This fragrant Thai green curry with chicken is so spicy and aromatic. You need surprisingly few ingredients to make this Thai green chicken curry, but it packs a punch that Mohammed Ali himself would have been proud of. Add your own choice of vegetables and make this easy dish yourself in only 30 minutes.
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Thai green chicken curry
This Thai green curry with chicken is an explosion of flavour. It's fragrant and aromatic, yet spicy at the same time. But not so spicy that it blows your head off. This dish has just the right balance of heat and flavour so that you can actually taste what you are eating.
It has sweetness from coconut milk and sourness from limes. It has bitterness from lemongrass, saltiness from fish sauce and heat from the Thai curry paste. This is a dish that will make you want to lick your plate clean.
It also contains lots of vegetables, so all you will need to turn this delicious Thai green chicken curry into a family feast is a dish of fragrant Jasmine white rice.
Yet despite all the flavours, it is surprisingly easy to make and needs only a few ingredients. If you want to up the heat level, you could add extra chilli flakes, but that's down to your personal preference.
Hands down, this is a restaurant-quality dish that you will be making time and time again.
If you enjoy Thai food as much as I do, you are going to love this recipe. Why not try this other recipe for Pad Thai Noodles too?
In a nutshell, these are the easy steps:
- marinade the chicken
- prepare the vegetables
- sear the chicken and set aside
- prepare the sauce and cook the vegetables
- add the seared chicken and heat through
Let me show you how quickly you can prepare this dish.
**Get the exact ingredient measurements for this Thai green curry chicken on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
These are the ingredients you will need.
- Chicken breasts - for this recipe you could use chicken breasts or chicken tenderloin filets which have been cut into 1-inch pieces. If you prefer you could use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You will need 100 grams (or 3 and a half ounces) of chicken per person (depending on your appetite).
- Vegetables - your own choice of vegetables. I've used broccoli, pak choi and green beans, which should be cut into bite-sized pieces. You can use your own choice of vegetables, why not try carrots that have been cut into batons, sugar snaps or baby corn?
- Onions - for my taste I wouldn't omit the onions. I like to separate them into petals and fry them gently until softened.
- Beansprouts - optional, but recommended.
- Bamboo shoots - one again, optional but recommended. I like the crunch that the bamboo shoots add to the meal. I normally use
- Coconut milk - when you open a can of coconut milk you will probably find that there is a thick layer of coconut cream on top with a thinner layer of coconut milk underneath. This is perfectly fine. Just tip the entire tin into the curry and stir it around until the cream has dissolved.
- Curry paste - my favourite brand is Blue Dragon (available in the UK - but I'm not sure about the rest of the world). I used an entire 170-gram jar (roughly 5 and a half ounces).
- Garlic and ginger - For convenience, I tend to use ready-minced garlic and ginger from jars, but if you prefer to use fresh ginger and garlic, this is absolutely fine. Just make sure that the garlic and ginger have been finely chopped.
- Lemongrass paste - I like to add extra lemongrass paste as I find the curry paste doesn't have enough. It depends on your own brand of curry paste as to whether you add more or not. If you have fresh lemongrass you could add a bruised lemongrass stalk to the dish. Remove it before serving.
- Fish sauce - for the same reason, I always add extra fish sauce. The fish sauce doesn't smell too appealing when you take it from the bottle, but once added to the sauce it adds a deliciously salty element and doesn't taste 'fishy' at all.
- Lime juice - adds a subtle citrus element. Substitute with lemon juice if you can find lime juice. I use bottled lime juice, but if you have a fresh lime you could squeeze that into the sauce.
- Cornflour - this is used both for marinating the chicken and optionally to thicken the sauce.
- Freshly chopped coriander - for garnish.
- Sunflower oil - not pictured - for browning the chicken and onions.
- Salt and sugar - not pictured, and optional - for seasoning.
What to do
I like to get all the preparation done up front because once you start cooking the dish everything happens quite quickly.
Prepare the vegetables
- Cut the onions into quarters and separate the petals.
- Cut the beans into 2" lengths.
- Separate the broccoli into florets.
- Rinse the pak choi under running water to remove any dirt from between the leaves, and chop it roughly.
Cut the chicken into chunks and combine it with curry paste and cornflour. Set it aside to marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.
Heat sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the chicken pieces so that they sear on the outside. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
There is no need to cook the chicken pieces completely. They will continue to cook once they are added back to the sauce.
Top tip - do make sure to brown the chicken over high heat. A low heat will cause the chicken to lose moisture and will make it dry and tough.
Prepare the sauce
Using the same pan, add another splash of oil if necessary and fry the onions until they are translucent. Scrape the bottom of the pan with your spatula to pick up any bits of chicken that may have been left behind.
Once the onions have softened, add the spices and flavouring ingredients (curry paste, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime juice, fish sauce). Stir well to coat the onions and fry for one minute.
