American Kitchen Classic Basic Thai Curry

"Thai curries are brilliant combinations of curry paste, coconut milk, vegetables, and meat, seafood or tofu, punctuated by intoxicating fresh herbs. The flavors are exotic, but they're surprisingly quick to cook (15 minutes maximum) with a nearly identical technique, so they're easy to customize to your own taste with ingredients found in most supermarkets. Have fun mixing and matching to your favorite style of curry."
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Baby Kato
photo by Baby Kato photo by Baby Kato
photo by Starrynews photo by Starrynews
photo by Linky photo by Linky
photo by Jubes photo by Jubes
Ready In:




  • Read the method from start to finish and then choose and prep your ingredients.
  • Curry Base: Shake the can of coconut milk or stir it well (this creates a consistent thickness, since the fat often solidifies at the top). In a 3-4 qt saucepan or wok over medium heat, simmer 1/2 cup of coconut milk, stirring occasionally until reduced by half (3-5 minutes). It will get very thick and shiny and may or may not separate-either is fine.
  • Add your choice of curry paste, whisk well and cook, continuing to whisk, for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and the remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Aromatics/Simmer: Add your choice of aromatics, proteins, vegetables and fruits as well as the brown sugar and fish sauces to the simmering sauce. Be aware that some ingredients take longer than others to cook. Add the ingredients in stages, as listed in the next step.
  • When the aromatics are added, also add your choices of chicken, pork, carrots, onions, eggplant, green beans, Chinese long beans and Kabocha squash.
  • Two minutes later, add your choices of beef, large shrimp, tofu, asparagus, mushrooms, baby corn, green papaya, cabbage, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas.
  • One minute later, add your choices of scallops and firm white fish.
  • One minute later, add your choice of squid, cherry tomatoes, bamboo shoots, snow peas, pineapple and bok choy.
  • Cook for one to two minutes more and check for doneness. The meat, chicken or seafood should be cooked through and the vegetables should be tender-crisp.
  • Remove the curry from the heat and season to taste with the brown sugar and fish sauce. Add a stir-in of your choice. Transfer to a serving bowl or serve right from the pot.
  • Remove the aromatics before serving or tell the guests to eat around them. Serve with your choice of garnishes. The curry can be eaten as is or served with hot cooked rice.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Starrynews
    Yum! We loved this... and all of the options means you could make this dozens of times before having the same dish. This time around, I went with reduced fat coconut milk, red curry paste, chicken broth, lime zest, fresh ginger, chicken, carrots, onions, and bamboo shoots. I garnished with the fresh cilantro, red chili pepper fresh from the garden, and a lime wedge. I served over hot rice to soak up the great sauce. Thanks for sharing! ZWT9
  2. Linky
    I made the mistake of using almost the full amount of green curry paste. It was way too hot for my tender mid-western taste buds! It smelled delightful while cooking, but brought tears to my eyes and burn to my lips. Did I mention I was a wimp? DH liked it and wanted more! I will make again but be more stingy about the curry paste! made for ZWT9 Soup-a-Star
  3. Jubes
    Reviewed for ZWT9 - fantastic recipe Celticevergreen- so many variations and combinations - this really is a dozen recipes in one. I made this using a red Thai curry paste, chicken breast fillet, fresh lime leave, chicken stock, galangal, carrots, onion and capsicums. Garnished with fresh coriander leaves from my garden. Delicious !! A definite make again recipe. This recipe could be easily tamed for anyone who does not like curries with heat by using less of the curry paste. Photo also to be posted
  4. Baby Kato
    My what a wonderful curry this was, so good. Quick and easy to make, easy to vary. We loved it. From all the options listed I added: coconut cream, organic chicken broth, red curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, sirloin steak, carrots, onions, red peppers, lime leaves, lemon grass and ginger. I served over jasmine steamed rice and garnished with green onion, minced lime leaves and minced thai red chili pepper, for an amazing meal. Sweet, hot and spicy. Thanks so much for sharing. Made for Think Pink 2014.
  5. Tahitia
    Yum yum!!! I put tuna in there with green curry, and it was delicious. Also : I didn't have fish sauce, but I substituted it for oyster sauce and I don't think it made much of a difference. Thanks, this will now be my go-to recipe for curry-creation!



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