Thai green curry is an aromatic dish known for its green color and a balance of flavors, ranging from sweet, spicy, and savory. This iconic dish is made with green curry paste, coconut milk or cream, and a wide variety of vegetables. Thai green curry is usually served with rice and is topped with basil leaves and a squeeze of lime to give it more flavor. Read on as we explore the origins of green curry and show you how to cook your own using our Thai green curry recipe.
What is Thai Green Curry?
Thai green curry is a popular Thai dish that is made using a fragrant and tasty green curry paste that is cooked with our signature coconut milk for curry, vegetables, and meat such as chicken or fish. Green curry is well known for its vibrant color, rich and creamy texture, and signature flavor, which is a balance between sweet, savory, and spicy.
History and Origin of Thai Green Curry
The origins of Thai green curry are not exactly clear, but this green curry is supposed to have appeared in a Thai cookbook during the 1920s. This Thai green curry recipe supposedly originated from the curries that were brought by traders sailing in from India, while the chili peppers were introduced by the Portuguese. The introduction of these chili peppers changed Thai green curry recipes, and the dish has since then become a distinctive icon of Thai cuisine both locally and abroad.
Choosing the Right Ingredients for Thai Green Curry
Choosing the right ingredients to cook Thai green curry may seem a bit complicated, but it can easily be broken down into several key ingredients that form the core of a green curry. When it comes to a Thai green curry recipe, the biggest consideration you need to make is with green curry sauce, which forms the essence of Thai green curry. As a curry dish, the coconut milk that goes into the curry should also be a top consideration, but thankfully Twin Elephants & Earth’s Coconut Milk (18-20% Fat) for curry is an excellent choice to give your dish the richness and texture that it needs. Finally, there are additional ingredients that you can use to add more flavor to your green curry, such as brown sugar to add sweetness, fish sauce for a bit of saltiness, and even lime juice to add contrast. Keep in mind that green curry is versatile and can be customized based on how you like it, so feel free to experiment!
Ingredients and Equipment
Thai green curry is popular in Thai households all year round. If you’ve ever been wondering how to make your very own green curry, then this section is especially for you! Our Thai green curry recipe not only covers the ingredients and the tools you’ll need but also gives you some useful tips while you are preparing green curry!
Ingredients for Thai Green Curry
These are the following ingredients you will need to prepare your Thai green curry. In a Thai green curry recipe, the dish’s important components can be divided into four categories, which are aromatics, which give the dish its fragrance, the green curry paste, which forms the core of the dish, the garnishes, which add extra flavor, and the main ingredients. A Thai green curry recipe requires the following:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 shallots, finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon galangal, finely chopped
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
- 1 red chili pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Thai Green Curry Paste:
- 1 cup shallots, finely chopped
- 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated galangal
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- Chicken or vegetable stock: 1 cup
- Coconut Milk (18-20% Fat) or Coconut Cream (20-22% Fat): 1 can
- Fish sauce: 1-3 tablespoons, to taste
- White sugar: 1-3 tablespoons, to taste
- Salt: 1/8 teaspoon
- Torn kaffir lime leaves: 1/4 cup
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (optional): 1 pound
- Sliced bamboo shoots: 1 cup
- Sliced bell peppers: 1 cup
- Sliced eggplant: 1 cup
- Thai basil leaves: 1 cup
- Lime wedges for serving: 8 wedges
- Jasmine rice for serving: 2 cups cooked
What Do I Use to Make Thai Green Curry?
These are the equipment you will need to prepare Thai green curry:
- Pot: A deep pot is ideal for cooking the green curry paste and the vegetables. You may also consider using a wok, which has high heat distribution and helps create a smoky aroma in your curry.
- Mortar and Pestle (Optional): A traditional mortar and pestle is preferred for its ability to crush the ingredients into green curry paste. Alternatively, you may also use a food processor.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: These help you make sure that you have the right balance of flavors in Thai green curry. Measuring cups and spoons will help you add the correct amounts of spices, herbs, and other ingredients.
- Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon is essential for stirring the Thai green curry paste and vegetables to prevent them from sticking to the pot or a wok.
- Knife and Cutting Board: A sharp knife and cutting board are necessary for chopping the shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chilies, and vegetables.
- Serving Bowls or Plates: Serving bowls or plates are necessary for presenting the cooked Thai green curry, either with jasmine rice or rice noodles.
- Garnishes (Optional): If you plan to garnish your Thai green curry with fresh Thai basil leaves, lime wedges, sliced red chilies, or chopped peanuts, you will need small bowls or dishes to hold these ingredients.
Thai Green Curry Recipe Step-by-Step
- Prepare the aromatics: Heat oil in a pot or wok over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves. Sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
- Make the Thai green curry paste: If you are using pre-made paste, skip this step. If making your paste, blend the green chilies, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shrimp paste, lime zest, coriander, cumin, pepper, turmeric, cilantro leaves, cilantro stems, and water until smooth.
- Cook the curry paste: Add the green curry paste (either pre-made or homemade) to the pot with the aromatics. Sauté until fragrant and the paste darkens slightly, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and stock: Pour in the Coconut Milk (18-20% Fat) or Coconut Cream (20-22% Fat) and chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season the curry: Add fish sauce, sugar, and salt to taste. You may adjust the amount of each ingredient according to what you like.
- Add vegetables and protein (optional): If you are using vegetables, add them to the curry pot. Common choices include bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and eggplant. If using protein, add it after the vegetables have cooked for a few minutes. Chicken is a popular choice, but tofu or fish can also be used.
- Garnish and serve: Stir in the Thai basil leaves and remove from heat. Ladle the curry over steamed jasmine rice. Garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves, lime wedges, sliced red chilies, or chopped peanuts, if desired. Serve immediately.
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