Top tip - to soften the onions, turn the heat to very low, cover the pan with a lid and let the onions steam for 3 to 4 minutes until softened.
Add the coconut milk. You may find that the can of coconut milk has a thick layer of coconut cream on top with the thinner milk underneath. This is perfectly fine. Simply stir the coconut milk into the pan until the cream dissolves.
Add the prepared vegetables along with the bamboo shoots and beansprouts and turn up the heat to a strong simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.
Add the meat back
Add the chicken back to the pan and cover with a lid.
Continue to cook for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
I haven't included salt in this recipe as the fish sauce is quite salty. Taste and add salt if required.
If you feel you need to add a touch of sweetness, stir in half a teaspoon of sugar.
If the sauce is too thin you can thicken it with a slurry of 1 teaspoon of cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of water. Just drizzle it into the curry slowly, over low heat, stirring all the while, until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve immediately with a side dish of jasmine rice.
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Freezing and storage
Leftovers may be frozen. Just allow them to cool and then pack them into a rigid plastic container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Just bear in mind when freezing this curry that the texture of the vegetables may alter slightly on freezing and they may lose their crispness once defrosted and re-heated.
To reheat - defrost and then tip into a large saucepan. Heat gently until piping hot.
Any leftover rice can also be successfully frozen and reheated.
You could also make this dish in advance and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
The rice can also be stored in the refrigerator for the same length of time.
You can make this Thai green curry recipe with a variety of different proteins.
Any of these will work well
- raw shrimp or prawns - marinate as per the chicken, and fry until they turn pink, but only add to the curry once the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- firm white fish (such as cod or haddock) cut into cubes. Marinate as per the chicken and fry carefully until just cooked. Add the fish cubes to the curry once the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Take care not to stir in too vigorously or the fish will break into flakes.
- pork - use a cut of pork from the leg, or even the tenderloin, as this will require less cooking time than shoulder or belly pork. Slice the pork thinly, then follow the recipe, substituting the pork for chicken.
- beef - use any good cut of beef steak, or topside or sirloin, thinly sliced. Follow the recipe, substituting the beef for the chicken.
In addition, if you prefer a spicier version you could add either a chopped chilli or dried chilli flakes to the sauce.
Commercially bottled Thai green curry paste normally contains these ingredients - Coconut Cream, Garlic, Palm Sugar, Shallot, Green Chillies, Lemongrass, Galangal,
Yeast Extract Powder, Sweet Basil, Salt, Kaffir Lime Peel, Coriander Seeds, Sugar, White Pepper and Turmeric.
Thai green curry is milder and more fragrant than Thai red curry. Thai red curry contains far more chilli than green curry.
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You may also like to try these other Thai-inspired recipes
Thai green curry with chicken
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 pound / 450 grams chicken breast fillets cubed
- 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste from a jar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil for frying the chicken
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 2 tablespoon lemongrass paste
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch ginger peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 14 ounce / 400 g can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- 1 small lime juice and zest only
- 1 large onion
- 1 head pak choi
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup beansprouts
- 2 - 3 tablespoons bamboo shoots from a can
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander for garnish
- Cut the chicken into chunks and combine it with curry paste, salt and cornflour. Set it aside to marinade for 10 to 15 minutes.1 pound / 450 grams chicken breast fillets, 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, 2 tablespoons cornflour / cornstarch, ½ teaspoon salt
- Cut the onions into quarters and separate the petals. Cut the beans into 2-inch lengths. Separate the broccoli into florets. Rinse the pak choi under running water to remove any dirt from between the leaves, and chop it roughly.1 large onion, 1 head pak choi, 1 cup green beans, 1 cup broccoli florets
- Zest the lime and squeeze the juice into a cup.1 small lime
- Heat sunflower oil in a large frying pan and fry the marinated chicken pieces so that they sear on the outside. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Reserve any leftover marinade to add to the sauce.2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Using the same pan, add another splash of oil if necessary and fry the onions until they are translucent. Scrape the bottom of the pan with your spatula to pick up any bits of chicken that may have been left behind.
- Once the onions have softened, add the spices and flavouring ingredients along with any leftover marinade. Stir well to coat the onions and fry for one minute.3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, 2 tablespoon lemongrass paste, 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch ginger, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar
- Add the coconut milk. You may find that the can of coconut milk has a thick layer of coconut cream on top with the thinner milk underneath. This is perfectly fine. Simply stir the coconut milk into the pan until the cream dissolves.14 ounce / 400 g can coconut milk
- Add the prepared vegetables along with the bamboo shoots and beansprouts and turn up the heat to a strong simmer. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften1 cup beansprouts, 2 - 3 tablespoons bamboo shoots
- Add the chicken back to the pan and cover with a lid.
- Continue to cook for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
- Thicken the sauce (optional) with a slurry made from a tablespoon of cornflour/cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.
- Remove from the heat and sprinkle with chopped coriander. Serve with a bowl of jasmine rice.2 tablespoons chopped coriander
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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