Thai red curry recipe

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  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken breast

Thai red chicken curry with fresh coriander and lime, finished with a light coconut milk or cream sauce.

Warwickshire, England, UK

42 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 large chicken breast fillets, cut into cubes
  • 5 to 6 shallots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 medium-hot chilli peppers
  • 1 thumb size piece root ginger or galangal
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
  • small sprig fresh basil
  • 5 to 6 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tim coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 large sprig fresh coriander

MethodPrep:1hr ›Cook:3hr ›Extra time:12hr marinating › Ready in:16hr

  1. Whisk together the soy sauce and brown sugar, pour over chicken and marinate the chicken for as long as possible or overnight in the fridge. Take chicken out of the fridge a few hours before cooking.
  2. Seal the chicken in a hot pan, just until lightly coloured.Put to one side for now.
  3. In a hot pan using a touch of oil, sweat the shallots, garlic and fresh chilli for a minute. Add the ginger and tomatoes; reduce for about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the ingredients that you have just cooked into a blender, then add lime juice, cinnamon, red pepper and fish sauce too. Blend the mix together to create a smooth paste. Pour the sauce over the chicken into a large pan for cooking out.
  5. Leave this on a low heat, just so it's just slightly simmering for about 2 hours. Add a little water from time to time to prevent drying out. 30 minutes before the end of cooking, add the fresh basil, Kaffir lime leaves, and then the whole can of coconut milk.
  6. Just before serving, add the fresh coriander, and a squeeze of lime.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(6)

Reviews in English (5)

This looks a great recipe but can someone tell me what to marinate the chicken in.-29 Sep 2011

made this 3 times in two weeks! love it and really dose impress everyone when I can say I didn't use any curry paste/jars!I marinated the chicken in soya sauce and brown sugar, mixed it smells honey like and lovely!-14 Aug 2013

same deal what do you marinate the chicken in???? looks easy and would like to try it-05 Jun 2012

A very small electric blender or electric coffee grinder makes this a quick job. If available, a very heavy stone mortar and pestle with at least a 2 cup bowl is traditional and makes a better textured paste.

  • 25-30 small dried hot red chile peppers (up to 70 if you really like it hot, hot)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2-3 stalks of fresh lemon grass
  • 2 1/2-3 tbsp shrimp paste (ka-pee in Thai)
  • 1/4 inch piece fresh turmeric or 1/8 tsp. dried turmeric

In the mortar and pestle or electric blender, grind together the dried chiles and salt. Allow at least 20 minutes by hand, or a couple of minutes with a blender. It should be smooth with just a hint of chile pieces. Add the garlic cloves and pound until smooth.

Cut off the very root end of the lemon grass. Remove outer leaves and discard. Cut the lemon grass crosswise into 1/8-inch pieces with a very sharp knife. Add to the ground chiles, along with the turmeric. Grind again until smooth. Your arm will tire, so take a break.

Last of all, add the shrimp paste and blend together, mashing it into the chilies gently if you are using the mortar and pestle.

Ingredients needed for Best Thai Red Curry Recipe:

  • Olive Oil – This is needed for sautéing the ginger and garlic.
  • Ginger & Garlic – These are necessary for flavor. You will smell them immediately during the sauté process!
  • Curry Paste – Use one 4 oz. bottle of Thai Red Curry Paste.
  • Coconut Milk – I recommend using a full-fat coconut milk for this recipe.
  • Chicken Broth – One cup of lower sodium chicken broth is all you need.
  • Lime Zest – This adds some brightness to the sauce. So good.
  • Sugar – To balance the flavors.
  • Seasonings – Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes (optional, but good).

Short on time but still want to make delicious Curry?

Try our highly rated ready-made Nittaya brand Curry Paste.

"intensely delicious curries without the effort."

Main image ©iStockphoto.com/Surakit Harntongkul Recipe & other images © Temple of Thai 2010
Thai Red Curry

Mortar & Pestle

The mortar and pestle is an invaluable tool for making your own curry paste. If you're serious about making Thai food you need one of these in your kitchen!

