March 15, 2012

Thai Green Curry Chicken (or, Kaeng Khiao Wan Kai)

Kaeng Khiao Wan Kai:  Sweet Green Curry with Chicken

Thai green curry with chicken is one of Thailand's signature dishes (and, one of my favorites!).  It's easy to make and not terribly spicy.  If you want to bump up the heat a notch or two, add more green curry paste. 

True confession:  The first time I made this recipe I added 8 tablespoons of green curry paste because I LIKE IT HOT!  Well, not quite THAT hot.  I am pretty sure I was breathing fire for the rest of the night.  So, 1 tablespoon is quite a safe and tasty amount.  Enjoy!

NPR reported HERE that eating spicy foods is known to cut triglycerides (a certain fat).  Check out the Penn State study HERE.


  • 2 t. vegetable oil  
  • 1 Tbsp. green curry paste (more if you like yours hot - I do!)
  • 5 Kaffir lime leaves (I couldn't find Kaffir lime leaves locally so I bought a tree HERE).
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 c. eggplant, peeled and cubed into 1/2" pieces
  • 4 chicken thighs, cut into cubes, marinated in fish sauce for 1 hour
  • 1 can straw mushrooms, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup basil, chiffonade (chiffonade is a cooking technique in which herbs, such as spinach and basil, are cut into long, thin strips) 
  • 2 t. fish sauce (I am brand loyal to Squid Brand)
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar


  • Heat oil in pan
  • Add green curry paste and cook 3 or 4 minutes over medium heat (this toasts the spices and brings out a wonderful aroma)
  • Bruise Kaffir lime leaves and add to pan
  • Add coconut milk and water and cook for 3 or 4 minutes minutes, stirring intermittently
  • Add cubed eggplant
  • Add cut chicken, cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes
  • Add straw mushrooms and fresh basil (TIP:  always add fresh herbs at the very end of cooking)
  • Add fish sauce and sugar, cooking while stirring for 3 or 4 minutes
  • Remove the lime leaves before serving


Serve atop your favorite steamed rice or with round rice noodles.  I serve mine with rice and use a rice cooker.  Rice cookers are inexpensive and produce perfect rice every time.  Mine has a timer so I can set it and forget it.   

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think.   Enjoy!

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