Thai Green Curry in a Hurry

April 8th, 2009 by katie

So, we aren’t exactly curry people.  As in, we don’t do curry.  We don’t like it and we don’t eat it.  Or at least that’s what we’ve been telling ourselves for years.  Then mrChaos ordered the green curry at our local thai place on a whim and after fighting over the leftovers we decided that maybe we are curry people after all-or at least this curry.  The ingredients listed for this dish were simple and nonthreatening: chicken, zucchini, bamboo shoots, peas, basil, and coconut milk.  The sauce was creamy and slightly sweet with the fresh scent of ginger and lemon grass.  It didn’t look too hard and I was craving it again almost immediately, so I set out to make it at home.  A search of the internet for “thai green curry” yielded lots of recipes containing exotic ingredients like galangal, keffir limes, and lemon grass.  Ingredients that looked amazingly flavorful but that I knew would be difficult to find in my local suburban grocery stores.

So I did what I always do when I want to make a cultural recipe that is unfamiliar-I go to the source.  Houston is a multicultural hub and I happen to work with many people from all over the world.  My coworker told me how she makes it for her family, using typical grocery store ingredients.  It sounded easy and simple and after picking up some coconut milk and green curry paste I was ready to go.

The flavor of our curry was spot on if just not as bright tasting as the original.  The success of this recipe will depend a lot on your curry paste so use the best you can find.  I would love to make my own curry paste one day soon but for now I will be playing around with this recipe.  It is a good, quick “curry in a hurry” even if it is not completely authentic or exotic.

Thai Green Curry in a Hurry

serves 4, prep 20 minutes, cook 20 min
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small piece (about 2 inch) ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp green curry paste (depends how hot you like it, start small and taste!)
  • 1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 small zucchini, julienned
  • 1/3 cup bamboo shoots, julienned
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  1. Heat oil to medium high and add chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, and curry paste.
  2. Saute lightly until veggies are warm, then add coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar, bring to a simmer.
  3. When chicken is cooked through (about 10 minutes), add basil, zucchini, bamboo shoots, and peas.
  4. Cook until veggies are tender and correct seasoning as desired with salt, sugar, or more curry paste.
  5. Serve over rice.

Cost Analysis:

  • 1 lb all-natural chicken: $3.99
  • 1 can coconut milk: $1.79
  • 3 zucchini: $1.46
  • 1 can bamboo shoots: $1.09
  • 1 tbsp Thai green curry paste: $0.34 (all the grocery stores around here have Thai Kitchen brand but I prefer Mae Ploy)
  • Total Cost for 4 servings: $8.67 or $2.17 per serving

Updated We make this curry all of the time!  It is so quick and comforting.  You can use whatever vegetables you like and substitute shrimp or white fish for the chicken.  I especially love it with Cod!

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Posted in Fast, Main Dish

7 Responses

  1. Melissa

    You know how much I want to leap through the screen into that bowl. Even though at some point, like you said, I want to make my own curry paste, for now this will be more than fine. I want I want!!

    “(depends how hot you’d like it, start small)”

    So was the 1 tbsp medium hot or pretty mild? I like mine very hot, so I’d love to have a gauge.

    With that particular curry paste 1 tbsp was waaaay mild we actually added chili sauceto give it more heat. It all depends on the curry paste so I hope to find some stronger stuff! -Katie

  2. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    I’ve never had curry in my life. Is it hot like “pepper” hot?

    The green curry paste is made from green peppers and other spices, so it could potentially be really spicy. Our curry paste was really mild and the dish wasn’t hot at all, I probably could have added most of the jar and it would not have been too spicy. So you do have some control over the spiciness. This dish is really different from what you think of when you think “curry.” At least, for me! -Katie

  3. Cheryl

    I had a similar experience with my family the first time I made a Thai curry. I was sure they’d scoff, but both of my sons devoured it… three cheers for taking risks!

  4. heidileon

    oh, I adore, totally adore curries and green one is my all times favorite. No meat on it and spicy with lots of steamed thai rice. yummy 🙂

  5. Lynn

    I made this tonight. Really good. Added some slices of lime to give another level of flavor. mmmmm…good

  6. Sashabenson

    This was the best green Thai curry I’ve made.

  7. Sashabenson

    This was the best green Thai curry I’ve made. I will defiantly make it again.

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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