Fresh Curry Paste

Curry paste always tastes best if you make your own. However it's a time consuming process so we recommend Nittaya curry paste as an alternative.


The hard work is making the curry paste. Once this is prepared only only a few ingredients are needed for the curry. Enlarge image here

Curry in the Pot

Once you've prepared your delicious red curry, all you need to do is serve it with beautiful, white, steamed Thai Jasmine Rice.


  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 60g baby corn
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 150ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 160g baby plum tomatoes
  • 50g mangetout
  • 1⁄2 x 425g tin lychees, optional


  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2cm piece fresh ginger
  • 5 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 lemongrass stalks
  • 3 fresh red chillies
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, optional
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1⁄2 roasted red pepper from a jar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1⁄2 lime
  • 10g fresh coriander, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 50ml water

Thai red curry paste

This Thai Red Curry Paste recipe is a RecipeTin Family effort, refined over years with multiple family meals during which we critiqued the latest version.

We’re a tough crowd, when it comes to each other. We don’t hold back punches. You should have heard the critiques for the earlier versions. “It lacks complexity!” -> “Something’s missing… I don’t know what. Something’s missing!“-> “It’s nice, but it’s brown not red.” -> “Why is it gritty?” “The veggies are too soft, the chicken’s not tender enough” -> “It’s almost there! Almost!” ?

Actually, the cook is usually the toughest critic. We’re pretty hard on ourselves!

But finally, the whole RecipeTin Family approves and we declare this curry paste to be The One. A Thai Red Curry Paste that’s totally doable by any home cook that makes a Thai Red Curry that rivals those served by the best Thai restaurants in Sydney – and we are known for great Thai food here!

Easy Homemade Thai Red Curry

Posted By Savita

Easy Thai Red Curry dinner with homemade Thai Red Curry Paste. Flavored with sweetness of coconut and dry spices, this Thai curry is a versatile sauce which will make any protein or veggie taste scrumptious! Today, I made Thai Chicken Curry but really you can use any protein or veggies you prefer. Tofu, tempeh, veggies-only, or even seafood will taste delicious in this spiced coconut curry sauce. Gluten Free and Dairy Free. If you choose a veggie protein, it can also be Vegan.

Oh, and don't forget to read notes on how to use this recipe. The paste for this recipe is "Mother Red Curry Paste". It can be used to make many variations. The preparation you see in pictures and in directions is spicy version which is often referred as "Panag Curry" in Thai cuisine.

I had one goal behind working on this fully homemade Thai red curry recipe:

Take "complex" out of red curry paste and log an easy Red Curry recipe which you can cook in minutes, in comfort of your home. For this reason, every time I planned to share this recipe. I postponed. Honestly, I have so much to share that my post was not convincing me. Finally, today I completed it.. If you missed me yesterday? I can assure you, this recipe will compensate. :)

So, let's not wait and dig in! Make some Red Thai Curry! Shall we?

I love Thai food! Thai food has spices and chilies which make me very happy. Plus it always is so flavorful with balance of heat and sweet, and of course can be loaded with veggies. What not to like?!

Easy Thai Green Curry recipe and Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps are two of my favorite Thai creations! Staple in dinner and in parties!

Can't believe I'm going to tell you this.. In terms of balance of flavors, I enjoy Mexican and Thai Food even more than Indian food. OMG! I just said that! Truth is finally out!

Take for instance, this Thai Red Curry. Once you have Red Thai Curry Paste.. options and choices of dishes are endless. To control the flavor of Curry, I divide the paste into two parts:

1) Base Thai Red Curry Paste
2) Dry Spice Blend

Using a mix of above two, you can make red curry as spicy or mild as preferred. Please note spicy does not mean "hot" as with chili flakes, but spiced.

