Verdict: This is the only recipe you will ever need for Thai curry. Once you are comfortable with how to prepare the dish, there are unlimited combinations of curry, meat and veggie to try.
Hey everyone! For my first post, I wanted to share a recipe we turn to often. We used it a lot when I first moved to Calgary from Vancouver in March 2010. It encompasses the elements that I love about home cooking: simple, hearty and healthy. Under time pressure I’ve been able to make this, from start to finish, in 20 minutes flat.
Growing up, I learned to associate food with spending quality time with loved ones. Regardless of how busy things got, our family always tried to have dinner together. When I first moved to Calgary (marking my first time living away), I tried to recreate that tradition with Sunday “family dinners” with my new roommates. I’ll admit, I was also trying to woo them into thinking I was a worthy roommate. I would later need their adoration to get away with listening to music too loudly – at all hours.
Among the meals we cooked on Sunday nights, I remember the Thai curries the most vividly. The sweet and spicy curry paste, the fragrance of simmering coconut milk, the fresh cooked rice. My roommates, who weren’t crazy about cooking, asked for lessons on how to make this dish and soon after, not a month went by without one of us making Thai curry. At first, we went crazy with the ingredients. Being health conscious, we used to overload the curry with as many different vegetables as we could. Over time, I’ve learned that the curry really shines when you have one meat item and a maximum of four vegetables.
We’ve made many different Thai curries over the years and I find the green curry with chicken and broccoli the easiest and most approachable. You’ll only need to stray from your regular grocery shopping routine for the Thai curry pastes, coconut milk and fish sauce which can be found in the International (Asian/Indian) aisle in most grocery stores. I’ve yet to find kaffir lime leaves in Calgary though. To get started, I recommend buying the red and green curry pastes first. They last over a year in the fridge and make for a quick weeknight dinner.
Note that the following recipe is a basic guide for making Thai curries. In the future, you’ll see many more permutations of this recipe as we always have a few jars of Thai curry pastes in the fridge. If you make this only once, you’ll be surprised how quick and delicious it is to make home made curries. If you’re like us, you may love making homemade Thai curries so much, you lose interest in restaurant varieties completely.
Green Thai Curry – Chicken with Broccoli
Note 1: Begin this recipe by cooking your rice. If you’re really strapped for time, follow the recipe until step 3 and while the coconut curry mixture simmers, cut your veggies and the meat.
Note 2: This recipes can be cut in half and freezes very well. Freeze the curry on its own or with cooked rice on side.
Serves: 6 – 8 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 2 cans coconut milk (use light coconut milk if you prefer)
- 3 – 4 tablespoon green curry paste
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar, preferable cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- about 2 cups chicken, diced into bite sized pieces
- 4-6 Kaffir lime leaves or zest of 1 lime *optional
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- about 1.5 cups of broccoli, with stems
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- about 10 whole peppercorns *optional but goes so well with the green curry flavours
- about 1/4 cups water (to thin out and make more soupy, less thick)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Siracha hot sauce – optional
- Sweet basil leaves (for garnish)
1. Open the cans of coconut milk and skim off the top layer of thick cream, about 4 tablespoons worth. Stir the remaining coconut milk to reincorporate the remaining coconut cream.
2. Pour the oil into a large pot and set over high heat. When oil is hot, carefully add the coconut cream and the curry paste. Stir the paste around until it is lightly browned and the oil has separated from the coconut in the cream. You have just created curry infused coconut cream.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add the the coconut milk, the fish sauce and sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer, uncovered (it’ll quickly boil over otherwise) for about 5 – 10 minutes.
4. Add the chicken and kaffir lime leaves (if using) to the coconut curry mixture and simmer for an additional 5 – 7 minutes. Then add the carrots and broccoli stems, let it simmer for 3 minutes. Next, add the broccoli florets, red peppers and whole peppercorns (if using). Simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
5. Cut into a piece of chicken to ensure it is cooked through. It should no longer be pink. Taste the curry. If needed, add about 1/4 cup of water to thin it out. You can add more or less water, depending on your preference for the coconut taste and consistency. Also, add Siracha hot sauce if you like a spice to your curry.
6. Serve with white or jasmine rice. For a nicer presentation, stuff the cooked rice in a small bowl, then turn the bowl upside down on a plate and tap it until the rice ball falls out. Next, pour a good portion of curry into a medium sized bowl, and place it next to the rice ball and serve. You may want to garnish it with sweet basil leaves before serving.