Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Classic Thai Green Curry

Kirin Tribe
Thailand is such a beautiful and enchanting place to visit, from up north in Pai with the Kirin Hill Tribe to down south where you can island hop and get a different feel at each one and enjoy amazing sunsets.  The food there was delicious and cheap.  If you want to budget then the street food is where it's at.  My girlfriend and I ate at the little push carts regularly which was really good.  You could get a quick pad thai for a little over $1.  While we were up north, for breakfast in the morning was rice soup with pork balls.  Since it was cold up there in the mountains it was a perfect dish to start the day before embarking on some sight seeing
Sunset on Koh Tao
Then there is the big city of Bangkok.  Lots of people, cars and motorbikes (we're not talking crotch rockets either).  There is a lot of things to see.  You have to be careful not to get ripped off,  because as a farang (what the Thai people call Westerners) it is.  You can be easy pickins for the locals always trying to give you a "good" deal.  I've learned my lesson though.  Even the taxi drivers try to scam you.  I remember this one time we needed to go to the airport and the driver was charging some outrageous price and I told him no, use the meter.  He refused so we got into another taxi and then the guy suddenly changed his mind and said he'd take us but we left him high and dry.
The tuk-tuks were an adventure too.  They are these 3 wheel mini taxis that can weave in and out of traffic and get you to a location not far away.  The downside is they are loud and the exhaust fumes can be a bit much.  They also always try to take you places you don't want to go, for instance a gem store.  They tell you just to go in and look around.  After asking why from a few of them they said that they get a portion of proceeds if we buy anything, great deal huh?  But it's just something you have to experience. 

Hot dog stand??
So I asked my girlfriend what she wanted for dinner and I got "Green curry like in Thailand".    It was so good while there that even though it was hot and humid we'd still order the dish sweating as it was being consumed and enjoying every spoonful.
I used store bought pastes which tasted good but I like to try and make everything from scratch to see how it compares.  I looked in my Thai cook book and found a recipe.  After going to the store to gather all the ingredients I was ready!

Green Curry Paste
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp white peppercorns (I used black)
20 fresh green Thai chillies or a combination of mild and hot chillies
10 cloves of garlic
3 shallots sliced
1 tbsp grated galangal (ginger would also work)
1 tbsp sliced fresh or frozen lemongrass, white part only
2 tbsp sliced kaffir lime rind or lime zest
1 tbsp sliced coriander roots and stems
1 tsp shrimp past
1 tsp salt

Combine the corander, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a small pan and roast over medium heat, stirring constantly for a minute or two until you can smell the nice aromas.  Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper to cool.
Pound the spices in a pestle and mortar until finely ground.  Combine all the ingredients except for the ground spices in a food processor, add a tablespoon of water and process until smooth.  Since I don't have one I used a pestle and mortar.  The 2nd time I made it, after getting a work out from pounding it in the pestle and mortar, I spooned it into my smoothie maker and whizzed it up which just made it a bit more combined.
Stir in the ground spices.  Transfer the paste to a clan jar and refrigerate for up to a week  or divide into 1 tablespoon portions and freeze in ice cube trays.  If you are going to keep the past in the fridge for any lenght of time, pout just enough oil over the top of it to cover.  This will help keep the paste fresh.

Thai Green Curry
1 tbsp oil
3 tbsp green curry paste
2 x 400ml (14 fl oz) cans of coconut milk
450 g (1 lb) chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and sliced (Shrimp and chicken breast would also work)
3 kaffir lime leaves (or 1 tsp grated lime zest)
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp grated palm or soft brown sugar
2 courgettes (zucchini) cut into bit size pieces
2-3 hot red chillies seeded and sliced into long strips
1/4 cup basil leaves

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat and add the curry paste.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
Reduce the heat a little and add the coconut milk.  Stir and cook until an oily film forms on top.
Stir in the chicken and lime leaves (or zest) and simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the fish sauce and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add the cut up courgettes (zucchini) and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and taste.  Adjust seasoning by adding more fish sauce, sugar or chilli as desired.  Top with basil leaves.
Serve with a side of steamed jasmine rice.


  1. I've always wanted to go to Thailand...mainly for the food! Green curry is one of my favorites. I love that you made your own paste too!

  2. I've been to Thailand once years ago and would love to come back sometime. Next to the beautiful beaches, I love Thai street food. This curry looks superb. I'm having a hard time deciding what to have for dinner.. maybe I'll come over. How's that? hehe. I'll bring the drinks.

  3. I can't even begin to express to you how much I adore any Thai food especially curry. I have been to Thailand to and had some delicous street food over there. I have never made my own Thia paste before but I have such a great Thia supermarket close by that sells really authentic paste. I will have to try this though, it looks gorgeous!

  4. Such beautiful scenery and interesting street food. I'm sure it was delicious.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos, and post, I enjoyed reading it.
    Also appreciate that you are sharing the amazing authentic Thai Green Curry Paste!

  5. Love Thai cuisine! The green curry looks extremely delish!

  6. Thanks for sharing your pictures and experiences - those neck rings look painful! Your green curry rocks! I'm impressed that you made your own green curry paste.

  7. Ahhhh I thought you had ceased blogging but it turns out my feeder was not updating! =( Loved the description of you & Nicole eating the spicy Thai food despite the humid weather. Going to catch up on the other entries now....

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