Thai Red Curry Paste:

A day before making thai red curry paste, I make sure to buy all the ingredients. A traditional red curry paste has garlic, red thai chilies, lemongrass. shallots. fresh ginger root (or galangal if you can find), and cilantro. To make the paste, I rough chop all these ingredients and then process in food processor to get a paste. If processor is not able to make fine paste, I add a few tablespoons of oil to help making paste. Oil also act as natural preservative and keeps paste fresh longer.

I don't mix in dry spices, used in red curry, while making the paste. You can get max flavor from dry spices by roasting them. If I have all dry spices whole, I like to dry roast'em and then grid using a mortar-pestle or a coffee grinder. Once I have the spice blend, I keep in air-tight container in pantry. I enjoy it best when added fresh while cooking the Thai Red Curry. If you feel it is an extra step. Feel free to mix it in the paste. However, I do recommend following the recipe instructions and using dry spices separately for first time. I can tell you will not like to mix the two ever again. Plus the opportunity to control the spices it offers is priceless in home cooking!

Homemade Thai red curry paste is perfect for making ahead. It can be kept refrigerated for up-to 2 weeks. Can also be frozen in ice-cubes for long shelf life and later use.

The red curry paste recipe is complete vegan and gluten free. There is nothing other than few fresh ingredients and spices. Very clean and healthy if you ask me. Also, to make curry, I have used coconut milk which is traditional is Thai cooking. Coconut also gives Thai curry mild sweetness and coconut flavor which is MUST in a good Coconut Thai curry!

I like to use low-fat organic coconut milk. However, any coconut milk will work for this recipe. Just make sure to buy good quality and without preservatives.

Once Thai Red Curry paste is ready. And I have picked other ingredients for red curry like coconut milk, veggies, and protein.. Curry comes together in almost same time the protein cooks. Protein for Thai curry, such as chicken is small diced. So it cooks very fast.

Today, I made Thai Curry Chicken with bell peppers, baby corns, onion, and scallion. Baby corn is so traditional to a good Thai curry that I had to find some for post. However, you can use any veggies you like. Broccoli, beans, celery, carrots all go well in this curry.

To make Thai Curry Chicken, I start by sauteing the chicken with spices, red curry paste, and little bit coconut milk to develop flavor and also to cook chicken.

Once chicken is cooked through and oil starts to show on sides.. I add veggies, saute, and then add more coconut milk with water to make gravy. It is important that you add the milk, water, and seasonings - salt, lemon juice as per taste and preference. If you notice, Red Curry Sauce looks mild deep red color. If a restaurant sells you deep red red curry sauce don't buy it! Color of the sauce comes from whole dried and fresh Thai chilies which make sauce redish but not deep red blood color. Got it? Thanks for noting down. :)

I hope you will enjoy my take on Thai Red Curry. Recipe is easy, and flexible and flavors are so spot-on that you will LOVE cooking a Thai Curry dinner at home! I recommend making paste ahead, and then bring Red Curry to dinner table under 20 minutes any weekday! Always remember, the money and health it saves buy cooking at home is worth the effort! :) Always keep smiling.

Updated Jan-08-2018: Try another less-spicy, all-in-one version of Red Curry Paste.


We start off by chopping all the vegetables into bite size pieces. Press the tofu firmly so excess water drains.

Then we sauté the onions and aromatics in oil for some time so the raw smell goes away. We then sauté the veggies and tofu briefly before adding the coconut milk, water and curry paste to the mix.

We let it simmer for some time ( if using stove top) or pressure cook quickly so the flavors mend together and curry thickens.

You then serve it with nice squeeze of lime juice and fresh herbs toppings.

You can simply skip the sautéing onions and veggies part and make it a Dump and Go Curry as well. However, I prefer to spend extra 5-7 minutes of sautéing before cooking so the aroma of flavors develops better.

Thai Red Fish Curry | Thai Red Curry Recipe with Seafood

I am fond of Thai food a lot. It’s not been very long that I got introduced to Thai cuisine and fell in love with it almost instantaneously. Thai and Indian cuisine have some distinctive differences but somehow, I feel their hearts are in same place.

