Chicken Red Curry

The Thai love curry and the sheer variety there is proves that love. From mild, soup like versions to the massaman-style  curries of Thai Muslim heritage. There are countless variations created according to the availability of ingredient and culture. This simple but hearty version is piquant with kaffir lime leaves, pickled bamboo shoots and fish sauce, and is best served with plain white rice. If you ever find yourself in Bangkok’s Chinatown, don’t miss trying the curry from the legendary Khao Gaeng Jake Puey curry stall.

Ingredient | Serves 4-6


¼ cup (60 ml) cooking oil

1 kg chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces

2 cups (500ml) coconut cream, mixed with 2 cups (500 ml) water

200 g pickled bamboo shoot

3 kaffir lime leaves

2 tablespoons fish sauce

salt to taste

sugar to taste

50 g Thai sweet basil, chopped

Curry Paste

10 shallots, peeled

4 garlic cloves, peeled

4 stalk lemon grass, ends trimmed and finely sliced

6 coriander roots

1-cm knob galangal, peeled and sliced

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 kaffir lime, grated for zest

2 kaffir lime leaves, chopped

15-20 dried chilies, seeded, if less spicy curry is preferred, then soak to soften and cut into short length

2 teaspoons dried prawn paste roasted and crumbled
  1. Prepare the curry paste. Using a mortar and pestle or blender, pound or process the ingredients into fine paste
  2. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken and coconut cream. Mix well. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and tender.
  4. Add the bamboo shoot, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, salt, sugar and basil. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. Dish out and serve hot with rice.
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