Thai Green Chicken Curry
Thai curry is an incredibly simple dish to make, assuming you use pre-made curry paste from the store rather than making your own. Even making your own curry paste is not so difficult, but the multitude of hard-to-find herbs and spices you need to grind up for just a teensy portion was enough inclination for me to just buy the paste. I used Maesri brand green curry paste that I got from my local Thai specialty store.
I have a love/hate relationship with spicy foods: I love the taste but curse myself when tears are streaming down my face and I am chugging water to put out the fire (to no avail). The green curry version I make is mild to medium heat. If you want it spicier, add more curry paste and maybe some chili peppers. You can also substitute water for some of the coconut milk, as the coconut fat helps alleviate the heat. And then vice versa, to make the curry less spicy, add less curry paste and more coconut milk.
CHOW: A Taste of Love had a recipe that I liked the most, especially with its plating suggestions. I combined different elements of other recipes to come up with the result below. Curry makes for a great meal all year round – in the winter, it will warm you right up! And in the summer, as Mitch pointed out, sweating it out will make you cool down faster :)
Thai Green Chicken Curry (courtesy of CHOW)
Yields: 8 servings
- 2 lbs chicken (I used a combo of cubed breasts and drumettes)
- 2 14oz cans of coconut milk
- 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 stalks of green onion, chopped
- 2 large Japanese eggplants, sliced into 1/4″ cubes
- 1 bunch of Thai basil, chiffonade
In a large Ziploc bag, mix the chicken with 1 tbsp of green curry paste and 2 tbsp of soy sauce. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Shake the bag once in a while so the flavors are dispersed evenly. While the chicken is marinating, you can chop up all your vegetables.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot or wok over the stove-top. Sauté the chicken until browned. Remove the chicken and place aside. I do this to give the chicken a crispy crust, and to let the curry paste flavors open up.
Using the same pot (don’t want to waste any of the brown bits of spice and herbed flavor!), add some more oil, then the garlic, green onion and eggplant. Stir occasionally until the eggplant becomes translucent.
Next, add 1 tbsp of green curry paste. It is very important to stir-fry the paste first to let the flavors open up before adding any liquids. Stir-fry the paste for a minute, mixing with the vegetables and add the Thai basil. Slowly stir in 2 cans of coconut milk. Bring to a boil and let simmer. Add the chicken back to the pot.
20 minutes is enough to get the curry serve-ready, but the longer you let the curry simmer (2 hours if you have the time), the more the flavors will infuse. Serve with rice and enjoy!