In both these cuisines, exquisite flavors are created using simple and fresh ingredients. This Thai red fish curry is no exception at all you will realize it as soon as you try it for the very first time. Like any Thai curry, this Thai red fish curry is also made with different combination of veggies and best part is that you can use any fish of your choice.

The fish cubes are mainly stewed in this Thai curry sauce giving them a melt-in-mouth texture in the final dish. There is also no rule in the choice of veggies you would like to add in your Thai red fish curry whatever you like and have handy at the time of making, use them. These Thai curries are very forgiving recipes and doesn’t impose any strict rule over their cooking.

When I got the packet of Basa fillets, I was not exactly sure what I would be doing with them. Basa fillets are so tasty by itself that I do not like to overpower them with spices. It is best to retain the fresh and velvety texture of this delicate fish and create something simple but wholesome this Thai red fish curry turned out to be the best bet for them.

The mild yet superbly flavorful red curry sauce complemented the Basa fish cubes beautifully without making it too overwhelming with spices. If you already have tried Thai red fish curry in your favorite Thai restaurant and wondered how to make such a flavorful dish at home, I am here for your rescue.

Trust me, making this Thai red fish curry is extremely easy especially because nowadays you get the Thai curry pastes easily in supermarkets. You can make the curry pastes from scratch at home too, but let’s park that for another day and continue today’s Thai red fish curry with store-bought curry paste.

Almost all Thai curries follow the same pattern and they are quite versatile in nature without being controlled by complicated ingredients. You will need three primary things to successfully make this Thai red fish curry or any Thai curry for that matter – a curry paste, a can of coconut milk and lastly your imagination!

The flavors of Thai curry suit to all combinations of vegetables, meats or seafood which essentially means you can create endless versions of this goodness using your imagination. Make different combinations of fish & veggies each time you make this Thai delicacy. I used green beans & green peas in my today’s recipe of Thai red fish curry but that’s just a sample.

I have made this same recipe using assorted bell peppers, zucchini, broccoli and carrots too. Any vegetable works beautifully in this which makes it even more handy as you don’t have to worry about specific ingredient. The most popular Thai curries are red, green and yellow even though I have chosen the red curry this time, you can conveniently replace it with any Thai curry paste of your choice – green or yellow.

All other steps of the recipe will remain same irrespective of which Thai curry paste you are using. While choosing the vegetables, you need to keep in mind their cooking time for example, broccoli cooks really fast whereas carrots take more time. So, I would recommend to cook the veggies separately according to their cooking time and then finally combine everything to make the most delicious Thai red fish curry of all time!

I am sure you will love this curry as much as we did as the Thai curry served with rice makes for the most wholesome as well as satisfying meal for everyone. Bring in the essence of Thai cuisine at home with this Thai red fish curry and as always, enjoy!

Thai Red Curry

**Boiled veg will include red and green peppers, green peas, babycorn, asparagus, broccoli, french beans(Fansi). Boil aparagus, babycorn and brocolli. Cut all the veggies in equal squares. Add a pinch of salt while boiling the veggies.

You can use cottage cheese (Paneer) instead of tofu.

For Red Curry Paste:
Mix all the ingredients and grind it to paste.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1 tsp coconut milk in a bowl and mix well. Keep aside. Heat the oil in a wok, and saute tofu/paneer with some salt on it and keep them aside. Then saute green and red peppers, green peas and fansi for a minute and remove them as well. Finally saute all boiled vegetables till crisp and keep them aside as well.

Now heat some more oil in a pan and add the thai red curry paste and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Add the cornflour-coconut milk mixture, rest of the cocunut milk and salt, mix well and simmer for 2 minutes, while stirring continuously. Add all the grilles veggies and tofu/paneer, mix well and simmer for another 2-4 minutes or till the vegetables are cooked and the curry thickens.