Thai red curry with coconut

When I check out new Thai restaurants, I always order the same dish – a red coconut curry with some meat and veggies. It helps me establish a baseline of quality and helps me decide whether to return to the restaurant in the future. (I do the same thing with sushi restaurants – I always order the chirashizushi.)

But who says I have to go out to enjoy a good curry? I consulted my absolute favorite Thai cookbook (Real Thai, a book so awesome that it is still in print after 15 years) and modified the recipe for Gaeng Peht Neua (red beef curry) using the ingredients that I had in the cupboard.

1 can coconut milk (buy one that has coconut cream in the top third of the can)
2 T red curry paste (I buy this, but you can make your own)
1 large chicken breast, sliced thin
4 small yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1 T fish sauce
1 t sugar
1/4 t salt
steamed white rice (I cooked mine in chicken broth)

Put a pan on medium heat as you open the can of coconut cream. Scoop out the coconut cream and toss it into the hot pan. Let it sizzle and watch the oil separate out. Add the curry paste and smash it around with a spatula to break it up and mix it with the cream. Let it heat for a minute or two to bring out the aroma.

Add the chicken, mix it around the sauce. When it’s bubbling, add the rest of the can of coconut milk and potatoes. Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, and salt. Raise the heat slightly until you get a gentle simmer, then turn the heat back to medium. When the potatoes are nearly done, add the pepper and simmer until the pepper is no longer crisp. Serve over rice.

15 thoughts on “Thai red curry with coconut

  1. I feel like crying, that sounds so delicious. Thanks for the recipe! I’m going to give that a try this week. I’m going to have a hard time finding some red curry paste; I think I’ll have to look for it on Tuesday when I’m in the city. Where we live right now is woefully lacking in ethnic grocery.

  2. I love curry! But DH does not. Just last week I had everything set out for curry chicken and when I opened the curry jar found out that he had DUMPED the content!!! No curry! I had to improvise and came up with something not too bad. I still want to curry! Do you have a recipe?

  3. Hi, June! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll have to try it sometime soon, it looks really yummy! How have you been doing lately? Are you recovering from your “summer of fun?”

  4. Ooooooooooh yum! *drool* I love red curry, I’m partial to a red curry with duck, Thai basil, and tomatoes that they make at Taste of Thailand up here. It’s so good. I’m going to have to give this one a try – I’ve got everything but the red curry paste here.

  5. June, I love Thai food as well. Unfortunately, there is only one Thai restaurant where I live, but they are very good at what they do. About once a week I eat there- I love curry puffs with cucumber sauce, spicy chicken pad thai, and chicken in Masaman sauce. I think Masaman is much like your red curry receipt, except there is a strong presence of cinnamon and cardamom. Do you drink milky, sugary Thai iced tea with your meal?

    You mentioned you purchase your curry paste. Which brand do you prefer? Thank you!

  6. Red Thai curry is one of my most favorite foods in the world. I like to go to the store and buy a boat load of all my favorite veggies and some fresh basil and just throw them all in with about 3 cans of coconut milk (one of light, 2 of reg) and the appropriate amount of curry paste and fish sauce. I have curry for days and am happy to eat it meal after meal.

    I’m making myself even hungrier now.

  7. I used to make a big pot of red curry for me and my friends when I was in grad school. I used the recipe from Thai kitchen – either on the jar of red curry paste or on the can of coconut milk. If you’re short on coconut milk you can use 1/2 regular milk too. I think I started with oil and garlic in the bottom, but then pretty much just tossed everything in until it was cooked! I even put the jasmine rice into it – it was easy to reheat then for lunches.

  8. That curry looks great. I must make some curry for the family tomorrow. I took a series of Thai cooking classes and the teacher swears by the 3 crab on the front fish sauce. I’ve never done a taste test on fish sauce (shudder), I just believed him.

  9. Ha, thai red curry is the dish that made us realise we couldn’t live in Alturas, California (way up in the NE corner). We stopped at the thai restaurant (the only restaurant there open in the evening there I think) and ordered it and it was so awful that it made me mad. I mean, c’mon, it can be so delicious. It made Nick sick.

    It’s a great baseline, as you say.

  10. I did your Thai red curry…I used yellow curry and added some Thai basil and staw mushrooms. It was so delicious! My guys have requested the same thing for tonight’s dinner. They also said to thank you for sharing the recipe. Thumbs up!!

  11. Hi, I haven’t read your blog for awhile. So sorry you were ill. How scary – I wondered why I hadn’t seen you for a while. Glad you are on the mend. I closed the shop Oct. 30th – moved out to Carver. Take Care.

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