not freeze this as the sauce would have a tendency to split and separate upon thawing and that is not good.
If you want to explore some other tasty Thai recipes here are a few to bookmark for later. Thai beef salad is a great dish for the grilling season and it has a fantastic marinade and homemade peanut lime dressing. Thai coconut chicken soup has that really nice combination of sweet and savory flavors that many Asian dishes bring to the table. If you want dessert then you have to try this Thai mango sticky rice that is rich, sweet and creamy with tangy mango slices.
Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe
The fabulous flavors of ginger, coconut milk, and red curry paste are combined to create a dish that is a favorite in Thailand. Serve with rice and enjoy.
- 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 as this will deglaze the pan for extra flavor.
- 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.
Q: Can I make this dish up in advance?
A: Yes you can make this a day ahead and reheat in the microwave and serve over fresh made rice. It reheats very well but do toss on some fresh chopped cilantro.
Q: How long can I store this dish?
A: I try to use up any leftovers up within one or two days.
Q: Can I freeze Thai red curry chicken?
A: I would not freeze this as the sauce would have a tendency to split and separate upon thawing and that is not good.